Fairmount, Maryland TESOL Online & Teaching English Jobs

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Unit 17 covered the topics of common equipment found in a classroom or school and helpful teaching aids. Depending on the school, teachers may have access to one or more types of equipment or teacher’s aid product, but may also have to provide their own. Teachers need to become familiar with the equipment at hand as well as what teaching aids are readily available and approved for use. The most common piece of equipment in classrooms is the board. This could be a blackboard (chalk board) or a whiteboard. Sometimes a large paper flip chart is provided as well. Using the board requires some organization so that students can easily understand the context and content that is written. Using clear, easily seen, and contrasting text helps students take notes and helps to prevent mistakes. It is always a good idea to section off the board when writing on it so that common things are grouped together. Students often transcribe exactly what they see on the board so having a clearly defined area for different things will help them write down correct information. Keeping the board clean is also important. Interactive whiteboards have become more popular but are expensive so may not be as prevalent in some countries. They require some training and teachers should be aware of how they work before using them. Overhead projectors are another fairly common classroom piece of equipment. They provide opportunities for teachers to slowly reveal information, fill in blanks of previously prepared transparencies, and help keep the attention of the students. Problems can arise if the room is too bright or has sunlight hitting the location where the projector image is shown. Another piece of classroom equipment that is becoming more popular is a computer. These can be used to play audio or video files, allow teachers and students to look things up (if Internet connectivity is allowed), and provide common teaching aids like dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other grammar software. Computers must be maintained and may not be as helpful in certain situations if teachers are unable to access the information due to software/hardware failure or other technical problems. There are many more types of equipment such as visual aids, cassette players/recorders, worksheets, videos/DVDs, video cameras, dictionaries, course books, resource books, photocopiers, and online sources. Each of these have pros and cons associated with them but all require that the teacher become familiar with their use and limitations. Often, schools will determine what equipment may or may not be used in a classroom or for a particular lesson and it is up to the teacher to ensure that he or she has the knowledge to use that equipment before attempting to use it for teaching. Course books are often a requirement from the school and cannot be changed, but visual aids, worksheets, videos, resource books, and online sources may be managed by the teacher as appropriate for the level of the students. Dictionaries are often a student’s most useful learning tool and a good dictionary should be included with the class or recommended by the school. One thing of note is that dictionaries and other English language learning sources may have a regional quality to them (i.e. a British dictionary will have slightly different spellings for some words than an American dictionary) so it is important that international resources be used as much as possible unless the school specifically teaches a particular English dialect. Additionally, there are quite a few online resources, but care should be taken to not use copyrighted materials outside of the confines of the allowed usage and that the information, lessons, tools, or other material are actually appropriate for an English as a second language learning environment.