A single online search is enough for you to understand that English teachers are needed all over the world. You have plenty of opportunities to travel, help people learn English, make a living, and do what you love in the meantime: teach.
There’s a catch, though: no school wants to hire a teacher who sticks to the conventional ways of education. Students don’t like to be bored; they want to learn and have fun at the same time.
While we’re at it, let’s explore 6 clever ways of becoming the favorite English language teacher your students have ever had.
1. Listen, Repeat
Repetitio mater studiorum est. Latin proverbs are so smart! This one means: repetition is the mother of all learning. Through repetition, your students will not only memorize the new words and phrases, but they will improve their pronunciation as well. Now, how do you make repetition fun?
● You can have different lists with Internet slang, journalistic phrases, ‘smart’ words, Game of Thrones catch phrases, and whatever else that comes to your mind. Take the age, interests, and level of your students into consideration when making these lists.
● Then, read the points on your list and ask the students to repeat after you several times. You can read each phrase three times, and speed up the speech as you make progress.
2. Teamwork Is Gold. Social Media Makes It Even Better!
Your students will join forces to become better and meet your expectations as a teacher. Plus, teamwork is a lot of fun. There are few ways for you to encourage such collaboration:
● Create a special Facebook group and invite your students to join. They can stay connected with each other, practice their language skills, share useful links, and ask any questions related to language learning and practice.
● Encourage them to be active on other social, too. The #GrammarNazi hashtag on Twitter is a lot of fun. Ask them to post a tweet with that hashtag every single day. They will try to catch other people’s mistakes and learn proper grammar along the way.
● Assign a group challenge: karaoke singing or poem reading. When they have to perform in front of an audience, your students are stressed out. Put them in a team of performers, and the stress immediately becomes easier to handle.
3. Movies and TV Shows? Neat!
Is there anyone who doesn’t love movies? When you watch a really engaging movie, show, or cartoon on TV, you have to focus really hard to follow the pace of the story. You can show subtitles at the beginning, but ditch them as yo
ur students make progress in their English language skills.
● If they don’t understand a word, ask them to note it down in the context of the sentence. Then, they can ask you about it.
● When you’re done watching the movie, you can have a discussion. What did they like about it? Was there something they didn’t like? What did they think about the characters? Who was their favorite character? You have many points of discussion after watching a movie.
● If you can’t find a movie that would be suitable for the classroom, you can locate videos on FluentU. They are shorter and more comprehensive, so you might prefer using them if your students’ skills are not advanced enough for a full-length film or TV show.
4. Get Them into Role Playing
Your students will get way better at speaking English when they act it out. They will try to nail the accent, and they won’t be that worried about making a mistake.
● After watching a film or TV show, you can recreate some of the crucial scenes. Hand out the script, create teams, and have a theatre day.
● If you have troubles engaging them in real acting, you can ask them to recreate the news. There can be four members in a team: a male and female news anchor; one student who will read the sports news, and another one for the weather forecast. This act is useful because they will try to speak as clearly as possible. If you want to make it even more fun for them, let them read celebrity news or controversial online publications. Kim Kardashian might turn out to be the main start again, but at least you’ll all have fun.
5. Try Performance Poetry
The spotlight might be stressful, but it will take the best out of your students. Ask
them to memorize a poem in English.
● Walt Whitman and John Keats are always a nice choice.
● If you’re teaching an advanced class, you can ask the students to pick a favorite poem in their native language and translate it to English. Then, they will perform it for the class.
6. Bring On the Music
Everyone loves karaoke! It’s a great way to get your students practice English vocabulary and pronunciation. The rhythm of the music won’t leave them time for thinking before speaking up. The words will come out naturally, and they will sound better than ever.
● You need an idea for a song that would be both fun and easy to sing? How about Hakuna Matata?
● Ask them to read the lyrics first, and write down the words and phrases they don’t understand. Explain those parts to them.
● Then, ask them to sing along as a group. If some of the students are brave enough to step up, they can have solo performances.
● Encourage them to listen to songs with English lyrics outside the classroom setting. Singing is a great way to practice.
Most people think that teaching English to foreigners has to be boring and hard. You’re dealing with the simplest grammar rules and words. Still, you can make the process way more fun if you introduce the 6 methods listed above. Are you ready for a classroom full of smiley faces?