English language may not be the most spoken language in the world but is the official language in most countries, and is used frequently in most business communications all over the world which makes it relatively important, learning wise at least.
Being an English teacher is a rewarding career choice. However, it is also challenge to teach English effectively. Teaching a new language requires a teacher to first make their students realize the primary aim of learning the language. But in most Indian schools learning English is only examination-oriented.
Here are few tips for teachers to teach English effectively.
1. Writing – students’ life to inspire writing, group evaluation
Most students lose interest in language class due to a lack of a favorable environment. It is hard to learn when there is no motivating factor that pushes you to learn. One way to change this is to ensure learning through participation. Make your students participate by encouraging them to write about themselves and the people they live with. Encourage peer evaluation; it helps your students improve themselves by learning from their mistakes as well as from the mistakes of their peers.
2. Know the needs of your students
Test your students’ skills by having question-answer sessions in your class or by conducting tests. Not only will this help you assess their performance, but it will also help you find out problem areas where you are struggling. After figuring out their problem areas, you can give them exercises and worksheets accordingly.
3. Reading & Literature- Relate literature to real life
Reading is equally important as learning the rules of English. Use interactive ways to create interest in reading like utilizing various reading materials that relate to real life. Encourage your students read newspapers and magazines aloud turn by turn at the beginning of your class.Encourage your students to find new words from the prescribed text-material. This makes a fun activity where students find new words, learn their meanings and also improve their reading skills.
4. Make short stories a part of the class
Young students usually find narrating and listening to stories interesting. Use this as a teaching tool. Make short stories a part of your class by encouraging your students to narrate stories in English. This helps them improve their communication skills. This also helps you to assess your students’ interactive skills and helps them improve. This helps the students improve their thinking ability.
5. Explore technology and other teaching tools
With the advancement in technology, many interesting tools for teaching have also been developed. Explore the use of technology in the classroom and find new ways of teaching English to your students. There are many interactive apps like English For Kids, Grammar Up, Sentence Builder etc, for children that help them learn and use English effectively.
6. Dramas to engage and inspire
Dramas and plays are another method to engage students in interactive learning. Ask your students to perform a play based on any story from their prescribed text-book. Let this be a group task where students get to decide their characters in the play and prepare dialogues suitable to the scenes in the play. Students learn how to make a script, how to act it out and how to organize the play. This also helps them improve their language skills.
7. Use English as the medium for communication
Students learn English best when they use it in their daily communication, ask your students to use English as the medium for communication. Use new words in your conversation with the students so that they know the words and their usage. Allow students to make mistakes but ask them to continue with English language as the medium for communication. Observe and correct your students’ usage of words and help them improve their language usage skills.
Do you find the above tips useful? What challenges have you faced as an English teacher? And how did you overcome them? Please share your suggestions and experiences with us in the comments section below!