For any newly qualified TEFL teacher who has limited experience teaching adult classes, the prospect of teaching a class of six year olds or a group of teenagers can be daunting for anyone, and understandably. Unlike in adult classes where you actively demonstrate your knowledge of English on a more equal footing, a teacher of young learners ultimately takes on the role of children’s entertainer.
Learn how to teach
- Online courses: If you would like to get practical insight into how to teach young kids, take the online TEFL course through JoHo and choose the module Teaching Young Learners (30h). Designed for online TEFL students who are planning to teach children between the ages of 6 and 12. Learn key skills such as motivation techniques and how to give someone their first English lesson. If you’re going to be teaching children aged between 6-12 years old, you’re going to love this cheeky little module. It’s designed specifically for young learners.
- Courses in Spain: If you are able to follow classes in Malaga, Spain and would like to develop a greater understanding of successful classroom methods for teaching young learners, why not sign up to one of the teacher development courses at TEFL in Spain. It will be beneficial, as you will be able to see the contrast in teaching methods between adults and children and listen to advice about teaching children from an experienced teacher.
For any newly qualified TEFL teacher who has limited experience teaching adult classes, the prospect of teaching a class of six year olds or a group of teenagers can be daunting for anyone, and understandably. The question I had when embarking on my first few classes with young learners was how do I teach? Unlike in adult classes where you actively demonstrate your knowledge of English and communicate on a more equal footing, a teacher of young learners, especially of those aged below 10 years ultimately takes on the role of children’s entertainer.
- For kid’s classes, you need to have a lot of different activities planned beforehand because if you are left thinking on the spot trying to come up with something to do, the kids sense your distraction and this is when chaos starts to ensue in the classroom.
- I learnt that much more energy is required for teaching kids and that you have to lose your inhibitions, and not fear interaction with them.
- I find the best way to control a class of young learners is to have an activity at the beginning of the class that will engage them and tire them out so that they are able to sit down and complete a small worksheet at the end of the lesson.
- The classes I teach love to play ‘Simon Says’ or we sing the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ to calm everyones’ excitement from entering the class.
- More importantly, young learners need visual and kinaesthetic prompting to absorb the language most effectively.
- My best advice for teaching kids would be to enjoy it because if you let them know you are happy and relaxed then it is most likely that they will be too.
- Additionally, for classroom management, it is helpful to create a star chart which is visible to the students every time they come to class. Then make sure you remind them of it before you begin the lesson.
- This strategy works because they are so eager to get new stars by their name for good behaviour and not have any removed for bad behaviour I never have any problems.
Teenagers, on the other hand, are a different story.
- Your first couple of lessons with teenagers are when you need to be the most assertive.
- This is especially true if you are a replacing a previous teacher who they were used to and respected.
- Just like much younger learners, teenagers enjoy playing games and tend to work more efficiently during the class if everyone has got moving and interacting from the start.
- It is important to engage the teenagers and not allow them to sit next to the same person every week which helps to avoid any sluggish behaviour in the classroom.
- It is also necessary to adjust the topics every week so they are relevant to what they are interested in.
- It is vital to ask questions and let them express opinions on topics they like. This way you get a positive response in the target language.
Teaching tips thanks to TEFL in Spain
- Prepare adequately for interactive and challenging English classes for young learners and teenagers