Introduction to Teaching EFL
1 An introduction to teaching EFL
The reasons why people learn are numerous and wide-ranging. However, most teachers believe that the successful language learners are the ones who are the most motivated. Two different types of motivation are “extrinsic” and “intrinsic.” Many people will be studying English, not because they have a burning desire to learn a language, but because it is part of their school curriculum or they need it as
part of their job. “Extrinsic” learners are motivated by stimuli that occur outside the classroom. For these students, learning English is instrumental in getting a better job, getting promoted, or passing an exam so they can go to university or college. On the other hand, some learners have “intrinsic” motives - they are interested in integrating into the target language community, e.g. a refugee learning English when they settle in Britain.
It helps a teacher of a new class to determine students’ needs through a questionnaire. This is often called a needs analysis. Once you know more about your students’ motivations, prior learning experience, what situations they are likely to use English in, and what skills/language items they feel they need to work on, you can select materials and activities that are appropriate for them. When creating a questionnaire use open question forms such as What…? Why…? How…? rather than closed questions which will result in yes/no answers. You may want to request a short piece of writing. The more the students write, the better you can get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses.
The Role of the Teacher #1
Once students decide to learn English, we teachers play an important role in motivating them further. Factors include:
Physical conditions: The classroom (wherever possible) should have an environment that makes learning as pleasant as possible. Is the classroom well ventilated or is it stuffy? Does the lighting allow the students to see the board? Are there too many people? Are the chairs set out so that everyone can see each other, and so that all the students see the board?
The method: Vitally important, if the learner finds the teacher’s methods dull, this will have a detrimental effect on learning (different methodologies will be examined later in this module).
The teacher: When asked about the qualities of a “good teacher,” students’ responses have been fairly consistent and are summarised below. A large sample of teenagers provided these responses. A good teacher...
(1) Makes the course interesting (2) Teaches good pronunciation (3) Explains clearly (4) Speaks good English (5) Shows equal interest in all students (6) Encourages student participation (7) Shows great patience.
One of the most important aspects of a successful learning environment is the rapport a teacher has with their students. Establishing this rapport is probably one of the hardest things to teach, as it very much depends on individual personality and teaching style, but with some effort can be the key to success in language learning
What Qualities do you need to be a Teacher?
When teachers were asked the same question, the list was unsurprisingly long. The most popular answers are as follows - in no particular order of importance.
Personality: Being able to create a positive learning atmosphere and develop a good rapport with all students without showing favouritism. Having the ability to engage and involve students.
Patience: For a variety of reasons: the student might learn more slowly than you expect; he/she may lack motivation (i.e. their employer or parents have sent them to your class); or you might have a ‘needy’ student - always asking you what you feel are irrelevant questions.
Knowledge: Being able to answer questions in a clear and concise way.1 An introduction to teaching EFL
Good organization: Being on time, turning up with the right materials, producing well-planned lessons with suitable material.
A good sense of humor: The ability to laugh at yourself helps you to stay sane (you don’t have to be a clown, but a little humor seems to go a long way).
Adaptability & Resourcefulness: On some occasions, you might find yourself without any books, tapes or boards. This can be especially true of developing countries that have limited resources.
Imagination: First of all in terms of creating and adapting teaching materials and secondly being able to empathise with your students (imagine yourself in their position and how they might feel) will help build rapport.
Not afraid of looking stupid: Role-playing works especially well with lower level learners. A good teacher should be able to demonstrate things to the class by miming or drawing things on the board (a simple stick figure can convey useful concepts).
Tact and Diplomacy: You have to be careful when interacting with members of a different culture – an ironic remark may seem very rude, and the misunderstanding may be blown out of all proportion. This can be prevented by developing an awareness of the idiosyncrasies of cultures different from your own. There are also some other qualities not specifically required in the classroom, but which are useful for working overseas.
Outgoing: Working abroad in some cases can be painfully lonely, especially if you are working in somewhere isolated, or in a country where the language is very different to our own
Adaptable: You might be immersed in a totally different culture.
1 An introduction to teaching EFL
The Role of the Teacher #2
In the classroom we play many different roles. Here are some of them.
A controller: a person in complete control of the class.
An assessor: checking and deciding when and how to give feedback - especially when dealing with error correction.
A resource: you may be the only exposure to the language that the learner has. This is especially true of developing countries.
A coach: to encourage students (especially the shy ones) to actively take part in classroom activities.
A tutor: on a one-to-one basis giving individual attention, guidance and helping the student to learn more efficiently.
An organiser: to tell students exactly what they need to do, and how they should do it.
A facilitator: to encourage the students to communicate with each other.
A counsellor: to help the student solve any problems relating to language learning.
What has influenced today’s language teaching?:
A brief history of Language Teaching
This next section is a guide to methodology and will give you ideas about what actually works in the classroom. The exact process of language learning is still largely unknown, even after years of speculation and experimentation. Consequently, there is no optimum or “best” way to teach. At every stage in the lesson it’s up to the teacher to determine the best way to do something. This course aims to give you the nuts and bolts of teaching so that you can generate your own style that works best for you. Although fashions in language learning constantly change, the following techniques are generally accepted as current methodology.
Grammar Translation: This method concentrates on teaching the rules of the language. Emphasis is placed on written exercises, both in and out of the target language. This was (and in many places in the world, still is) the most common method of teaching languages.
Direct Method: During World War II there was a huge demand for language skills, and soldiers needed to learn languages very quickly. Linguists came up with the idea of ‘total immersion’ where only the target language is spoken. The target language is learned through repetition, drilling and demonstration. Grammar isn’t studied and students practise the target language as much as possible.
Audio-Lingualism: With the advent of new technology such as the Language Laboratory, a new method was introduced. This was based on the work of the psychologist Skinner who believed that language learning is a series of habit-forming exercises, including continual repetition and drilling. Mistakes were criticized and progress was praised. This method is still popular today.
Communicative Approach: The emphasis is on communication in the language either orally or written. Classroom role-playing enables communication that mirrors a real-life use of the language. This reinforces the idea that language learning is about communicating and not just rotelearning of huge lists of irregular verbs.
Presentation, Practice and Production: This approach follows a definite sequence:
1 The teacher presents a context and new vocabulary and explains the form of the language in a meaningful context.
2 The students practise this through controlled activities such as worksheets or question and answer activities.
3 This culminates in a production stage where they practise what have learned in a communicative activity such as a role-play, questionnaire or communication game.
Task Based Learning: The students perform a task using the target language. They could perform a roleplay, communication game, or design a poster. There is no formal teaching, such as explaining a grammar point.
The Eclectic Approach: This approach takes the best of the above principles and adapts them according to the level, task and different learning styles of the students.
2 Student Levels
The following table shows a rough guide of what students at particular levels should be able to achieve in English.
Level Ability Cambridge –n Exam Level - Elementary Able to use simple tenses & everyday vocabulary items. Difficulty communicating any more than general topics. Steep learning curve at this stage.
(1.) Lower/Pre-IntermediateCan communicate with partial success. Able to use basic grammar structures, still rapidly learning new vocabulary. (2.) Intermediate Able to communicate in English, though still with lots of errors. Aware of all main tenses and grammar structures. Quite high level of vocabulary. Many students have reached a learning plateau and get stuck at this level.
(3.) Upper Intermediate Can communicate well though still make minor accuracy mistakes. Still have some problems understanding idiomatic vocabulary. (4.) Advanced Able to communicate for extended periods on a wide range of topics. Make very few errors of accuracy, have a wide & idiomatic vocabulary. (5.) It is unlikely you will teach absolute beginners – most students have come across some English at school, usually learnt from non-native teachers. A student’s level of English should be assessed through speaking & communication skills as well as their knowledge of grammar structures, tenses, vocabulary and functions. Be aware that assessment of levels varies in different countries – students considered advanced in Japan due to their good grammar awareness will often be at an intermediate level in Europe due to generally being less confident communicators.
3. Class Management
Here we will look at the following four important tools used in managing a class:
• Giving instructions • Using the board • Increasing interaction between students • Arranging the seats
The importance of giving clear instructions cannot be overstated; the most interesting, well-thought out activity will flop unless the students know what they are supposed to be doing. To make instructions clearer:
1 Use concise imperatives.
CORRECT: “Work with the person on your left.”
INCORRECT: “If you don’t mind, I’d like you to work with a partner.” Keep your instructions as short as possible. This is a difficult habit for English speakers to break when asking people to do things. We tend to use long and complicated sentences such as “Okay, what I’d like you to do now, if you don’t mind, is to…” Don’t worry about sounding impolite. You can say “Listen!” with a smile and use non-threatening body language. This is more effective and economical.
2 Avoid phrasal verbs and colloquialisms.
INCORRECT: “Okay, let’s go through this together.”
CORRECT: “Let’s correct this together.”
INCORRECT: “If you get stuck, give me a shout!”
CORRECT: “Ask me if you have a problem.”
Wherever possible, try to demonstrate activities. This is much more effective than a lengthy explanation. It’s always a good idea to do the first question in an exercise together as a class. With games and role-plays, demonstrate using a strong student to model the activity.
4 Check for understanding.
Check that the students have understood your instructions by watching their faces or checking with simple yes/no questions.
An important, yet frequently overlooked, tool in the classroom is your voice. Often, when working overseas, there is a lack of tape recorders, videos and computers, and your voice may provide the only authentic model for the students.
