Here are five key takeaways from the webinar we think every English teacher should know about.
Mistake #1: Neglecting your students’ goals
Every group of students will have different goals and motivations.
According to webinar host Linda Dunsmore, if the goal isn’t clear from the type of class you’re teaching, your job as the teacher is to find out why your students are interested in learning English in the first place. From there, you can tailor your lessons to better fit their needs and interests.
Lessons should be meaningful and relevant for your students. They should also relate back to their goals.
Not sure what your students’ goals are? Use the following assessment tools to find out what your students hope to accomplish with their language learning:
Mistake #2: Not thinking long-term
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the year or the course and not having your students reach their goals. That’s why Dunsmore encourages teachers to think long-term and to plan out the entire year or course ahead of time.
When you set goals, make sure to keep your students’ needs top of mind. Make a detailed outline of when each goal should be reached and then plan each lesson accordingly.
For helpful, ready-made planning templates, check out our assortment of Classroom Management tools or try out two of our most popular:
Mistake #3: Teaching every student the same way
Every student has different needs, interests, and talents. Some students might learn better through games while others may learn better through videos. That's why it's important to take the time to really get to know your students.
Once you learn a little more about them, Dunsmore suggests you adjust your lessons and teaching style to align with their learning needs and interests. If some students require more practice in one area, you can also assign them different homework exercises.
A good way to get to know your students is by having them fill out a questionnaire. You can make your own or use these assessment tools:
Mistake #4: Overcorrecting grammar
Unless you’re teaching a grammar class or your students are completing a written assignment, try to avoid correcting every single grammar mistake they make.
When you're having your students practice their speaking, your main goal is to get your students talking. Speaking a new language in front of other people is hard and can be intimidating for some. If you correct every grammar error they make, your students will get discouraged and may not want to talk.
"Fluency is more important than accuracy."
—Linda Dunsmore, TEFL & TESOL Marketing Professional
For more tips on how to get your students talking, check out our blog post on effective speaking strategies.
Mistake #5: Thinking you’re the only teacher
While you may be the teacher, you’re not the only teacher in the room. There will be plenty of times when your students will teach you something new.
Be open to exchanging ideas and learning from each other. This builds rapport, creates a meaningful and safe learning environment, and gives your students the opportunity to share their ideas with you and the rest of the class.
Share your thoughts
Teachers, what other mistakes do you see happen in the classroom that you think should be avoided? Let us know in the comments below.