6 Ways to May Be Teaching English All Wrong

How not to teach EnglishFirst, don’t assume that you are an expert on the language just because you speak it. Even if English is your native language, that doesn’t mean that you know all of the grammatical intricacies that come with it. For most of us, learning our mother tongue was an entirely organic process. Learning in such a way is great when you are constantly surrounded by it and can put things into context without even thinking twice. However, this is not the case for those who are learning English as a second language. Don’t give answers to students if you do not know the answer. Making up something that sounds good to you can confuse them beyond the point of no return, and it just makes you look silly. To avoid this situation, be sure to brush up on the grammar points that you are scheduled to teach before creating your lesson plans and before each lesson itself. Better yet, take a TESOL course and get the ultimate refresher on how to properly use and teach grammar and syntax. Below you will find 5 ways you may be teaching English all wrong.

OnTESOL: Accredited TESOL Courses Since 2003

Read more

Teaching IELTS Writing: Strategies for Developing Task 2 Planning Skills

How to teach IELTS by OnTESOLWhether they’re sitting for the academic or the general format of the IELTS test, your candidates will have to write a 250-word essay on an everyday topic (i.e. task 2). One key to performing well in task 2 is devoting five to ten minutes brainstorming ideas and mapping out how they will be discussed before starting the essay. Even for upper-band candidates, jumping into their essay without planning beforehand risks them getting lost along the way, resulting in writing in which the main ideas and supporting details may be confused and difficult to follow. During the actual test, with time ticking away, it can be frustrating and stressful when the candidate realizes what has happened but doesn’t know how to right the ship in the time remaining. For this reason, IELTS instructors should train their candidates how to plan before starting their essay. Here are some strategies to consider.

About the Author: Greg Askew completed the Advanced TESOL Diploma with OnTESOL. He is currently teaching IELTS in the United Arab Emirates.

Read more

Teaching IELTS Writing: Strategies for Teaching Writing Task 1

Teaching IELTS writingLike the other tests of the IELTS exam, academic task 1 of the IELTS writing test requires knowledge and skills that are generally developed in secondary school, which is why the exam is not recommended for candidates below the age of 16. Firstly, candidates need to have basic visual literacy skills in order to correctly identify and understand the key features of a range of charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. Additionally, they need a reasonable capacity to analyze and evaluate the relationships between these key features and then synthesize this thinking into a summary supported by the details provided. Lastly, they need the language skills with which to articulate their understanding. Depending on where and whom you’re teaching, you may find it necessary to develop your candidates’ visual literacy and critical thinking skills in addition to their language proficiency. This is what I discovered when I began teaching the IELTS exam with secondary students in the UAE. Here are some strategies I’ve used to help my candidates.

About the author: Greg Askew completed the 250-hour TESOL Diploma with OnTESOL and he taught IELTS in the UAE.

Read more

Learn How to Teach English and Pursue a Successful Career with an Accredited TESOL Certification

Learn how to teach English with a TESOL certification courseA TESOL certification by OnTESOL will prepare you for a lucrative teaching career all over the world. We have been around for over 12 years! Our Advanced TESOL Diploma made OnTESOL a world-renowned institute. We are known all over the world for offering the most comprehensive training and preparing teachers for a successful career. Having OnTESOL on your certificate shows employers that you know how to teach English using the most effective methods. Our courses will provide you with professional training to help you become a reflective and independent teacher. When you have the skills to create a full curriculum based on customized lesson plans that meet your students’ needs, you can pursue career advancement opportunities as a school director, a university professor, or even open your own school. Contact us to find out how OnTESOL will help you to become a successful teacher. Below you will find sample videos and free TESOL articles on how to teach English!