• Volume: Your voice should be loud enough for people at the back of the classroom to hear without you straining.
• Intonation: Modulate your voice to avoid monotony. Speak naturally, even with elementary classes rather than in a stilted, non-contracted way, e.g. “She couldn’t have gone…” instead of “She could not have gone…”
• Use the voice as a signal: A loud voice can signal the beginning or the end of an activity. Also, when telling stories, use your voice and body language to emphasise meaning.
6 Eye contact
Make an effort to take in the whole class. Scan the whole group when speaking and avoid staring at any individuals in particular. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on a friendly face. Use eye contact for selecting a student. This also keeps students constantly engaged.
Using the board
Another implement in your teaching toolkit is the board. In some developing countries it may be your only aid, along with a few pieces of chalk. The board:
• provides clarity • focuses the students’ attention • provides a visual stimulus, especially for students who are visually oriented
• is environmentally friendly, as it saves photocopying
Consider these activities where good use of the board can enhance a lesson:
1 to show spelling, especially confusing words, e.g. a ewe
2 to present new words, e.g. He’s got curly hair.
3 to show pronunciation features, e.g. the picture of the shape of your mouth when producing a certain sound. “To make /v/ your top teeth touch your bottom lip.”
4 to illustrate a form, e.g. the present perfect = have/has + past participle – She has gone to Spain.
5 to keep a written record
6 to show stress and intonation, eg:
7 substitution tables: (used to show alternative language students can use for a task)
8 to show phonemic script, eg: “He knows.” /z/ (the ‘s’ is pronounced with a /z/ sound here).
9 time lines, eg: to show the following sentence “I’ll tell him when I see him.” Elephant Where are you from? Now Future Has
(s)he it ever been to a nightclub? Liverpool? New York? Have Leeds? You they Past length type hair colour long short red ginger blond bobbed centre part style red ginger blond
• Write clearly and large enough for people at the back of the class to read easily.
• Write in a straight line.
• Position your body so that you don’t obscure the board – to one side is best.
• Use colour if possible – blue/ black for letters and red/green for highlighting and contrasting.
• Use upper and lower case correctly (follow normal conventions, e.g. John comes from Liverpool, a city in the north of England.)
• Plan your board beforehand, so that it is easy to read and things are in a logical order and layout.
✘ DO NOT
• Stand with your back to the class and write silently. This communicates that you don’t want to talk to the class.
• Write everything in capitals or cursive, e.g. JOHN COMES FROM LIVERPOOL, A CITY IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND (especially important for students who don’t use a Roman alphabet).
• Write words without context. For example, write “the cat” and “to brush your teeth”, rather than just “cat” or “brush”. This helps students retain a written record and is good practice in learner training.
10 mind maps
11 games, eg when keeping scores, Hangman, Pictionary
12 error feedback
How it is used
Using the board to its best advantage is more difficult than it appears, and it’s worth keeping the following tips in mind when trying to exploit the board to its maximum potential.
Increasing interaction between students
• Ask open-ended questions.
CORRECT: Questions beginning with Why...? Where... ? When...? Which…?
INCORRECT: Yes/No questions; Do/Does/Is/Are questions… e.g. “What did you do last night?” versus “Did you go out last night?”
• Use gestures rather than words.
• Don’t echo students’ answers – especially if they’re wrong!
• Let students finish their own sentences. Students often need thinking time before answering your questions, especially in cultures where making a mistake means losing face. Fight your natural urge to fill the room with constant sound; don’t be afraid of pauses.
• Put students into pairs and small groups to maximize conversation time while you monitor (remember the students need the ractice, not you).
• Encourage student-to-student interaction, rather than letting everything be directed at you. Encourage students to explain unknown vocabulary to one another.
• Encourage students to work together and share answers. This builds confidence, rapport and takes the focus off the teacher.
• If someone is speaking too quietly, move away from him/her. This will encourage the student to project his / her voice so that all the class can hear.
• Arrange seating to correspond with the activity
The arrangement of the seats is a dynamic tool in the learning process. Look at the following series of seating arrangement options.
Rows Circles/horseshoes Groups In pairs Public Meeting In a wheel shape (the inner or outer circle moves like a wheel to change pairs)
In Buzz Groups (every so often one person from one of the groups leaves and joins another group, at the same time, someone else does the same from another group)
Face to face pairs (or back to back)
Rows Everyone faces the same direction. This is good for lectures and exams, where the teacher needs to maintain eye contact. Remember when asking questions to ask people at the back.
Circles and horse shoes In this configuration everyone feels equal. It’s easy to move people around, excellent for class debates, using overhead projectors and presentations where group involvement is desirable.
Especially useful for situations where the teacher is not the focus of activities such as project work, e.g. working on a class magazine or discussions. Teacher can move from table to table, monitoring and helping students to work.
Buzz Groups As previously, but the students move from group to group adding information or checking.
Wheel Shape Everyone moves around and has the possibility to exchange the information.
Opposing teams Good for competitive activities.
Facing Pairs Excellent for ‘describe and draw’ activities (especially things the teacher has drawn on the board).
In Pairs Seated next to each other, this immediately increases the level of student practice.
Back to Back Pairs This decreases the reliance on facial expressions and body language, and helps students focus on the spoken word.
Public Meeting This is quite formal and not often used in the classroom; it allows a few people to have control of the activity and ask for contributions from others.
Changing the picture Seating arrangements are dynamic; you can move the students around during the class for variety and for specific reasons.
4 How to teach Grammar
We’ll begin looking at the ways of introducing new language to your students. We’ll look at how to:
• quickly assess what students’ grammatical needs are • effortlessly teach verb tenses
• analyse a grammatical structure and present it to students • correct students when they make mistakes.
The ‘Test-Teach-Test’ method as a jumpstart
This is a three-stage approach to presentation that allows the teacher to determine first what the students already know (via some form of test or practice activity). You then teach them what they need to know by introducing new grammar or clarifying existing knowledge. Finally you check what they have learned (via a second test or activity). This method can be used for all levels but it is an especially useful approach at higher levels.
For you, it shows areas of real problems. For the students, it is challenging and encourages them to draw on their knowledge base. It also highlights clearly for them the gaps in their knowledge, thus focusing immediately on what they need to learn. Moreover, it maximises student involvement and minimises teacher-talking time.
The test shouldn’t be too difficult, however the teacher should be thorough and focus on gaps in the students’ knowledge. The second test/activity should be different from the first.
Analysing grammar structures
You can analyse any bit of grammar to be taught like this:
(1) What is the form of the structure? (2) What are the function, meaning, and concepts of the structure? (3) What areas of phonology does the student need to be made aware of?
• Form This refers to how the piece of grammar is put together – the words it consists of. Example: You should have worked harder. The form is: should+have+past participle form of the verb Other examples: should have gone, should have eaten, should have woken up The form shows us the order of the words and the patterns that are possible. Practical application - the teacher can point out the form on the board in a table or the students can work out the pattern from a series of examples.
• Meaning, Function and Concept This refers to what the speaker means when he/she uses that particular grammar structure, e.g. “You should have worked harder.” The function is a) you didn’t work hard enough, b) that wasn’t a good idea. There is no focus here on how the sentence is put together; we are only interested in what it means. Practical consideration - the function can be checked or worked out by asking students concept check questions.
• Phonology This refers to the sound of a particular grammar structure when you say it, e.g. “You should have worked harder.” Native speakers tend to connect ‘should’ and ‘have’ together to form ‘should’ve’. Students need to be taught how to say the structure naturally in its contracted form so as not to sound stilted. This is best taught when the structure is being presented. Practical consideration - phonology can be checked or taught with drilling and repetition.
Presenting grammatical structures
In the classroom we teachers have to show how the language is used by us, and the clearest way to do this is to present language in a clear context. For the context to be useful it has to fulfil several criteria. It should:
• be interesting • be clear
• give extra language and information so that the students can use the structure creatively
Contexts can be real and connected to the learners’ world or simulated. E.g. put the conditional structure being used for advice (“if I were you, I’d…”) in the context of a girl giving her best friend advice about her boyfriend.
The “Presentation, Practice, Production (PPP)” model
There are many different techniques you can use to teach with, but the easiest is probably the Presentation, Practice, Production model and it’s the one that you see on the video of a teacher (Module 6). It has four stages:
(1) lead in = create interest in the topic with a warm up activity.
(2) presentation = teach meaning, pronunciation and form.
(3) practice = give students the opportunity to try out the structure in a controlled activity.
(4) production = give students an activity in which they can use the structure meaningfully and creatively in a freer sense, e.g. in a role play situation.
When a student says, “I am going to the cinema,” how do we know as teachers that the student understands what he or she is saying? We know as native speakers that ‘going to’ is used to express future plans. We must check that the student knows this and makes the connection between the language he or she is using and what it means, by asking concept questions. To check ‘I am going to the cinema,’ we can ask: When are you going to the cinema? Is this a definite plan?
