Today, English is the worlds most widely studied foreign language. Every English teacher is well aware, teaching a language is no small feat. Students can often be reluctant to learn, or at times simply be demotivated because of the mammoth effort required to master a foreign language. They may find the classes boring or monotonous, or at times find themselves unable to concentrate fully on the instructions. But this problem can be solved by looking at new and creative methods of teaching English:
What methods of teaching are effective?
- Storytelling to practice English tenses. Ask students to tell stories about their experiences, about their daily life or about their plans in future. Most of Vietnamese students love sharing their stories instead of learning some rigid lessons in class. By doing this they will practise using the past, present and future tenses.
- Reading to practice pronunciation and intonation. Prepare fun and interesting texts suitable for the level of the students. Read the text together during class and correct students’ pronunciation mistakes. You can also use this message to improve intonation.
- Role play to practice speaking. Prepare real-life situations that are suitable for your students. Students can practice these situations through role playing and they can become more confident. Students can also help each other and the teacher can guide them when needed.
- Brainstorming session to introduce new topics. It can be helpful to brainstorm about the new topic, because it will encourage students to think about the topic and to give their opinion.
- Debates about statements relevant to the topic of the class. Let students debate and encourage them to use the new vocabulary, this method will also improve their speaking skills.
- Cross words with new vocabulary. This method can be helpful to check the students’ knowledge and to review the vocabulary of a previous class.
- Ask students to give short presentations about the class material of the previous class in order to review their knowledge. You can review students’ knowledge about the previous class and this method will also be helpful to improve their speaking and presentation skills. Also, if students know that they may be asked to present the class material next week, they will pay more attention during class.
- Encourage students of mixed abilities to work together by promoting small group or whole class activities.
Through verbally expressing their ideas and responding to others your students will develop their self-confidence, as well as enhance their communication and critical thinking skills which are vital throughout life.
- Incorporating technology into your teaching is a great way to actively engage your students, especially as digital media surrounds young people in the 21st century. Mobile devices, such as iPads and/or tablets, can be used in the classroom for students to record results, take photos/videos or simply as a behaviour management technique.
- Allowing students to choose their own reading materials is a strategy that literacy specialists recommend as a way to develop lifelong readers. Students are given a choice of literature from an age- and reading level-appropriate book collection.
After a period of independent reading, students break into groups and discuss what they’ve read, book club-style, followed by journaling. When this strategy is successful, students are able to delve deeply into the meaning of the literature, develop critiquing skills, and have a valuable discussion with their classmates about the book that they chose.
=> As you can see, there can be many unconventional methods of teaching English and others foreign language. It pays to shake things up in the classroom so that your students stay engaged, motivated and challenged. So if you are a foreign language teacher wondering how to get your students pumped up, do try our tips and share your experiences with us! And if you are looking for a well-paid ESL teaching position in Vietnam, click here!