Why do I need English language teaching skills?
Many people think that if they speak English they can teach it without any prior training. This is as absurd as transposing the same argument to “I have a brain so I can be a brain surgeon.”
If you have not been trained in the core English language teaching skills, your ability to find work and teach will be limited. You will also find that teaching becomes a chore and is not an enjoyable experience. Finally, there is a very good chance that your employer will fire you when your students complain that you do not know what you are doing.
Your students will find out very quickly whether you know your stuff when they start asking questions like: “What are the differences between the four conditional statements?” or “When do I use make and do?” or “What is the difference between look, see and watch?” or “Why is it i before e except after c?” These are just the tip of the iceberg and bluffing will only make the situation worse.
On top of this, you will need to know how to plan and organise your classes, control and manage the classroom, assess learners’ needs, perform tests, perform concept testing, design and use material, and a lot more.
English language teaching skills must be learned if you want to succeed at teaching English.
Who will make a good teacher and find English language teaching rewarding?
Are you motivated, determined, dedicated and possess internal harmony?
This sounds somewhat spiritual, but teaching is for positive people who are motivated, determined, dedicated and care about other people. Teaching is not a selfish profession; it is all about sharing, caring and living in harmony with your students.
Aside from the accuracy and precision of the facts you will present when you teach, learning is all about positive and reinforcing interaction.
You should be someone who has some (if not all) of these personal characteristics:
- A desire to help others.
- Open-mindedness and a love of cultural awareness.
- A dedication to quality.
- A harmonious temperament that always looks for the positive side of things.
- The ambition to see your students succeed.
- The gift of being a motivational and inspirational influence over your students.
- The power and willingness to adapt to new situations.
English language teaching is not a dry technical exercise. It is an experience and every class will be different.
English language teaching is for adventurers, influencers, motivators, explorers and communicators.
If you have some or all of these personality skills, the next section shows the technical skills you will need.
Here is a high-level list of English language teaching skills
You will need to know:
- how to analyse, use and present the English language,
- how to practically apply EFL and ESOL/ESL teaching theory in the classroom,
- how to manage a classroom,
- how to plan and deliver effective lessons,
- how to ensure that your first lesson and subsequent lessons are progressive, coherent and transition logically,
- how to adapt your teaching style to students’ skill levels,
- how to analyse the needs of your students,
- how to behave in the classroom and interact with your students,
- how to teach: grammar, listening, reading, writing and speaking,
- how to inspire, motivate and encourage your students,
- how to respond to student questions,
- how to find, make and effectively use learning materials,
- how to check that your students are learning,
- how to evaluate after the fact lesson effectiveness,
- how to construct, make, evaluate and interpret tests,
- how to use a syllabus,
- how to communicate success or failure to students,
- how to analyse your success as a teacher,
- how to write progress reports for external verification,
- how to initially measure a student’s skill level using ILR or CEFR standards,
- how to survive as an English teacher in a foreign country,
- How to adapt to different cultures,
- How to behave as an EFL ESOL/ESL teaching professional,
- How to succeed in an EFL ESOL/ESL teaching job interview.
This may look like a daunting list of skills to learn, but a good TEFL course will teach you all these during a four week intensive TEFL course. EBC’s course will teach you these skills.
What are the benefits of these English language teaching skills?
These core skills are crucial to your success as an English teacher.
EBC knows this because we are also an English school that teaches English to English language learners (ELLs). Our continued success in getting work for our graduates also supports our teaching of the above-mentioned core skill set.
We know you need to know this stuff so it is what we teach you when you take the EBC TEFL training programme.
There are plenty of TEFL courses out there but if they do not teach you these skills, you will not be as prepared or as effective as you could be.
There is no short cut to learning these skills either and they do require in-classroom teaching practice to be part of the TEFL training course. The practice must be with ELLs. You cannot practice teach to peers, it is a complete waste of time.
Good teachers are people-oriented, curious, creative, open-minded, good listeners and know their subject at all levels.
Most English teachers have a degree, but people without a degree that have several years of professional and life experience also make excellent teachers.
Your positive personality will probably have more influence over what makes you a good teacher than will your previous educational and/or professional achievements.
If you have the personality, we will teach you the skills, get you a job and support you throughout your entire teaching career.
Want to learn how to teach English from the experts?
Contact one of our Student Advisers
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