When teaching verb tenses, a quick way to describe them is by using time lines. To create a time line, draw a line and label both ends ‘past’ and ‘future’. Then draw a perpendicular line to represent ‘now.’ An ‘x’ then signifies when the action(s) in question occurred. Look at the following as an example. The X here signifies “I arrived home at 10:00pm last night” = The Past Simple tense, which describes one finished/completed action in the past. a squiggly arrow signifies a continuous action a bracket signifies a specific time frame an arrow shows that the speaker is looking either into the past or future from a specific point in time a dotted line means a possible action Past Now Future
Making mistakes is a necessary part of the language learning process. Indeed, students want to be corrected; many students feel this is one of the major roles of the teacher. If they don’t get corrected they feel that the teacher is not doing his/her job
properly. Correction can come from you, but students can also be encouraged to self-correct and correct each other. This is especially useful in large, mixed ability classes where it is impossible for the teacher to monitor effectively at all times. This encourages students to be self-critical and attentive to what they’re saying. Several things need to be considered. The reasons for mistakes, and why, when and how to correct mistakes. Correction is more complex than simply giving a student the right answer. For the correction to be effective you need to know why the mistake was made. Then the correction needs to be carried out in a tactful and non-threatening way.
Types of Mistakes
• Trying to express something that is above the student’s level of English, e.g. third conditional: “If I hadn’t... I would have...”.
• Mother tongue interference; e.g. Italian students may ask “Can I have fire?” when they want you to light their cigarette, because that is the literal translation of the word they use for “light”.
• False friends; an incorrect translation of a word or phrase from the students’ own language which looks similar to a word in English but has a different meaning, e.g. “He’s very sympathetic” (to mean friendly).
• Over-generalisations, e.g. “I goed to the cinema”, using the past simple -ed ending on an irregular verb.
• Slip of the tongue.
How to correct
This is the most important aspect of error correction. We’re there to support our students. Don’t ever laugh at or embarrass a student; we’re there for support. Avoid overcorrecting one particular student; if possible try to involve the whole class. Make sure your manner is helpful and encouraging.
When to correct
You should correct certain errors at certain stages of the lesson. At the presentation and controlled practice stages, correct target language straight away. You don’t want errors to become reinforced at this early stage. Other errors can be ignored, as you don’t want to detract from the target structure or destroy a student’s confidence.
When a correction is needed, consider the flow of the lesson. Some activities involve an uninterrupted stream of conversation, so make notes as you monitor the student and go through at a later stage. That is unless errors are causing a barrier to effective communication, in which case deal with them immediately.
Methods of correction:
Let the student finish the sentence. Indicate there has been an error by:
• highlighting missed words with hand gestures
• offering a puzzled facial expression
• repeating the students words up to the point of the error
• indicating with voice
• identifying the type of error - say ‘tense’
• asking the student to repeat
• indicating with a gesture, e.g. gesture for past, pointing over the shoulder
Encourage the student to self-correct if possible; they will remember better this way.
4 How to teach Grammar
5 How to Teach Vocabulary
Let’s define vocabulary as the words we teach in a foreign language. The importance of vocabulary for the student cannot be underestimated. With only a few words it is possible to convey meaning, even without using correct grammar or complete sentences, e.g. “Last week, go cinema friends.” Teaching vocabulary seems like a simple enough task, but consider these complexities: often vocabulary involves more than just a single word which expresses a single idea, e.g. brother-in-law. Vocabulary may include idioms such as ‘under the weather’, where the meaning cannot be deduced from the individual word but has to be learned as a chunk. It’s our job as teachers to present and get students to practise these words in such a way as to clarify meaning and provide a useful and realistic context for practice, instead of cramming students’ heads with enormous lists of words. So, how do we go about teaching vocabulary to elementary students, who don’t have the lexis to understand definitions, especially when we are not familiar with the students’ mother tongue?
When a student learns a new word, certain characteristics of that word also need to be grasped:
• Meaning – what it refers to in the real world
• Grammar of the word, e.g. noun, participle, singular
• Pronunciation – how we say the word
• Spelling – is it ‘ie’ or ‘ei’?
• Stress – where the syllables are and which one is strongest, e.g. com/pa/ny
• Register – formal, informal, derogatory, slang
• Collocation – how a particular word fits into combinations with other similar words, e.g. the opposite of a strong cigarette is a mild cigarette, but the opposite of a strong person is not a mild person, but a weak person. A mild person has a different meaning altogether.
How to present vocabulary
There is no correct or best way to teach vocabulary, and for each word there may be many possible ways. The key factor is to choose the quickest and most memorable way with minimum of explanation. This is especially so with elementary students. Here are some ways of presenting new vocabulary items.
• Mime it
• Draw the word
• Use a picture (flash card)
• Define it – explain the word in English – remember to avoid language that is more complicated than the word you are trying to explain. Avoid complex grammar and keep your sentences short.
• Explain the word in the students’ language (or they look it up in a dictionary)
• Use a synonym (a similar word)
• Use an antonym (an opposite word)
• Put the word in a sentence, e.g. “You drive to work in a ...”
• Use realia (a physical object that represents the word)
Presenting a vocabulary item through any of the above ways does not necessarily mean that students have grasped the concept. Take the word “watch”, for example. Simply pointing to the object on your wrist might give students the idea that any time keeping device is called a watch, without differentiating between clock, alarm clock,
etc. For example, to effectively present the word ‘hitch-hike’:
Mime the action.
Ask: “What am I doing?
Say: “I’m hitch-hiking.”
Check understanding by asking concept check questions.
• “Do you know the driver?” NO
• “Does it cost anything?” NO
• “Why do people hitch-hike?” TO SAVE MONEY
• “Is it safe?” etc.
1 Present using an appropriate technique, e.g. picture, mime, etc.
2 Elicit word.
3 If students don’t know the word, feed it to them.
4 Check that all the students understand by asking concept check questions.
5 Drill after you have ‘modelled’ it for them a few times, both chorally (altogether) and individually.
6 Write the word on the board and highlight the grammar/pronunciation etc.
1 Say new word and write it on the board
2 Elicit meaning and an example
3 If students don’t know the meaning, explain using an appropriate technique and an example.
4 Check that all the students understand by asking concept check questions
5 Drill after you have ‘modelled’ it for them a few times, both chorally (altogether) and individually.
6 Highlight the grammar/pronunciation etc.
Special techniques for elementary students
Watch (realia) What’s this? Got one? Show me. DRILL-WRITE/SPELL-DRILL Umbrella (picture) What’s this? When do you use it? In the Rainforest? In the Sahara Desert? DRILL-WRITE-DRILL Bartender (flashcard) Who’s this? What’s his job? Where does he work? What do you buy from him? Does he come to your table? DRILL-WRITE /SPELL-DRILL Frown (demo/mime) What am I doing? Am I happy? How do I feel? You do it. DRILL-WRITE-DRILL
Additional vocabulary activities
1 Brainstorming around a key word. The key word/idea is written in the middle with related words around it. The brainstorm is used as a warmer.
2 Students are given a reading passage and told to underline all the words which they know. Then in pairs and small groups, they check the results.
3 Other activities to practise and review new vocabulary:
• memory games • crosswords • affixation – using prefixes and suffixes to make new words • gap fill – put the correct word in the sentence • matching the beginning and the ends of words together like dominoes • matching pictures to words • putting words into lists
Vocabulary is a very important part of TEFL and it needs to be dealt with systematically. It does not only involve explaining what new words mean, but also giving guidance on how to help students to practise, store, recall and to use the words correctly. This includes pointing out which words are for ‘productive’ use and which are for ‘receptive’ recognition. Training in the use of English-English dictionaries provides learners with a vital tool for self-study, it helps students to be more autonomous learners.
introduction to teaching EFL
6 How to Teach Productive Skills – Writing and Speaking
Here we look at the important skills of speaking and writing – crucial activities in the classroom because they give students the opportunity to practise real-life activities. They can also be used by the teacher as a ‘barometer’ to check how much the students have learned.
Why is teaching writing important?
We teach our students to write because it is a basic life skill, as important as speaking and listening. Students need to know how to take notes, write letters, stories and reports. Another reason is reinforcement: writing is a creative and effective way to fortify what a student has learned. They often benefit greatly from seeing new concepts in written form. Before looking at methods of teaching written skills, consider the many aspects of effective writing. Correctness and accuracy are needed in:
• Grammar • Vocabulary • Spelling • Punctuation • Layout conventions, e.g. starting a letter with “Dear John” • A range of sentence structures • Linkage of information across sentences and paragraphs to develop a topic • Appropriate register for the type of writing • Awareness of the conventions of certain forms of writing. There are different genres such as Informal letters, poems, formal letters, scientific reports, diaries, faxes, notes, and postcards which the students need to be made aware of.
How to teach writing
This is a possible sequence of a writing lesson.
1 Introduce the topic students will be writing about. Conduct a group discussion of the subject in general. Assign the writing task and deal with any misunderstandings.
2 Ask the students to think about who is going to read the piece of writing (e.g. an employer reading a letter of application). Consider style, information, layout and possible difficulties and problems.
3 Use language models to illustrate the correct form (e.g. other written texts, examples on board).
4 Brainstorm ideas in groups, after which the teacher writes them up on the board. Students can then select/reject which ones to use in their compositions.
5 Edit and put the ideas into a logical sequence individually or in groups.
6 Construct a skeleton text in small groups or in class.
7 Prepare a rough draft in groups or individually.
8 Discuss with other students and finally with the teacher.
9 Prepare and write final text.
Specific writing activities for use in the classroom
• Letters: complaint, thanks, giving personal information, advice, job applications • Narrative writing based on a series of pictures, video, or finishing a story that you begin • A diary • A personal situation where the student was very happy, sad, surprised, shocked, etc. • Instructions: a recipe, directions to downtown • Dictation: teacher to student, or student to student
It’s crucial for students to do more talking than the teacher. Why? Because the best way to learn English is to use it. Students enjoy speaking. Speaking is usually the top priority for students. Also, speaking activities help rapport, group dynamics and atmosphere in class. It’s useful for the teacher as it’s a good indication of the students’ strengths and weaknesses. Teaching speaking is NOT: simply repeating what the teacher has said. Teaching speaking IS: performing an oral task with a real motivation behind it. Adding a purpose to spoken activity makes it much more rewarding, engaging and motivating, and can take many different forms, from competitions to role-plays.
