Imagine coming home from a long day at school and spending hours on homework. It’s close to bedtime, and you have an English lesson scheduled shortly.
Scenario 1: The teacher speaks with a monotone voice. It’s so soothing and relaxing that it almost puts you to sleep!
Scenario 2: The teacher is very interesting, but you have a hard time focusing in class because you don’t quite understand the concepts, or you hardly speak.
As you can see, the traditional lecture format of teaching is not conducive to the VIPKID environment. Teachers need to make the lessons interesting and engaging from start to end. They need to really captivate their audience and invite them to participate.
By teacher Kimberly G
Here are five simple strategies that can be used in the classroom:
1. Intonation: Using voice variation techniques will help maintain the student’s interest. Saying a word LOUDLY and [softly] will make them curious about the vocabulary, and will make word repetition fun.
2. Energy/enthusiasm: When the teacher is excited about the lesson content, the student will often share that same excitement! Sometimes it’s difficult to be enthusiastic when the same lesson has been instructed time and time again. Teachers need to find a way to make the lesson new and interesting for *themselves* so that it may in turn be interesting for the students. Perhaps use a different approach when teaching a slide; incorporate new visuals and diagrams; make up a dance for the vocabulary word, etc.
3. Props: How better to demonstrate a concept than to have a concrete example? Especially with young English Language Learners (ELLs), it’s very important to have simplified language and lots of visual support. Common household items normally do the trick! There’s no need to invest in a large collection of props; use what’s around you to engage the student. Example: If you’re teaching about the sense of smell, you can smell a sock. For ‘taste’ you can bring any produce that you may have in your fridge.
4. Student TPR: We often talk about the teacher using exaggerated gestures to help explain an idea, but it’s important to note that *students* benefit from moving around and interacting with materials in order to learn. Doing actions along with the words will help the students create associations and remember the target vocabulary. Remember that lesson on the senses? Why not ask the *student* to find something they smell or taste?
5. Student output: Perhaps the easiest way to keep the students awake and interested in the lesson is to have them do most of the talking. Ask lots of questions and wait for their responses. In the virtual classroom, there are at times sound delays; teachers can offer a longer wait time to make sure that the student has heard the question.
Those are my five quick tips. What strategies do you employ in the classroom?
Thanks for reading, and happy teaching!
If you want to learn more about the teaching opportunity teacher Kimberly has, learn more here.
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