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Have you got some advice for a new language teacher?


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Recently I moved to Spain where there are plenty of jobs available teaching English and German. I am thinking of doing a course to get the teaching certificate that I need. I have no previous experience with this type of work but would like to try it. Have you got any advice for me?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Try considering these tips:

-Encourage learners to contribute

-Feedback on learner's skills/abilities

-Link feedback to specifc positives/mistakes

-Correct misunderstanding in a non-confrontational way

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  • 2 weeks later...

Plan you classes ahead, there are several to do this.  I had a sheet that was divided and listing things like activity name, description, time, etc.  That was the core of my classes, the descriptions were sort and often used small signs or drawings as keys to remind me what the activity was all about.

I  did this so I could look at it really fast, without the student even noticing.  I recommend you to do the same.

I also recommend you to show them some authority since the start, specially if you are dealing with teens. Because if you don't, then you might have troubles trying to make them follow your instructions. Be firm, don't hesitate or show any kind of weakness, show yourself as calm and confident as possible.

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A good way that my teachers were able to increase our vocabulary when we were kids was to have and discuss a word of the day. It might not seem like much, but I still remember and use many of the advanced words I learned through that method and I'm sure it would work just as well for simpler words as well.

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Recently I moved to Spain where there are plenty of jobs available teaching English and German. I am thinking of doing a course to get the teaching certificate that I need. I have no previous experience with this type of work but would like to try it. Have you got any advice for me?

When assigning homework, make them do word studies! They have to pick 3-5 new words from the article you read in the class. The students have to look up the part of speech, the pronunciation and the definition of the word, as well as use it in a sentence. If you wish, you can make them translate the sentence with the new word to Spanish.

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  I have been an ESL teacher for the better part of the past 10 years. When starting out, you should determine which level, and which age, of student you are most comfortable with.

  Lesson planning, classroom management, even your personal demeanor when dealing with students can all be taught, by a reputable organization or institution, but if you're comfortable with advanced preschool students, and you need to teach beginning adults, well, that can be learned, it just takes time.

  When you are starting out you should have as few challenges as possible.

  A really good course will cover this. I got my CELTA training from Embassy C.E.S. in New York. They have centers, sorry, centers, worldwide. I highly suggest you seek training from them.

Best of luck, and I hope that you find teaching as rewarding for you as I have, should you choose to follow the Way of The Teacher..

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My advice would be the focus about half of your attention on speaking. It's important to get students talking with each other, early on, in conversation-scenario situations. Reading an essay in front of class isn't good enough. It doesn't have that back-and-forth spontaneity lesson that students need. And most students really need it. I think speaking in foreign languages is the hardest part.

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My advice would be the focus about half of your attention on speaking. It's important to get students talking with each other, early on, in conversation-scenario situations. Reading an essay in front of class isn't good enough. It doesn't have that back-and-forth spontaneity lesson that students need. And most students really need it. I think speaking in foreign languages is the hardest part.

Excellent piece of advice. My Italian teacher in high school forced us to have simple conversations like that. I learned a lot from them, even though I didn't exactly like them.

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  I have been an ESL teacher for the better part of the past 10 years. When starting out, you should determine which level, and which age, of student you are most comfortable with.

  Lesson planning, classroom management, even your personal demeanor when dealing with students can all be taught, by a reputable organization or institution, but if you're comfortable with advanced preschool students, and you need to teach beginning adults, well, that can be learned, it just takes time.

  When you are starting out you should have as few challenges as possible.

  A really good course will cover this. I got my CELTA training from Embassy C.E.S. in New York. They have centers, sorry, centers, worldwide. I highly suggest you seek training from them.

Best of luck, and I hope that you find teaching as rewarding for you as I have, should you choose to follow the Way of The Teacher..

Thank you very much for your good advice, and also for the encouragement. I am now half way through my course, and am looking forward to get some students. I decided to focus on giving private lessons to people of all ages, rather than teaching in a classroom environment. I feel a lot more comfortable on a one-to-one basis or with a small group of no more than 5 people at a time.

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My recommendations are for you to take it slow, keep in mind that every single one is different and you might need to use different teaching methods for them. Have a lot of patience and try to make sure they have the basics before you go further in teaching them more advanced English topics.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thank you very much for your good advice, and also for the encouragement. I am now half way through my course, and am looking forward to get some students. I decided to focus on giving private lessons to people of all ages, rather than teaching in a classroom environment. I feel a lot more comfortable on a one-to-one basis or with a small group of no more than 5 people at a time.

I think the decision to teach private lessons is a good one.  Teaching individuals or small groups privately removes the challenge of classroom management and discipline  -- things you will have to worry about  if you decide to go towards classroom teaching.

Furthermore, I think you will find one-on-one classes more rewarding.  You will be able to really focus on your student and on your lesson. I think it will be a less stressful environment for a new teacher.

However, once you get the hang of teaching an ESL student, then you can reevaluate your choices and try other forms of classes.

Congratulations on your choice and good luck in finishing your course.  : )

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I've taught English in China before, so it isn't like your situation, but I think there are some universals.

Main thing is to learn to understand what demographic you are teaching. This will determine everything you should do for your teaching. Teaching kids? You'll need to be more of an entertainer. Teaching college students? You can get away with interesting lectures. Teaching adults or businessmen? Might want to go with an academic style.

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  • 1 month later...

If you want to teach I can highly recommend completing a course before you start as this will prepare you for what to expect and give you some real world experience. There are jobs available for native speakers without such a qualification but you'll be thrown right in the deep end  :smile:

Make sure the course you do is either the CELTA or Cert. TESOL as these are the two that are recognised in the industry. There are online courses which are not worth the money and won't help you get a job. CELTA or TESOL will give you 8 hours of teaching practice and all the grammar skills you need to start teaching.

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I've taught English in China before, so it isn't like your situation, but I think there are some universals.

Main thing is to learn to understand what demographic you are teaching. This will determine everything you should do for your teaching. Teaching kids? You'll need to be more of an entertainer. Teaching college students? You can get away with interesting lectures. Teaching adults or businessmen? Might want to go with an academic style.

All the other advice are excellent. I go with the above advice, too! It's really important to know who you are dealing with to know how you should act before them. Thus, it's important to be flexible with your methods. Each language learner has their own weaknesses/strengths. So, avoid comparing your students. Another very simplistic advice is to remove your own bias regarding simpleness/difficulty of lessons. While lessons you think might be simple in your mind, your learner might still find it difficult. Thus, it's highly important to have preparations so you'll have something to pull out of your sleeve in case things don't work out.

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