How to maximise student talking-time
in the class
1 Planning stage
• Think about the balance of teacher input and student output. In a PPP lesson, remember that students should be speaking at different stages and not just for the last few minutes.
• Remember to choose materials that are interesting and engaging.
• Think about your instructions before giving them so they are clear and you don’t waste time. If in doubt, script what you are going to say.
• Incorporate lots of pair and group work in your lessons; this will help reduce teacher-talking time. Arrange seats and tables in a position that matches the activity you are planning to do.
2 During class
• Concentrate on eliciting rather than spoon-feeding them, e.g. when drawing a picture on the board ask, “Who’s this?”
• Give students plenty of thinking time to process what they are going to say
• Be a good listener; show interest in what the students are saying and respond
3 At the end of the class/activity:
• Correcting errors - make it a class activity by putting errors that you have noted down during the class on the board. Ask the students to discuss in pairs what is wrong with the sentences and how to correct them.
• Getting feedback - do a session asking students to sum up what they have learnt during the lesson; this rounds it off nicely and gives them a sense of progress.
6 Productive Skills
Specific speaking activities for use
in the classroom
• Discussions and debates
• Describe and draw/describe and arrange
• Information gaps – two students have different parts of information making up a whole, e.g. Spot the Difference: students have similar pictures with a number of differences. They ask and answer questions to find out what the differences are.
• Surveys and questionnaires – students prepare questions on topics such as
cinema, sleep, free time activities, likes and dislikes (see lesson plans in Module 10)
and conduct a survey by interviewing each other and compiling information.
• Discussions and debates – for intermediate and advanced learners (see lesson plans)
• Role-plays – students are encouraged to imagine that they are in different situations and to take on different roles, e.g. they may be an angry customer in a restaurant
complaining to a waiter. (see lesson plans)
6 Productive Skills
7 How to Teach Receptive Skills – Listening and Reading
Don’t let the term ‘receptive’ mislead you – it does not mean passive. Both reading and listening require active involvement and effort on the part of the student. He or she must develop a variety of strategies to deduce and comprehend the meaning of written material. In this module we’ll look at what’s needed for effective receptive lessons using various media, such as tapes, texts and recorded songs.
Before focusing on the classroom, let’s consider real-life listening situations, where a learner must be able to function successfully, and use them as a starting point. Here is a list of characteristics of real-life listening situations. Your challenge as a teacher is to develop listening activities in the classroom to match them.
• Chunks – conversations consist of taking turns; often utterances are only a few seconds each.
• Pronunciation – words are often pronounced differently from how they are written, e.g. “I’m going to…” becomes “I’m gonna…”
• Grammar – informal speech is often ungrammatical.
• Conversations contain lots of fillers, e.g. “I mean…Well, ...”
• There are visual clues such as body language.
• Usually the speaker directs the conversation at the listener and responds depending on how much the speaker has understood. Remember these qualities when devising listening activities in class. They will help the activities to be more authentic and useful to the student.
The stages in a listening and reading lesson
Tape recordings and texts are good tools to use in receptive lessons. Whatever you use, the nature of the lessons should progress from overall (global) understanding to detailed understanding. Note the degree of preparation on your part before the activity begins!
1 Use your imagination and creativity to generate interest in the tape or the text. The students will really want to read/listen to the material and start to predict the content.
2 Pre-teach some key words/phrases which will make the listening easier. You may
need to highlight proper nouns on a tape that might cause problems.
3 Assign the first task. This is a key point - the task must come before the listening activity so that the students have a reason to listen/read. If you give them the task afterwards, you are not testing their ability to understand, but simply their memory.
This first task should check overall or global understanding – not the details – and
the questions should be something like: “Does the story have a happy ending?”
4 Only after following steps 1-3 do you begin the reading/listening activity.
5 Allow/encourage the students to check together. This is very important but often omitted. Checking together reduces the anxiety of the student, gives them speaking time and allows the teacher to monitor and to adjust the lesson if required.
6 Feedback. If the students have not achieved a global understanding, you may need to play the tape/read the text again.
1 Assign the second task. If possible this should be different to the first task and should focus the students on DETAILED understanding.
2 Play/read (it may be useful to pause the tape if the students have to take notes).
3 Again, let the students check in pairs or groups.
4 Feedback to the whole class. If there is some disagreement on an answer, you can use the tape/text to focus on the relevant part. Try to get personal responses from students on the content of the tape/text when they have completed the tasks.
5 Follow-up. This might be a discussion/role-play/writing or vocabulary exercise. It gives the students the opportunity to practise the new vocabulary, personalise it and gain a sense of achievement.
Different types of listening tasks
• Obeying instructions, e.g. drawing shapes and pictures • Ticking off items (words) you hear • Answering true/false questions or statements • Detecting mistakes • Filling in clozes (see glossary) • Guessing definitions • Filling in a timetable or chart • Answering comprehension questions • Note-taking • Paraphrasing – rewording the information in a different way • Summarising – reducing the information to the important points • Completing long gap-fills • Interpretation - listening to a tape and drawing a graph.
Songs are an enjoyable part of classroom language learning and can be used in a variety of different ways. A cassette of your favourite songs is a valuable language resource and a way of consolidating grammatical structures/vocabulary or initiating a discussion. Preparation is time-consuming but worth it – particularly if you can arrange a song-swap with another teacher.
“A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles Present Perfect
“Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles Present Simple
“The River of Dreams” (In the Middle of the Night) by Billy Joel Prepositions
“Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters Prepositions
“Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega Present Continuous
“One Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette Adjectives
“Baggy Trousers” by Madness School Days
As songs tend to rhyme, they are a useful way of practising pronunciation, e.g. “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.
(1) Elicit the topic of the song or the group with a visual image or story (2) Play the song for a general task such as specific word recognition (3) Feedback on the task (4) Play the song for a detailed task such as gap filling (5) Feedback in pairs, then in open class (6) Final listen and sing-a-long (7) Related activities such as discussing a topic raised by the song, e.g. sexual stereotypes (“Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure).
Ideas for song tasks:
(1) Gap fill (2) Reordering lines of the song that you have written out, cut up and shuffled (3) Pronunciation work (rhyming)
(4) Identifying wrong words from a handout of the song’s lyrics (with mistakes) (5) Group response by standing up/raising hands when hearing specific grammatical structures in the song (6) Sing-a-long and record to improve pronunciation (7) Put pictures in order (following the story of a song)
Reading is another ‘receptive’ skill, and similar procedures can be used to help in this area. We should get learners reading as early on as possible as there are various reallife skills which they need to be able to do. They’ll need to be able to digest important concepts in a text. They’ll also need practice in ‘scanning’ a text, reading quickly and finding the appropriate piece of information. Examples might be timetables or advertisements that tell what time a film starts or finishes. When selecting practise texts, bear in mind what the students may already be interested in.
Ideas for reading follow-up activities
• Pre-questions (general in nature) • Do-it-yourself questions – in groups/pairs, students write comprehension questions for the other students to answer. • Provide a title • Summarise • Continue the story • Preface the story (What happened before the activity in the text began?) • Fill in gapped text • Correct mistakes in the text – students have two texts and have to compare contrast by asking each other questions about the texts. • Discussion/debate based on themes from the text. • Revision – rewriting the story using pictures, storyboarding, graphs and pie charts.
Additional activities for exploiting songs and texts:
Pre-listening/reading Activities - to be carried out BEFORE students listen to the song
or read the text:
• Students predict the content of the text by reading its title.
• Jumble the words/letters of the title of the text for the students to reconstruct.
• Students brainstorm ideas about the topic.
• Students describe/discuss photographs/pictures related to the topic.
• Pre-teach the necessary vocabulary to help students understand the text.
• Students predict possible vocabulary items which may appear in the text.
• Students brainstorm the vocabulary which might be associated with the topic. Activities to be carried out DURING the reading of the text or listening to the song:
• Cut and mix the lines (sentences) of the text. Students order the jumbled sentences.
• Students read or listen to the text to confirm what was predicted during the ‘pre’ stage.
• Students read or listen to the text to extract the information to write a summary.
• Students read or listen to the text and put photographs/cartoon pictures in the correct order.
• Students invent a title for each paragraph/verse and an overall title for the text/song.
• Students answer multiple choice/comprehension questions, etc.
• Students listen to the song and take dictation.
• Students identify deliberate mistakes (of vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc.).
• Omit words and replace them with a relevant drawing. Students identify the missing words before reading or listening to the text.
• Omit words to produce a gapped text. Students reconstruct text by choosing the correct word from the list. (At higher levels, give more words than students need)
Activities to be carried out AFTER the reading of the text or listening to the song:
• Students read the text and create a gap-fill task for others.
• Students create their own multiple choice/comprehension questions, etc.
• Debates and discussions on themes raised in the text/tape.
• Students write a dialogue between the characters.
• Students write a letter to or from one of the characters in the text.
• Students write their own lyrics to the tune of the song.
• Students interview one of the characters.
