30 Top Tips for teaching beginners (Some are more important than others!)
Methodology and techniques
1- Teaching beginners requires special skills and psychology
2- Be aware of your students’ needs
3- Have clear and realistic aims – don’t try to do too much too quickly
4-Adapt to suit your situation
5-Arrange the classroom
6- Be as visual as possible
7- Take care with your board work
8- Control your language
9- Give clear, simple instructions
10- Pace your lessons
11- Use choral repetition
12- Use pair and group work
13- Ask lots of questions
14- Encourage students to speak English in class as much as possible
15- Don’t use the students’ mother tongue even if you know it
16- Revise constantly
17- Homework is important
18- What can you do with a mix of real and false beginners? The reality is that both have very similar needs. Many false beginners will ask to start from scratch anyway!
19- How can you help weaker students? Pair them with stronger students. Give them extra work to allow them to catch up.
20- What if you cannot get through all the planned material in a single lesson? Don’t rush through it. Save it for next time or for revision purposes. A common mistake teachers make is going too quickly.
21- What if you run out of material in a lesson? You really shouldn’t, but if this happens, simple revision, review activities and games can be used as fillers.
22- What if students cannot understand the tape? Play it again. Listening skills take time to develop and students should gain as much exposure to different accents and speech patterns as possible. If the students still can’t understand after a number of listening, the teacher can give out the tape script (usually found at the back of the course book) or read it out more slowly. This should be the final option.
23- Do not over-correct
24- Do not have the book open all the time
25- Be sensitive to your students
26- Respond to your students as individuals
27- Create a relaxed and supportive atmosphere
28- Praise and encourage
29- Focus on what is easy, not what is difficult
30- Explain your methods