ESL Teaching Strategies
by Devanche Chauhan
ESl Teaching Strategies – What is important for Classroom Management?
You can control a classroom through: eye contact, gesture and voice.
1. Good Eye Contact is essential to getting student attention. Eye contact can be used:
-To give individual attention as well as to check that all students are involved in participating
-To ensure that students understand what they are supposed to
-To indicate who is to speak
-To indicate that something is correct or incorrect
-To encourage participation and contribution
– To signal start / stop / continue
However, eye contact should be avoided in during an activity which is not teacher centered, example — role play or if the focus is fluency.
(Pictured above: Some of the Gods of Daiyuzan Temple in Minamiashigara, Kanagawa)
ESL Teaching Strategies – Classroom Management — Using Gestures
2. Good Gestures can be effective and useful –
-To convey the meaning of the language.
-To add variety and create visual interest / impact
-To re-enforce instructions
-To reduce need of verbal explanation
– To increase lesson pace
Think of what gestures you could use to express:
– Not right
-Repeat in chorus
– Get into pairs
-Unusual / great idea
Classroom Management — Voice Usage
-A teacher’s voice must be well modulated and possess clarity, range and variety to make a lesson effective and understood by all.
The greater variation, the more effective a class. Voice alteration can enliven or quiet a class.
-The voice should adapt according to the circumstance: is it an individual lesson or a group, adults or young children?
-An effective teacher will also vary the complexity of the language to suit the level and ability of the student.
Classroom Management — Instructions
4. Giving Instructions. Make your instructions more effective.
-Use simple language, with a consistent set of words for the same instruction.
– Reinforce instructions with visual realia, mime, gestures, pictures, board work, examples and demonstration.
– Check whether instructions have been understood — asking students to explain it back to you is more effective than mere questioning ‘Have you understood?’
Classroom Management — Maintaining Balance
5. The balance between Teacher Talk Time and Student Talk Time depends on the activity, lesson type and student level.
– TTT is a vital component of learning a language and providing the student with a natural and correct model of the language.
– TTT will be more while:
o Providing input / presenting / checking / explaining
o Giving instructions for activities
o However, try to keep TTT minimal. Avoid unnecessary TTT:
o Adapt the language to accommodate the level of the students
o Use gestures / pictures / mimes to cut down on lengthy explanations
Classroom Management — Board Usage
6. Board-work is essential but the time spent with your back to the class should be minimal. You can do this by:
-Using an Over-head projector-Preparing picture cards and charts in advance-Writing while students are engaged in a different activity.-Having board-work ready before students enter (cover with a sheet if you don’t want students to see it immediately)
Whatever you do, be sure that it is clear and legible all the way till the last row of students.