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This course book contains all the unit summaries.

You can download this book to revise what you have

done on the course or to read in preparation for an assignment.

Online TEFL Courses 2011

Online TEFL courses is a part of the TEFL Scotland Group

Contents page
Unit 1: Understanding your students and roles of a good teacher ...........................................................3
Unit 2: Teaching methodology, strategy and lesson planning..................................................................10
Unit 3: Activities in the calssroom............................................................................................................20
Unit 4: Classroom management, correcting errors, using games and warmers.......................................29
Unit 5: Teaching vocabulary and functions...............................................................................................38
Unit 6: Reading, listening and using video................................................................................................43
Unit 7: Teaching, writing and speaking.....................................................................................................50
Unit 8: An introduction to phonology................................................................57
Unit 9: Teaching young learners................................................................................................................64
Unit 10: Teaching business English............................................................................................................70
Unit 11: Teaching one-to-one lessons.......................................................................................................77
Unit 12: The Video Unit...81
Unit 13: Review Unit..83
Unit 14: Getting your certificate.83
Further reading..........................................................................................................................................84
Finding work..............................................................................................................................................86
Getting your CV right.................................................................................................................................87
The interview.............................................................................................................................................89

Unit 1
Understanding your students and roles of a good teacher
In this unit, we will examine what makes a good teacher. This involves an understanding of the
different roles you will take on as a teacher and also what you need to learn about your students.
In this unit:
a) What makes a good teacher
b) Understanding & motivating your students

What makes a good teacher?

Approaches to teaching
Many teachers and students are unclear about the role of the teacher. Is teaching just about
transmitting knowledge from teacher to student or about creating the conditions in which
students can learn for themselves? In a classroom, where would you expect to find the teacher
standing at the front of the class controlling the students, or moving among them responding to
the students individual needs?
Essentially, how you approach teaching depends on the group you are teaching. If you obtain a
job in a private language school you may find that you need to become chameleon-like, adapting
your approach to suit each group; for example, you could walk out of an advanced group of
teenagers into an elementary one-to-one lesson. So, before your lesson, you will plan your
lessons - so think about your class, their motivations as well as their level and always keep in
mind whether the materials and activities you have in your lesson plan are appropriate to your
students age, ability, motivations and learning needs.

The role of the teacher

TEFL lessons tend to be student-centred lessons, as opposed to teacher-centred. Well look at
this more closely when we deal with teaching methodology. Student-centred basically means
that lessons are less about the teacher doing all the talking at the front of the class and more
about the students working and communicating together in the lesson. In a single lesson, as a
teacher, you will need to be adaptable. You will have a variety of different activities in a single
lesson and will encounter learner difficulties when you didnt expect them, so expect to have to
be a little like a chameleon and take on some or all of these roles.

When teachers take on the role of a controller, they effectively are in charge of the class and of
the activity in a way that is quite different from an activity where the students are working on
their own, in pairs or as part of a group. When you are in this role the lesson is very teachercentred and you often may find this happening when you are presenting explanations at the
beginning of a lesson. You may also need to snap into this role at any time during a lesson if
things arent going the way you planned. You want to keep this role to a minimum since you will
be doing a lot of the talking and it is the student who needs the practice!
This role is one of the most important, as teachers often find themselves having to organise
students to do various activities. Often this will involve giving instructions, organising students
into groups/pairs, initiating activities, bringing activities to a close and organising feedback. It is
extremely important that teachers are comfortable in this role, as chaos could be caused if
students are not aware of the task, or how the groups are supposed to function. When you first
start teaching, it is a good idea to plan how you will organise your activities in your lesson plan.
Well look more into classroom management later.
Students are usually very keen to find out whether or not they are producing correct English and
this is where the teacher will need to act as an assessor by giving feedback and correction as well
as evaluating and grading. You will have to be careful that you give feedback and correct
students fairly and dont focus on just a few corrections. Dont feel you have to correct every
mistake in the class. Well look at when and how you should correct students later.

There are times when students will lose the thread of what they are trying to say or become
stuck for ideas. More often than not, the student will just need a little prompting. You want the
students to take the initiative as much as possible. It can be tempting for new teachers to simply
give an answer or an idea because it is quicker and easier. This is where this role is very
important. Elicit from the student with little prompting, it keeps them involved and motivated.
At certain stages of the lesson the teacher may wish to participate in the lesson as an equal, not
as the teacher. There can be a number of reasons for this such as being able to liven activities up

from the inside of the group as opposed to prompting from outside the group, or evening the
number of students for pair work activities in classes with an uneven number of participants.
When participating, it is important for the teacher not to dominate the activity or focus attention
upon him/herself.
Tutoring is a more one-to-one role. You will take on this role when students are working
individually or in pairs and need some guidance, support or encouragement. Again, you need to
be careful to ensure you give equal attention to all students and to avoid intruding too much.
This role is important when it comes to you teaching one-to-one lessons and in classes where
there is mixed ability and you find you need to offer more support to weaker students.
As a native English-speaker, you are likely to be the main resource in the classroom. However,
instead of spoon feeding them answers to questions like What does this mean?, you may want
to encourage students to look up meanings and explanations or find the answer as a class. The
other way you are a resource is that for the time the students are with you, you are a model
English speaker and it is also important for students to have exposure to you and your speaking.
Often during the course of a lesson you will want to monitor how your activities are progressing,
especially during pair work. This can give you information as to how long an activity is likely to
take and how successful it has been. During speaking activities, you may also want to make
notes for correction or praise at a later stage. While observing, try and do it in such a way that
doesnt distract the students.

Often English teaching is regarded as facilitating. This is because a lot of the lesson time is spent
on student-centred activities and the role of the teacher is to facilitate communication between
students in the classroom. You will find that to be a good facilitator and to get the students
communicating successfully in the classroom, you will need to take on many of the above roles
at some point during any single lesson.

Which role and when?

The role you take on is largely going to depend on the type of activity you are doing and where
you are in a lesson and what you find yourself having to respond to. Some stages of a lesson will
require you to be more controlling and in charge, while others will require a more back-seat
role. It is important that you are able to switch between these roles appropriately and are aware
of how to carry out the required role.

Understanding & motivating your students

What makes a good learner?
When looking at learners of English we have to consider a number of factors, such as age,
culture, language level and motivation for learning.
However, there are a number of characteristics that successful students appear to possess and
that, as a teacher, you need to encourage.
These can include:

A willingness to listen to the language

A desire to experiment with the language

A willingness to ask questions

An ability to think about their own learning process and methods

An acceptance of error correction

A desire to learn

You may also find that some students are better at writing and listening than they are at
speaking or writing. Alternatively, some students are good speakers, but have little accuracy
when they are writing. This can be down to how extrovert or introvert the student is and,
further, you may find that some cultures are more likely to be more confident speakers than
others. One mistake new teachers can make is that to regard students who do not grasp the
language well as stupid. They are not. They could excel in other subjects; they are just not
natural linguists and will require a tutor more than others.
Adults and young learners
There are a number of differences between young learners and adults:
Learning experience
The older you get the more baggage you have. Adult learners are more likely to have firm and
fixed ideas about how a lesson should be conducted and may even have their own opinions

about how the English language should be spoken! Young learners tend to be more open to new
ideas and methodologies.
Adult learners will usually have made their own decision to attend classes and as such will
usually be quite motivated. Younger learners, however, have rarely made that decision for
themselves and may have less motivation. However, young learners often study English to make
sure they pass exams which are necessary for their future.
Adults are often more nervous about a new learning experience than younger learners. Loss of
face and anxiety about success are major factors here. It is important for the teacher to be gentle
and encouraging while helping build confidence.
Language awareness
Adults usually want to be able to match new language to their native language and this can
sometimes lead to problems. Younger learners are far more likely to be able to absorb language
from context and usage in much the same way as they acquired their own language.
Behaviour problems
Adults have a greater attention span than younger learners and as a result present fewer
problems for the teacher regarding behaviour and discipline. Well look at classroom
management in more detail later.
Life experience
Adults naturally have more life experience to bring to the classroom and this can make the
lessons more varied and interesting. It is also usually easier for a teacher to build rapport and
have interesting discussions with adult students of a similar age.

Culture and first language

Different cultures have different approaches to learning. Students from certain Asian countries,
for example, are often noted as being very serious about their learning and respectful to their
teachers but lacking in creativity and willingness to communicate. Whereas the popular opinion
of Latin American students is the exact opposite! Students from different linguistic groups are
likely to have very different problems with the English language. A good teacher should be aware
of cultural and linguistic barriers that could affect the success of the classes.

Student levels
Distinctions between different levels of ability in the English language clearly have to be made.
The most common breakdown is as follows:



Student knowledge will range from absolutely nothing, which is very rare, to a mix of words and
phrases the student has picked up. But there is little to form and structure.


This is where the students learning really comes on. They are getting to grips with the tenses and
can communicate simply about general topics. Expect a lot of errors at this stage since new tenses
and form will need a lot of consolidation.


Growing confidence in using tenses. There is also a big push here to learn vocabulary, phrases and


This level is usually very keen to use English, but fluency can be a concern. Their knowledge of
grammar is very good, it just needs consolidation. A students vocabulary here is very good too.
However, the students might feel that they have reached stagnation since a lot of time is spent on
refinement and consolidation.


The level of English here is high and you would expect students to be able to communicate on a
wide range of topics. There will be mistakes, particularly use of idioms, phrasal verbs etc.


Students are getting to the point of near-native ability and should have no problems studying at a
British university

There are many reasons why students may have decided to attend your English class. Adult
students will usually have made that decision themselves and so will have some degree of
motivation. Some of the most common reasons for attending English classes are:

For future career prospects

For travel purposes

To improve grades at school/achieve success in exams

For study or life in an English speaking country

To communicate with colleagues/friends/partners

Out of interest in languages

Whatever the reason a motivated student has a greater chance of success than a student without
motivation. The teacher has to ensure that lessons are enjoyable, interesting, varied and useful
in order to maintain or build motivation.

Level & needs assessment

As the native English teacher in a school you could be asked to assess the level of students from
time to time.
There are a number of ways to do this: writing tests, speaking tests, and listening and reading
tests. One popular way is a simple interview, whereby you begin with very simple questions in
the present then gradually progress increase the difficulty of the questions, incorporating more
complex grammar, vocabulary and idiomatic expressions as you go. The student has to respond
using the same grammar as the question. You will see at what point the student begins to
struggle and then you can see what level the student is at.
Also, when assessing new students, you will need to ask about why they are learning English, or
if they have learnt English before. It is quite possible that the student is rusty and his/her
English will come back after a few lessons, so there are a few things to watch out for when
assessing new levels.
In conclusion
As can be seen from the above the relationship between learners and teachers is a very
important and complex issue. It is clear that for you to be a successful teacher all you need is
enthusiasm, motivation and the desire to do the best by your students.

Unit 2
Teaching methodology, strategy and lesson planning
In this module, well have look at the following aspects of methodology and planning. This
involves your first look at lesson planning. Lesson planning is key to building your confidence
and effectiveness as a teacher. We will be revisiting lesson planning throughout the course, so
dont worry if it doesnt all make sense right away!

In this module:
a) Why do we need strategies?
b) PPP method
c) ESA method
d) Other strategies
e) Choosing the right method
f) Planning lessons
g) Example activities for controlled practice and free practice
Why do we need a strategy or method?
Most English teaching worldwide is done by teachers who have English as a second or third
language. However, it is generally regarded that the most effective way to learn a language is the
natural way. That is, the way we all learnt English by growing up with it and being exposed to it
everyday. This is why there is huge demand for native English speakers worldwide. As an
English speaker, the lingua franc in the classroom becomes English. Even if you speak the local
language you should not use it or even let on that you now it! By exposing your students to
English twice a day, once a day or even once a week is probably the only time the student will
have exposure to English. As soon as they walk out of your classroom they will revert to their
native language.
It is therefore crucial that you maximise the time the students spend on practising English in the
classroom. To enable you to do this, you need thorough lesson planning an idea how that lesson
is going to be structured. How the lesson is structured is the method, and it is to TEFL
methodology we now turn.

There are lots of ways to skin this cat and it will depend on a number of factors as to which
method you choose, well look at this in a short while. First lets look at the most common lesson
A PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production) lesson is the most common because it is probably the
easiest to grasp and the simplest to implement, particularly for new teachers.


Presentation is where the target language (the language to be taught to the students) is
presented to them generally through eliciting and cueing of the students (to see if they know it generally someone knows some or all of it) and then providing the language if no one does.
You could be presenting new vocabulary or phrases or a grammar point. In this stage you will
need to get across the meaning, pronunciation and form, in that order.
Presentation features more teacher talking time (TTT) than the other stages of the lesson,
generally as much as 55-80% of the time. This portion of the total lesson can take as much as
10-30% of the lesson time. Even though, this stage of the lesson can be teacher-centred, it
should be your aim to involve and engage the students as much as possible, well look at how you
can elicit from the students later.
Practice is where the students practise the target language in one to three activities that
progress from very structured (students are given activities that provide little possibility for
error) to less-structured as they master the material. The reason for this stage is for the students
to practise what you have just introduced to them. It is also an opportunity for you to check that
they have grasped what you have just presented. If you find a problem with the meaning,
pronunciation or form, then you can return and go over these points before moving on.
Activities in the practice stage should include as much student talking time (STT) as possible
and can be in the form of pair work or group work. Practice should have the STT range from 6080 percent of the time. The practice stage of the total lesson can take from 30-50% of the lesson
Production is the stage of the lesson where the students take the target language and use it in
conversations that you have set up as a role play or ideally the students use the target language
to talk about themselves or their daily lives or situations. Production should have STT for about
90% of the time and the production stage of the lesson can/should take as much as 20-30% of
the lesson time, though ideally this should be longer.

