Advice Box

10 Useful Advice for teaching with Learning World

1. Focus on your own vision!
Language education with kids is long-term. Never forget WHY you are teaching English to children.
2. Communication activities are a must!
Throughout the activities, your students should experience feelings like “I don’t know the answer, but I want to know”, “I have the answer, I want to share it”, “I really need the answer, I really need someone to help me”,
“I want to help somebody because I can”. LW materials such as “Kara-Kyogu”, and “Activity Sheets”, as well as the picture cards and CDs are good to use in communication activities.
3. Don’t skip over the self-expression activities.
English activates as a language when students “use” it, not by simply having it as a tool.
4. Evaluate your lesson on how successful each student feels.
It is important that students feel “I said what I wanted to say in English!”, and this should be the basis of your lesson. Kids tend to speak when placed in a situation that requires them to do so. As you review your lessons, ask yourself “Was I able to provide enough opportunities for the students to speak?”
5. A Textbook is not everything!
Textbooks are just tools. It’s all up to teachers to make or break. Teachers must adjust how to use the tools as the situation demands.
6. Importance of reviewing
Even if students think that they remember what they have learned, it is natural to forget. Do not get stuck with ideas like “I taught this already!” or “I have done this before!”
7. Make students use English
Students are the ones who need to use English, not just the teacher. Teachers need to create an atmosphere where kids can speak in English without hesitating to make mistakes. If they cannot use English in the classroom, neither will they use it outside the classroom.
8. Respect individuality!
Each student has a unique character. Appraising a student should be compared with the student’s effort the previous week, not with other students’ effort.
9. Do not fear to show your weaknesses!
If a teacher doesn’t say “I don’t know” occasionally, then the students won’t know that “I don’t know” is a possible and acceptable answer. Don’t be a know-it-all teacher.
10. I’m right – and you’re right too.
Sometimes teachers have to deal with unexpected responses from students. However, students feel proud of themselves when their answers are accepted. And they can grow and develop from that feeling.
“Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself” is a golden rule. Teachers need to learn about students and from students continuously.

By Hiromi Kawahara – English Education Adviser, APRICOT Publishing

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