10 Tips for Teaching Children

by Sophia McMillan
(Shane Training Centre, Japan)

1. Establish ground rules from the first day of class and be clear, consistent and fair throughout

2. Remember the learners' names. Encourage them to use and remember their classmates' names. Use their names often when teaching (ie. talking to them, making requests, TPR exercises, learners passing back notebooks or workbooks, playing games, etc.)

3. Show them what to do. Don't explain. Just do. They will follow your lead. English needs to be experienced, not explained.

4. Encourage trust between you and the learners. Through your actions show them that you will never embarrass them for making a mistake in English.

5. Use eye contact to communicate your praise and disappointment.

6. Create well-planned, consistent lessons with a predictable format which gives the learners a sense of security and balance. Learners feel more confident if they know what to expect.

7. Always be pleasantly surprised when learners interact with each other or you in English.

8. Reassure your learners that you understand their English and you approve of their attempts.

9. Show respect to the children (since they are worthy of it) and let them sometimes be the teacher. Use English as a tool to build their self-esteem.

10. Remember childhood through your learners.

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