Attending Behavior: Small Classes vs. Big Classes

classroom management tips TESOLAttending behavior would definitely be different in a larger class compared to a smaller class. For example in a smaller class the teacher might use strategies such as eye contact, or touch (in some cultures this is not common, though) to encourage students to talk (or in some cases discourage talking or a reprimanding look to discourage talking). Other strategies such as using a student’s name, nodding or smiling could be used effectively in smaller classes but would also work well in a larger class.

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Teaching Grammar: Elicitation Through Concept Questions

Concept questions teaching grammarConcept Questions are used to elicit function, the intention of the speaker, and form -the grammatical structure that the speaker uses to express meaning (i.e. what he/she is trying to communicate to the audience)-. Concept Questions are used in the Communicative Approach when teaching grammar topics or vocabulary, mainly in the Presentation Stage of the PPP format, or in the Study Phase of the ESA format.  Concept Questions are a good way of eliciting information from the students and checking their comprehension rather than explaining the topic with long and difficult definitions that may only confuse the students. They are also a way of getting meaning across in a more effective and student-centered way.

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Authentic Material: Home-Made or Off-the-Shelf?

In Theory/In Practice

Authentic material TESOL teacherThis Authentic Material Teaching Tips article focuses on the question of how deeply “authentic” teachers need to be in order to meet students’ needs.

Most ESL/EFL classes rely on textbooks to guide the curriculum and to provide the bulk of the material used in the classroom. Good textbooks make teachers’ jobs much easier. But, even the best textbooks are unable to anticipate and address the needs of every class. So – with or without a textbook – teachers often need to provide supplementary material. The choice then becomes one of creating original material or sourcing “pre-packaged” exercises from elsewhere.

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Developing Handouts

By Margaret Hurley

handouts authentic material TESOL Authentic material is often inspiring, rich and topical. It can be a significant motivator for students and it can go a long way toward keeping teachers interested, too. So, why isn’t it used even more often? The short answer is: it’s a lot of work for the teacher.

The major disadvantage of authentic material is that it doesn’t come with ready-made tasks. Turning the material into a lesson is entirely up to the teacher. And when a busy teacher is using “fresh” material (current news, for example), the supporting tasks may be developed in a rush.

There’s nothing wrong with doing things quickly – but time pressure can tempt the best of us to get a bit sloppy. Herewith, then, is a set of tips for avoiding bad habits when developing handouts to accompany the authentic material.

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