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Successful Teaching Ideas

These notes are taken from a workshop given at Chung Yuan Christian University by Aubrey Neil Leveridge on September 4,2008. Quick, easy to read, these points will help teachers with new classroom ideas.

  • Students need to participate in their learning.
    Survey/Question other People/tie it into the lesson
  • Encourage critical thinking/participation
  • Students model their teacher.
    If your lesson plan is full of items, the students will work hard.
    If the teacher is slow and methodical, the students will be the same.
    If you want something done, ask a busy person.
  • Journals – topics with a twist/don’t just ask “What do you like to eat?” mix it up! You can ask “What do you hate eating?”
  • Textbooks – should take up about 10% of the class time. Students can read at home, they can’t speak English at home. (Well, ok, they can. But this doesn’t happen often, if ever!) Classrooms are for guided participation.
  • Games – a fun way to involve all the students. When the students are playing a game, they are often less shy and more willing to participate.
  • Open & Wrap-up – Tell the students what they are going to learn, teach them, let them use it, and then ask what they learned. Reiteration of what was learned will help cement it in long-term memory. Discuss homework before wrapping up the class. Students will remember the first and final details of class best.
  • The use of technology/internet resources – Moodle/i-learning. Increases student motivation & lessens an instructor’s work load (after it is set up). Students really focus on presentations, such as PowerPoint.
  • Change the dynamics of the class by pairing different students together. The teacher should control who is being paired with whom.
  • Pair students at the same level/at different levels depending on the task. Mix the students’ groups often to avoid loss of student motivation.
  • Give time limits for each task. Keeping students busy will ensure that tasks are being completed.
  • Build real projects that the students can use or build on later in life or for other classes.
  • Videotape classes – a study by Bailey, et. Al (2001) found that this has a profound positive effect on teaching. The students feel that the class is important because it is being video-taped. The teacher, while being nervous, performs better and adheres to predisposed lesson plans. You want to succeed because it is a performance. Students can review lessons from an outside perspective.
  • Games can help expose students to more realistic situations – removed from the classroom setting
  • Class Journal or Newsletter – Have one student per week write a newspaper article on the class. Post it to the web. This will create class discussion on what was learned
  • Get the students involved.
  • Reading – make mistakes/ add things that aren’t there/ make it more fun
  • Open up conversations – have frank and real discussions on the topic. The teacher is the guide – if one direction isn’t working – change direction, if it is working – go with the flow.
  • Use Advertisements as instructional content – these show culture and are usually interesting.
  • Using the target language outside of the classroom provides the students with a sense of linguistic importance
  • While learning Spanish – my instructor told the class “Just listen to the rhythm and you will get it (Spanish).” I didn’t get it. I really tried to get it. During class, he totally focused on the students who could speak a little Spanish; a few of us were left out. The further along the class went, the more he focused on the good students. I dropped out.
  • Increasing Classroom Interaction
    The primary means of learning is through speech/talking
    Activity based
Written by Aubrey Neil Leveridge for TEFL.net September 2008
Aubrey Neil Leveridge has a Masters of Education from Australia and is presently a teacher and lecturer.

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TEFL.net : ESL Lesson Plans : Classroom Ideas : Teaching : Successful Teaching Ideas