نویسنده : لیلافیضی - ساعت ۱۱:۱٠ ‎ق.ظ روز ۱۳۸٩/۱۱/٢٤
 

Dear Teacher,

What do you do if your students don't seem motivated, or seem to be making slow progress? How do you give enough speaking practise to your students and what can you do to make your lessons more fun and also more effective so that you enjoy teaching even more?


One of the big problems with teaching adults ESL is that a lot of students who have attended YEARS of language classes and even passed written language exams can hardly string a sentence together!

As teachers how do we ensure that our students;

are really motivated to pay attention in our classes?

are motivated to do their assignments?

have confidence speaking their second language, as well as being able to read and write in it?

With the right ESL games and ideas these things will be a breeze and you'll wonder why you ever struggled or did not know what to do. "What, games!" I hear you gasp. "Surely that is not appropriate for adults. Adults don't want to waste valuable classroom time piddling about with some stupid game!"

That view is outdated in today's world. Not only do many adults the world over enjoy games, but language games actually accelerate learning in a number of ways I will talk about below. However it is absolutely vital that adult students know why they are using a particular game, what specific target grammar or vocabulary are they practising, or what skill are they reinforcing by using the game? If students know and understand why they are doing a particular activity they will be much more inclined to cooperate and enjoy the learning.

So if you have come to this page because you are looking for ways to be a better teacher and to make your classes more meaningful and fun, then read on because you can achieve those worthwhile goals right here.

Communication in class must be meaningful

On this page you will find out:

Why using games helps students learn more effectively than traditional teaching methods

Why it is so important for communication in class to be meaningful and not just senseless repetition or artificial conversation

That most students want to spend class time speaking English and not doing worksheets or watching videos

How to ease the atmosphere and avoid blunders when you have tension in a multicultural class

How to perk students up when they are tired and finding it hard to concentrate

How to help beginners through the "silent period" and much, much more...

You will also discover new ways to:

Encourage even the shy students to join in and pipe up in class with comments

Motivate your students more

Improve the effectiveness of your teaching by tapping into the different learning styles

Save preparation time

Successfully handle mixed ability situations in class

Enjoy yourself more in class. This is so important, because if you are enjoying yourself the chances are that your students are also enjoying the class and you are doing a great job.

Learning English Can Be Fun!

But don't take my word for it; here are testimonials from teachers around the world who I have helped:

Just wanted to let you know that I started using your course last Monday - what a difference it has made to my preparation! 

Instead of absolutely dreading the preparation, I actually enjoy it now!!!

I've just prepared the second lesson for tomorrow morning and am actually looking forward to going there. I feel much more confidant now.

Ruth Gerull, Braunschweig, Germany

Thanks for you e-book, it's become my favorite resource!

Julie Cartwright, Victoria, Australia

I can't thank you enough for your ebook. I am doing my TEFL certificate via correspondence here and your wonderful and sound advice have given me just the reference points and guidance I feel I need. 

Thank you again, hearing the words and seeing the methodology of such a passionate teacher has made the all difference in my ability to see clearly the kind of teacher I want to be.

Georgia Keighery, Australian teaching in a remote part of Indonesia



I got into teaching after my language degree in French and Spanish, when I took a TEFL qualification (teaching English as a foreign language) and taught in language schools and privately for several years. I then started teaching children and I had over one hundred private pupils between the ages of 3 and 14 taking music or French lessons from me in their free time.

I certainly remember the massive amount of time it took me to prepare lessons back then as I searched around to try and make lessons less dry. At one point I was using the Inlingua course book. For those of you who do not know it, it is like a grammar book. There are no pictures or texts, just the grammar point you must teach that day, and the teacher basically has to make up a lesson around that. It was a lot of work and initially it took a lot of thinking come up with fun ideas that related to the grammatical point in hand.

The other big problem teachers have is the almost imperceptible progress students seem to make from one week to the next. You may only see your students once a week and by the time they come back for the next lesson they have forgotten it all! 

When this happens it simply means that your lessons are not that good and the students are not that motivated so they certainly won't take a few minutes out in the week to go over vocabulary or language as revision.

