Here we collect some good tips for your classes, it will be helpful for having more fun with your students in the classroom, let's take a look! :)
- A little small talk before the class starts will help build rapport and get a general idea of students’ English proficiency.
- Once you have entered the classroom, the camera should be on even if you need to leave for a moment. This will let the students know that you are coming back.
- The “Follow Me” in warm-up section is for checking whether students are able to use mice and understand the instructions. It is important to model the task on the screen before asking students to try out.
Sound & Letters
- Before teaching a sound, we suggest you review the letter first.
- When reviewing letters and sounds, you can use some simple games to prompt the output and engage students.
For example: Teachers can make flash cards of the target language; some of them can include the target phonetics while others not. Ask students to clap their hands and read the word when the target phonetic appears, and also ask students to tap their shoulders when there is no target phonetics.
Rewards & Feedback
- Remember to use reward cards to motivate students’ participation.
- When giving praise or compliments, be specific in telling the students the reason for the praise.
- While it is vital to encourage students, classroom management is also important with young learners. Use corrective feedback as well as actions for classroom management (mute disruptive students, call a student’s name for attention, disable students’ mice etc.)
- Keep in mind that encouragement and corrective feedback are both important. Do not over praise students when they produce an error, especially considering the pronunciation. Do not be afraid to correct students. Chinese parents will expect you to do so!
- Adjust you camera to make sure it is facing your straight on and there is no reflection or glare in the background.
- We very much recommend you decorate the background to create an authentic classroom setting, e.g. a primary school classroom is usually decorated with colorful letters, a map, or a whiteboard. Overall, the background should be clean & neat, and kid-friendly. Feel free to print put a SayABC logo!
- Use headsets to avoid echo. Using a microphone and speakers can cause feedback or an echo.
- Always come to class and make sure you have enough time to check the equipment so that the class delivery will be smooth.
- Total Physical Response (TPR) is extremely important for EFL/ESL beginners and teachers are encouraged to use TPR along with oral language to help with comprehension.
- Task modeling is more efficient than verbal explanation. Teachers are encouraged to model the task, do the activity first, and then ask students to try out.
- Be aware of speech speed. The class level and the students’ reaction should be used as a reference.
- As students are in the early stage of learning English, teachers should try to use more standardized speech and grammar. Avoid utterances like “gonna,” or “wanna.”
- Avoid long/complicated sentences and difficult tenses unless the students’ level indicate that they know tenses.
I’m going to play the song.
I’m going to show you the picture in front of you.
Everybody/Bob, look at this picture (circle the pic at the same time)
I’m going to introduce the sound
This is /m/
Do you know what this is?
What is this? (and circle the object)
- Teachers need to vary their intonation when teaching younger students.
- Students should be given opportunities to interact with each other, though some individual interaction with the teacher is also needed. Make sure to balance the two in the class
- For shy students, individual interaction between the student and the teacher may help him/her speak up easier.
- If students are at a level where they can produce full sentences and understand most of the instruction easily, consider making the tasks more challenging.
- Use props to help with comprehension and make the lesson more engaging.
- Teachers do not need to wait for late students before starting the class; the class is 40-mins long and teachers should always finish the class on time and certainly never before the scheduled end time.
- Each lesson contains warm-up activities and a review section, which is not the main goal of the lesson and should take no more than 15 minutes. However, it is also important to NOT rush through activities or slides. The pace and transition should be logical and reasonable.
- Be flexible on the mute and mouse button. During an activity, it is important to decide who to be muted and whose mice need to be disabled so as to avoid background noise and disturbance. Leaving all the students unmuted allows students to give a response at the same time, which will make it difficult for the teacher to check the utterances and give feedback.
- To help ensure the class will go smoothly, teachers should be familiar with all the tools on the platform and all the activities from the lesson materials.
Share any other great tips and ideas you have in the comments section below!