The structure of a PPP lesson is relatively flexible. It progresses the student from very controlled
practices to more challenging free practices in the production stage. The key is to maximise the
amount of STT throughout the lesson. In the production stage you might find all you do is kick
off the activities, monitor and initiate the feedback, playing the role of facilitator.
Engage, Study and Activate
This is similar to PPP, though ESA is slightly different in that it is designed to allow movement
back and forth between the stages. It is also regarded by some as more flexible than PPP and


uses more elicitation and focuses more on the engagement of students in earlier stages of the
This is the stage in the lesson where the teacher will try to arouse the students interest and get
them involved in the lesson. If students are involved and interested, they will find the lesson
more stimulating and fun, thus reducing inhibitions and leading to a more conducive language
learning environment. Activities and materials which tend to engage students include; games,
discussions, music, interesting pictures, stories etc. Even if such activities are not used it is vital
that students engage with the topic and language that they are going to be dealing with.
Here the students will focus on the language (or information) and how it is constructed. These
activities could range from the practice and study of a sound like th to an examination and
practice of a tense! Sometimes the teacher will explain the language; at other times the teacher
will want the students to discover it for themselves. They may work in groups studying a text for
vocabulary or a style of speech. Whatever the method, Study means any stage where the
students will be focused on the construction of the language.
This is the stage where the students are encouraged to use any/all of the language they know.
Here students should be using the language as freely and communicatively as possible. The
focus is more on fluency than accuracy with no restrictions on language usage. Typical Activate
activities include role-plays (where students act out as realistically as possible a dialogue
between two or more people e.g. doctor and patient), communication games, debates,
discussions, and story writing etc.
These ESA elements need to be present in most lessons to provide a
balanced range of activities for the students. Some lessons may be
more heavily focused on one stage or another but all stages should
be included wherever possible.
We can show this kind of lesson in the following way:
PPP compared to ESA


Too much theory can be complicated! Lets try to keep it simple. In the authors experience,
most of the PPP lessons he taught were probably actually ESA lessons! Both methods are very
The best way to think of it when you first begin teaching is a beginning, middle and end.
1. Lead in


Arouse the students interest (well see how to do this later on), use the lead-in to set the
topic of the lesson and seamlessly transition into the presentation part of the lesson.
2. Present the language
You or the students start using the language, perhaps as part of the lesson. This will cover
the meaning and pronunciation. You may drill the students (getting them to repeat the
phrase or word you are teaching). You may then write the new phrase or word on the board
so students can see how the phrase is built or the word is spelled.
3. Controlled practice
The students need to practise what they have just learnt, this could be in pairs with writing
and speaking, it could be as a class just orally. The activity enables the students to look at the
meaning, pronunciation or form of what they have just learnt. Activities could include:
students working in pairs to do a gap fill or correct sentences, or as a group stand in a circle
and ask and answer each other questions. You may want to include 1 3 activities here, that
get progressively challenging and still focus on either the meaning, pronunciation or form of
what has been presented earlier.
4. Free practice
This stage is really just a continuation of practice activities, and you do this when you are
happy that the students have grasped what you have presented and you know this since they
have completed the more controlled practice activities in the previous stage. Here, the
activities allow the students to practise what they have learnt in the lesson with everything
else they know. You can set up role plays that will allow them to use the new language but
anything else too.
This is a PPP lesson with a nice lead-in, basically covering all the aspects of the ESA lesson
too. This is what we will base our lesson planning on for the rest of the course.
Well come back to this in a short while when we look at lesson planning.
Other methods, strategies you might like to consider
Task-Based Learning
This method focuses more on a task than the language. Students are given a task to complete
(while using the English language). When they have completed the task, the teacher can, if
necessary and only if necessary provide some language study to help clear up some of
the problems they had while doing the task. This is a really effective way of learning and
since it engages the imagination of the students they are also a lot more in control of their
learning. It can also be great for building class co-operation. You can also think of tasks that
will introduce students to groups of vocabulary or grammar. For example, if the subject was


WWII, it would involve the students needing past tenses and related vocabulary. If it was to
design a school in 2050, the grammar would be future and the vocabulary would be
educational words. Task-based learning also has the advantage of being more applied rather
than purely theoretical.
Communicative Language Teaching
The communicative approach stressed the importance of language functions (such as
agreeing, inviting, suggesting etc) as opposed to reliance only on grammar and vocabulary.
This approach also suggested that if students have enough exposure to the language and
opportunity to use it then language learning would, in effect, take care of itself. Activities in
CLT typically require students to use the language in real life situations, so role-play and
simulation have become popular with this method. CLT places far more emphasis on
completion of the task than the accuracy of the language. This method is still widely used in
business English teaching where there is a need to learn certain ways of communicating
quickly rather than learning the whole language.
Community Language Learning
Here students will typically sit in a circle and it is up to them to decide what they want to talk
about. The teacher (standing outside the circle) will help, as and when necessary, with
problems with language that arise during the course of the discussion. This methodology has
helped teachers focus on the need to make the lessons as student-centred as possible by
allowing the students to choose the topic and language. This can make a nice change for your
class and is more effective with mid-level of higher. You would need to judge whether a class
is up to this.

Being silent
This is where the teacher says as little as possible. This is to enable the students to discover
the language for themselves, learning will be better facilitated rather than just remembering
and repeating what has been taught. Many teachers have found this method to be a little
unnatural in application. However, a good way to start a lesson is let the students discover
the meaning of a grammar item and discuss it as a class, you only step when needed to guide
the activity along.
Which method is best?


Most teachers after they have been teaching for a while will have used most of the methods.
You may start by doing a straight ESA lesson or PPP lesson, but soon you will find yourself
drawing on a range of methods. You will also adopt different strategies just to stop lessons
being the same for your students. However, you decide to teach try and remember that:

You are there because the students need exposure to a native English speaker

Students need the time in your lesson to practise as much as possible, it is likely to be
the only time they get

Effective learning comes when the classroom is relaxed, encouraging and fun

See yourself as a facilitator, allow students to have some control over their learning

Dont regard all teaching as grammar language is about use so that means
vocabulary and phrases too.

Be yourself as a teacher, that way you will develop your own style and methods

Planning and delivering your lesson

Your lesson plan is your single most important tool as a teacher.
It is your lesson plan that will give you the confidence to walk into the classroom and teach. It is
the lesson plan that ensures your students are not treated to a chaotic and ineffective lesson.
Before you start thinking about what you teach you need to know a number of things: the
students level, their reasons for learning English and the time of the lesson.


You then need to decide on what you want to teach in the class. It could be a range of
vocabulary, a grammar point, a reading comprehension lesson or introducing phrases.
The lesson plan will act as your guide and give you confidence in the classroom. However, try
and avoid walking around the class, clutching it in your hand!
Laying out the lesson plan like this will ensure that you give as much time as you can to studentcentred activities allowing the students to practise as much as possible.
The stages are as above. You lead the students in, warm them up. You give them the language
you want to teach. You get them to practise so you can see they understand. You then get them
to practise as much as possible so it really sticks; you should give as time much as possible to
this. This final stage involves student-centred activities, where the teacher has a very limited
involvement, often just monitoring the activities.
In this example below, we are looking to teach ways of suggesting and giving advice. Since we
only have 50 minutes and a fairly low level, we need to choose just a few ways of giving advice
from the vast number on offer.
Time: 50 minutes
Level: Lower Intermediate
Aims: To present, practise and consolidate use of giving advice and making suggestions.
Target Language: Why dont you, How about, You could, You should,
(the actual phrases for giving advice you want to teach)
Potential Problems: the verb after How about uses the ing form, where all the others use
the infinitive. When practising, the students may only use one or two phrases rather than all of
Solutions: Emphasise the ing form for How about and monitor carefully in the controlled
practice to check all Ss are comfortable using all forms.

T = Teacher

S = Student

TL = target language

Using a picture of a supermarket and
story involving your obsession with
shopping and your car breaking down
the help you need to get to the

This is an interactive story, getting the students
involvement, it will also create the need to use phrases
for giving advice.

Interaction Timing


Presentation Elicit advice to get to the supermarket.

The Ss are giving advice to help you so the meaning of

the phrases is implicit in the story.


Drilling gives the pronunciation. This should be done

as a class and individually.


Use the Ss examples to write the TL on The table will highlight the form of the verbs plus the
the board in a structure table. Highlight spelling of the phrases.
How about


This will help with testing the students have

understood the form.


Share answers as a class

S- T

Soft toy activity students use

This activity will allow the teacher to test their
examples from the the story to give
pronunciation and meaning while giving the students
each other advice. T monitors and feeds more practice with the phrases.
back when needed.


Brainstorm things that have just

This will lead into the activity and provide some ideas
happened or are happening now, you do too. Important to make this easy for the Ss, so more
the first one to explain.
time is spend on using the TL rather than the set-up
of the activity.
Give each S a post-it note and get them
to write a situation on it, from the board Show rather than tell. Often giving instructions for an
or one of their own.
activity can go over the Ss head.



The situations lend themselves to giving advice. Ss

will also draw on their existing knowledge of English
to give this advice. This means Ss practise the TL in a
contextualised way, much better for consolidating the


Check doing activity correctly, round off activity.




Drill any TL sentences, Tell the Ss the

TL if they dont know.

Correcting sentences activity on the
(Controlled) board


T shows the Ss what they do with the

post-it note and elicits examples.

Ss get up and place note on another Ss



Ss give each other advice so they can

guess the situation on their backs.
T monitors, then feedback.

Points to remember!!

Feedback from activities where appropriate

Make the set-up of an activity as quick and simple as possible

Give as much time as possible to student-centred activities to maximise Student Talking



Always monitor.

Avoid interrupting the flow during the Free Practice

Rather than explaining instructions, try giving an example, the success of an activity can
depend on this.

Try to connect and bring in a theme or topic to the lesson.

During the presentation: Meaning Pronunciation Form. In that order!

Some example activities

To give you an idea of the kind of activities you could be using in the classroom, here are a few
Controlled practice
These activities allow the students to assimilate new language, understand its meaning,
pronunciation or form. They should allow the teacher to ascertain whether the students
understand the new language or not.
Teddy Bear
Students stand in a circle, one holds the soft toy and says My name is Maria and asks Whats
your name? throwing the soft toy to another student. The student catches and answers.
The teacher is listening to see if there are any errors with meaning, pronunciation or form. This
activity can be used with other structures, i.e. If I won the Lottery, I would... and What would
you do, if you won the Lottery?
Gap fill
In pairs, students have to fill in the new vocabulary of the lesson into gaps in sentences.

Error correction
You write sentences that are correct and incorrect on the board, in pairs, they work out which
are correct and which are not and why? Pairs then feed back to the group. This could be good to
test students on new grammar.
Matching activity
On the floor, pairs or small groups have to match two halves of a sentence written on card.


Find someone who...

Each student has a small questionnaire, and must find someone who can answer the question.
This is a good milling activity and gets everyone moving around the class. For example, the
students have the following questionnaire:
Find someone who...
1. Has bungee jumped
2. Has visited America
3. Eats carrots
The students have to ask questions using Have you ever , when she has found people who have
done those things she can sit down.
Free Practice
These activities concentrate on fluency more than accuracy and enables students to
contextualise and consolidate the new language they have just learnt.
Role Play
Assign roles and a scenario, something that will lend itself to practising what you have taught
them already. For example, if you are teaching Why dont you, you could etc. One student is a
friend who cant decide what to do for the weekend and the other gives suggestions.
Setting writing tasks like letter, essays, postcards, lists etc can also be useful. However, you
could do this as well as spoken free practice, usually since it can be finished for homework if the
bell were to go!
Group discussion
Assign a task to small groups and then feedback to arrive at a class discussion.


Unit 3
Activities in the classroom
Teaching a grammar lesson
For many new TEFL teachers, the idea of having to teach English grammar may seem quite
frightening at first. However, experienced teachers know that it can actually be fun and not
really that difficult. The first thing to remember is that teaching grammar doesnt mean an
endless repetition of boring exercises which have no bearing on real-life communication.
Although repetition is crucial, the idea is to get the student to use language in natural
Lead in

You could try to see if any students know the language you aim to teach in the next
presentation stage by trying to elicit it.
You could act out s conversation, tell a story etc., but make sure you get students
involved/talking or you will lose their attention.
Visuals are good to use here as they are a springboard for speaking.
This should be a snappy 5-minute activity to set the scene for the target language


Isolate the structure you wish to focus on.

Write the structure on the board and explain the rules. This information should be left
on the board for reference during the whole lesson.
Remember to show the structure in a clear and concise way.
If you think the students would be able to work out the rule for themselves, then by all
means, let them try! Remember always give students opportunities to speak English.
You could get them to work out the rules on pairs/small groups.
Remember here you need to explain how you teach meaning, form and pronunciation.

Practice and Production

Practise the structure in a controlled and then free manner

As you have seen in the section on lesson planning, there are many types of practice
(controlled) activities that you can utilise to fix the structure in the students minds
(gap fills, sentence correction, etc)
Once you feel they are clear about the structure, move on to the production stage (freer),
an activity that allows the students to use the target language in dynamic real-life
situations: roleplays, interviews, etc. The idea here is to put the grammar into use in
active communication. We often focus on speaking for this stage.

Things to keep in mind

Allow plenty of time for the students to take notes and memorise the structure.
Remember that the practice activities are to consolidate and fix the language in the
students long-term memory. As we have said, repetition is good, but make sure that it
doesnt become boring by keeping it light and varied.
Try to avoid mixing the target structure with other structures too much.
Personalise the TL by using real examples that relate to the students' own lives and
Keep checking that your students have fully understood the structure.


Avoid getting caught up in long-winded explanations - use examples instead.

Avoid using overly-complicated vocabulary as this could distract from the TL.

Making grammar fun

Unless linguistics and language is a passion, most students hate learning grammar. Nowadays,
many teaching methods dont focus on solely teaching grammar. However, it is important to
remember that students have different learning needs some preferring a more logical
approach and others who simply use the language as they receive it from the teacher. In order to
be effective, a teaching method needs to blend these two ideas together.
Some institutions focus entirely on language acquisition only and avoid teaching grammar
techniques. However, in other institutions this might be a requirement. If students are
preparing for exams, then the focus will usually be on grammar. In this situation, it is essential
to know how to get these grammar points across to the students.
There are many different ways of making grammar a little more interesting. One way of doing
this is to use a variety of different games and/or in real-life situations. The Internet is a
wonderful resource for this, offering ready-to-go games or ideas which you can use to design
your own.


By singing phrases from songs, chunks of language can often be remembered a lot faster
than by rote repetition.
You can look for a song that uses just one main grammar structure or gone that uses
several tenses or differing grammar points.
Get the students to listen and then write up the lyrics on the board. Then get them then
to sing it together.
After this, quiz them on what tenses or grammatical points were used. You can also look
for these points in the lyrics of the song.
Make this short and quick, before getting them sing the song again.
Now make a game out of the song: Choose individual students to say or sing a verse or
phrase from the song, but change the tense. This way they will be able to practise using
different tenses and verb forms, but in a much more light-hearted way.


Playing games makes learning a lot easier, not only for children, but adults too.
Making it competitive will often motivate the students into getting the answers right,
thus allowing them to learn much faster. Everyone will become a lot more active and a
lot of fun can be had by all!
This is a particularly effective technique with older children and teenagers, but should
be avoided with very young learners.