Although teachers are usually doing the best that they can with the resources that they have, this kind of ordinary teaching is a plague and it should be wiped out!  Today there is no excuse to teach in an ordinary way. 

Teachers are important people, they are leaders who inspire others to be creative and move forward through life to new goals, jobs and possibilities. Therefore we have to take our role seriously and give it everything we have got. If we do that we will earn the love and respect of our students, and that gives you a warm glow, the sort of thing that makes life worth living.

What Teachers Face in the EFL / ESL Adult  Classroom...

Here are some of the problems many teachers have:

Your students may not seem motivated.

Conversation activities are artificial and dry up quickly.

You have a job getting some students to say anything at all.

Students arrive late, are tired and you never know who will be coming and when.

You don't know how to practise specific grammar in fun ways so you just stick to worksheets and gap fills.

Students don't remember what you covered earlier in the term and remember even less of what you covered the term before!

You are advancing ineluctably through the textbook to a sea of glazed faces and whenever you give students a test the results are terrible!

You have some good ideas but you would feel embarrassed to be using the same ideas over and over again.

The thought of suddenly being asked to substitute for another teacher fills you with panic!

You live in dread of finishing a lesson early and not knowing what to do.

You do not know how to cater for the mixed abilities in your classroom. More advanced students aren't learning anything and the slower ones cannot keep up.

The textbook is boring, outdated, or it is not a good fit for the level of your class.

You do not have time to prepare properly and you feel overworked and underpaid as it is, without spending your entire weekend on preparation.

Getting Around the Problems with Fun Activities...

Learning through fun activities relaxes students, helps bonding between class members and with the teacher and makes the classroom atmosphere much more supportive for learners.

Students learn more effectively because the activity grabs their attention and interest so naturally they make more effort to concentrate and retain language.

With the right activities you will never have a meaningless, artificial pair work exchange again, well maybe not never, but rarely!

Students get involved in the activity itself and are more inclined therefore to contribute in class, so even the shy students come forward to join in.

Beginners and lower intermediates in particular need a lot of repetition in order to fully absorb new vocabulary and grammar and this can be done through fun language games. 

Using enough variety in the type of activity or game will bring all four learning styles into play: auditory, visual, kinaesthetic and tactile. This not only benefits the student who learns predominantly from one learning style, but it helps ALL students retain information better.

Games allow for the use of setting time limits on tasks and using competition or races to increase student focus and give an exciting buzz to an activity that could otherwise be quite mundane.

These ESL activities allow for students to work together in small groups in a highly structured way, yet giving them independence to practise constructively, in a supportive atmosphere, without the constant presence of the teacher. This allows your students to get the most out of lesson time, by spending it speaking English.

With an abundance of great ideas for games and activities that you can adapt easily to practise any language point you will never be at a loss if you finish early or suddenly have to take an unexpected extra class.

By using activities which require the students to prepare for homework you cut down on your own prep time quite considerably, and this also allows students to mould an activity to their interests, so they are much more likely to be motivated when it comes to the lesson.

You want ideas that are adaptable and do not only work to practise one particular grammar point.

You DO want ideas you can slot in to use with your textbook and existing materials.

You do not want activities that require complicated materials or board games with a lot of tiny pieces that you can lose easily, especially if you have a large class.

Once you have a library of brilliant ideas that work you will be able to prepare much more quickly, and with the confidence that the lesson will be a success.

Give fun classes and save on prep. time

I can promise you these ESL games and activities are thoroughly tried and tested and for teaching English to adults, they really do work:

A particular German student was quite offended at the idea of playing games during class time until she was shown that many of the questions (in the game) were taken directly from the test practise books she would have used on her own. 

She then became very enthusiastic and passed her Cambridge exams with flying colours.

Carolyn Miller,
Prior English Language curriculum developer for employees at NKK Corporation, Japan

 

For the doubting Thomas let me assure you that the games do NOT:

Involve doing silly things more appropriate for children

Have complicated rules

Involve complicated materials

Require long preparation time; some games require no preparation time and can be used off the cuff, some games require a minimum of preparation and others only require prep the first time you use them.

 


 
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