Here’s a quick tip which serves two purposes: less work for you, more English practice for the students.
Here we’re talking about TEFL lesson preparation, but the same idea applies during the lesson itself for many tasks. It’s well worth adopting this general approach to your teaching as we’re sure you’ll find it a win-win situation all round!
A Simple Example
Suppose you need to prepare an activity for your class. Let’s say you want to prepare some flashcards with items of clothing on them.
Normally you’d sit in the staff room or at home going through magazines, selecting pictures and then carefully cutting them out, sticking them on card, writing the word in English on the back and then laminating them for future use.
Instead of doing all this yourself, you can turn this into a lesson!
Firstly get together the materials you’ll need: in the example above this means the magazines, scissors, card, etc.
In the class get the students into pairs then explain the first step – in English of course – and have the students go through the magazines looking for pictures of different items of clothing.
The students then identify them and cut them out, you might have them use a dictionary to find the right word or you could use a simple activity whereby if they don’t know the name of a certain item, they can ask other students for help.
Then give them simple instructions on preparing the flashcards, that is pasting the picture on a card, writing the word in English on the back and then (if available) laminating the card.
Finally you finish the lesson with an activity based around the cards you’ve created and you can be sure that the students will remember the new vocabulary quickly and effectively since they’ve been working on it all lesson!
This general idea can be adapted and adjusted for many different preparation ideas. It works on so many levels because the students are actively involved and learn through the process with an added bonus of you having to do less preparation in your own time!
Any activity which you might do yourself as preparation can be worked into a quick lesson. For example, if you want to make crossword for a class then get the students to do it. If you need semantic field for a lesson activity, get the students to put them together. And perhaps even a action maze or a cloze or gap fill test…
Almost anything you need to do can be adapted with a little thought and imagination.