Another way of making grammar more palatable is to tell stories.

Chain stories, where everyone contributes a line or two to the overall story work well.
If there are any grammar mistakes, wait until the end of the story to feedback and
correct. One way of doing this is to write the story on the board as it is being told. Then
get students to come up individually and make the appropriate corrections.
Ask the students questions about why certain tenses are used, etc.


Having something visual to focus on helps to keep the students attention, making it
easier for them to understand and assimilate grammatical structures.


Playing games makes learning a lot easier, not only for children, but adults too.
Making it competitive will often motivate the students into getting the answers right,
thus allowing them to learn much faster. Everyone will become a lot more active and a
lot of fun can be had by all!
This is a particularly effective technique with older children and teenagers, but should
be avoided with very young learners.


Another way of making grammar more palatable is to tell stories.

Chain stories, where everyone contributes a line or two to the overall story work well.
If there are any grammar mistakes, wait until the end of the story to feedback and
correct. One way of doing this is to write the story on the board as it is being told. Then
get students to come up individually and make the appropriate corrections.
Ask the students questions about why certain tenses are used, etc.
Having something visual to focus on helps to keep the students attention, making it
easier for them to understand and assimilate grammatical structures.

Real-life situations

Comparatives adjectives could be practiced by: i.e. pairs compare two films.
Modal verbs for giving advice; i.e. pairs give each other advice about what to do on a
weekend trip to a major city.

Grammar for exams

If you are preparing students for an exam, knowing grammar structures may be the key
to them passing it.
If the students have studied the structures, but still dont understand the mechanics,
then it is important to make sure that they revise.
Go back to basics and review the structures one at a time.
Give the students some practice exercises, starting with simple ones and then working
their way up to more difficult ones.
It is also a good idea for the students to create their own grammar reference notebook,
where they can write down the various sentence structures and tenses, class by class.
A reference book can allow them to be more solidly grounded in their grammar
knowledge, as well as being good for exam revision.

Classroom activities
Teachers need to be able to effectively set up tasks and give instructions for a wide variety of
activities including:



discovery tasks
reading tasks
listening tasks
speaking tasks
writing tasks

One of the first things you need to master is being able to give clear, simple instructions and
make use of other techniques to ensure that your students always know exactly what to
do. Although you may think you are helping your students, too much repetition and rephrasing
can actually leave them even more confused. Rephrasing in particular increases the risk of them
getting overloaded by all the foreign language being thrown at them.
Here are some useful tips which you need to be able to do:

Speak clearly
Grade or simplify your language
Use as few words as possible
Use gestures and visuals as aids
Demonstrate tasks
Check that students really understand
Establish procedures that help you provide effective instructions

Giving instructions
When setting up an activity, you dont need to go into great detail. No Blah, blah, blah!
Here are some examples:

Asking students to stand up:

Stand up.
(Gesture: palms face up)

True or False listening task:

There are 7 true or false questions here.

(Hold up and indicate worksheet)
Circle T for true.
(Board full example with T / F after it and circle T)
Circle F for false.
(Board full example with T / F after it and circle F)

Highlighting grammar in a reading text (underline the -ing words):


Find the word study.

Read the whole sentence.
(Elicit She is playing tennis now].
Look - 'is' is the verb 'to be' Also ing.
(Board 'is playing and indicate 'is' and ing)
Read the story.
(Indicate reading with gesture)
Underline all the verbs in present continuous.
(Underline is playing on the board)
You have 2 minutes.

A Find someone who activity:

There are 10 questions about experiences here.

(Hold up and indicate the worksheet)
For example, Find someone who has eaten snails.
(Write this on the board)
What question can you ask?
(Elicit question Have you (ever) eaten snails?)
When someone says yes, write their name.
(Gesture writing, next to question 1 on the worksheet)
Find 10 different people.
Stand up.
You have 10 minutes.

Checking instructions
Once you have given instructions, theres always a chance that students still dont know what to
do, no matter how clear and simple the language you used was or how effectively you used
gesture and visuals. Before starting the task you need to check that they have understood.
Lets go back to the above activities and look at some questions you could use to check
understanding. These are called concept questions:

True or False listening task:

How many questions are there? (7)

Are they multiple-choice or true-false? (true-false)
So you [gesture circling with a pen]...? (circle T if it's true, circle F if it's false)
Do you read or listen first? (read)
How long do you have? (1min)

Highlighting grammar in a reading text (underline the -ing words):

What do you look for? (verb 'to be' plus 'ing': present continuous)
When you find word in present continuous, what do you do? (underline it)
How long do you have? (2min)


A Find someone who activity:

What are the questions about? (experiences)

How many questions are there? (10)
You ask a student a question. They answer no. Do you write their name? (no)
They answer yes. Do you write their name? (yes)
Can you use one persons name twice? (no - 10 different people).
How long do you have? (10min)

Setting up tasks
Here is a suggested sequence for setting up tasks:

Get everybodys attention.

Try saying Okay, everyone, then wait until all the students are quiet and looking at you before
you start giving instructions.

Hold up any worksheets so that all the students can clearly see them.

This draws and holds their attention and also allows you to indicate different sections on the

Give clear, simple instructions.

Its much easier if you use short sentences, with a brief pause between each. Also, if the task has
two or three separate steps its often better to delay instructions for the second part until after
the students have already completed the first part. Refer to visuals and use the board and use
gestures as and when necessary.

Demonstrate the task.

Try doing a full demonstration on the board or in a pair with one of the more confident
students. For example, if it is a true/false task with seven sentences write the first one on the
board and elicit the answer from the students. If it is a role-play, demonstrate the first 1-2
minutes of a conversation with a strong student.

Check instructions.

Avoid asking Do you understand? and What do you do? Aim for one question on content, one
or two on the type of task, one whether its written or spoken and one on how long they have to
do it.

Give out any worksheets and begin.

Dont make the mistake of giving the worksheet earlier. It can be tempting to hand it out first so
you can refer to it as you are giving instructions, but if you do then the students wont listen to
what you are saying as theyll be too busy reading or looking at the worksheet. That can lead to
the danger of them making their own assumptions about what to do.


Well-chosen games are invaluable as they give students a break and at the same time allow
students to practice language skills. This paper provides some sample games that can be used in
the language classroom.

Why Use Games?

Language learning is a hard task which can sometimes be frustrating. Constant effort is required
to understand, produce and manipulate the target language. Well-chosen games are invaluable
as they give students a break and at the same time allow students to practice language skills.
Games are highly motivating since they are amusing and at the same time challenging.
Furthermore, they employ meaningful and useful language in real contexts. They also encourage
and increase cooperation.

Some advice

Games should be regarded as supplementary activities. The whole syllabus should not
be based on games only -- even for young learners.
When choosing a game, the teacher should be careful to find an appropriate one for the
class in terms of language and type of participation.
Once the game has begun, the teacher should not interrupt to correct mistakes in
language use.
The teacher should not compel an individual to participate. Some learners may not want
to participate due to personal reasons. Forcing students to participate usally does not
have successful results.
A game which looks wonderful on the paper may not work in the actual classroom
setting. If it is tiring or boring, it should be stopped.
Give clear instructions. Unless the learners know what he is expected to do and how to
do it, the aim cannot be achieved, and the game cannot be played.

In order to demonstrate how to use games in the classroom, here are some examples.

Example 1
Game 1: Match and Catch the Riddle
Aim: Reading silently, reading aloud, pronouncing segmental and suprasegmental features
correctly, listening selectively, grammar (simple present tense), linguistic and nonlinguistic

Divide the class into two groups: The QUESTION group and the ANSWER group.
Give the questions to the first group and the answers to the other group.
Each student in the first group is supposed to read the question aloud and whoever has
the answer in the other group reads the answer aloud.
If the question and the answer match, put the students in pairs. If they don't, continue
till the right answer is found. Each student can read his part only twice. When all
questions and answers are matched ask the pairs to read the riddle they have just for


Some Suggested Riddles

What animal is grey and has a trunk?
What animal eats and drinks with its tail?
Why do mother kangaroos hate rainy days?
How can you tell the difference between a can of chicken
soup and a can of tomato soup?
Why is an eye doctor like a teacher?
Why did the cross-eyed teacher lose his job?
Why is mayonnaise never ready?
Do you know the story about the skunk?
If a daddy bull eats three bales of hay and a baby bull eats
one bale, how much hay will a mummy bull eat?
What does an envelope say when you lick it?
Why do cows wear bells?
Why shouldn't you believe a person in bed?
What is the best way to prevent milk from turning sour?
Why does a dog wag his tail?

A mouse going on holiday.
All do. No animal takes off its tail
when eating or drinking.
Because then the children have to
play inside.
Read the label.
They both test the pupils.
Because he could not control his
Because it is always dressing.
Never mind, it stinks.
Nothing. There is no such thing as
a daddy bull.
Nothing. It just shuts up.
Because their horns don't work.
Because he is lying.
Leave it in the cow.
Because no one else will wag it for

Example 2
Crazy Story
Aim: Writing, reading aloud, listening, grammar (simple past tense, reported speech)
Prepare sheets of paper with six columns which bear the following titles at the top
(a man's name)
(a woman's name)
Divide the class into groups of 6. Give each group one sheet of paper. Ask the first student to
write under the first part and fold the paper so as to cover what he has written. Tell the student
to pass the paper onto the next person. As each person writes, he should only look at his fold.


When all students finish, one student from each group will be asked to read their story in the
following format. You can write the format on the blackboard.
............. met ............... in/at ..............
He said ..............................................
She said .............................................
And so they ..........................................
Crazy Story

Aim: Writing, reading aloud, listening, grammar (simple past tense, reported speech)
Prepare sheets of paper with six columns which bear the following titles at the top

(a man's name)

(a woman's name)
Divide the class into groups of 6. Give each group one sheet of paper. Ask the first student to
write under the first part and fold the paper so as to cover what he has written. Tell the student
to pass the paper onto the next person. As each person writes, he should only look at his fold.
When all students finish, one student from each group will be asked to read their story in the
following format. You can write the format on the blackboard.
............. met ............... in/at ..............
He said ..............................................
She said .............................................
And so they ..........................................


Unit 4
Classroom management, correcting errors, using games and
In this module, we will look at how you conduct yourself in the lesson. The aim of this module is
to help you build your confidence in fulfilling the teacher roles that we covered earlier. So, we
will look at:
a) your presentation skills
b) giving instructions
c) using visual aids
d) arranging your students
e) arranging your classroom
f) keeping discipline
Your presentation skills
You dont need to be an extrovert to be a good EFL teacher. A good teacher is a facilitator and
knows when to be firm and when to take a back seat. Generally, your teaching style will depend
on what kind of person you are. Its important to be as true as you can to the type of person you
are. Otherwise you can come over as being quite false.
Here are a few things to bear in mind when you are teaching, to help your presentation.
Eye contact keep eye contact, it keeps attention and can help you get a feel for the SS
understanding. Also, a lack of eye-contact can demonstrate a lack of confidence. Dont overcompensate though and forever stare into the eyes of your students, this could be misconstrued!
Use gesture and facial expression rocking your hand or screwing up your face to show nearly,
but not quite, or cupping your hand to your ear to show you want the students to listen are a
good example. However, with your gestures, be consistent and dont be ambiguous since you
could easily leave the students guessing as to what you are on about, its not charades!
Voice projection speak clearly. Also, try to include some expression and intonation, though
dont exaggerate as SS might imitate. Be careful not to speak too quickly or use language that is
way beyond the students level.
Movement this is good as is it draws attention, but too much can be a distraction.


Dont talk too much if you are doing all the talking then there is less STT. Also, at lower levels
be careful of too much instruction or explanation as this could confuse students. Generally, you
should grade the language you use in the classroom to suit the level of the students.
Build rapport the more you can do this, the more forthcoming the students will be and the
more receptive they will be. You can use warmers in the classroom, personalise activities, but
above all remember the students names right from the outset, even if you have to write down a
seating plan and learn it before the lesson. If you use their names in the lesson, this will help you
to remember their names.
Giving instructions
When you are setting up an activity, keep the TTT down to a minimum. The more instructions
you give, the more likely they are to misunderstand what you want them to do.
The best way to give instructions is to give an example of what you want. You also need to make
sure you are not using any jargon or complex language. Also, make sure you are not giving them
all the instructions at once. The greater the distance between you telling them what they are
about to do and them actually doing it, the less likely they will remember what they are
supposed to be doing.
Finally, always check that the students have understood. Dont ask Do you understand? since
they will answer yes , even if they havent. Ask questions that test them, for example, Hands
up Bs, Are we sitting in pairs or groups?, Who goes first? or even What are we doing
This is common sense, but when you first start teaching you can so easily spend ages explaining
an activity, going over the instructions again and again. Put the instructions in your lesson plan,
when you first start out, it will give you confidence and your activities are more likely to run


Using visual aids

The board is your main visual aid, and as often as not, your only one!
You can use the board for:

Writing vocabulary and grammatical structures

Drawing pictures and diagrams

Sticking up pre-drawn pictures and cut outs etc.

Games and activities

You will use the board a lot, so remember to plan how you will use the board in your lesson plan,
what you will have and where it will go. It needs to be organised and neat. Also, be careful of
drawing on the board, know your limitations. You dont want to spend valuable lesson time on a
drawing that takes 5 minutes and elicits one word. Use a flash card instead!
Here are some tips:

Try not to write on the board with your back to the students so they can see what youre
up to

Engage students as you write on the board (get students to spell words, or speak as you

Dont write too much on the board, it can be boring

Careful with colours, use dark colours for text and lighter colours for highlighting

Write as you would have students write (No capitals, use contractions if relevant}

Flash cards are an effective and easy way to elicit vocabulary or show the meaning of new
words. Dont overuse flash cards in the lesson, firstly youll spend all your time preparing them,
secondly, vary the visual aids you use.
Also, you can get more than one word from a flash card. Hold up a picture of a train and ask:
Whats this? (train), but follow up with more questions like: Where do I go to catch a train?
(station); What do I need to get on a train? (ticket).


Using pictures
Pictures are an interesting and focussed way to lead into a lesson.

Look at what the Teacher asks below and write in what the students would say. Also, indicate
whether they are factual (F), imaginative (I) or broader (B) questions.
[ ] Teacher:
[ ] Teacher:
[ ] Teacher:
[ ] Teacher:
[ ] Teacher:
[ ] Teacher:

What can you see in the picture?

What else can you see in the picture?
Where do you think this is?
What do you think the people are doing?
Why are they there?
Why do you think thee people have travelled here?


