The best way to learn about teaching ESL is do it. TEFL certification has a role, but experience with practical English teaching is the best way to develop as an English teacher. However, experience can be a slow teacher. Here are some articles with advice and tips on how to teach English: ESL 101 - How to Teach ESL ESL 102 - Teaching ESL Students and Teaching English Tips
TESOL journals discuss the theoretical stuff on second language learning, which can be interesting, but here I want to focus on practical ideas for English teaching, with links to pages with more specific suggestions for teaching, and also pages of general interest, such as TESOL Quotes
In case you are not familiar with all the tefl acronyms, which are commonly used interchangeably see TESL TEFL TESOL Grammar terms and the basic rules of grammar are explained on this website Grammar Bank
ESL teaching strategies deal with how students learn English and how we can use this knowledge to improve our teaching, ways of designing an ESL class, how to teach beginners' classes, the importance of class preparation and how to do it, how to manage the ESL class, how to use the coursebook and not let it dominate the class. There are a great many ESL strategies which look at how and when to correct students. My article on ESL teaching strategies deals with these, and the article teaching reading to ESL students looks at issues related to teaching reading. For ideas on teaching ESL vocabulary see teaching English vocabulary
Fashions for teaching ESL change every decade or so - and coursebooks and language schools are influenced by these fashions. However, good teachers do not focus on fashionable theories, but choose the best ESL teaching strategies for helping their students.
In the beginning it's usual to focus on finding interesting activities for the classroom. While learning more about ways to teach English is, of course very good, if you do nothing more than learn how to make your students interested in their classes - then you will have really done a lot. Here are some ESL teaching strategies I used when teaching English literature to learners whose level of English meant that they couldn't cope with the original literature without help.
If you need to teach sentence skills or basic grammar, these products may be very useful - Diagramming Sentences.
Use any resources your school gives you, and ask other teachers. Observe other teachers if you can. Many schools allow voluntary observations. Here are some ideas for ESL activities. If you are interested in using blended learning in your teaching - which I recommend - then check out this interview on blended learning which I did with Roger Palmer (author and researcher). For those not familiar with the term, blended learning is the blending of e-learning with face to face teaching.
Teaching English to kids requires a sympathetic attitude towards the children, and an interest in teaching them. It also requires much more patience than is needed for teaching English to adults. Teaching English to children and teaching English to adults are similar in principle, but different in practice.
However, some activities can - with adaptation - be used for both, which makes life easier. In fact most of my top 20 ESL activities can be used with both children and adults; and in teaching both basic English classes, and teaching advanced esl lessons.
I found a lot of ideas for classroom activities from English teaching books when I began teaching. They were not the teacher that experience was, but they gave me some good English teaching ideas that I could put into practice in the classroom, and remember that one good idea can change an ok English lesson into a good one. At least in the feeling of the students, which is important.
Some of the books I mention in my article Top 10 TESOL Books strongly influenced my early teaching, for the better. It's worth owning some, but even if you don't buy them yourself, you may be able to persuade your school to buy them. The better ESL schools will usually have a teachers' reference library.
If you have any favorite TESOL books which you think would be of benefit to other English teachers, you can add your comments or review at your favorite TESOL books.
Another pages about teaching ESL which may be useful is Teaching the Present Simple
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