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This unit outlines the various equipment and teaching aids that can be used in the classroom if available. The board is first and is great for holding the students’ attention. The board work should be planned ahead of time and can be used for things like writing, drawing, sticking things on, projecting, etc. It should be kept clean, with content written neatly and legibly, and big enough for students to see. Different colors can be used to highlight and circle important things. Its best to write down only essential or requested information. These days in the classrooms there also interactive white-boards, which are electronic and often sensitive to touch. These systems should be tested out before class and the teacher should know how to use it, having a back-up plan if it should fail. It can also be used as a screen for videos and PowerPoint presentations.
Overhead projectors are rather dated but are still useful in the class for grammar and vocabulary exercises. It can be prepared ahead of time and can be reused since it allows writing on the transparent, erasable page, rather than on the original copy. It also allows you to gradually reveal information as the lesson goes on. In order to be able to use an OHP the classroom should be sufficient in size and the projection surfaces not in direct sunlight.
Some teachers like to use visual aids in their lessons. These can include real objects, pictures or photos. These can be great as prompts for vocabulary in the lesson and these can be produced by the teacher if need be. They would be great for the engage phase of the lesson when trying to get the students talking, and they add context and illustrate meaning more efficiently in the lesson. When in the study phase, the students typically are doing some sort of worksheet to help them learn the new language. They can be bought or made, and they are useful for vocabulary and grammar.
If students need to do listening activities, teachers may need to use a cassette player along with the course book, or sometimes CDs. Before using both, the teacher should make sure the desired dialogue is set to be played and should also adjust the volume. DVDs and videos can also be used for presenting information, giving background to a topic, for various forms of dialogue and interactions, and so on. It should serve some purpose to the lesson if used. This can hold the students’ attention. A video camera may be used to play back students’ activities and other projects. These days smartphones can be used instead of a traditional video camera.
Dictionaries are the single most useful tool in the EFL classroom and can be a book form or a computerized form. Having them in the classroom can be helpful, though some students may rely to heavily on them. There are also dictionaries online. Course books and resource books can be used hand in hand. The resource books can help adapt, replace or supplement material from the course book and they often come with the course books. These books give permission for photocopying, so a photocopier would also be useful to have in the classroom, not only for the resource books but for worksheets as well.
Finally, computers can be used but should not be overused. Sometimes time is an issue and using the computer can be uncommunicative. The teacher can use things such as Word processor, EFL CDs, Email, Youtube, videos, etc. It also is great for helping the students find online resources to further help their studies.