[ ] Teacher: What other reasons do people travel for?

We can also use pictures to lead in to a grammar lesson. Look at the teacher and student
dialogue below, what grammar lesson is the teacher leading in to?

Picture 1

Picture 2

Teacher sticks the pictures to the board.


What can you see in these pictures?

I can see the Taj Mahal and the Statue of Liberty.
Which countries?
The first is in India and the second is in America.
Has anyone been to these countries?
Which country would you like to go to?
Id like to go to America?
Its big, there a lot of places to visit.
Tell me more about America.
Its modern, its hot, its rich, but things are expensive

[Teacher writes adjectives about America underneath the picture on the board]

Who would like to go to India? Why?

Its different, its cheap, its very interesting


[Teacher writes any adjectives about India under the picture on the board]

Which one would you like to go to and why?

India, because it is cheaper and more interesting.

What do you think is the grammar lesson the teacher wants to do?
Using pictures, you can never fully predict what the students will say, but if you do prepare some
questions, it will save you standing in class trying to think of some. It will also give you
something to refer to when you need to re-focus the students.
Remember! Its all about student engagement and getting the students to speak and participate.
Other visual aids
Realia is just another word for objects, anything from a chair to a milk bottle. Like flash cards,
objects can be used to elicit vocabulary or ideas and create a bit of interest. Though dont overdo
it and walk into the classroom with a huge sack of objects.
OHP (Overhead Projectors) enable you to present while facing your students, one word of
advice...practise using them before you get into the lesson and make sure everything is working!
Video is an excellent way to engage students and help them practise listening and speaking
skills. You may use video like you would a listening lesson or you could even use Mr Bean, where
there is no speaking.
How do you think you could use Mr Bean in the classroom?
Organising your activities
We have looked at giving instructions, lets now look at how arranging your class and your
You want to add variation to your lessons. You dont want the students to always work in pairs
or with the same partner, so design activities that shake things up from time to time. How you
arrange you class will also depend on the size of your classroom and the number of students you


Group, pair work or solo?

This should be used sometimes since it allows you to respond to individual differences in pace of
learning, ability etc. It can increase the confidence of the individual and some students relish the
opportunity to show how well they can perform by themselves. It can also be less stressful for
students since they are not having to perform in front of the whole class.
It does, however, restrict possibilities for student to student interaction and group belonging.
Pair work
Pair work increases student talking time and student to student interaction, which is why it the
preferred set up for a lot of teachers. It also allows the teacher to monitor effectively and is
easier to set up than group work. Pair work is also less stressful for the student than group work
and you can even organise it so stronger students can be paired with weaker ones. Try to make
sure that pairs are mixed up from lesson to lesson.
Apart from being quite noisy, which is fine if everyone is speaking English, you might find that
some pairings may not work. This is something you will be aware of when you get to know the
Pair work does not have to be two students sitting next to each other. Try open pairs
occasionally, where students talk to each other across the classroom. This can be a useful chance
for other students to hear.
Group work
Group work is from groups of three up to the whole class working together. Like pairs, this is
great for STT and interaction. You can also introduce a sense of team and competition into the
groups too. If you have the whole class working together, it can be easier for you to control.
You might find though, that you get dominant ones in groups that do all the talking, so be
careful how you select your groups. If you are organising groups of 3 or 4, the set up can be
tricky and getting the students settled into the right place, so plan it carefully beforehand.


Seating arrangements
There is no right or wrong way to arrange your class,
its more about the pace of the lesson, what you have
in your classroom, the number of students and the
time you have.
You dont want to spend your valuable lesson time rearranging furniture.
Answer the following questions using the diagram
1. Which ones will have the teacher being dominant?
2. Which are best to maximise STT?

3. Which allows students communication without

teacher interference?
4. Which is the most favoured by EFL teachers?

Keeping discipline
Set rules and be consistent! You could even brainstorm rules as a class and even the
consequences for breaking the rules. Once set then be consistent with them. Also, make sure the
rules you set in the class are consistent with the school. It might be an idea to run your ideas
past the head teacher first.
It is important that you get a balance between exercising control and encouraging a relaxed,
friendly atmosphere conducive to learning. If in doubt, start off relatively strict and let yourself
relax gradually. Doing it the other way round will be very difficult indeed.
Its also important to understand why a student is causing a problem, so you need to be aware of
them rather than seeing the student just as a problem. The student could be bored, have family
problems, peer problems or even be in the wrong class.
A lot of discipline problems are caused by the teacher. Here are some things to be aware of:
1. Dont appear careless, disorganised or unprepared
2. Be fair in the attention you give to students


3. Dont take things personally

4. If you make a threat, carry it out be consistent
5. Never lose your temper
6. Treat the students as you expect to be treated
7. Put time, effort, enthusiasm and interest into your lessons

If all else fails

More often than not, making the students aware that you know whats going on can be enough,
try and do this humorously and with tact. Its important to know what the disciplinary
procedures are in the school, so you need to ask your Director of Studies. Dont let the problem
go on, it is better to deal with it right away, certainly dont wait until you get angry and lose your
temper! You could try re-seating the students, though this can often make them a martyr, try

re-organising seating as part of an activity! Giving the problem student more responsibility in
group work could help. You could also try having a friendly chat, it could just be that the student
is not getting enough attention from you.


Unit 5
Teaching vocabulary and functions
We have covered teaching grammar and also had a look at a grammar lesson plan. The aim of
this module is to look at introducing new language like vocabulary and phrases and what we
need to consider when we do. Plus, youll come away with some great ideas for activities that you
can use in the classroom.
Teaching vocabulary
We have looked at lesson planning and the stages of a lesson. Teaching new words or phrases
can follow the same process. Just to remind you: lead-in, presentation, practice, production.
What vocabulary you teach will not only depend on the level you are teaching, but you might be
introducing vocabulary as part of a reading lesson or grammar lesson, or you just might be
doing a vocabulary lesson. You might be teaching vocabulary that has the same topic, e.g. travel
or you might be teaching vocabulary that particular formations, like nouns that go together, e.g.
cigarette+lighter, post+office, car+park.
Be careful about teaching words or phrases that are not appropriate to the level. If you have to
spend 10 minutes explaining the meaning of a word, it is probably too difficult for the students.
Equally, introducing vocabulary that everyone knows and is too easy is not only a waste of
everyones time, but also very boring.
Also, it can be easy for teachers to get hung up on words that the students will very rarely use.
Vocabulary information
When teaching new vocabulary, we need to consider the following,
1. spelling
2. meaning
3. use what situations/contexts we use it in
4. pronunciation
5. part of speech is it a noun, adjective, verb, preposition, etc.
6. collocations how it works with other words
7. related words e.g. boy/ish/ly


Techniques for introducing the meaning

We want to avoid lengthy and confusing explanations, so try to vary how you explain new words.
It is always better to try and elicit the word, if no one knows then you can tell them.
1. Visual aids realia, flash cards, drawings, photographs etc.
For example, hold up a picture of a boat and ask whats this? Give enough time for students to
answer. If one does (if not say the word yourself) then get everyone else to repeat it for
2. Mime and gesture
3. Synonyms, antonyms and contrast
This is better for lower levels. At higher levels, you will need to qualify this by explaining the
context and subtleties. Dry Vs wet wine, rather than simply dry Vs wet.
4. Definitions
Reading out of a dictionary is not great, you may need to embellish with some example
5. Scales
For example, adverbs of frequency, never...hardly ever...sometimes...often...always
6. Examples
Explain the word fruit by giving examples of fruit or tools by giving examples of tools.
Check understanding
As we explored earlier, we should avoid asking, do you understand?
Instead, we can ask:
What does X mean? A little tough for lower levels.
Give me another word/phrase for X. Better for lower levels.
How does an X person act? Get them to show you.
Give me a sentence with X in it.
Practice activities
Word searches
Matching exercises
Example sentences
Pronunciation exercises such as drilling


Texts and dialogues

Quizzes, hangman, vocabulary bingo.
Production activities
Chain stories
Tasks, such as postcards or posters
Plus a whole load of vocabulary games available online. Check out the resources pages.
Teaching functions
What are functions? Examples of functions are inviting, agreeing, disagreeing, making
requests, offering, apologising, expressing ability etc.
It is as important to learn different ways of expressing these functions as grammar. Learning
these phrases is crucial to communication. You often find that in teaching fast track business
English, lessons seem to be a lot more functional and practical and less focussed on teaching
Look at this dialogue, between a shop assistant and a customer. Whats missing with the
Shop assistant: Good morning. How can I help you?
Customer: Hello
Customer: I want 2 packets of crisps, give me a red one and a blue one. I also want 2 packets of
You can point out in this dialogue, that making requests are missing as is a level of politeness
and formality.
Lets look at making requests. Think of all the different phrases we use to make requests, here
are some to get you started.
Can I have a ...?
Could I have a...?
Is it possible to have a ...?
I would like a ...
Can you think of anymore? What is the difference between I would like ... and Could I have...?


How do we teach functions?

We teach functions like we would grammar. Depending on what phrases you were teaching, you
may find that you spend less time on the presentation and a lot more on practice and
consolidation, especially role play. Quite often we are not teaching a new phrase or word, but a
new use of it, so the main focus is often meaning.
Lets look at a lesson plan for teaching making requests
Level: elementary
Aims: to teach ways of expressing offers and requests to a business English class
Target language: Would you like a/some..., I would like...
Analysis: some nouns are countable, they can appear in singular or plural forms e.g. apple,
apples. Others are uncountable e.g. coffee, bread, curry powder. However, we can say a coffee
but this is a different meaning from some coffee (i.e. a packet of). To get around this it can be
a good idea to teach accompanying phrases such as a loaf of... a cup of... etc.
1. Prepare about 12 items of food / drink, 6 countable and 6 uncountable. It could be a mix
of realia and pictures from a magazine.
2. Walk into the lesson saying you have been shopping; ask students if they like shopping
and what they buy. Ask students what they think you have bought. Take out the items
one by one and elicit what they are. If they dont know or it is new for some, tell them the
new word and drill it.
1. Go through on the board and your pictures and put the objects into either countable or
uncountable. Again, the students should be telling you which column on the board they
go into. You may need to check the idea of counting and not being able to count.
2. Elicit measures of uncountable nouns e.g. loaf / loaves of
3. Elicit: Id like a/ some
4. Model and drill this, at first from teachers model, then pointing at items on the board
e.g. Id like a pizza, please, some coffee, please, some apples please
5. Elicit: Would you like a.../ some... Yes, please / No, thanks
6. Drill


1. In open pairs, practise the offer and request using the items on the board between the
students. Remember, get some of the students to refuse with No, thanks
2. Get the students to do this in closed pairs now while you monitor. They can use other
items as well as on the board if they like.
3. Quick feedback / correction if needed
1. Students in pairs, one is a customer and one shopkeeper, waiter etc. You can change this
a little by giving them prices and menus so it is not a simple repeat of the previous
activity. You may also change the nature of the shop, so they are buying and selling
different items, but be careful not to have to teach a whole load of different vocabulary.
2. Feedback from the activity, you dont need to hear from every pair.
3. You could follow-on with a writing activity, get students to form a short dialogue; this
can be completed for homework.

As you can see, this very simple lesson for offers and requests gives more time to practising the
use of the phrases than presenting the phrases.
Here are some of the functions you could be teaching with some examples.
Making requests
Suggestions and advice

I would like, can I, could I etc

Would you like, What can I get you,
You should/could, how about, why dont you
You must/have to
You mustnt/cant/arent allowed to
Youre right/Im with you
Thats rubbish, I beg to differ
Im sorry, I cant, no thanks

There are plenty of others that you will come across. New teachers often prefer teaching
functions since it is simpler, but it can be tempting to assume that because they are simpler, the
students wont need as much practise - they will. So make sure that you give enough time in the
lesson for nice student-centred activities.


Unit 6
Reading, listening and using video
Native English EFL teachers spend a lot of time teaching skills since they are more able to
further the students English than non-native EFL teachers. The four skills are reading writing,
listening and speaking.
Quite often a skills lesson will include 2 skills, like this:
Receptive skills

Productive skills





Why do we need to practise skills?

Reading and listening are a part of everyday life, whether were doing for enjoyment (a detective
novel) or out of necessity to fulfil a particular task (like reading the instructions for the toaster).
When we read or listen, we dont just use our ears and eyes, we also rely on our existing
knowledge of the world to help us interpret what we are reading or listening to.
We will employ different skills depending on what we are reading or listening to and also for
what reason. These are the skills that you will need to practise with your students.
Predictive skills
We sometimes predict the content of an article or dialogue from a headline or introduction.
Encouraging the students to do this can help contextualise what they are about to do
We often listen or read for specific information. For example, we might read a newspaper to find
a reference to a friend (we dont read the whole page before finding it!), or we listen to the news,
but are on the lookout for a specific headline were waiting for. Listening and reading is
sometimes as much about what we dont want to now as what we do want to know. Students
need to practise this English.
This is where we read or listen for the gist or general understanding of a reading/listening
passage; we dont focus on every single detail, but are just trying to get a general understanding
of the content.


Detailed information
Sometimes we read in order to understand every single thing, for example, when reading or
listening to detailed directions. This kind of activity can often be accompanied by note-taking.
Deducing from context
Instead of walking around with a dictionary, we need to be able to deduce the meaning of
individual words or phrases from the context in which we hear/read them. While you might give
some unknown words to the students, you need to encourage them to work out meanings
themselves too.
Choosing the right material
When we do reading or listening with our students, we should choose material that is going to
be interesting and challenging, but achievable. You can also use material that has been designed
for the classroom, so the language will be carefully chosen and graded to a certain level. But, we
also need to expose the students to real-life material (apart from you), particularly higher level
students. The materials can be from anywhere. An evening newspaper can be a good source of
authentic reading material for all levels since the writing style is simpler. The difficulty of the
lesson depends on what you do with the reading passage or listening, for example if you are
using the Beatles song Hello, Goodbye you could have beginner/elementary students stand up
when they her hello and sit down when they hear goodbye.
The right activities
Reading and listening comprehension is about getting the students to practise the skills above
not just a test to check they have understood. You can also have a lot of fun coming up with
different activities, that not only has the student honing his/her receptive skills, but also
increases his/her communication with other students. For example, you may have pairs of
students working on different parts of a reading passage, then the pairs get together to put the
whole passage together (Jigsaw activity).