• Use the text as a springboard to initiate discussions to develop student’s ideas about the topic.
• Students identify the meaning of words/expressions as used in the text.
• Students roleplay (parts of) the situation as described in the text.
• Students write a reply to the author/singer.
• Students re-write the text from another character’s point of view.
• Students design posters relating to the topic or promoting the song which are then displayed.
• Students perform the song.
• Students write a summary of the text
• Students invent essay titles relating to the topic of the text (and write one of the essays).
• Students create or complete charts or diagrams about the text.
• Students select or write songs to produce a class song book.
• After the song/text is finished, students predict what happens next.
• Students write and give a speech on the topic.
• Design activities on the text which are similar to examination questions.
• Students sing the song and record it. Play it again and improve on pronunciation.
7 Receptive Skills
Games can serve a useful function in the language classroom. They provide an enjoyable change of pace and they subtly reinforce language while focusing on an activity. All games have three criteria in common: they have a set of rules, a competitive element and usually include some sort of paraphernalia such as dice, board and counters. Although fun, the most important thing to remember when considering using a game is whether or not it generates useful language practice
Games you can use in the language classroom
Alibi - A problem-solving game. Two or more people are given roles to play in a murder mystery story. The other players then quiz them to try and find out who the killer is. It is a fantastic game for the language classroom which can be used as it is. The teacher relates a crime story, for example, last week you and another teacher were kidnapped and your kidnappers didn’t release you for three days. When you returned to work, your boss didn’t believe you, and is going to interview you and the other teachers separately. Put the students into pairs. Some pairs will be bosses and other teachers. Give them 10-15 minutes; the bosses have to write as many detailed questions as possible, and the teachers have to work out their story. It is best to give them an idea of what is necessary – what time did it happen? What did the kidnappers look like? How many were there? Then, one member of a boss pair takes one member of a teacher pair and asks all their questions. The other boss does the same with the other teacher. The bosses then come back together and try to find a contradiction in the teacher’s story. It’s good for practising past tenses and reported speech.
Battleships - Two players each have a grid of 15 by 15 squares. The players place different sized ships on their grid and their opponent has to guess the location by calling out grid references one at a time. It can be used in children’s classes by putting grammar along the top and side of the board so that students have to form a sentence to choose a square. The strategy of the game remains but with a language focus.
Bingo - Each player has a card containing a grid, half of which have random numbers in them. The caller shouts out numbers picked from a bowl, and players mark off the numbers on their card if they have them. The first player to get all the numbers, or a row of numbers, shouts “Bingo!” and wins. It can be used as it is to practise numbers. You can adapt the game to focus on larger numbers or pronunciation problems like the difference between “13” and “30”. Or you can use vocabulary; say the word and the students have to cover the correct picture. It can be adapted to any language item and it’s a great way to finish off a lesson, especially with children.
Charades - A player has to mime the tile of a book, film, song or TV show to their team who guess what it is. The idea of Charades is good but we usually use books, films & TV shows which students in other countries will probably be unfamiliar with. In this case you should decide in advance what culturally-specific or internationally known items to use, and write these on slips of paper which students choose at random. For more of a language focus, you may wish to jot down verbs or occupations which students have to mime.
Dominoes - A game where you try to match the spots of a domino ( a small rectangular piece of wood or plastic marked with a number of spots 1-6 on each half of one surface) put down by another player. It is good for practising phrasal verbs, verb collocations and prefixes & suffixes. Adapt the pieces so that they match up (e.g. take + out, lay + down, get + on) so the students have to match them in the game.
Hangman - A word game where you replace each letter with a blank line and the other player has to guess the word one letter at a time. Each time they are wrong one part of a stick figure drawing of someone being hung is drawn. The winner is the player who guesses the word or completes the drawing first. Letters and basic words are really good for beginners. This is good for the last 5 minutes if you need a filler!
Pictionary - A game in which teams choose on person who has to draw a word for them to guess against the clock. The word can be an activity, place, person or object. It is great fun in the classroom at all levels – try using it as a warmer at the beginning of the class. Split the class into teams – one player from each team comes to the front and the teacher shows them a word. They return to their team to draw the word; the first team to guess wins a point.
Snakes and Ladders - Also known as Chutes and Ladders. A 10x10 grid with pictures of snakes and ladders randomly placed on some of the squares. If a player lands on the bottom of a ladder they can move up it; if the land on the head of a snake they must slide down it. Whoever reaches the end first wins. It can be adapted by putting sentences in the squares, some of which are grammatically or other wise incorrect. When the student lands in the square, they go up the ladder if they can correct it, or down the ladder if they can’t. It is great for end of week revision of new concepts & language items. With children you could use simple words spelt wrongly which they have to correct.
Tic Tac Toe - Also known as Noughts and Crosses. A grid of three by three squares. There are two players. One uses noughts while the other uses crosses. They take turns in placing their shape on the grid, aiming to get three of their shapes in a row to win the game. It can be adapted easily by putting a word such as a modal verbs, idioms, phrasal verbs, or preposition in each square of the grid on the whiteboard. A team has to make a correct sentence with it before they can claim the square. Again, it is a great way of revising at the end of the week.
Trivial Pursuit - A board game in which teams answer questions with the aim of winning six pieces to complete a “pie”. You could invent your own version using facts you have dropped into lessons and general knowledge (avoiding culturally specific questions).
Twister - A big plastic sheet with coloured circles on it and a spinner with colours and parts of the body on it. Depending on where the spinner falls, players are asked to “place your right hand in the blue circle”, etc. The last person left standing is the winner. It may be suitable for small children’s classes to practise colours and body parts.
Questions - One person thinks of a animal, mineral, vegetable, famous person etc, and the rest of the players guess what they are thinking of by asking up to 20 questions which they can only answer with yes or no. They win if no-one can guess the right answer after all 20 questions. This provides great speaking practice, especially if done in pairs. You should insist on totally accurate questions; students generally have a lot of problems with this form.
Scrabble - A board game in which players take turns to lay down words created from seven random letters. It can be easily used in the classroom, but use it sparingly as it doesn’t have any communication or specific language focus. You will also need to provide more than the normal 7 letters per player.
When using games in the language classroom:
1 Keep instructions simple and clear. If possible, demonstrate with strong students.
2 Organise a suitable seating arrangement for the game.
3 Make sure you have some feedback or follow-up activity to finish off the game.
4 It is good to use a game for revising new language at the end of the class/week.
1 Introduction to Teaching EFL
Now it is time to review all you have learnt so far, and bring it all together for a look at the guiding principles behind lesson planning. We have looked at teaching methodologies and lots of ideas on activities for teaching grammar, vocabulary, and receptive & productive skills. But even the best activities won’t work if they aren’t integrated into a lesson plan with an objective and clear staging (presentation, practice and production). The best teachers who deliver the most effective lessons are those who think carefully about what they want to achieve in each lesson, how they are going to organise the materials and activities to attain that objective, and how the lesson fits in with the course syllabus.
The course syllabus is usually set by the school or institution you are working for, and textbooks will be provided along with a list of supplementary material. A syllabus will generally consist of sensible progression of language items to be covered in the term/year, assuming that the items are new to the students and need to be introduced in that order.
Good textbooks provide a great starting point for the teacher to structure their lessons around. But, although it is tempting to just follow the text book, you will become a boring teacher if you do this! Your students will lose their motivation as the lessons become routine. Your class is unique, and will need you to support and challenge
them with extra material. The textbook is a resource and not a set text. In a general English course, you will wish to work on the four skills, present and practise new grammar and vocabulary, and do communicative activities. The main
principles of good lesson planning for a lesson focused on any of these areas are variety and flexibility.
This means that you should be aware of the mix of skills being practised over the course of a lesson or of a week, and ensure that it is not tipped too heavily in favour of, for example, reading, or grammar. Thus you can base a whole lesson on a reading text, but make sure that you have done a communicative or written follow up, and had some speaking activities interspersed throughout. You can never please all of your students all of the time, but at least you will have a higher hit rate with a mix of activities! Children in particular need to have different tasks in quick succession as they generally can’t concentrate on one thing for too long.
No matter how carefully a lesson is planned it can still go wrong! You should be sensitive to the mood of the class. If something isn’t going well, abandon it and move on, or change tack completely to shake them up. For example, if a class is really tired and uncommunicative, do a quick board race game which will get them up on their feet, or a Find Someone Who… activity to get them talking. Be prepared by having a stock of lesson fillers up your sleeve.
Example Lesson Plan
Level Elementary (Adults)
Lesson Length 45 minutes
Objective To be able to talk about ability using the
modal auxiliary verb ‘can’.
Target Language I / she can + verb. Can you / she + verb?
I / she can’t + verb. Yes, I can. No, I can’t.
Assumed Knowledge Action verbs, personal pronouns, sentence
structure for indicative, negative &
Anticipated Problems a) Confusing the use of ‘can’ to express ability with the use of ‘can’ to express permission. b) Pronunciation: in the indicative and interrogative the vowel sound is unstressed, in the negative the vowel is lengthened as in “car”, and in the short answers the vowel is stressed, as in “can” of beans.
Solutions a) Elicit sentences using can for permission “Can I go to the toilet?” “You can ask questions in the lesson.” Put them on a separate area of the board; give brief explanation and promise to practice it in the following lesson. b) Need to drill for pronunciation.
