Free ESL Lesson Plans

Free ESL Lesson Plans - Teaching English TEFL to Japanese adults and kids:

No one ever said that it was easy to be teaching English TEFL. As much as you want to get interested in your students` world it is a challenge at times. Yet take an interest in what they are interested in. No matter how long you have taught them (in my case, some of my students I have taught off and on for over 13 years!)

If your middle aged adults enjoy watching Korean dramas or some of your students like movies with Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio--ask them to tell you about the movies. What happened? Why do they like Depp? What is it about him that they like? Don`t let them get away with a typical Japanese answer: "...because I like him." You must explain that in the West that answer is not good enough. It is a cultural difference--we want to know more.

Free ESL Lesson Plans - Do the same with Japanese children

Do they like Doraemon?


Maybe teach colours and shapes by having them draw some of their favourite cartoon characters.

Are they interested in dinosaurs or animals? If so, is there some way you can incorporate that into your TEFL classes? Can you play a game, read a story or do some other activity about what your students are interested in? Can you loan them DVDs in English about it?

Music Projects

Almost everyone likes music. Teach English by having your junior high-university students do a project about their favourite singers. Where are they from? What kind of music do they play? How did they get started in music? Why do the students like them?

Children and the Outdoors

As I have mentioned elsewhere at How to Teach English in Japan, take the children outside. It is their naturally preferred environment. (Some of them with the Nintendo DS do not know this, but it is true!) Allow them to interact with nature and the outside world while you teach English TEFL. There are hundreds of potential activities if you free your mind from the constraints of teaching in a classroom, and your (presumably) traditional education.

Read books about teaching the specific age groups you teach. For Japanese it is best to emphasize spoken activities as much as you can, as they will get many chances to write in classes outside of your classroom. (Children do a lot of writing at school and university students often take a writing class at their university). This is a result of the traditional Japanese emphasis on the now discredited grammar/translation method of English study.

Take pity on your students. Would you want to study in your class? Are you a boring teacher? Do you make an effort to teach as interestingly as possible? I hope so.

Your students will appreciate it, and studies have shown that your students will learn more if they are enjoying it. Perhaps this is because when enjoying we absorb more, or perhaps it is because we tend to study longer. It doesn`t really matter the reason why. Yet it is worth knowing that your students will learn more if they are having fun.

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