Top Tips for TEFL Teachers

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When you take a TEFL certification course (, you will be equipped with some lesson plans to help get you going when you start in the classroom.  But imagine how thorough and experienced you will be after teaching for say five or ten years. Get ahead now as a newly qualified TEFL teacher and read some handy hints to enable you to deliver the best lessons.

Start a Penpal scheme with a suitable school in a different country.  If you have found your job through a website which places teachers internationally, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to access another school in a different country with a like-minded teacher.  Your students will write in Engish but it also offers the chance for them to learn about another culture as well. Match the topics to subjects on your students’ own curriculum.

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Don’t think games and activities are just suitable for small children, you will be surprised at how teenagers and even older learners love a bit of interactive fun in the classroom. Games encourage participation, are inclusive for those who are nervous and shy, they promote learning without people even realising they are learning and allow students to work in groups or pairs.

Problems solving is a resource which can be built around a block of lessons and the vocabulary which has been learned during those classes. Write a selection of problems onto individual pieces of paper and stick one piece of paper onto the back of each student. Let the students mingle and their classmates will have to provide a solution to the problem without giving the game away. Based on the clarity of the solution, the wearer should be able to guess the problem which is listed on his back. There is a strong element of charades in this so it can be very funny and entertaining as well as educational.

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Themes, pick a theme that is imminent in the UK, it could be May Day or St. George’s day.  Structure a lesson around that theme using images, film, literature and some interaction with the students.  Not only is this a great way at introducing unusual vocabulary (dragons!) but you can increase your students’ understanding and appreciation of English culture and traditions.

Standing in front of a classroom full of eager faces can be quite daunting and you want your lessons to be as thorough and successful as possible.  But, most of all, you want them to be fun. We all remember teachers at school who inspired us, whose lessons we loved, be one of those teachers and make a difference to the lives of people in a different country.  The British Council has some great resources to help TEFL teachers.