A reading/listening lesson
Lets look at the stages of a lesson and whats typically involved.
Creating interest or Lead-in
We do this to introduce the theme of the listening or reading and to get the students
contextualised, it can also be a way to elicit relevant vocabulary using mime, pictures or realia
Pre-teach vocabulary
Reading: in the reading lesson try to get the students to find the unknown words and work
together to work out their meanings This is what they would have to do in a real-life situation.
Giving them a handful of the unknown words before they tackle the reading questions will boost
their confidence.
Listening: this can be more difficult because once the listening has passed, the students cant
go back like they can with a reading passage. Pre-teaching vocabulary is important and you may
choose just the ones that are crucial to understanding the theme or story of the listening.
Setting the task & checking understanding
There are often 2 sets of questions for reading and listening. These questions give the students a
reason to read or listen. The first set will be general gist questions to understand the general
story/theme of the passage or perhaps general feelings or mood. The second set will be designed
to show more specific understanding. When you set the questions, check understanding of the
questions, get the students to read them back to you, and ask them to explain them if necessary.
With listening questions, it is a good idea to get the students to predict answers; this is really
effective for focussing the students listening.
Doing the activity
Play the listening twice and allow students to read 2 or 3 times. Dont expect students to
understand every single word. Skills practice is all about practising getting understanding from
material and, as in real life, we dont often need to understand every single thing, just what we
need to understand. Think about what skills you want the students to practise (skimming,
scanning etc). Dont forget to monitor during the activity.
Feedback on the answers from the activity. This allows students to speak and interact more. You
can also get more out of them by getting the students to expand on their answers. The feedback
can also be an opportunity to link to the next stage.
Follow-on activity
This is a writing activity for a reading lesson and a speaking activity for a listening activity. The
activity should be linked into the theme of the rest of the lesson.


Using songs in the classroom

Using music is great! Any song that you can make out the lyrics can be used. They could fill in
missing words, correct mistakes in lyrics, put the lines of the song in the correct order, do
actions to the song; you could even base a grammar lesson round a song. Take a good collection
of songs with you.
Here is a plan of a simple reading lesson to give you a clearer idea of how it works. The reading
passage is at the end.
Living in the country
Level: Elementary/Pre-intermediate
Aims: to practise skimming and scanning skills
1. Hold up an egg box and a milk bottle and elicit what they are and where the contents
come from, write the words on the board, elicit a few other farm animals and produce
and write them on the board.
2. Ask students who lives on a farm or would like to, discuss the disadvantages and
advantages (fresh air, freedom, not many things to do etc.)
Pre-teach vocabulary
1. Give the students 2 words, pail, fowl, hatch. In pairs, they find the words in the text and
deduce the meaning of the words.
2. Feedback as a class.
Activity skimming
1. Set one simple question, so that students get a general understanding of the passage.
Did she achieve her ambitions? Check understanding of the question. Students should
discuss their answers in pairs before feeding back.
2. Feedback and get students to give reasons.
Activity scanning
1. Set the students questions on specific details from the passage.
1. What did Patty want to buy?
2. What will Polly Shaw feel?
3. What happened to the pail of milk?
2. Let the students discuss their answers in pairs.


3. Feedback as a class, get students to give reasons for their answers

Follow-on activity
1. Link to this stage, by asking what the last phrase, Dont count your chickens before they
are hatched means.
2. Re-ignite the discussion from earlier about living in the countryside by talking about
Patty in the story.
3. In groups of four decide on the 3 main advantages and the 3 main disadvantages.
4. Feedback and make sure the list of advantages and disadvantages are clear on the board.
5. Students write a short composition about the advantages and disadvantages of living in
the country.
6. First brainstorm the number and content of the paragraphs. Elicit phrases they can use
to begin each idea (Firstly, Furthermore, in summary etc)
7. Students begin the composition in class and complete for homework.
The Milkmaid and Her Pail
Patty the Milkmaid was going to market carrying her milk in a pail on her head. As she went
along she began calculating what she would do with the money she would get for the milk. "I'll
buy some fowls from Farmer Brown," said she, "and they will lay eggs each morning, which I
will sell to the parson's wife. With the money that I get from the sale of these eggs I'll buy myself
a new fashionable frock and a pretty hat; and when I go to market, won't all the young men
come up and speak to me! Polly Shaw will be that jealous; but I don't care. I shall just look at
her and toss my head like this. As she spoke she tossed her head back, the pail fell off it, and all
the milk was spilt. So she had to go home and tell her mother what had occurred.
"Ah, my child," said the mother, "Do not count your chickens before they are hatched."
Activities for using in listening and reading lessons
Gap fill or missing information
Putting items in the correct order (lyrics of a song, pictures in a process etc)
Marking the route of a map
Labelling a map or diagram
Making notes to complete a more complex task
Correcting or amending a printed text, e.g. timetable changes, completing a flowchart etc.


Making up a diagram, drawing, timetable etc.

Filling In a simple table

Matching e.g. objects and their prices or people and their houses
Selecting e.g. a picture which best represents the text
Making a list/marking items on a list
Jumbled text paragraphs/sentences are jumbled up
Using video in the classroom
Students like watching TV, so why not use it if its available to you. The stages of a video lesson
are very similar to listening lesson.
When choosing what to show, the same applies to choosing material for a listening lesson. Here
are some idea for materials, TV adverts, Youve been framed type clips, extracts from kids
programmes, extracts from films or programmes, soaps (good for dialogue), Fawlty Towers, Mr
Bean, Wallace & Gromitt.
You can even make up your own video. With sites like You Tube and movie editing software on
most computers, you should easily be able to make up your video shorts for the lesson.
Here are some techniques and activities you could use in the classroom.
Picture, no sound:

guess the situation, relationship, attitude

predict functions, vocabulary etc
supply the dialogue (written or oral)
describe the setting, surroundings
info gap: one student describes the scene/action to
partner who has back to the screen

Sound, no picture:

guess whos talking/where/why watch & check

describe the scene watch & check

Freeze frame:

What went before? Whats going to happen next?

How does she/he feel? Whats she/he going to say?
Whats she/he thinking?


...and check if you were right

watch and reconstruct the story/action

Fast forward:

...and reconstruct the story


While watching/listening:

Which of the following do you hear? Put them in order

(vocab. Sentences, functions, tenses)

Who said what and in what order?

Which of the following are not mentioned?
What (4) things does he/she do after...?
Who feels embarrassed, miserable, happy etc.
Listen and fill in the gaps (for some of the dialogue)
After watching:

Recreate the dialogue (and do a voice-over?)

Play it your own way
Role play what comes next
Write the next scene
Write a letter from one character to another
Discuss your reactions/what would you have done?
Study the language point(s)


Unit 7
Teaching, writing and speaking
Even though students will practise speaking in the classroom by communicating with you, we
still need to give some structure to speaking activities so that you can focus their language and
ensure that everyone in the class getting the speaking practise they need. With writing, students
need guidance and help, whether its how to paragraph a composition or using specific
vocabulary to write a letter.
In this section, well look what you need to cover and how you can go about it.
We would often (though not always) do a writing or speaking lesson with reading or listening, as
covered previously:

Receptive skills

Productive skills





In many EFL classrooms, writing is neglected, or something done for homework. This is
understandable. As a teacher, you know the only time your students will probably speak English
is in your classroom, while writing can be done at home. However, you have to be careful that
your students get enough guidance. Quite often, lesson time can be used to set up a homework
assignment, for example, covering specific words and phrases or sentence structure and having
controlled practices in the classroom. This can give the students all the tools and ammunition to
write a great assignment for homework.
Why practise speaking or writing?
Like reading and listening, speaking and writing are essential for communication. There is no
point in students learning vocabulary or grammar if they dont have the ability or confidence to
use it.
Increasing confidence
Particularly in speaking, students can really lack confidence. They may be pretty good at writing,
but when it comes to speaking they just dont want to open their mouths. So, you may find with
some classes and cultures, you will need to take baby steps: allowing your shy students to
complete easy speaking activities before embarking on more creative and elaborate role plays.


One of the main reasons we do production activities is to consolidate something we have

previously taught. As you saw in your lesson planning, the production stage of the lesson is given
over to productive skills. In this stage, we are more concerned with building the students
confidence in the new language so they can improve their fluency.
Assimilating new language
We use speaking, and sometimes writing, to practise new language in a lesson. This is usually in
the controlled practice stage of a lesson, and we may do activities like drilling, asking and
answering in open pairs, gap fill, sentence completion etc. These are more about taking on new
language and making sure the students understand the new language and can say, use, write etc.
the new language you have presented.
Getting the most from a speaking lesson
You will come across some students who wont want to speak and some who wont be able to
keep quiet. Quite often this can be a cultural influence, compare the more outgoing
Mediterranean cultures with those from the more retiring Far Eastern ones. Its important to
understand your students reluctance to speak; they are only human and will suffer from normal
anxieties like a simple lack of confidence and fear of making mistakes in front of their peers.
Teaching business English, adults can often be a lot more self-conscious than younger students.
As a teacher if you can create a learning atmosphere where making mistakes is a positive thing
or make your activities interesting, you will find participation a lot more forthcoming.
Guidelines for a speaking activity
Good planning
Be sure that your activity achieves the aims of the lesson. It can be tempting to throw in an
activity because you think it is fun, but might not actually be relevant to the lesson!
As much as possible think how the students will find the activity. Will it be fun? Will the
students find it difficult to understand the instructions? Will the students have the language
necessary to do the activity? Will you have enough time? Will you need any if-time activity to
follow on?
Make sure you have made your instructions simple and you have all your materials to hand. This
sounds obvious, but the number of times the best activity has fallen flat due to poor instructions
or spending 5 minutes looking for a hand-out.
You may want to lead-in to the activity, introduce some vocabulary, or do some simpler,
controlled pair work to ease the students into a freer, more creative activity.


During the activity

The worst way to start the activity is to say Were going to do an activity and then launch right
into it. It is better to lead into the activity to arouse interest and perhaps remind or introduce
vocabulary or phrases to be used in the activity.
Dont forget to check understanding of instructions. Dont ask Do you understand? Instead ask
students to explain back to you.
Sometimes the main difficulty in an activity is not due to the level of English, but the time
needed to think of ideas. So, make sure you allow enough time for students to think of ideas. You
can help with this aspect as part of your lead-in, perhaps brainstorm ideas if needed. Allow
students to practise role plays if needed.
Dont forget to monitor. This is just to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be
and for you to collect some feedback fodder for after the activity. It is not for you to start
correcting at every opportunity, unless you are doing a controlled practice. Also, remember to
stay back, let the students get on with it!
Following the activity
Feedback on the positive first and then what could be improved upon. Hopefully, the feedback
can all come back from the students. Occasionally, you could try to record the activity on video
or audio; playing it back gives the students the chance to provide a good level of feedback.
Remember, the controlled practice is more about accuracy, so feeding back errors is important
here. When feeding back on errors made, try to generalise rather than singling out students.
This is not so important to do after a freer practice where the fluency is the objective.
If you do notice a lot of errors during a free practice then you may want to address these in the
next or later lesson. It is not a very positive way to end a lesson, especially if your focus is
building confidence in speaking.
Speaking activities in the classroom
Controlled Practice activities
The focus is on accuracy and is controlled by you, the teacher.
Drilling (choral and individual) getting the students to repeat what you are saying. This is
great for pronunciation and confidence building.
Individual before going onto open pairs, you may prompt responses from your students a few
times, so they understand what they need to say.


Open pairs getting the students to do the repeating, but you are directing it by gesturing which
student goes next. This is great as all the class pays attention and dont know who goes next. For
example, you could be teaching whats your name and My name is...
As the students confidence and ability grows, so the activities become less controlled and more
creative. This is a great way to lead into free practice activities.
Guided role play you assign roles but give a lot more information, so students are really using
the phrases you give them in a contextualised way.
Dialogues they can read out the dialogue which is very controlled or you may remove certain
parts of it so the students have to form the complete dialogue. For example, in the dialogue, you
may be focussing on the past simple tense, so in certain parts you write the verb (go) instead of
the past form so students have to work a bit to put it into the past tense (went) to complete it.
It doesnt have to be dialogues, but it could be completing sentences or a gap fill or even a Find
someone who... The point is that activities can get progressively less controlled as the lesson
goes on.
Free practice activities/Production stage
This is where the focus is fluency. The activities are set up by you, you may assign roles and set
the scene, but what the students actually say comes from them.
Role-play you assign roles and a task and then its up to the students to complete the task. For
example, one is a customer and the other is a travel agent. You give the travel agent 3
destinations for a holiday and the customer must choose. This could be good for comparatives
and superlatives (hotter than, more expensive than, the wettest climate etc).
Discussion this can be done in a variety of ways: teams, small groups, as a class etc. You would
set the subject and perhaps lead in by brainstorming ideas for the subject and key vocabulary.
Information gap - this is ideal for pair work where each student has a different piece of
information and they have to share this information to solve the task.
Games there are huge number of games you can play and just because they are a game it
doesnt mean it is not a bona fide activity. Often adding a sense of competition can really add
interest and enthusiasm.
This hopefully gives you at least an idea of the kind of activity you can do in the classroom.


Teaching writing skills

How much writing you do in the classroom will depend on your students needs. Writing can
also vary the activities in the classroom and often you will find that writing is involved in a lot of
speaking activities.
Why do we practise writing?
As we saw earlier, we need to practise writing to help assimilate new language, for example the
form of a new tense or the spelling of new word. Writing activities, like speaking, can help
consolidate something you have taught earlier in the lesson. Furthermore, writing is also a skill
and a form of communication that needs to be practised.
Writing style
A lot of writing lessons are focussed around getting the layout (paragraphs, addresses etc) and
register (formal and informal language and tone) correct in writing, this is particularly
important if you are teaching business English students or preparing students for exams. For
example, how we start a formal letter, what the paragraphs should contain, what the layout
should be etc. You may practise writing letters of complaint, letters of enquiry, and so on.
Consider the following questions:
1. What is the difference in the language we use when we write a formal letter of complaint and
an informal letter to a pen pal?
2. What phrases can we use to link ideas or show contrast in a discussion composition?
3. What language do we use to write a set of instructions?
Different languages have different punctuation rules and different punctuation, for example the
Greek question mark is a semi-colon in English (;). So, writing is needed to practise the correct
use of punctuation and capital letters etc.
You may also find that you have to teach the differences in how to do joined-up writing with
your students and how the letters differ when we join up the letters, for example:



In some cultures, students may be more accustomed to writing right to left. In others, you may
find your students speaking a lot better than the writing may need to be more of a focus.
Writing in your lesson
Your students will incorporate writing while doing gap fill, sentence correction, note taking as a
part of other activities going on in your lesson. But you may want to focus a 50 minute lesson on
writing. Treat your writing lesson as a standard PPP lesson; it will include a lead-in,
presentation, controlled practice and a free practice (production).
Here is a brief outline of a writing lesson:
Writing a formal letter for a job application.
Assuming the students are teenagers, start a conversation about future ambitions and jobs.
Brainstorm some of the jobs suggested, pick a couple to look at qualifications and experience
needed. This will help with vocabulary later on.
In this stage, you will want to present any useful vocabulary, phrases and expression and
perhaps layout. You will also need to elicit the register. Without writing the letter on the board
you can elicit some good phrases and expressions to use and what the contents of the
paragraphs should contain, for example, the first paragraph should contain the reason for
writing and a reference to the job advertisement.
You could set a number of controlled activities and some guided writing. You could have
sentences written on pieces of cards, some are formal and some are informal, ask students in
pairs to sort the cards on the floor under a formal heading and an informal heading.
Dont forget to feed back their choices.
Now, some guided writing, assign a different paragraph to a different group (groups of 3 or 4)
and the groups must come up with the first sentence of their paragraph.
Now they are going to write a letter, set a time limit and a word limit, say 25 mins and 150
Lead into this with setting the job they all have to apply for and brainstorm ideas for relevant
qualifications and experience.


