Beginner’s class on Nationalities with John

EBC Student John


An analysis of John teaching Nationalities. A good topic for a Beginner’s class. John skillfully paces the class, starting with countries and nationalities.


A class of A1-A2 English language learners - level based on the CEFR Framework.


To be able best engage and teach English to students based on their levels. A good EFL teachers chooses a topic appropriate to the established level of the class. The teacher skillfully paces the class correctly, starting with the country and nationality of each student.

Definition of terms used

TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language

TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

EFL – English as a Foreign Lanaguge

ESL – English to Speakers of Other Languages

CEFR - Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment

A1-A2 – Beginner’s level

TTT – Teacher talking time

STT – Student talking time

Q&A – Question and Answer

John's beginner class on teaching countries and nationalities

John writes the task on hand – To teach the class about Countries and Nationalities

TTT- He explains what the task on hand is. He explains what they need to learn, to do. He writes on the board so students can connect the spoken word with the written word. An excellent way to re-enforce learning.

STT – Students take turns in talking about their countries and nationalities. The class has a good mix of nationalities, allowing the class to learn about different countries and nationalities.

John corrects mistakes without saying “You’re wrong or that is wrong.” When one student said “I’m Ecuador”, John corrects him by saying “I am Ecuadorian”. Excellent way of correcting students without embarrassing them.

TTT – John encourages students to identify the country based on landmarks, symbols, famous people associated with the respective country. John goes on with by showing the class where the countries are on a world map. He also corrects pronunciation by first saying “Australia” the right way and asking the students to repeat after him. Repetition is good to employ to make students remember.

STT – Class is engaged. They contribute enthusiastically and are obviously learning. They are clearly enjoying themselves so learning is easy.

John engages the students. He doesn’t just teach, he motivates them to contribute to the class discussion, correcting the mistakes in a teaching yet encouraging way and the result is very good. The students are learning, picking up on what he is teaching them at the same time retaining the involvement and enthusiasm they had at the start of the class.

Some EFL teachers prefer the A1-A2 classes, some prefer the more Advanced ones. The experienced teacher will not make too much of a distinction as they teach from structured EFL/ESL study plans, curricula.

You first establish the need of the class, why are hey learning English. Identify the level common to most. You cannot get a 100% homogeneous level but can get one close to 90% which is very good in EFL/ESL teaching. Get your material and activities planned. Make sure they are tailored to your class’ level and needs.

You always start your class by explaining to the students what they need to do. You tell them what is the task on hand. Keep Intros brief and short. Do not get dragged into long winded intros. Like what John did, do not give the students the handouts at the start of the class or they will not pay you any attention and carry on reading the handout you gave them.

Use your visuals to keep the class engaged. Ask questions, teach from your visuals. Keep TTT and STT as even as possible. With a Beginner’s class, engage the class with activities, use a lot of visuals, handouts and photos. Employ a lot of games, Q&A and above all teach and correct them in a knowledgeable yet understated way. With all these tips TEFL and TESOL won’t feel like work but rather an enjoyable conversation with a mix of nationalities.