The fantastic thing about the internet is that is has brought English teaching materials to anyone that needs them. There are so many great English language games and other ESL beginner materials out there sometimes the only difficulty is knowing which one to choose from!
So you have some fantastic materials, but how do you use them to their best advantage?
How do you make the most out of your materials?
There a few easy and simple ways to make the most from your materials and to sky rocket the retention rates and fun in your ESL classes. Here are a few to start off with:
1. Do you remember your favorite teacher at school… the teacher that you really looked forward to being taught by? Most of us do and it was not always the teacher of our favorite subject or the one you were especially good at. That teacher was just fantastic at identifying with his / her students. They made a connection with you and it made the experience so much more enjoyable. So, this is the first trick to being the best ESL teacher possible. This is especially important if kids have a preconceived notion that learning English is difficult or if they live in a country where teachers are usually quite authoritarian. You will see fantastic results.
2. Get the kids moving! Usually called total physical response, this is the recognition that kids have pretty short attention spans and will not sit around for hours and retain information (few adults can either). This is why English language games that have kids jumping, dancing and basically just moving their bodies are so great and so effective. These types of games have been shown in studies to improve retention rates hugely – up to 80% – which is way higher than a lecture style method of learning.
3. Recognize that kids have different learning styles. Kids are just like adults in the fact they learn in different ways. Some are logical thinkers and so will love any type of pattern based activity. Others are musically minded and so respond to songs. Others respond to reading and writing. I always include a craft time at the beginning of any game as so many kids are great at practical leaning and really respond with enthusiasm. There are so many English language games and other materials that incorporate these different types of learning. You can always adapt whichever game you find to include a few more as well!
So when you are choosing your English teaching materials, remember the most important element is fun! Focus on materials that allow lots of movement and keep energy levels high. If you are going to choose text books, make sure they allow interaction within the class, rather than just repetition. I guarantee that the more movement, laughter and interaction you have in your class, the more rewarding the experience will be for you and your kids!