Troubleshooting TEFLTeachers of english
as a foreign language can encounter many challenges. For this reason, a teacher must prepare appropriately for such occasions. There are some problems that can be anticipated, such as new classes, large classes, reluctant students and different levels of ability. If a teacher thinks carefully and utilizes troubleshooting strategies, he/she should be able to easily manage these situations.
One of the first feats that a teacher must inevitably conquer is that of teaching a new class. This first encounter sets the tone for the remainder of the course, and must be handled properly. It is best that the teacher not rely on the course book for the first lesson, as the first day should consist of introductions and assessment of different levels. The atmosphere should be relaxed, and the students should feel at ease immediately. This is the ideal time for the teacher and students to get to know each other and begin to develop a strong rapport. The teacher should become aware of the students different needs, as well as level of ability. This is also a great time for the teacher to make a great impression by engaging the students in fun and exciting activities.
Another challenge that teachers sometimes face is large class size. This can present challenges when it comes to including all students in lessons, and maintaining control of the classroom. However, if managed appropriately, a teacher can use a large class size to his/her advantage. Having more students presents the opportunity for lively and exciting classroom activities. By organizing group work (with group leaders in charge at each table), speaking strongly and clearly, utilizing worksheets and conducting choral exercises, the teacher can involve the entire class and create a strong group dynamic.
Yet anther issue that many teachers will undoubtedly encounter is that of the reluctant student. There are various reasons for this type of behavior, such as lack of confidence, cultural differences or intimidation. Regardless of the reason, teachers can help students to be more willing to participate by pairing them with other students, using role-play, conducting controlled practice, and by using a tape recorder for feedback. These different techniques can be tested on individual students to determine what works and what doesn’t.
Finally, one of the biggest problems that a teacher will face is having a class in which the students are at different levels. This is a common problem and can be dealt with in various ways. One possible solution is the use of different materials. A teacher can provide more challenging materials to the more advanced students, and less advanced materials for the weaker individuals. Another option is pairing more competent students with those who are less advanced. This approach creates less division, but the teacher must make sure that the stronger student does not take complete control of the lesson.
These are only a few of the most common issues that a teacher of english
as a foreign language will face in his/her career. There are many troubleshooting strategies for problem situations in the classroom, and it is important to be flexible and find what works for each unique situation. A successful teacher will continue to develop and experiment with creative techniques for dealing with problems in the classroom.