Making sure your lessons are fun and interesting for your students is vital, if they are not engaged, they are more likely to switch off and not gain anything from the class. Use these handy activities in your lesson plans to keep your students happy and interested.
Make The Most Of Provided Materials
Most schools, whether public or private, will provide teaching materials for their English teachers. These could include CDs, videos, internet resources, text books, art supplies or even iPads. If you have a link teacher, you can ask them about how to use the materials in lessons and if the class have any preferred methods of learning. Some students may enjoy listening based activities, whereas others may be kinaesthetic learners and enjoy movement based learning activities.
Remember, you may be teaching a class with mixed abilities, so it might be an idea to use art supplies and iPads as an extension task, allowing you to spend more time with students who may be struggling with a task.
Get To Know Your Students
Knowing not only your students wants and needs, but also their likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests will allow you to create a well-rounded lesson plan. Make your class relevant to your students! This will help them feel more involved in the class and provide them with words and phrases that are useful to them and that they will be able to use and practice in the real world.
Putting your students in real life scenarios will help them retain information and understand when it is appropriate to use certain words and phrases. You could set up small one on one situations, or get the whole class involved in a scenario where they engage simultaneously in conversations that practice the target language.
This method could work with any age of student and can cover any topic, so be creative! If you are conducting a lesson based on shopping for example, take the role of a shop keeper or the individual asking the questions and allow your student to practice the target language through both characters.
You can access a wealth of interesting materials thanks to resources such as Youtube and Netflix. Think of your favourite program or movie from when you were the same age as your students and play it for them without audio. Let your students guess what the characters are talking about. Ask open ended questions - how are the characters feeling? How they would feel in a similar situation? This can be a great way to integrate the latest movie into your lesson plan whilst also creating an interesting study task for your students.
If this becomes a popular method in your class, why not let your student pick from a predetermined list of movies as an end of week reward? It will seem that they are taking a break from work, but often young students in particular learn best when they think they are not learning!
Making lessons fun is essential, especially for younger students who will have a shorter attention span. Use games like Guess Who and Pictionary to get your students using certain descriptive words or the names of objects they have learnt.
For single letter pronunciation, games like hangman can be great. Let the students take it in turns to decide on a word for you to turn into the hangman game. Why not split the class in half and let the students work in teams?
Keep It Fun
If your students find your lessons boring, they will quickly switch off and stop taking in information. Playing games, dramatizing situations and utilising videos will help your students grasp the material in a more effective way than just listening to the teacher talking. Spoken English is all about interaction, so make this an integral part of your lessons. Try to keep teacher talk time low and student talk time high so they get plenty of time to practice!
Previously: My Life Living And Teaching In Abu Dhabi