Preparation & Aids
• Think of ways to elicit a sentence using “I can…” & “I can’t...”. Try to juggle, and elicit “I can’t juggle”; whistle and elicit “I can whistle”.
• Think up a list of about 10 everyday activities that depend on ability or skill, to generate lots of practice. Draw little pictures to represent these.
1 Warmer & quick recap of previous lesson. T-S 5 mins
2 Use pictures or mime to elicit activities e.g. swim, ride a horse, drive. Put them on the board as words or pictures. S-T 2 mins
3 Elicit sentences using “I can…” & “I can’t...”. Try to juggle, & elicit “I can’t juggle”; whistle & elicit “I can whistle”. S-T 2 mins
4 Drill chorally & individually. Highlight the sound changes using the board. T-S-T 2 mins
5 Elicit the question form, and drill this with the short answers. S-T-TS- T 2 mins
6 Conduct a controlled question and answer drill around the class e.g. “Maria, ask Giorgio…” (point to an action on the board). S-S 5 mins
7 Pair work. Students ask and answer questions from the board & note down their partner’s answers. S-S 10 mins
8 Plenary. Write up the target language on the board. S-T 2 mins
9 Get students to write down some unusual things they can do. S 2 mins
10 Set up milling activity e.g. “Find someone who can do some of the things on your list.” S-S 10 mins
11 Plenary, e.g. “Maria can’t play the guitar, but she can play the violin.” “Both Elena & Giovanni can juggle, but neither can whistle.” S-T 2 mins
12 Set worksheet for homework. T-S 1 min
(Note: The 3rd column relates to student-teacher interaction. T-S means the teacher
is giving something to the students, and vice versa.)
9 Lesson Planning
You won’t need a plan as detailed as this for every lesson that you teach, but for the new teacher it is invaluable – it forces you to consider every eventuality and think carefully about how you will present & practise the language items. The aim is to move gradually from a teacher focus at the start of the lesson to a student focus – notice that the second half of the lesson is all pair work and plenary, increasing student talking time. Notice also that the largest chunks of time are spent on the free practice and the production activities (numbers 7 & 10).
You can see that the teacher has prepared by:
• thinking about who the students are – their level, age & interests • having an objective and outlining the target language needed to attain it • thinking about what the students already know • preparing what they need to be pre-taught to let the lesson run smoothly
• thinking through possible problems they will encounter in the class and solutions to them • making any visual aids they need
• setting a written task for homework to reinforce what they have learnt in class • setting times for each stage of the lesson You should also think carefully about the set-up of the activities: • what will the seating arrangements be? • how will you give instructions/demonstrations? • which students will you pair together?
9 Lesson Planning
Q: What can I do if there are many different levels in the same class?
A: Shuffle the groups around so that the same students aren’t always working together. Or, if you know the students, put the strong and weak ones together. You can also do different tasks simultaneously with the same materials, depending on how strong or weak the students are, e.g. the stronger student answers comprehension questions which are true/false or one or two-word answers, while the weaker student reads through the text and underlines all the verbs. It’s also possible to ask the stronger students to help the weaker students. Use sparingly, as this might lead to boredom with the stronger students. Most teachers deal with it by a mix of the above suggestions. See lesson plans for more ideas.
Q: What can I do if there are too many students in the class?
A: Since it is difficult (if not impossible) to hear everyone speaking, the best method is to use lots of choral repetition. This can be done either altogether or splitting the class into half. This works especially well when doing dialogues. Also, include lots of pair work and group work and questionnaires and mingling activities. Remember about voice projection so that everyone can hear you, and also write in big letters (not in capitals, though) on the whiteboard so that the people at the back can see.
Q: What can I do if my class keeps using their own language?
A: Explain (or even better get students to say) that using their own language all the time won’t help them learn English. Ignore questions and answers that are said in the mother tongue, instead, keep on encouraging the use of English so that the students get bored of you repeating yourself (a bit drastic but it often works). You can also fine your students or give prizes (children’s classes).
Q: What can I do if my class doesn’t want to talk?
A: The quietness could stem from a variety of reasons – either cultural, personal or a mixture of both. Ways around it are to do pair work for the shy students who may not want to speak in front of all the class, and role-plays (make sure the role cards have got hints about what to say). Give students more time to prepare what to say and even write it down if this makes them feel more relaxed. If you write a practice dialogue on the board, you can always erase it little by little, until your students can do the role-play unaided.
10 Essential TEFL Tips
Q: What shall I do on my first lesson?
A: Refer to the lesson plans later in this booklet.
Q: What materials should I take with me?
A: Due to the different levels in ability and age, it is impossible to recommend one textbook. The best thing is take a selection of interesting flashcards or pictures (e.g. showing everyday life activities, different types of jobs, people), a good grammar book and a pocket dictionary. A good resource is the TEFL Toolkit available from i-to-i.
Q: What if I can’t speak their language?
A: You have to use lots of mime, pictures, gesture, realia and lots of imagination. You should not be using the students’ native language in the classroom if at all possible.
Q: What if all my classes are children?
A: As you can imagine, there are lots of differences in teaching young learners than teaching adults. Very often, they have no extrinsic motivation and a short attention span. They have little understanding of complex concepts in their own language, let alone in English. This has many implications for the teacher. Very young students like many short activities. Routines are very important. You can incorporate calendars, the weather, numbers, birthdays, etc. The context must be within the range of the young learners’ experience. The activities you do must mirror their interests and capabilities:
Use puppets or teddy bears or even paper bags with faces; games and songs; drama and role-play. Often young learners are willing to experiment.
Often children are reluctant to sit still for a long time. They want to move about. So you can have activities such as “Put up your hand when you hear the word....” Colour in/draw a picture as you tell a story. Use rhymes and songs, even if students don’t totally understand what they are saying and singing.
Difficult for kids who have non-Roman script so use lots of ‘look and say’ activities; point to the object. The next stage is whole sentence reading. Some books have tapes and the children can read and follow.
10 Essential TEFL Tips
Often young learners exist in the here and now, so writing is difficult (as it often relates to past events). Make collages and wall charts. If a bit older, they can write pretend pen-pal letters to friends in other countries, or even to each other. Writing in small groups or pairs often creates more interest in a task. Be sure to vary the ‘writer’ in the group.
Q: What should I do if there are no materials?
A: The lessons that follow require no materials or books, just a few pieces of chalk and paper.
Q: How can I check on how well my classes are going?
A: On-going feedback exercises.
10 Essential TEFL Tips
Words we already know
Level Total beginners
Time 20-30 mins depending on level
Skills Speaking and writing
Procedure Put the students (S’s) into small groups and ask them to write down all the English words they know. S’s change groups, exchange words.
Time 20-30 mins depending on level
Procedure Write some information about yourself in words and numbers (e.g. Bryan…36…3…1985). Encourage S’s to guess the significance. S’s do the same in pairs. Brief group feedback.
Other ideas…. Ask S’s to draw a pictorial representation of their life and then compare in a different pair.
As above but with numbers.
Tell S’s to imagine their house was on fire – what five objects would they take? Draw pictures, swap, partners have to guess. Class feedback and compare.
guitar I Liverpool
Yellow South America
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Time 20-30 mins depending on level
Materials None, except the table below written on a board
Skills Asking questions, listening, giving personal information, predicting.
Procedure Ask S’s to draw three columns. Dictate a list of numbers and tell S’s that the numbers have relevance to your life. In the second column, S’s guess what they signify. Tell S’s the answers. S’s do the same in pairs (try to use as many different types of numbers as possible) e.g. school phone number, your old phone number, shoe size, house number, lucky number, number of children, age you started school, birthday, class number, number of S’s in the class, the time now, 13th (unlucky day).
Write the number you hear What do you think it means? What it really means
What I like talking about
Time 20-40 mins depending on level
Materials None, the table written below on board.
Skills Asking questions, listening, giving personal information, predicting.
Procedure Individually, on a piece of paper S’s write a list of five subjects they like talking about. S’s mingle, or in changing pairs, show lists to each other and the partner selects what they would like the other S to talk about.
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Time 20-40 mins depending on level
Skills Asking questions, listening, giving personal information, predicting.
Procedure Ask S’s what they generally talk about the first time they meet somebody and brainstorm. Set a time limit and in pairs S’s find out as much as possible. Class quiz the pair, ask questions to A, B writes the answer on the board, then A answers.
I’d like to find someone who...
Time 20-40 mins depending on level
Materials None, just the start of the table below written on the board.
Skills Asking questions, listening, giving personal information
Procedure Give out/draw on the board the following table. Explain that the S’s are going to write a questionnaire to find people with the same interests as themselves. Remember to give examples of your own to help S’s with their own questions.
I1d like to find someone who... Name
hates football. _________________________
would like to be a journalist. _________________________
has been to the UK before. _________________________
has swum with dolphins. _________________________
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Stem sentence dictation
Time 30-50 mins depending on level
Skills Asking questions in all tenses, listening, speaking.
Procedure Dictate various stems difficulty depends on the level of the class);
tell S’s to complete the sentences that you’ll dictate. Tell S’s to
leave a space after every line for correction.
I was born in...
My favourite animal is a...
Last night I...
Write the stems on the board or go around the class checking. Ask S’s to write the questions that will give these answers. Put S’s in two lines, and get them to work their way down the line asking and answering the questions. Feedback, e.g. What can you remember about Anna?
Tonight I’m... This weekend I’m... Tomorrow I’m... I never... I often... I’ve always wanted to go to... Intermediate – Advanced I look like my... If I were a man/woman I’d... If I could change any part of my body I’d change my... If I had a million pounds I’d...
