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How to become a 'pro' teacher
Here's How You Can Become A 'Pro' High School ESL Teacher:
1 Give them what they want
If you want the best result from stubborn high school students, the most effective technique is to give them exactly what they want. If they want games, then give them games! The great part about giving students what they want is this can be used as a bargaining tool in order for you to get them to complete work. Senior high school students can be difficult to enforce discipline, so one fantastic way is to negotiate with them. If they complete the required exercises, then they can play a game at the end of class! When it comes to exercises that can be a little ‘dry’, edit them so they can talk about things that your students are interested in. Find out about some of their favourite pop stars, movie stars and base the exercises on that.
2 If possible, stay away from the grammar!
Don’t focus on grammar, keep the emphasis on communication. Of course, if a student makes a grammatical error on a regular basis, do correct them. However, provide usable examples of the grammar within context that the student could use, not out of a textbook.
3 Don’t be predictable
4 Have a laugh!
Be prepared to laugh at them and laugh at yourself. Students generally respect a teacher who they can have a joke with. Generally, this works in the favour of the teacher, as most ESL/EFL teachers cannot speak the L1 of the student. If the student can joke to the teacher using English, well hey! They are using English! When you have a laugh and a joke with them (in English), then you are providing them with English, albeit in the form of a joke.
5 Make it real
One thing that we find works really well is to throw away the grammar books and get the students to work on a skill that they could use later in life or with their further education at university. Ongoing projects are a great way to teach language that is used on an everyday basis, and helps them build on language structures that they may eventually involve in the workplace. Some projects that help build on real life English include:
Work as a group to plan a company, then present;
Research and report on what’s happening in another country;
Devise an advertising campaign for a produce;
Work as a group and plan a travel itinerary around the world – decide as a group where you would go and what you would do.
6 The psychology of a fun class
Starting off with a game and ending with a game is what we refer to as a ‘Sandwich of Fun’. By starting with an activity and ending with an activity, students generally forget about the ‘boring’ grammar exercises or reading activities.
7 Set fair rules with their input
8 Focus on students who want to learn
Often when faced with classes where 46 out of 54 students don’t want to learn, it’s a good idea to put the activity on the board and then focus on assisting those students who want to learn. Without totally neglecting the needs of all students in the class, simply assist those students who really want it. Focusing on a student who doesn’t want you help takes valuable teaching time away that could be used on providing assistance to a student who truly appreciates and wants to further their English skills.
Practically any teacher has the ability to become an inspiring teacher to senior high school students; it is simply a matter of walking into the classroom with the right attitude and by following the above tips and tricks. Even with more difficult classes, teachers can still be an inspiration to their students and provide them with a set of useful language skills that will stay with them forever.