IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY QUALIFIED IN THE CELTA (LOOK HERE FOR CELTA COURSES: HTTP://LANGUAGELINK.CO.UK/CELTA/), YOU ARE PROBABLY EAGER TO GET OUT THERE AND START PASSING YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON TO YOUR EAGER STUDENTS.
As wonderful as that feeling can be, this is in fact a good time to pause and take stock. Students who have enrolled on English language courses often come away with the same complaints against the teacher’s time and time again.
The first thing to stress is that this is not an attack on you or your profession! But rather, it just reflects perhaps some oversights in the training methods that can leave some blind spots.
We asked some students – current and qualified – what were the biggest gripes they had with their teachers during their English language courses.
Too much talking
Out students didn’t like it if the teacher started explaining something, before using too many examples to try to highlight their point. Worse, the sheer number of examples could lead to them going off on tangent.
Instead, try to explain the point quickly and concisely, with just a few examples. If the class doesn’t understand, they should be able to let you know this. Speaking off which…
Always try to speak as clearly as possible. The best way to achieve this, more often than not, is too simply slow down your speech a little. It might seem strange to start with, but persevere and your students will thank you!
No, of course not actual mind reading! More the unnerving phenomenon that some teachers seem to have the power of mind reading. This manifests in them being able to finish student’s sentences during English language exercises.
Of course, you’re not reading their minds, it’s just that sometimes it can seem almost merciful to step in and help a struggling student to finish their sentence. Whilst this is of course appreciated, some students felt that if their teacher just waited a little longer, they may be able to sort out the words and get the sentence out properly.
So whilst the help is appreciated, maybe just hang back a little bit before jumping in to help.
Slipping into Native Language
Finally, it can be tempting to slip into the native language of your students, especially when giving instructions. After all, you want the instructions to be clear and for the students to understand them – hence the temptation.
Try to resist it! This is an English language course – take every opportunity to allow your students to hear English and to pick up the words and sentence structure – and this includes during general classroom time such as when you are issuing instructions.
Of course the most important thing to take away from this is that no one is perfect! As we outlined at the top of this article, we haven’t put this together to insult you, but rather to help!
We sincerely hope that you have read this article in the spirit in which it was intended – and, just maybe, have taken a little something away as food for thought!