After students have written the letters, you could split the class into groups of four. Give them
the letters (make sure none of the group of four wrote any of the letters) and each group has to
discuss and select the best candidate and give reasons.
Dont forget to collect all the letters in so you can assess them over a relaxing drink in the
Types of writing you might find yourself teaching:
Formal letter
Informal letter
Job applications and CV
Creative writing (stories)
Discussion (advantages and disadvantages)
Description (Describe a day in the life of...)


Unit 8
An Introduction to Phonology
Consonant sounds
Consonant sounds are formed when the airflow from the lungs is obstructed by the moveable
parts of the mouth, including the tongue and lips.
Try pronouncing these sounds, and decide where the obstruction is occurring:
o /m/ as in man
o /v/ as in van
o /n/ as in nan
o /t/ as in tan
o /r/ as in ran
o /k/ as in can

As spelling and sounds are different, we need to use a special script called phonemic script to
transcribe spoken language. Here are the 24 consonant sounds of standard British English in
phonemic script.
Many of the consonants consist of unvoiced and voiced pairs. A voiced sound is one that is
made by activating the vocal cords. You can check this by putting your fingers on your throat to
feel the vibration. In an unvoiced sound, the vocal cords arent used, so there is no vibration.
Vowel sounds
Vowel sounds are formed by modifying the airflow through the mouth instead of obstructing
it, mainly using the tongue and lips. Vowels can be monophthongs (single vowels) or
diphthongs (a glide from one vowel to another). All vowels are voiced.
Schwa (//)
Theres a vowel sound that is so frequent in English that it has its own name: schwa. Its the
unstressed, neutral vowel sound and can be represented in spelling by many different letters or
combinations of letters. As schwa is such a small sound, many students have difficulty in hearing
and saying it. Its very important that students learn the sound, if they want to have a naturalsounding accent. Here are some examples of the schwa sound (underlined): persuade hospital
doctor cigarette station statement mother delicious certificate revision departure ago mountain


famous polite Here are the vowels of standard British English in phonemic script. The phonemic
chart For teaching purposes, English sounds are often displayed in the form of a phonemic

Teaching techniques
Here are three teaching techniques that involve the use of this chart.
Technique 1:
Topic: General speaking
Student: 'I leave in a big city.'
Teacher: 'Not leave', and point to the symbol // on the chart.
Technique 2:
Topic: Transport.
o Hold up a picture of a van and silently point to these symbols on the chart: /v/, // and /n/.


o Ask the students to sound out the word.

Technique 3:
Topic: Differentiating between /p/ and /b/
o Hold up a picture of a pear.
o Say the word pear while pointing to the symbol /p/ on the chart.
o Hold up a picture of a bear.
o Say the word bear while pointing at the symbol /b/.
o Continue with the same process using pictures for various words and alternating between
pointing at /p/ and /b/.
o Ask the students to write /p/ and /b/ on two pieces of paper.
o Say the words in a random order, and the students have to hold up the piece of paper that
corresponds to the sound that they hear.

Stress is the prominence that is given to particular syllables in a word or to particular words in
a phrase.
Stress in single words
In English, some syllables in a word are pronounced more strongly than others. These are called
stressed syllables. The other syllables in the word are pronounced with less energy, especially
the unstressed or weak syllables, which are often reduced to a schwa (//) as mentioned
previously in the lesson.
The rules for word stress in English are quite complex and its probably better for students to
learn the stress pattern at the same time as they learn the word, just as native speakers do. One
way of showing word stress is by using stress bubbles and underlining the stressed syllable.
important = oOo
station = Oo
believe = oO


Stress in compound words

Now lets look at what happens to the word stress if two words occur together to make a
compound noun:
If the word is an adjective and a noun, they have equal stress

a mobile phone
If the word is a noun / gerund and a noun, the stress is on the first noun / gerund

a tin opener
Word stress in nouns, verbs and adjectives
Some words can be used in different parts of speech. Look at the following examples using the
word record:
o When I was young I had a large collection of records. Nowadays everybody has CDs or
digital collections.
o Get your students to record new vocabulary in a notebook.

In the first sentence record is a noun and the stress is on the first syllable. In the second
sentence its a verb and the stress is on the second syllable.
However, not all words which can be a noun and a verb change the stress. Control and
mistake, for example, always have the stress on the second syllable. There can also be regional
variations based on accents and dialects.
In a phrasal verb the word stress is on the particle, not the verb. However, when the phrasal verb
has an associated noun, the same rule of changing stress applies:
o Guests have to check in at reception on arrival at the hotel.
o Check-in time at the airport is usually a couple of hours before the flight departure time.
The noun from the phrasal verb is usually written with a hyphen or as one word.


Word stress in longer words and word families

Certain word endings usually have regular stress patterns. For example, words ending in ion
id ish and ic have the stress on the second-last syllable:
occasion insipid accomplish characteristic
However, English loves exceptions, so its better for students to learn each word with its stress
pattern as and when they come across it rather than learning lists of word endings and rules
which dont always apply.
Individual words in groups called word families can also have different stress patterns. Think of
the following words: photograph, photographer and photographic. The stress pattern changes
with each word. However, in the case of invention, inventor and inventive, the stress pattern
remains the same.

Sentence stress
In full sentences, not all words are pronounced with the same strength. We say different parts of
a sentence with more or less stress, more slowly and loudly, or more quickly and softly. This is
called sentence stress.
Think about the kind of words which are stressed if a sentence is said in a normal way, such as
when the speaker isnt angry or surprised or giving special emphasis.
Nouns, main verbs, negative auxiliaries, adjectives and adverbs, known as content words, are
usually stressed and the grammatical words such as articles, prepositions, quantifiers,
conjunctions and auxiliary verbs are usually weak or unstressed.
You can use stress to give emphasis to certain information in a sentence. Look at these short
A: Let's invite Joe to dinner next Sunday.
B: No, let's invite Joe to dinner next Saturday.
A: Let's invite Joe to dinner next Sunday.
B: No, let's invite Jen to dinner next Sunday.
A: Let's invite Joe to dinner next Sunday.
B: No, let's invite Joe to lunch next Sunday.


A: Let's invite Joe to dinner next Sunday.

B: No, let's not invite Joe to dinner next Sunday.
In what way does the second sentence change in each dialogue?
Why does the sentence change in this way?
The stress changes and is placed on the information within the sentence which has been

Connected speech
Sounds arent usually produced alone in speech. In connected speech, which means any
sequence of words spoken at natural speed, many sounds are altered or modified by the sounds
coming immediately before or after them, especially at the spaces between words.
Read these film titles aloud and see what happens to the sounds in the underlined segment
when you say the title at a natural speed.
o The Last Picture Show
o My Big Fat Greek Wedding
o The Great Dictator
o The Green Mile
o Stand by your Man
o The War of the Worlds
o We are Family
You can hear that the sounds run together. If you try to pronounce each sound separately the
speech doesnt sound natural.
Weak or unstressed forms allow native speakers to say the little words quickly enough to
maintain the rhythm. However, these weak forms are very difficult for students, especially
beginners. When they learn a word, they expect it to always sound the same, but it doesnt.
Students need help with these aspects of pronunciation.
Other features of connected speech
o Linking sounds When a word ending in a consonant is followed by a word starting with a
vowel, the consonant and vowel join together: This is Joe. This is sounds like one word.


o Disappearing sounds When a word ending in a consonant is followed by a word starting with
another consonant, we often drop the consonant on the first word: Ill be just a couple of
minutes The /v/ in 'of' is often not pronounced.
o Changing sounds When a consonant is followed by another consonant, one or both sounds
change, resulting in one sound becoming more like the other or a completely different sound:
Dont forget to phone me. The /n/ becomes an /m/. Put him over there. Here we often drop
the/h/ so it sounds like /pdm/).
o Extra sounds added When two vowels occur next to each other, we often link them with one of
three sounds, /r/, /w/, or /j/. This happens because its difficult to put two vowels together: For
about // and // are linked with a /r/ (used after //, //, /e/, // etc.) British English
speakers dont usually pronounce 'for' with an 'r'.

Instead of speaking all on the same level, native English speakers use quite a wide voice range
compared to many other languages. Our voices go up and down a lot and these variations in
pitch are called intonation.
Intonation has a variety of very important roles in English, so its very important to integrate it
into our teaching. Look at the following points:
o If a request is expressed using polite grammar and lexis but the intonation is rude, a native
speaker will usually interpret it as rude. Likewise, short and direct grammar or lexis is usually
interpreted well if it is the intonation is polite. This can often make non-native speakers sound
rude when in fact they dont mean to be.
o Native speakers also use intonation to indicate when they have finished speaking. Incorrect
use of intonation can lead to a listener not responding because they think the speaker is going to
continue speaking, or to the listener taking over the conversation too early because they think
the speaker has finished.
o Intonation can change a question into a statement, a statement into a question, and can
change whether a question tag is seeking complete clarification or confirmation to just to
double-check something.
o Attitude can also be expressed through intonation. Look at this example: "Paul is the new
manager." This could be a simple comment or it could be expressing surprise, disbelief, disgust,
admiration, etc. Intonation can help express meaning more accurately.


Unit 9
Teaching young learners
When we refer to young learners, we are referring to children between the ages of 3 and 12. It is
sometimes assumed that if a learner is young then their level is low. You could easily have a 10year old who has studied English for 5 years at school and has achieved a good intermediate
level of English.
In fact, you will find that most young learners at 10 years old already have the alphabet, present
tense and a good range of vocabulary. It is quite rare to teach young learners that have no
exposure to English at all. This module aims to give you the how, rather than the what, of
teaching English to young learners. This is because the what might be the same as discussed
earlier in the course.
Young children are natural learners. However, this doesnt mean they will pick up English as a
second language as effortlessly as they have their first language. The aim at this early stage is to
build comprehension rather than speaking or writing. You will need to accept accuracy and
fluency mistakes. Make sure you dont resort to broken English in your attempt to grade your
English to their level. Just use simple structure and simple vocabulary.
Children are not much different from adults. Show an interest in the students, have wellprepared lessons, build a rapport, show enthusiasm, allow your voice lots of intonation and
dont shout at them! Also, rewards (or is it bribery?) can help. This could in the form of stickers
or their favourite game at the end of the lesson.
Children attend lessons because they have to, so we need to create a need and desire to learn,
this will make everything a lot easier for you and them.
It is important then to look at the activities you use in the classroom. Are they interesting to a
youngster? Can the activity be turned into a game (the same thing!)? Are they simple enough for
everyone to participate easily?
You may find rewards - stickers rather than money - are a great way to motivate students.
Teaching to Read & Write
Your young learners may have had no exposure at all to the English language, so you need to
think how you can teach how to read and write the alphabet as well as say it.
Having fun
Children enjoy humour and things that are not as they should be. Here are some examples;
1) Put a sticker somewhere on your body. The first child to spot it when you walk in the class
gets to keep it.


2) Walk into class with your coat on backwards, or socks on your hands. Tell the students you
are handing out pens for writing and hand out liquorice instead. When the students tell you it's a
sunny day put on your coat and shiver.
3) Ask silly questions. If you show a picture of a rhino, ask if it is a dog. Kids love this. It makes
them feel confident when they understand a situation well enough in another language to laugh.
If you show a picture of a fridge, pretend to open the door and take out a glass of milk. Offer it to
a nearby student.
Teaching Grammar to Young Learners
Apparently, by the age of three we all get our grammar 90% correct. Even when we make
mistakes like I feeded the dog, we're applying previously learnt grammar rules to new
Here some ideas on how we teach grammar to young learners?
They will given half a chance, something like 400 times a day, whereas we adults a paltry fifteen.
1. Presenting the grammar
You can create characters, they can be drawings or even puppets. A picture of superman with a
big S on his chest could make an appearance every time a student drops a 3rd person S (e.g. He
drive the car.) Or, how about Captain Present Simple, children have to imagine what this superhero does every day e.g. He flies to the baker to get his breakfast, he washes his red cape every
morning, At one oclock he has lunch with his friend Super Present continuous etc. Use a soft toy
or a puppet as Doctor Where. This character can be moved around the room to teach
prepositions of place (in, beside, next to, on, behind, under etc.
Involve the students as much as possible in these characters and sky is the limit with where
these can go.
2. Practising the grammar
You might include all your usual activities, especially drilling to practise what you are teaching,
and you might include a gap fill or complete a sentence. But, you need to vary what you do and
keep up the pace. So, here are some other ways, or even additional ways to practise what you are
a. Using the board
The board is available in all classrooms and is an effective focus for your students. You can use it
to present your characters, play games, getting the students to run up and write on the board or
stick words on it with blu-tac.
Imagine you are doing a brainstorm for adjectives and verbs, use the Adjective-eater as one
heading and the verb-cruncher for the other heading. I am sure you can think of better
Think about how you can use the board in an interactive way, how you can adapt existing games
to include the board and the students more. Turn hangman into a game of Jaws.


b. Story telling
Children love stories and are prepared to listen to the same story again and again. One of the
best ways to introduce the past simple is through a story - you can use well-known traditional
tales, like The Three Bears, or make up your own to suit what you are teaching. You may even
want to involve the students in this; they love to play act and you could assign roles to the
students. Of course, the story is a tool for teaching, so you will use the story to elicit grammar.
You may ask questions like What did Goldilocks do when she went into the house? Students
would answer, you want them to use the past simple so you may need to pull it out of them or
get the whole class to work out the answer together.
c. Songs and chants
As mentioned above, chants and songs are a lot of fun and really appeal to youngsters. Heres an
example to teach can for ability.
I am a robot man!
I am a robot, I am a robot,
I am a robot man.
I am a robot, I am a robot,
I am a robot man.
I can sit and I can stand,
I am a robot man.
I can shake you by the hand,
I am a robot man.
by Sheila Ward
Get the children to put on a robot-voice.
You can also make up your own songs and nursery rhymes.
Some good chants can be found in these books.
Very Young Learners by Vanessa Reilly and Sheila Ward
Young Learners by Sarah Phillips.
Grammar chants by Carolyn Graham
Total Physical Response
This term refers to action and mime and getting the students to respond using action. This has
an obvious attraction to young learners. It helps the students connect with the English and can
change the pace of the lesson. If you can break up other activities with something physical it
does wonders for the students energy levels.
As mentioned above, Simon Says is a good example of this and useful for practising imperatives,
prepositions and movement vocabulary. You could also adapt the game to practise other
vocabulary ranges like parts of the body. For example, touch your nose, touch your elbow.
TPR doesnt have to be a game like this, but could also be part of the drilling, getting students to
do actions as they repeat a word, for example, drink and the students do a drinking action.


