ESL Teaching Strategies

ESl Teaching Strategies - What is important for Classroom Management?

You can control a classroom through: eye contact, gesture and voice.

1. Good Eye Contact is essential to getting student attention. Eye contact can be used:

-To give individual attention as well as to check that all students are involved in participating

-To ensure that students understand what they are supposed to

-To indicate who is to speak

-To indicate that something is correct or incorrect

-To encourage participation and contribution

- To signal start / stop / continue

However, eye contact should be avoided in during an activity which is not teacher centered, example -- role play or if the focus is fluency.

(Pictured above: Some of the Gods of Daiyuzan Temple in Minamiashigara, Kanagawa)

ESL Teaching Strategies - Classroom Management -- Using Gestures

2. Good Gestures can be effective and useful -

-To convey the meaning of the language.

-To add variety and create visual interest / impact

-To re-enforce instructions

-To reduce need of verbal explanation

- To increase lesson pace

Think of what gestures you could use to express:

-Listen

- Stop

- Good

- Not right

-Nearly right

-Repeat in chorus

- Get into pairs

-Unusual / great idea

Classroom Management -- Voice Usage

3. Voice

-A teacher’s voice must be well modulated and possess clarity, range and variety to make a lesson effective and understood by all.

The greater variation, the more effective a class. Voice alteration can enliven or quiet a class.

-The voice should adapt according to the circumstance: is it an individual lesson or a group, adults or young children?

-An effective teacher will also vary the complexity of the language to suit the level and ability of the student.

Classroom Management -- Instructions

4. Giving Instructions. Make your instructions more effective.

-Use simple language, with a consistent set of words for the same instruction.

- Reinforce instructions with visual realia, mime, gestures, pictures, board work, examples and demonstration.

- Check whether instructions have been understood -- asking students to explain it back to you is more effective than mere questioning ‘Have you understood?’

Classroom Management -- Maintaining Balance

5. The balance between Teacher Talk Time and Student Talk Time depends on the activity, lesson type and student level.

- TTT is a vital component of learning a language and providing the student with a natural and correct model of the language.

- TTT will be more while:

o Providing input / presenting / checking / explaining

o Giving instructions for activities

o However, try to keep TTT minimal. Avoid unnecessary TTT:

o Adapt the language to accommodate the level of the students

o Use gestures / pictures / mimes to cut down on lengthy explanations

Classroom Management -- Board Usage

6. Board-work is essential but the time spent with your back to the class should be minimal. You can do this by:

-Using an Over-head projector-Preparing picture cards and charts in advance-Writing while students are engaged in a different activity.-Having board-work ready before students enter (cover with a sheet if you don’t want students to see it immediately)

Whatever you do, be sure that it is clear and legible all the way till the last row of students.

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