Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified and teach in Yuyang Diqu? Are you interested in teaching English in Beijing? Check out ITTT’s online and in-class courses, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English ONLINE or abroad! ITTT offers a wide variety of Online TEFL Courses and a great number of opportunities for English Teachers and for Teachers of English as a Second Language.
Creating Materials Seven years ago, I arrived at my first piano lesson. Not to learn, but to teach. As I sat waiting for my student to arrive, I looked over all of the beginner books that I had brought with me. I had no idea what I was doing, but figured teaching couldn?t be that hard if I just followed the book. After the lesson had finished, I realized that I had a lot of work ahead of me. I would need to make some of my own materials to fill in the gaps and to help explain many of the ideas that were presented in the book. Whether it is for a piano lesson or an English course, I have learned that creating materials will be necessary for all of my future classes. Created materials for my classes are not only worksheets or modified authentic material, but also can be charts, symbols or pictures which explain an idea. For example, explaining the difference between two similar words. When I first started teaching English this helped me a lot since I needed to understand myself what I was teaching before I could teach it. I have often had to make a whole lesson of original material and now find that those lessons are sometimes the easiest to create extra activities for. If I need to find one or two exercises, many times the materials I find are too long, too short or too difficult. But, if I like the idea, I will try to use it with my own changes. The internet has been a lifesaving resource for ideas. Usually, modifying materials takes less time than trying to find authentic materials at the correct level, especially beginning levels. Once I find authentic materials, modifying them or creating materials based on them is much easier. One website I have used for ideas is National Geographic kids, which brings the vocabulary level way down but the keeps the fun factor way up. I can take the facts and pictures about our world or nature and make a game out of them like trivia. Another website I have come across is The Internet TESL Journal. One lesson plan idea that I found also explained why certain things would work. It was a lesson plan by Sean Banville which used current events in a lesson. I didn?t use his lesson plan, but was able to create my own about soccer in the Olympics. My japanese students were very excited about it, especially the soccer club members, and we were able to discuss current scores and famous players. After using the created materials it is important to look at how well it worked in the class and make changes based on the English production of the students. If there is no evaluation of the students and the materials, teaching is not going to be productive for the next class period or for other classes. Sometimes an activity doesn?t work and after struggling to understand why, other teachers or even friends can shed a whole new light on the situation. The next time I use that activity, it will have a completely different and better outcome. One thing I need to be careful of is explaining the instructions before using the created material. If the way to execute the activity is not familiar to the students, they may be confused about how to use the materials, even though it may be at a level which is review for them. Another thing I need to be careful of is the time I spend creating the materials. A very wise group of friends once told me that sometimes preparing the materials will take a long time and end up not working in the class. It is better to keep it short and simple; don?t get too carried away. It is very true. Sometimes the activity doesn?t need ten sets of flashcards to be successful. Once in a while, all the materials that are needed will be the words that the students already know.