More games and practice activities

As with all games and activities, think how you can use them to review language. With young
learners it is important to keep the activities fun, but make sure there is a learning benefit to
them as well.
Yes or No
This is great for comprehension. You have a yes ball and no ball. Teacher asks a question, Can
you drive a bicycle? Throw the two balls, two students chase the balls and the one to bring back
the correct one, wins. This is really useful for testing a wide variety of language.
Simon says
Also great for comprehension and lots of fun. Think of ways to vary it and all the vocabulary you
could review with this game. Also, call it Your name says. You could even try assigning control
of the game to the students, so it becomes Maria says or Yuki says. They will love this.
A simple game of hangman, becomes a way of saving you the teacher from being eaten by a
shark. The only way your students can stop you is by guessing the letters and the word. Every
wrong choice moves you down a step towards the sea and the waiting shark. This can be varied,
you may come up with different scenarios each time you play it.
This is an old favourite and practises comprehension as well as production. One student sits in
the hot seat with back to the board and facing the class. The teacher stands behind and holds up
a word or flashcard. The class have to describe the word. This can be timed to make it more
Songs and chants
These are a lot of fun. Songs that the students can do actions as well as repeat, Heads, shoulders,
knees and toes is a famous example.
You can also invent chants to suit what you are teaching, for example:
Knock on the door.
Ring the bell.
Open the door.
And walk in.

You can teach students an action for each line. This chant can be useful for greeting or practising
verbs like knock, ring, open, walk.


Lesson planning
Being prepared is as just as important for young learners as for adults. You will need to build
more activities than you need. Keep the activities shorter and more varied, an adults attention
span is normally a lot longer. Always include warmers at the start of the lesson, something
physical perhaps like heads, shoulders, knees and toes. Little breaks in a long lesson can be
useful too, it could be song or something physical, ideally the break would be a short activity
between longer ones. In your lesson plan, make sure you vary the activities so you can restore
energy levels when you need, with some physical movement. Review previous lessons, repetition
is good. It is more important to do little and often with younger learners.
If you plan your lessons well and know the names of all your students, this should help most bad
behaviour. Make sure you have well-paced and varied activities that are pitched at their level.
Here are some tips on how to handle bad behaviour.
Prior to any form of discipline make sure you have given a clear warning to a student that you
are not satisfied with his or her behaviour. One way is to get the student's attention and then
write his or her name on the board. Another is to change the seating arrangement.
Try to understand why there is a problem. Children often act up because a cold or the flu is
coming on. Or because they didn't get a good night's sleep. If we understand where a problem is
coming from we will be in much better position to prescribe a cure.
Make the problem child your assistant. This is a popular and often successful method of dealing
with a misbehaving child. It gives the more talented a new challenge, while the struggling ones
get a boost of confidence.
Exclude the misbehaving child from activities. This is a later (though not last) step to take. Some
teachers have a "time-out" spot in their classroom where children go to sit when they are being
Be consistent
New teachers often fail to be consistent in their expectations of the class. Too often they find
themselves playing catch up, trying to stop behaviour that they let go for the first few weeks.
Decide before you enter a new class what your rules are. Will you accept an answer if a student
has not raised his hand? Will you allow students to talk to each other while you are teaching?


What will you do if one student punches another? If you don't have a game plan, how do you
expect to win, or even do well?
Alert parents
If a child is consistently misbehaved, talk to, or ask the school to talk to the parents. Mothers
and fathers can often straighten out their young children much faster than you can.


Unit 10
Teaching Business English
Business English comes under the umbrella term of ESP (English for Specific Purposes), so you
might find yourself teaching English for tourism, engineering, academia, etc. We will stick with
Business English in this module since it is the most common form of ESP and the same
principles can be applied to most ESP situations.
You dont need experience in business to teach business English, however an empathy for
business is useful. Teaching business English is more about understanding the needs of your
students and tailoring your lessons appropriately. Your job is to improve your students English
for their career - not teach them how to do their job!
In this unit, well look at the following areas:
1. Understanding your students
2. Activities and lesson planning
3. Telephone lessons
4. Cross-cultural understanding
5. Difficulties in teaching business English

Understanding your students

Whenever you meet your students for the first time, it is crucial you understand what their
needs are. As we saw earlier, this is true for General English or ESP. However, we cannot simply
ask what their needs and wants are; we need to be a little more scientific about it. Remember,
this is a needs analysis and not a level check. We covered a level check earlier in the course and
it is something you will have to do if the student is new to the school rather than you being new
to the school!
Which of the following do you think might be a relevant point to find out?
1. Ability in English
2. Hobbies and interests
3. What level they want to achieve
4. When they use English
5. What they use English for
6. What areas they have problems with
7. How long they have studied English


8. Who do you speak English with

9. How formal their English needs are
10. What they had for breakfast
Your business English class might be a group from 2 10 students or one-to-one. Quite often,
business English students pay for one-to-one lessons. Either way you will need to carry out a
needs analysis. You can do this in a number of ways. You can give the students a form to fill in
before their first lesson or interview your students in the first lesson you have with them. You
can even make it a lesson if you have a group; the students can interview each other and discuss
learning options and subjects and language they would like to study as a group.
Here is a sample list of questions that can be used as a one-to-one interview or provide the basis
of a needs analysis lesson.
Needs analysis
About your present situation at work
Whats your job precisely?
Do you use English?
How much do you use English?
What fields/ topics do you need to talk about/ need vocabulary of?
Which of these areas do you need most to improve your English?
What exactly do you need to do that?
About outside work
Are you doing anything to improve your English at the moment?
Do you do anything else in English? (Watch TV, read book or newspapers, Internet etc)
What resources do you have at home/ work? (Internet, dictionaries etc)
Do you travel to English speaking/ other countries?
About the past
Think of 3 questions to discover useful information about your students past.
Whats the last thing you did in English?
Have you studied English before?
How long/ to what level?


About the future

Think of 3 questions to discover useful information about your students future.
What are your short term and long term aims for English?
Whats the next thing you have to do in English?
Any big conferences / meetings / business trips / conference calls / presentations coming up?
How far do you want to go with your English (each skill)?
How do you like studying English?
What did you think of your previous lessons?
Whats the best way to learn a language?
How much homework can you do?
You then need to collate your results and feedback to your student(s) for agreement. You may
find that needs and wants change as you progress through the course, so be prepared to review.
You dont need to redo the interview, but be aware that things change and be prepared to ask for
feedback, referring back to the original needs analysis periodically.
What to teach
What you teach will depend on the needs analysis carried out, so well look at this generally.
Business English students generally need English to carry out specific functions in the
workplace, it could be to help communicate with international customers or divisions on the
telephone, it could be to conduct themselves in meetings with English speakers or just to
understand English instructions in a manufacturing process.
So, quite often Business English is skills based, i.e. Reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Though, grammar is taught, the main focus is often teaching functional English, for example,
phrases for agreeing and disagreeing, presenting, negotiating etc.
Here is an example of the contents of a business English course.
Management: carrying out meetings, structuring presentations, making and changing
appointments, organising and collecting information, negotiating solutions, making predictions
Products and production: comparing products, interpreting statistics, designing contingency
plans, developing products and product information, discussing technical features
Marketing: conducting market research, describing changes, discussing causes, explaining
financial results and achievements, making presentations, recommending action


Advertising: filling a vacancy, interviewing, attending conferences, executive recruitment,

reaching targets, reporting on a work project, writing invitations, negotiating agreements
Money: understanding types of accountancy and the banking industry, issuing stocks and
shares, getting a loan, following taxation issues, describing figures, graphs and flow charts
Socialising: understanding cultural attitudes and differences, polite gestures and language,
showing interest, dealing with visitors, impressing important people, social chit-chat, business
Tailoring your lessons
There are a lot of business English course books that will guide you. However, you need to tailor
your lessons so they are relevant to your students. Lets have a look at an example.
Imagine you are teaching a small group of managers from a paper mill. You are teaching making
predictions, so you will need to introduce will, I dont think..., I think..., If... etc. However, you
want to tailor the theme of the lesson to your class. So, as part of your preparation, you may
download an article about using paper or recycling, you would then use this as a reading or a
listening. You will want to introduce relevant vocabulary (see teaching reading and listening).
You may focus on the will, I dont think..., I think..., If..., by using the article and taking out
certain phrases for a gap fill activity. You may finish the lesson by introducing a class discussion
on their thoughts about the article and the future of paper and what this means for their
Getting authentic material and tailoring it can mean a lot of preparation. However, you will find
that you can do similar lessons with different groups, i.e. the same activities; you just need to
introduce a new theme and material. The internet is great resource; you can download and
manipulate text fairly easily. Also, ask your students for brochures and material.
Tailoring your lessons is important since your students will expect a tailored programme, but
that doesnt mean every single lesson needs to contain subject matter that is only to do with the
business that your students are involved in. They will get bored of this, plus eventually you will
run out of material! Other sources for material are articles from business papers and magazines,
or even a recording of business news from the radio, however, again the Internet is great source
for business news and podcasts and even video.
Activities and lesson planning
The activities you use in the business English classroom will not differ hugely from general
English classroom. You should still follow the same principles for the PPP lesson or skills
Role plays are important in this setting as are the principles of maximising Student Talking
Time. You might find occasionally that adults are a little more self-conscious than younger


learners when it comes to role play. You may need to explain that without extensive practise in
the classroom, they are unlikely to retain the language sufficiently for use outside the classroom.
You may find that games are seen as a waste of time. However, as long that the learning benefit
of the game is clear, adults like the competitiveness involved in games as much as anyone else.
Homework can be a problem. You may find that your students are busy enough without having
extra work to do in their day. So, be prepared to be flexible and be careful about pushing the
homework, if they havent got the time then there is very little you can do about it and you will
need to work around it.
Telephone lessons
Telephone lessons are very popular in teaching Business English. This is largely due to the lack
of time people have to have lessons. A 30-minute telephone lesson is a lot easier to fit into your
day than getting to a lesson for 50 minutes. The other reason they are popular is that speaking
on the telephone is perhaps the most difficult medium of communication for your students and
also the most usual. So, they need the practice on the phone. You might find that some learners
want only telephone lessons or others will take a more integrated approach, for example, 2
hours of classroom + 30-minute telephone lesson per week.
You could call your students office for a telephone lesson, perhaps faxing through the material
you want to use. You may do telephone practice in a group by getting your students to sit backto-back.
What do you do in a telephone lesson? You want to make the telephone lesson as realistic as
possible. So, invent a role play that your student(s) often encounter. Brainstorm scenarios and
related vocabulary. You may also want to introduce telephone language as in the below:
Introducing yourself
This is Joe.
Joe speaking

Asking who is on the telephone

Excuse me, who is this?
Can I ask who is calling, please?

Asking for Someone

Can I have extension ...?
Could/Can I speak to...?
Is John in?

Connecting Someone
I'll put you through
Can you hold the line?
Can you hold on a moment?

When someone is not available

I'm afraid ... is not available at the
The line is busy...
Mr Jones isn't in...

Taking a Message
Could/Can/ May I take a message?
Could/Can/May I tell him who is
Would you like to leave a message?


Here is an example role play:

Requesting Travel Information
Student A: Choose a city in your country. You are going to travel to this city for a business
meeting over the next weekend. Telephone a travel agency and reserve the following:
Round-trip flight
Hotel room for two nights
Restaurant recommendation
Prices and departure times
Student B: You work in a travel agency. Listen to student A and offer him/her the following
Round-trip flight: Air JW $450 Coach, $790 First Class
Hotel room for two nights: Hotel City $120 a night in the downtown area, Hotel Relax $110 a
night near the airport
Restaurant Recommendation: Chez Marceau - downtown - average price $70 a person
Cultural understanding
Speaking English well doesnt mean that your student understands the culture. It is also very
important that you teach your students culturally as well as linguistically. You may decide to do
a series of lessons on culture or simply drop it in ad hoc. An interesting way of doing this is to
compare cultures and the way things are done, whats acceptable and what is not.
One of the toughest cultural aspects to get across is the appropriate level of formality. Business
English students often think that the correct way to speak English is to use a high level of
formality, for example, using may instead of can or using I will instead of Ill. The problem is
that in spoken English, we tend to use contraction and idioms, therefore the students need to
know this so they can communicate effectively.
Other aspects are social niceties like when to shake hands, when to kiss, buying rounds of drinks
in a pub, opening doors, queuing and apologising at every opportunity! These will become more
apparent when you have lived abroad for a time, the cultural differences can be often very
If you have business experience, this can be invaluable for talking about how to negotiate,
conducting yourself in meetings and presentations. Different cultures will have very different
approaches to this.