Read more

How to Teach IELTS Reading Using Authentic Texts

How to teach IELTS reading testJust as there are many reasons to use authentic texts when teaching IELTS, there are an equal number of considerations when choosing which texts to use. The most important consideration is whether the text is suitable for your candidates’ proficiency level. Reading requires a lot of energy, especially when dealing with unfamiliar vocabulary and structures. The greater the gap between your candidates’ level and the level required means the greater the chance they will lose motivation and focus, which is why sourcing authentic texts can be so challenging—maybe you find the perfect article but the text’s language is too sophisticated. The time it takes to source a text that ticks all the boxes might ultimately put you off using authentic texts altogether. Before giving up, consider modifying a text to achieve your target level, which may ultimately take less time than finding that perfect text. In this TESOL article I will share the process I have used for vetting and developing the texts for candidates targeting an IELTS band 5.0:

Read more

5 Ways to Effectively Use Images with Beginner ESL Learners

How to teach English to beginners with ImagesIt’s an old saying that an image is worth a thousand words. In English language teaching we can take that saying and adapt it: ‘Every image can help learners speak a thousand words.’ Images can be our greatest allies! Instead of worrying about trying to form grammatically correct sentences in a course book activity, learners always react positively when asked to discuss an image instead.

Images are great language learning tools for so many reasons. Firstly, images are open to varying interpretations. This inherent ambiguity enables your learners to be creative and invent all manner of sentences based on what they see. Secondly, an image provides a natural talking point. Shy and introvert learners often feel less anxiety about discussing an image than they do when doing a course book speaking activity. Furthermore, images help to practice sub-skills like prediction, telling stories and recognizing main ideas. Finally, images are just a bit more fun to work with. The following simple activities will help you take advantage of all that images have to offer:

Read more

Teaching the IELTS Listening Test: Writing and Recording Your Own Listening Scripts

Teaching IELTS Listening There are many reasons to develop your own listening resources, whether for assessment or instructional purposes, to teach the IELTS listening test. Last year I worked as an assessment developer for a secondary technical school in the UAE. The goal of the EFL curriculum was for each student to achieve at least an IELTS band 5.0 upon completion of the program, which would satisfy the requirement for university admissions or direct employment in many local industries. Our grade 12 EFL course was based on an IELTS curriculum, so course content centered on mastering the skills for achieving the target band score. For this reason, the various tests the assessment team created were modeled on the official IELTS exam. There are ample free resources online; however, to ensure the integrity of our assessments we could not use existing resources in case our students had already been exposed to them. For this reason, our materials had to be developed in house, including our listening tests, which we scripted and wrote the questions for as well as recorded and edited ourselves using GarageBand. In this article you will learn how to teach the IELTS listening test using your own resources.

-Get the 20-hour Teaching IELTS Certificate Course for Free!-

Read more

The Best TESOL / TEFL / TESL Certificate for Canadians

The best TESOL certification for CanadiansYou don’t need to have a degree in Education or any previous teaching experience to start your career as an English language teacher. You just need to take a TESOL, TEFL, or TESL certification course that is recognized by TESL Canada. This accreditation is required by language schools in Canada and it is also internationally recognized, so you can use your certification to teach English abroad if you want to teach and travel for a while.

Read: Online TESOL Certification with Teaching Practice!

Read more

Teaching the IELTS Speaking Test: Play Taboo for Developing Candidates’ Lexical Resource and Skill in Paraphrasing

Teaching IELTS Speaking Exam games

In the UAE, colleges and universities generally require an IELTS band score of 5.0 or 5.5 for admission, and a large majority of IELTS candidates in the country are taking the test for this purpose. There are many resources online that can help your candidates achieve their target band scores. One such resource is the public version of the IELTS speaking rubric, which gives an idea of some of the criteria and descriptors used to establish band scores. With this awareness you can develop lessons and activities closely calibrated to your candidates’ target band.

    –Teaching IELTS Online Certificate Course Only $199!

Read more

Authentic Material: How to Teach English Using Radio or Podcasts

By Margaret Hurley. Co-writer You Can Teach Grammar

Podcasts and radio in the ESL classroom - Authentic Material TESOLThe benefits of using authentic material in the TESOL classroom are many. They generate interest, they are certainly more varied in range than the material embedded in textbooks, they can be extremely practical, they can be fun and they can be very current. Especially for teachers who are not in an English-speaking country, authentic material are an excellent way to bring the English-speaking world into the classroom. In this series, different specific ways of using authentic materials will be covered. This inaugural issue covers some tips for using (non-musical) radio or podcasts in the classroom.

OnTESOL: Internationally Recognized Online TESOL courses

Read more