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Word & Preposition or Verb & Participle
I’m good at... I take after... I’m fond of... I get on well with... I’m jealous of... I look like... I’m fed up with... I’m in love with... I’m interested in... I’m shocked by...
Last day dictation/end of the week dictation (Be prepared to
hear how your lesson(s) went):
On Monday I felt (beep) because (beep) My favourite lesson was (beep) because (beep) My worst day was (beep) because (beep) Before the test I felt (beep) because (beep) and the most useful thing I learned was (beep)
Before I came here the image I had of the school was (beep) On the first day I said to myself (beep) The thing I will remember most about college is (beep) etc.
Level Lower Intermediate to Advanced
Time 30-50 mins depending on level
Skills Asking questions in all tenses, listening, speaking. Procedure Draw a coffeepot on the board and explain for the purpose of this lesson it represents a regular action verb + noun. Give an example, e.g. to play the guitar. Write down another, and tell S’s to ask you questions so that they can deduce the verb. Give hints if S’s are slow, e.g. I coffee potted last night on my own. I never coffeepot in school. By the time the week finishes I will have coffee potted four
times. (Coffee pot=to cook dinner.)
Lesson Plans & Activities
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
The example below is for practising “will” for future. You can use questionnaires for other tenses.
Time 20-30 mins depending on level
Skills Asking questions, listening, giving personal information.
Procedure Write some information about yourself in words and numbers. Encourage S’s to guess the significance. S’s do the same in pairs. Brief group feedback. Tell S’s to make three columns. Tell S’s to write “Do you think” in the
first column and the following phrases in the second column:
Do you think: Whales will become extinct?
Paper money will disappear?
People will live on the moon?
There will be a civil war in your country?
Computers will replace teachers?
Men will have babies?
You will keep in touch with half the people
in this class?
You will marry before you are 40?
You will have more than two children?
S’s choose how likely these predictions are by choosing a number from 1-10 (1=certainty and 10=impossibility) and write them in the third column. S’s then move around the class, asking and answering questions. Encourage S’s to talk about reasons for their choices.
Other ideas... S’s write some questions of their own.
Make & Do
Same procedure as above. S’s draw the following table and you dictate collocations, omitting make/do, e.g. simply say, “When did you last…the bed, a fuss, progress, a mistake, your homework?” Students have to put them in the correct column. Feedback to consolidate.
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
When did you
make do name
Same procedure as above except S’s make five columns. The finished questionnaire should look like this:
superlative place/job in student
do you think
...the best... ...singer... ...in the world?
Listen to the news and write down the most important information; then check with a partner. (The spelling is not important; it’s a listening exercise!)
Who? Where? When? What happened?
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Pre-teach language of opinions. Brainstorm inventions, crimes, qualities of a friend, qualities of a teacher, qualities of a parent. Do this individually, then in pairs, and finally as a class or large group. Vote for a final decision.
Tour of the school
1 Take S’s round the school, explaining what you are doing. Drill.
2 Return to classroom. S’s recap in the simple past.
Choose three words/phrases you really like and be prepared to say why. Choose three words/phrases that you hate and be prepared to say why. Write two phrases which look/sound wrong but are right. Write two phrases which look/sound right but are wrong.
Quick reading practise
Quickly read the paper and locate the page(s) where you can find...
1 an article about crime _____
2 information about films _____
3 an index _____
4 a crossword _____
5 a map _____
6 a one word headline _____
7 a story about economics _____
8 the weather forecast _____
9 a funny story _____
10 an article about your country _____
11 something about politics _____
12 information about births _____
13 information about deaths _____
14 a competition _____
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Writing , spea king and st ory-teling
(Fairy stories & thank you letter idea adapted from
“Writing Games” by Jill Hatfield, published by Nelson Press)
Time 2 hrs
Procedure Draw simple pictures on the board to elicit the idea of fairy stories. Brainstorm characters and situations found in traditional stories. Brainstorm things that are never found in traditional stories. Write on two piles of paper. In pairs or small groups S’s come forward, pick out a form from each pile, discuss and write a few lines of the story. When the ideas dry up they come and select two more.
This can be done with soap operas but with categories such as characters, places, situations, and feelings.
Thank you letters
Level Pre-intermediate +
Time 40 mins
Materials Pens, paper, blu tac and squares of paper
Skills Reading & Writing
Procedure Give out pieces of paper and explain they are going to draw two pictures of presents they have had, or would love to get. Collect and hand out again to different S’s. Tell S’s they are going to write a thank you letter to their granny and describe the presents without saying what they are. Stick letters on the board and S’s walk round and read and guess the presents.
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Doodle story or music story
Time 1-2 hrs
Materials Pens, paper
Procedure S’s draw doodles, then write a story based on the picture, on the
board or on paper. One word at a time. Follow up: change the
adjectives, verbs, synonyms etc.
Use music as a stimulus. Same technique can be used to build up
situational dialogues, e.g. ordering food in a restaurant.
Role Pla ys
1 Give S’s time to think of what they’re going to say.
2 Give them sticky labels with brief descriptions of their characters.
Level Pre-intermediate & above
Time 20-30 mins depending on level
Materials Board and labels
Skills Asking questions, listening, predicting.
Procedure Set up a situation to elicit the idea of someone who needs advice. Brainstorm exponents. Ask S’s to write a problem on a “post it” note. S’s stick problems on other people’s backs. S’s mingle, looking at other S’s backs and then give advice without saying what’s written. After ten minutes, mingling S’s sit down and try to guess what was written.
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Possible scenarios for role plays:
• Job centre and job seekers – S’s inquire about certain jobs
• Landlord / landlady and tenants – Act out a problem between tenant/landlord/ landlady
• Shopkeepers and buyers
• Pet shop and customers – Pet shop owner convincing people to buy pets
• Ground staff and passengers – Not enough seats on flight, so passengers have to convince ground staff to let them on (wedding/funeral/birth to attend etc).
Draw a picture of a hot-air balloon. Put S’s in small groups of three and four. Tell them that they are travelling to a desert island together, when the balloon starts to lose altitude. To avoid crashing, tell S’s that two of them have to be thrown out. They can choose to be famous people or certain professions nd then justify why they should
stay in the balloon.
S’s try to find out if their classmates are innocent or guilty. Tell S’s there has been a robbery and that two of them are suspects. The “guilty” S’s are sent outside the classroom to construct a fictitious alibi (e.g. where they went, what they said, who they spoke to, what they were wearing). At the same time, the class construct questions to ask the “guilty” individually. Suspects’ responses are noted, and if they are the same, then suspects are innocent.
11 Lesson Plans & Activities
Some of the words used in the course:
Cloze – a grammatical exercise featuring a passage of text with words removed
Concept check - when the teacher asks the student questions to check that they
have understood the meaning and function of a grammatical structure or item of
Concept questions – questions asked by the teacher to check students’
understanding of a language item
Context – a situation in which the language is naturally used
Controlled practice – providing a limited framework both written and oral to practise
a particular language item.
Diphthong – a phoneme containing two vowel sounds
Drills – choral/individual – the verbal repetition of language items
Echoing – repeating student responses (can be confusing for students who often
interpret this as correction)
Eliciting – extracting information from the students as opposed to simply telling them,
e.g. “What’s this animal?” rather than “This is a lion.”
False friend – an incorrect translation of a word or phrase from the students’ own
language which looks similar to a word in English but has a different meaning, e.g.
“He’s very sympathetic” (to mean friendly)
Form – how the piece of grammar is put together
Ice breaker – a getting-to-know-you activity used with new classes or to integrate
new students into an existing class
Intonation – the music of the language
Lexis – vocabulary
Meta-language - all language used by the teacher in the classroom which is outside
the target language and/or the likely understanding of the students.
Monitoring – an activity where the teacher listens unobtrusively while students are
working together in pairs or groups, in order to check that they are doing a task
correctly/using the correct language
Mother tongue interference – a grammatical mistake resulting from students
translating from their own language to create an incorrect utterance, e.g. “I’d like to
make a photo.”
OHP – Overhead Projector
Pair work – two students working together to maximise student talking time
Phoneme – a sound
Plenary - a feedback session at the end of an activity
PPP – an approach to grammar lessons: Presentation: introducing the target
language in a natural context Practice: giving the students the opportunity to use it
in a limited framework Production: providing the opportunity for students to use the
language in a freer way
Realia – a prop or an object brought into the classroom, e.g. a newspaper
Role-play – Providing a simulated situation where students can use the language
by pretending to be in different situations, e.g. in a restaurant playing a waiter and
Target language – the focus of your lesson and what you want your students to
ultimately produce, e.g. the present simple or language of agreeing/disagreeing
TTT – Teacher Talking Time – refers to the amount of time the teacher is talking
compared to the students (STT). Teachers should keep an eye on how much they
talk in class and reduce it during the practise stages. It’s the students who need the
Leech, Geoffrey. An A-Z of English Grammar and Usage. Longman Press
Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. OUP
Murphy, Raymond. English Grammar in Use. CUP
Ur, Penny. Grammar Practice Activities. CUP
Aitken. Teaching Tenses. Longman
Redman and Ellis. A Way with Words. Cambridge
Gairns and Redman. Working with Words. CUP
Blundell and Stokes. Task Listening. CUP
Oxford, Cambridge and Longman Reading, Listening and Writing series
Jones. Functions of English. CUP
Kenworthy. Teaching English Pronunciation. Longman
Headway Pronunciation Series OUP
Porter Ladousse. Speaking Personally. CUP
Klippel. Keep Talking. CUP
Nolasco & Arthur. Conversation. OUP
Lindstromberg, Seth. The Recipe Book. Longman
Rinvolucri, Mario. Grammar Games. CUP
Sion. Recipes for Tired Teachers. Longman
Wright et al. Games for Language Learning. CUP
Woodward. Planning from Lesson to Lesson. Longman
Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Longman
Lewis/Hill. Practical Techniques for Language Teachers. LTP
Griffith, Susan. Teaching English Abroad. Provides information on training as an EFL
teacher; finding a job, and a comprehensive guide on employment opportunities.
