What things to keep in mind before going abroad as an ESL teacher?

There is an increased demand for ESL teachers in non-native English-speaking countries. With the pandemic restrictions removed and schools reopened, many countries are now welcoming ESL teachers to teach in their schools.

However, it is essential that one must meet all the necessary qualifications required to become an ESL teacher in foreign countries. If you hold a qualification in ESL education and plan to go abroad, then you are at the top of your career. There are also platforms like Suraasa that can help teachers to build their career with their teacher skilling programmes.

Well, here are some tips you need to keep in mind as advocated by many ESL teacher training courses globally:

  1. Make contact with your pupils

Consider yourself a student in a class with such a stranger in front of the room speaking another language you hardly comprehend. When a teacher begins their lecture without an ice breaker, it might be daunting.

It is critical to remember that pupils (particularly children) do not learn from persons with whom they are uncomfortable. Please introduce yourself. Pose questions or perform an icebreaker. Before you begin, get to know the pupils.

Learn to address your pupils by name, welcome each one, and make an honest attempt to understand them. Building rapport could move towards developing solid ties with your pupils and assisting them in learning more effectively.

  1. Create a welcoming learning atmosphere.

Students must feel comfortable and secure in order to completely express themselves. Students will become more inclined to attempt new things if a favourable learning atmosphere is created, not simply physically but also emotionally. More significantly, they should practice their English language abilities.

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Correct mistakes with kindness. ESL kids will undoubtedly make errors – that is how they learn! Experiment with positive reinforcement tactics. Recognise and reward hard work and effort. Positive reinforcement is an excellent approach not only to make pupils feel comfortable but also to establish a connection.

It’s also important to allow pupils enough time to complete their homework and respond to questions, so be patient! Remember that ESL students will very certainly need to clarify questions, create answers, and then translate them back to English. 

  1. Create routines.

Routine and structure help ESL students succeed. Students will become more comfortable with their lesson plans if they have a daily agenda, circle time, or a sit-down activity as they enter the classroom.

Just be sure to post specific goals. To comprehend the class’s content, ESL students must understand the aim or end goal of an activity or lesson. Exemplification is an excellent technique to fill the gap between articulating objectives & student comprehension.

  1. Speak clearly and slowly.

Take it easy! You should slow down your speaking pace so that everyone in the class can hear what you say. Many language learners will concur that fluent communicators speak too quickly. When you don’t catch everything, it might be difficult to grasp the entire message.

Try to be conscious of the speed with which you speak. Also, try to enunciate your words as much as possible. Speak more loudly than normal. It is critical that your children learn how to speak terminology and hear all of the intricacies of a word.

  1. Make use of nonverbal communication.
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It’s time to put your acting skills to the test! Make use of your nonverbal cues to communicate an activity throughout a class.

One of the best strategies for teaching crucial grammatical concepts like prepositions to kids is to use your body as a prop while employing the word. The more bizarre the activity, the easier it will be for them to recollect afterward.

  1. Make everything visible.

Make learning English more exciting and enjoyable so that it sticks. Engaging learners with images or objects is one method to do this. Draw here on board or share photographs, videos, and art to put your teaching plan to live.

Everything should be labelled! Your new best buddy is the label maker. Labelling common classroom equipment (such as seats, doors, desks, computers, pens, and so on) will assist pupils in absorbing new English terminology.

Word walls are also an excellent method for creating print-rich spaces. To assist children in linking meanings with words, creating a visual wall with words complemented by pictures is highly recommended.

  1. Check for comprehension.

Do you think your pupils will interrupt you in the midst of a sentence to ask for clarification if they don’t understand? Consider again!

Most language learners are embarrassed to disclose to the entire class that they did not comprehend anything. You’d be shocked how many kids pretend to understand when they really don’t.

That is why you will remember to stop after saying something or giving directions to ensure comprehension. Before moving on, ask a couple extra queries or explain the background again to ensure they understood. 

  1. Be flexible.
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Teaching inside an ESL classroom may be challenging, and that is why you should study a variety of ESL teaching strategies. Working so hard on a lesson only to then meet with blank looks from the students.

It is critical to remember that learning programmes can (and will) fail in several instances. That’s why, learn to be adaptable in classes and plan ahead of time numerous approaches to explain a given idea. Preparation is essential! Small habits that we as competent English speakers take for granted may make learning English much simpler and more fun.

  1. Create interesting lessons.

Make your teaching interesting and entertaining for your pupils. Do everything loudly (think-aloud!) and show topics in a variety of ways to boost students’ understanding and reach different learning types. Visuals, close activities, and graphic organisers may all help ESL kids learn. Try to teach the same idea numerous times using various tactics such as songs, films, movements, tales, and so on.

These are some tips that even online certificate teachers (certified in ESL education) will suggest for becoming a successful ESL teacher. Such courses aim to familiarise teachers with teaching methodologies to enhance their skills for teaching non-native English students abroad.  

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