Difficulties in teaching Business English

A lot of business English students are in the classroom because they want to be and
consequently, they can be quite demanding. So, make sure you have well-prepared lessons that
appropriate to their level and challenge them. If the lessons are too easy, your students will
switch off and feel that they are not learning anything. If you make up the lesson as you go
along, and havent done your preparation, they will spot it immediately and you may find a
complaint going back to the school.
Some students are in the classroom because they have been told. In France, for example,
companies have to spend 2% of their revenue on training, English teaching is often the training
given. Students, therefore, can be less motivated and sometimes see the training as a distraction.
Making the lessons fun is important here, as is making the lessons achievable and perhaps a
little less demanding. It is important to understand your students motivations in the needs
analysis and if you have to read between the lines a little.
Whether the student is in your class as a matter of volition or not, you will find that sometimes
they have come to your lesson straight from the most stressful morning possible. Some lessons
are done during the working day and some before or after it begins. Working in business can be
very stressful, so you will need to be flexible and understanding when a student turns up quiet,
sullen and uncommunicative, it could be that they have just come from the most horrendous
Finally, if you are teaching a group in-company, where you go to their place of work and teach a
small group, you might find challenges with classroom dynamics. You could be teaching a group
that has the boss, his/her secretary and some of his/her team. You might find in some cultures
that no one will speak until the boss has spoken. Even correcting the boss could have him/her
walking out or rendering him silent sullen for the rest of the lesson. It is important to create a
comfortable learning atmosphere right from the start. You will need to break-down barriers with
ice-breakers at the start of the lesson and direct questions to individuals rather than the whole
group. It might also be an idea to speak to the boss before the first lesson and explain your
teaching methods and how you want to create a free learning environment.


Unit 11
Teaching one-to-one lessons
Teaching one-to-one lessons are both rewarding and challenging. They can be rewarding
because you can more easily monitor the progress of your student and the fruits of your labours.
The lessons can be challenging since it can be down to you to provide the motivation, inspiration
and, depending on your student, you may need to work hard to get your student to be
You could be doing one-to-one lessons in-company with a business English student, or with a
student in school who need extra grammar practice or a student you are teaching privately in
your own home or in the home of the student.
Teaching privately is a lucrative option for many EFL teachers. You might find that you can do
private lessons with the blessing of the school or you might decide that it is better all round that
you didnt tell the school.
In this module, well explore the how you can get the most out of your one-to-one lessons and
some problems you can sometimes encounter.
Needs analysis
As with any new student you have you need to understand their motivations, needs and wants.
With a one-to-one student, we need to go a little further and understand a bit more about the
kind of person they are, what kind of learner they are. Getting this information together in the
first instance will make your job a lot easier.
Needs analysis is covered in earlier modules, but lets have a quick look at the kind of learner
your new student could be.
Visual Learners: learn by seeing
Needs to see a word written down to remember it and will often want to take down notes.
Responds better to visual stimuli: facial expression, gesture, pictures, images, diagrams etc.
Auditory Learners: learn by listening
Gathers meaning from the context of what you say
Use the pitch, tone and pace of your voice to help comprehension
Prefers discussion, dialogues etc.


Kinaesthetic Learners: learn by doing

Prefers lots of activities and to keep things moving
Doesnt respond too well to lots of Teacher Talking Time
Getting the most out of your one-to-one lesson
Build a rapport: having a one-to-one lesson means you are in a position to build a solid
relationship and a very effective learning environment. Dont forget to build that environment
around the learner rather than one that you feel comfortable in. A thorough needs analysis
should guide how you do this.
Understand your students problems: this doesnt mean you need to be an agony aunt. Rather
you are in an excellent position to note down language difficulties, they could be past perfect
usage, dropping the s on the 3rd person, writing etc. Keeping a log of difficulties means you can
focus on these key areas and use the log as a measure of improvement. What better than to show
your student what he/she couldnt do and what he/she can now do.
Student-centred lessons: you have an excellent opportunity to theme lessons on what interests
your student. So, why not get more participation and have your student bring materials to the
lesson. You can then build your language teaching around these interests. Dont be afraid to
have the odd unstructured conversation lesson about trainspotting if that is your students
hobby. This will help open your student up and create a much more comfortable learning
Flexibility: you can arrange lessons for when and where you like. So, doing a lesson that involves
going round the shops or to a cafe can be a welcome change of scene. Of course, make these
excursions useful and relevant. A trip to the art museum could be a useful context for practising
functions expressing opinion or comparatives and superlatives.
Be a catalyst: with groups, students can bounce ideas off each other. So, you need to provide that
stimulus by prompting your student and suggesting ideas where needed.
Pace: you have the perfect opportunity to work at your students pace rather than yours. In a
classroom, because of the lack of one-to-one time, students have the chance to assimilate while
other things are going on in the lesson. Make sure the pace is such, then, that your student has
enough time for the lesson to sink in.
Variation: since it is just the two of you, you can easily fall into a routine. Make certain you vary
the activities you do as well as location.


Some one-to-one activities

Most activities that you use in the classroom can be adapted to one-to-one lessons. You will still
do gap fills, drilling, sentence completion, matching activities and for role plays; you can take
part in the role play.
Some activities that might feel a little silly in a one-to-one situation would be running dictation
(where students have to run out of the room and find sentences you have put onto the wall,
memorise them and whisper them to their partner) or board races.
Here are some activities that are particularly suited to one-to-one lessons.
Tours: this could be of the work place, local town, or as mentioned earlier the art museum.
Think of the vocabulary and language you want to practise. Prepare the student for the tour in
the earlier lesson by presenting and practising the language. The tour would be the production
part of the lesson.
Role play and telephone lessons: any kind of role play can be done with two people.
Telephoning, sitting back to back or in another room in the office is an easy thing to do.
Recording your student: using video and audio recording and playing it back enables your
student to analyse their own language. Because the lesson is one-to-one it is an opportunity for
you to give that time and attention, which you wouldnt have in class with more than one
News stories: collect a weeks worth of newspapers and cut out pictures of news stories from
each one. Aim for a selection of five or six topical news pictures from that week. Then take an A4
or letter size sheet of heavy paper (or card). Cut a small square out of the middle of this card.
When you come to class, place a picture from the news under the card so that only some of the
picture is visible. The student must 1) speculate about what the picture is about, and 2) tell you
as much as they know about the news story.
Sight translation activities: many one-to-one students are business people who are expected to
learn English for their job. One typical area that people at work need English for is sight
translation. Give them a document related to their work and ask them to explain it quickly to
you in English.
Interviews: prepare a series of question prompts on a topic. For example, if your topic was
sports you could have the following question prompts:
- / like sports?
- what / sports/play?
- what / sports / watch on television?
- ever / win / sports award? etc.


First interview the student using the prompts. Then ask the student to do the same for you.
When you have finished, review any special vocabulary or grammar that came up. Tell the
student that for the next class he or she must prepare a similar list of questions on a different
topic to interview you.

Top ten tips for a successful one-to-one lesson

To sum up here is a list of recommendations when teaching one-to-one lessons.
1. Good needs analysis; re-evaluate periodically
2. Let the student work at their own pace.
3. Vary the focus/pace of the lesson; have short breaks
4. You dont have to entertain - your student is fine getting on with a gap fill while you sit
5. Have extra material in reserve.
6. Dont forget the other skills; writing, reading and listening
7. Set out rules; have rules on how much time is for conversation and how much for
8. Adapt activities and dont miss out pair work.
9. If your student just wants to talk, go with the flow. Though, you may need to have rules
on how much conversation time and how much work time there is in a lesson.
10. Regularly feedback to your student on how well they are doing


Unit 12
The Video Unit
Note the names of the stages:
Video 1: Introduction (we have provided this to introduce you to the video but this is normally
the warmer stage).
Video 2: Lead-in (Remember in a PPP plan a warmer will go before this. Probably to revise
from the last class and/or revise certain vocab or grammar that students have learned before
and will be incorporated into practice with the new Target Language from this lesson). We
havent included a warmer in this video.
Videos 3, 4, 5 & 6: Presentation.
Video 7: Practice (controlled) activity.
Video 8: Production (freer) activity.
Video 9: Language Review.


Unit 13
Review Unit
Review Assignment
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your tutor cannot mark this assignment till you have finished all the
lessons and been graded for all the other assignments on this course. So please before doing this
review assignment; make sure you have finished them all with no redoes still waiting to be done.
This is your FINAL piece of work and piece de resistance!
You need to prepare a lesson plan with the information below. You are not required to submit the
actual materials, but do include a description of them. There a number of examples of lesson
plans throughout the course. See Unit 2 for a refresher on lesson planning.
You should submit your plan below and please don't worry about neat tables as often these can
get skewed online. However, please use clear headings etc. Submit what activities and materials
you would use, how you would present them and the time allocated to each activity and stage.
*Note: Please don't submit a plan on a chart or table because they don't save well on the system
and provide little space for tutor feedback. Thanks.
Here is your lesson information:
Level: Pre-intermediate
Aim: Present perfect to express an experience some time before now. E.g. I have been to
Mexico. I have eaten Octopus etc.
Target language: I have been/eaten etc, Have you ever...?
Time: 50 minutes
Assumptions: Students will have encountered the present perfect before so should be familiar
with the form.
Possible problems: Students might use the present perfect with past phrases, e.g. I have been to
Mexico in 2003. I have eaten Octopus last year.


Unit 14
Getting your Certificate
The Course Feedback must be completed before we can send out your certificate. Please note
that the link to the course feedback will only appear below once your course has been completed.


Further reading
Practical English Usage - Swan (OUP)
English Grammar in Use Murphy (CUP)
Grammar Practice Activities -Penny Ur (CUP)
Teaching tenses Aitkin (Longman)
Functions of English Jones (CUP)
A way with words Remand and Ellis (CUP)
Working with words Gairns and Redman (CUP)
Task Listening Blundell and Stokes (CUP)
Teaching English Pronunciation Kenworthy (Longman)
Ship or Sheep Baker (CUP)
Speaking Personally - Porter Ladousse (CUP)
Keep Talking Klippel (CUP)
Recipes for Tired Teachers Sion (Longman)
Grammar Games Rinvolucri et al (CUP)
Games for Language Learning Wright (CUP)
The Recipe Book Seth Lindstromberg (Longman)


Lesson Planning
Planning from Lesson to Lesson Woodwood and Lindstromberg
Theory and methodology
The Practice of English Language Teaching Harmer (Longman)


Finding work
The demand for English worldwide is huge and it is growing even faster now. That is why there
are an enormous number of teaching opportunities worldwide including the UK.
Teaching in the UK
Teaching in the UK is seasonal with students coming to the UK to learn English at summer
schools throughout the UK. Other opportunities might be teaching one-to-one in your local town
or doing voluntary teaching in your local community. There is a growing demand for learning
English due to growing number of residents who dont have English as a first language.
Useful resources
British Council - has a list of all approved schools in the UK. is a UK site that has jobs posted from all over the world including the UK. this site is specifically designed for the first time teacher and has a wealth
of information and guidance.


Getting your CV right

Applying for your first teaching job is no different from any other job application. Your CV
should look good and be relevant
TEFL qualifications
It is no good sending off a CV/Rsum for an EFL/ESL job if you don't specify which TEFL
qualification you have. This is one of the first things employers will be looking for. It's of little
use to simply put 'TEFL Certificate' or - even worse - 'TEFL'. State the name of the qualification,
plus the number of hours the course took and the grade, e.g. TEFL Scotland 20-hour TEFL
Two pages are enough
Dont include every qualification and bit of work experience you have ever had. Keep it to the
most recent and relevant.
Employers rarely read past the second page. All they generally want to know is:

Your nationality and if you are you eligible for work in the country?

Your TEFL qualification

Your age and if you are you too old to get a work visa?

Your related experience.

Your CV/Rsum may be one of ten. Why would a busy employer contact you for details of your
referees when the next person in the pile has provided contact details for theirs?
And if you do include referees, don't forget their e-mail addresses. It takes most people less time
(and a lot less money) to send a 3-line e-mail than it does to make an international phone call.
E-mail provides a comfortable distance. It's quick, and it's private.
Fonts like Arial, Verdana or Times New Roman are fine. One is right. Two is pushing it. Three is
a mess.
Folded & Photocopied CVs/ Rsums are a no-no.
Paper Colour & Sizes should be white A4 or cream A4 only. Pink CVs go straight in the bin. So
do green, blue and orange ones. Stick to the conventions.


Fancy Folders are a waste of money. These also go straight in the bin.
Bullet Points should always be used for listing experience.
Including your experience
Since this is likely to be your first job teaching English, you will need to include relevant
experience. Include your experience of the course books you have used on the course and
mention a couple. Include any experience you have of presenting, working with children or
adults, mentoring or instructing. If you have any kind of experience of standing up in front of
people then include it, even if it only from this course!
It is quite likely that your job application will be an email. Make sure all parts of the CV are on
one word document, ie. The photo, CV and covering letter. Also try to save the word document
as an older version of word just in case!
Hobbies and interests
Include them if they relevant and interesting and make you stand out . Also add in any travel
experience you have as this shows you are less likely to suffer culture shock.
Date of birth
For some schools this is important. If you dont have it on, it could automatically be rejected
because the school might not be bothered to follow it up.
Your photograph
Make an effort with the photograph. Make it is clear and presentable. A lot of passport photos
can make you like a convict. The photo should be smiley, happy and confident, like someone
who will be positive and professional in the classroom.


The interview
Like any other job interview, you should be honest, friendly and try to inject a little humour.
Heres some questions you might be asked:
a) Which level do you prefer to teach? Each level has its challenges and pleasures
b) Do you prefer teaching adults or children? List the advantages of both.
c) Which text books have you used? List some from the course and how you like them and how
you have added your own teaching materials to those in the course book.
d) How would you interest a group of teenagers? Choose topics that would be of interest to
them. Keep the class challenging and at a good pace.
e) How would you calm a class of over-excited students? Be firm, but dont shout. Say you
understand that the school is a business and you dont want to discourage student attendance
and parental complaints. Say you would also be consistent with the school policy on discipline.
The most important thing is to keep your cool.
f) How would you find living in my country? You need to get across that you will not suffer from
culture shock or rather you understand the differences and expect a period of adjustment. Add
in any travel experience you have, this will show you are less likely to suffer culture shock.
Here are some questions you might like to ask:
Ask about what course books they use in the school and levels they have and whether there is a
structured curriculum or if you have some autonomy in what you teach.
Ask about the length of the contract and school holidays
Ask about what you should be wearing or what materials could be useful to bring with you to the
You can ask about life, but be careful not to ask questions that you should have researched like
what the weather is like etc. It is better to slip this subtly to show you have done extensive
research into the area.
Ask about the number of teachers and how long they have taught there. If there is a high
turnover of teachers, it is not a great endorsement for the school.
Asking about money is always tricky, you will have to be the judge of this. Try and leave it to the
end or even the second interview if you need to mention it. Be polite, but straightforward.
Ask to see the contract before you fully commit yourself. You can get it checked out at the
relevant embassy if you need to.