TIPS FROM THE
KNOW YOUR STUDENTS
Learn as much as you can about your
students – their lives, their culture
and their personalities/learning
styles. Use the student’s culture to
Prior knowledge is an important factor
in learning a 2nd
connect the new through the old and
create meaning in the process.
Key Words: schema, cognates, transfer,
student centered teaching, L1
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify….
These are the 3 cardinal virtues of the
EFL / ESL instructor.
Use less words when instructing and
Avoid slang and idiomatic
Reinforce with body language.
Repeat and Review OFTEN.
Key Words: TPR, micro teaching skills.
lesson delivery, modifications
Provide a Target and a Timeline
Write the lesson objective or target
language on the board.
Provide students with a simple, 1-2-3
We learn better when we can see the
Always teach the big picture first and
Key Words: lesson planning, teaching
strategies, sequencing, assessment
Provide Context, Background
Use manipulatives and realia (props)
when presenting language.
Make it real – if possible, go on field
trips, connect with real email pals,
take the lessons outside.
Use video and pictures to reinforce the
learning. Context allows students to
acquire language as they create a
their own theory of the world.
Key Words: the natural approach, realia,
visual learners, connectivism, epistemology
Everything has its time and place.
Never force students to speak or to
read/write before they are ready.
Call on more competent students to
provide comprehensible output for
There are no errors, only pit stops on
the road to language competency.
Key Words: error correction, the “silent
period” , I+1, the critical period hypothesis,
Make it Active!
We can learn on our feet as well as on
Give students tasks and focus on
production and their talk time.
The more students speak or are
“engaged” in the learning, the more
they will be learning.
Key Words: Comprehensible output, task
based instruction, teacher talk, inductive
Keep it up to date!
Use current events, stories and the
“now” as context.
Computer assisted language learning,
videos, technology and social
networking are crucial instructional
Authentic and teacher made materials
lead to good teaching practices.
Key Words: digital natives, call, technology
and computers, text to speech
Get more bang for your buck
Focus on one skill but use them all,
Language learning is a multi-modal
experience and we use all our
Reinforce speech with text / writing.
Teach listening skills and don’t
Key Words: language modes, lesson
planning, learning styles
Make it social!
Language learning is a social event.
We learn in concert with others.
Group your students and use their
differing levels so they help each
Teach cooperation and make a
learning family out of your class.
Key Words: cooperative learning, project
based instruction, pragmatics, social
Pause – create suspense!
Good teachers create anticipation in
their classrooms. Students “attend”
in anticipation of what comes next.
Deliver your lessons so there is a
sense of “what might come next?”.
Pause often to allow students to reflect
and answer questions. A good pause
is what makes action!
Key Words: lesson delivery, lesson
planning, narrative, rhetoric
It’s all about happiness
Learning is built on the emotional
world of a student.
Start with happiness and learning will
“I’d rather graduate one happy street
sweeper than a thousand neurotic
prime ministers.” – A.S. Neill