It is likely that you will be teaching beginner English overseas. Schools employ graduates with any degree because they want their students to have the experience of being taught English by a natural English speaker, not necessarily an expert in the English language. Students are often great at reading and writing English, but they need conversational practise. That’s where you come in.
Some graduates see their time overseas as simply a way of making money while travelling. Here are Flying Cows though we know that to get the most out of your time overseas it helps if you take your job seriously and become the very best teacher you can be. Having students respond positively to your lessons and helping them develop and grow in their English ability and confidence is what makes teaching overseas so rewarding and different from other work overseas.
We all learned to understand and speak our first language by hearing it and using it in natural situations. This is the most effective and interesting way to learn a second language too.
Experts advise language teachers to spend most of the classroom time on activities that foster natural acquisition, rather than on formal grammar and structure explanations and drills. Babies listen to their first language for a long time before attempting to speak it. Family members patiently repeat single words while the baby is focusing on real objects, people and activities. They sing, chant and play rhythmic language games such as Patta Cake and This Little Pig went to the Market. The child’s first efforts at speaking were met with excitement. Mistakes are not only overlooked – they are often enjoyed and imitated.
A small child learns to say, “Cookie, please,” (or “Coocoo pease”) because he/she wants a cookie. Need is the motivating for learning the language. In class you might have a drawing lesson and deliberately not pass out the crayons. Invariably the students will ask for crayons. Encouraging this method of natural communication can be done in all sorts of situations.
Children learn the names of their clothes as they are dressing, of food as they are eating, of toys as they are playing, of actions as they, or people around them are doing them. They learn vast quantities of words and concepts while being enchanted with stories read to them as they sit on their carers’ laps.
Whole-child involvement means that you arrange for the child’s participation in the lesson to involve as many senses as possible. Manipulating real objects, following directions, going on trips, working on arts and crafts, cleaning up, singing, cooking, eating and learning to play games are all opportunities to use language with whole-being involvement.
Patience and encouragement builds the childs’s self-esteem. Frequent praise, reinforcement, and acknowledgement of effort help to lower anxiety and eliminate consciousness about potential mistakes.