EFL Limited. EL Guide. Published annually, gives a comprehensive introduction to
TEFL qualification, courses and career opportunities.
Grihault, Nicki. Working in Asia. A fact-filled guide to working opportunities. Includes
hundreds of addresses of employers, embassies and recruitment agencies.
Vacation Work. Jobs in Japan. Gives information on living and working in Japan, TEFL
jobs and gives details on over 400 schools.
Symbol key word other common spellings
p pen happy
b back rubber
t tea butter walked doubt
d day ladder called could
k key cool soccer lock school cheque
g get bigger ghost
tS cheer match nature question cello
dZ jump age edge soldier gradual
f fat coffee cough physics half
v view of navvy
T thing thick pith ether
D then either though this
s soon city psychology mess scene listen
z zero was dazzle example (/gz/)
S fishing sure station tension vicious chevron
Z pleasure vision rouge
h hot whole
m sum hammer calm bomb
n sun funny know gnaw
N sung sink
l led balloon battle
r red marry wriggle rhubarb
j yet onion use new Europe
w wet one when queen (/kw/)
x fix ox
Symbol key word other common spellings
i˘ sheep field team key scene amoeba
i ship savage guilt system women
e bed any said Bread bury friend
Q bad plaid laugh (AmE) calorie
A˘ father calm heart laugh (BrE) bother (AmE)
Å pot watch cough (BrE) laurel (BrE)
ç˘ caught ball board draw four floor
u put wood wolf could
u˘ boot move shoe group flew blue rude
√ cut some blood does
OE˘ bird burn fern worm earn journal
´* cupboard about ago nation asleep
eI make pray prey steak vein gauge
´u note soap soul grow sew toe
aI bite pie buy try guide sigh
au now spout plough
I boy poison
I´ here beer weir appear fierce
e´ there hair bear bare their prayer
u´ poor tour sure
eI´ player layer
´u´ lower slower
aI´ tire higher
au´ tower power
çI´ employer lawyer
What’s involved, salaries, applications and hot spots for work.
1 Different types of institutions
Probably the most widespread of institutions and the easiest places to find work. The majority of clients are learners in their early twenties. In places where the standard of language teaching is low, there will be lots of younger learners and children.
Usually involves teaching in the morning and sports/social activities in the afternoon; teachers are usually required to take part in the social side. Schools can also be residential.
Fewer though better paid jobs, often short-term contracts.
Schools with a mixed population, both expatriate and local children.
These are schools for children of people in the services (often primary and junior age).
These are schools run in a similar way to schools in the UK or the US.
Working for Large Companies
Multinational companies such as British Petroleum and several large banks employ teachers/language trainers, often on a freelance basis. Knowledge of and background in the subject is often a prerequisite for the job.
Often the most lucrative (as it’s often cash-in-hand) though it can be unreliable. Work is found through word-of-mouth and recommendations, easy to find if you are in a place that lacks native English speakers and the demand for English is high.
2 Sample letter of application
Remember this is your first contact with a potential employer, and care must be taken in drafting your letter, especially if it is for a teaching position. Your letter should:
• be typed
• be relevant to the job you are applying for (unless it is a speculative letter)
• show that you are enthusiastic
• be concise
• have no spelling mistakes
Dear Mr. Lopez:
I am writing to apply for the post of E.F.L. teacher at Regent Language Training, as advertised in this week’s Evening Argus. I have recently completed an on-line TEFL course and am eager to implement what I have learned. I have (mention any skills that you have which would be useful in a classroom situation). I have enclosed my CV (Resume) and invite you to contact my referees. I am available for interview from (date). I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely,
Or for a speculative letter:
I am writing to enquire if there are any teaching vacancies in your school. Since graduating from the University of Peoria I have been working at Kmart ****. I am the founder of the local **** and since 1992 I have been **** during the Brighton Festival. I would welcome the chance to meet you and discuss the post in more detail.
3 Further Qualifications to be an E.F.L. teacher
There are only a few internationally-recognized qualifications. The two most popular are the RSA Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) and the Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
RSA Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
The CELTA is usually a four-week intensive course and it costs around £1000 (this varies from centre to centre). It has a 90% pass rate. A degree is usually required (but not always). The centre where you do the course sometimes has a job placement service to help you find a job. There are some 250 centres (both UK and world-wide) where you can do the course.
The Trinity Certificate in TESOL
This is similar in content to the CELTA, although it is often done on a part-time basis. It has a minimum of 130 tuition hours, but it can be more. The cost of the course is slightly cheaper, around £600-£800; this again varies with the institution.
Teaching with the i-to-i qualification
With the i-to-i TEFL certificate, you can teach virtually anywhere! There is lots of work available around the world - current hotspots are Latin America, China, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. Graduates from our course have found work in Spain, South Korea, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, China, France, Hong Kong.... the list goes on! Schools generally hire before the start of each term, but the main hiring period is summer, ready for the new academic year.
Areas that you will struggle to find work in though are any English-speaking country and the Gulf States, France & Germany. The TEFL job market in these countries is very competitive and you would find it difficult to get work there without previous experience and an RSA/Trinity certificate.
It is possible to find teaching work abroad on the spot if you go at the right time. September is a good time (the start of the academic year), as well as December (when some teachers have had enough and have decided to move on). It is better though to try to fix up a job in advance (see the useful websites section later on for job search sites). Steer clear of popular/tourist European cities like Barcelona, Rome, Prague, where you’ll find yourself in competition with lots of more qualified teachers. Check out the visa/work permit situation. Some countries are more lax than others.
Key places to find work are:
1 Central Europe
This is a boom time and it’s easy to find jobs in places like Lithuania and the Baltic
states, though wages will be low and winters bitterly cold.
2 The Far East
Areas that are recent additions to the tourist/backpacker trail, including Cambodia
& China, are ready to have lessons from anyone. Low wages.
3 Latin America
This is a high-growth region in EFL and basic Spanish speakers will find it easier to
get a teaching position.
How much can you expect to earn abroad?
North East Asia: £800-1300 a month, usually with housing and sometimes airfare
South East Asia: £400-800 a month, sometimes with housing, no airfare
Europe: £500-£1000 a month, sometimes with housing, no airfare.
Latin America: £400-500 a month, sometimes with housing, no airfare.
4 Applying For A TEFL Position
A Your Curriculum Vitae As with any job, a professional Curriculum Vitae (Resume) is a must, preferably sent in a plastic wallet using a C4 envelope (9” x 11”). This will reduce creasage and will reach its destination in a presentable state. Emailing as a file attachment is a good way to hit many schools cheaply too!
B The Application Photograph Most schools will ask you to send a photograph with your application. Ensure that the photo you send of yourself is a happy one – a good, clear professional snap. You have only one opportunity to visually show your personality and a smiling, energetic face on a photograph beats a dowdy passport snap, hands down. We suggest you send a photograph even if it is not specified in the job advertisement.
C The Interview Now that you have impressed the school with your professional CV and stunning photograph, the next stage is an interview - this may take place over the phone. Here are a few points, hints and tips that can be used during the interview. First impressions are important whether on the telephone or face-to-face. Have a friendly manner, remember the school owner wants a teacher who will bring business to the school and let’s face it, who wants to be taught by a miserable so and so! Be honest with the interviewer - remember that they know what they are talking about – if they ask you a question and you don’t know the answer - say so. But add that you are willing to learn and the only way that you get real teaching experience is to stand in front of a class.
Inject a bit of humour into the interview if you can - language school owners appreciate it.
D Some questions you might be asked
• Which levels would you prefer to teach? (e.g. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
• Would you prefer to teach adults or children?
• Do you prefer to use textbooks or your own materials? Which textbooks have you used?
• Have you ever taught or what do you know about examination classes? (e.g. First Certificate Proficiency in English)
• How would you interest a group of adolescents? (Discuss interesting topics
• e.g. drug abuse, travel, and fashion. Tell anecdotes about life in England or your own travels. Keep lessons humorous with a fair amount of discipline.)
• How would you settle a group of lively/rowdy students at the beginning of a lesson? (Suggest that you would be firm (without shouting) and get on with the lesson. Remember that these schools are businesses and don’t want to lose students.
E. Questions you should ask about potential jobs
• How many contract hours will I have?
• What will I have to do exactly (or words to this effect)?
• Will I have anything else to do apart from teaching?
• What is the salary (and how much is it after deductions)?
• How well equipped is the school/institution (do the students use a course book/ language lab/computer room?
• Is there any sick/holiday pay?
• How much notice do I have to give (or be given) if I don’t like the job?
• Is it easy to get a work permit?
• Am I expected to take part in any extra-curricular activities?
• Will I get a contract and if so what type?
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