Tips for Teaching English Abroad
Keep learners on the same page when you are presenting lessons!
Although there is a lot of discussion online about how to score a job teaching English abroad and what to expect when you move abroad, that’s where the discussions tend to end. There’s nowhere near as much material available about how to be a successful educator in a foreign country once you have signed your contract. Some of this is probably because most common sense employee rules will be applicable. Don’t be late to work. Dress appropriately for the position you hold. Be polite and respectful to your boss and coworkers. But there’s certainly more to becoming a successful English teacher than that.
Teaching is a career that requires you to be able to successfully deal with and often manage many different people. As is the case with any other educators, people who are teaching English abroad will need to adjust their lessons to meet their students' needs. They should also keep in mind that student productivity isn’t guaranteed! All human beings have both good days and bad days. In some instances, familial obligations may take precedent over assignments that have been sent home. There’s even the fact that some countries may not place as high an emphasis on education as others and your students may act according to cultural norms in that regard.
Teachers are also regularly faced with large classes of students, especially in countries like China and some African nations. In theory, all these individuals are there to be taught something useful, but educators still have to maintain order and make sure that their students are all on the same page when they’re presenting lessons. Although some school systems group students by their scores on intelligence tests, many do not. That means its up to the teachers to help make sure that slower learners don’t fall behind and that faster learners aren’t spending all their time staring out the window. You’ll definitely need to make sure that you are assigning activities that aren’t too simple or too advanced for your students. And even the most advanced students can be tripped up by similar sounding words that have completely different meanings. In fact, this topic might make a great lesson on its own.
It’s generally considered a good idea to vary your lessons plans so that they cover a wide range of learning activities. This helps students learn more readily and not become bored. Visual prompts help make things interesting. Even if your classroom isn’t equipped with the latest technology, you can still utilize things like books, photographs, and real world documents such as menus and public transportation schedules to make your lessons more interesting. It’s also wise to incorporate a variety of speaking, listening, reading and writing activities to your lessons on a regular basis instead of focusing too much on one learning area. This will help your students become well-versed in the English language.
If you are having trouble with any aspect of your career, be sure to talk to your fellow teachers. They can always help you discover other ways that you can improve. After all, learning is a lifelong experience!
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