Keep Clam & Carry On

What I have learned in TESOL


In the past few days, I have learned a lot about how to teach English better. I will list in detail what I have learned.


Before the class start

I thought I would just say hello to the students before the class started. I also knew that this would not attract the attention of my students at all. Now I know that I need to welcome them before starting, say their names, and greet them in various ways. The most important thing is to warm up. Let the students warm up quickly and arouse their interest in learning English. Warm-up has many games to choose from, such as Two golden rules; Reading your mind; Do not say yes or no; Jeopardy; Sentences races, etc. My favourite is Do not say yes or no. Because it needs to break my speaking habit, respond quickly, and be adaptable.

Learning style

I used to think that the students are all the same, it depends on how the teacher teaches. But I now understand that Everyone has a dominant learning style depending on the situation. There are eight in total: Visual learners, Aural learners, Verbal learners, Social learners, Logical learners, Physical learners, Solitary learners, Combination learners. Different styles of students like Different ways to learn. We should design different teaching methods and exercises according to their style.

For example, Visual learners, retain information more effectively when visual aids are used, such as pictures, images, film clips, colours, and diagrams. So, the strategies or methods for teaching visual learners can be to use visual aids, provide visual analogies and metaphors to help with visual imagery, include exercises where the students create mind maps, get students to visualize using phrases, such as, "Picture This", "Let's see what you would do.", etc.

In the contrast, Solitary learners like to work and learn by themselves and self-study. They may come across as shy or cold as they keep to themselves. If I get solitary learners feeling comfortable during some of the training, they are more likely to speak up during presentations or group work. So, the strategies for teaching solitary learners can be to ask questions so I know what they're thinking and how they're feeling, explain why the lesson material is important as solitary learners are often interested in outcomes. Along with this, give the class ways to track their progress.


How to teach speaking

I used to think speaking was just talking to students, but they would definitely feel it very boring. Now I have learned a lot of activities for teaching oral English. Take discussion as an example. I can prepare two similar photos for students to describe the two photos and can tell the differences between them, and then discover their common ground. Through this photo, I can connect with their own daily life. Meanwhile, I can play the “let us talk about you” game or “who is telling the trues game” with them. Then my class will become very active.

How to teach writing

I'm not very good at writing, so I didn't know how to teach writing before. But now I understand that writing can be divided into five steps: prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing. For example, for prewriting, I can first let students understand the basic idea, and then brainstorm to discuss “Who, What, Where, When, Why, How “are such questions. For Drafting, I can ask them to list the structure of the article first and then think about it. For Revising and Proofreading, I can ask students to focus on the need to add and subtract content, the correct use of grammar and punctuation. Now I have a clearer understanding of the specific steps of writing.

How to teach reading

I used to read the article directly, and I didn't think about any strategy. Now I understand that reading is divided into three steps: pre-reading, while-reading, post-reading. For pre-reading, Normally I need to guess what the article is about. For while-reading, there are five strategies such as previewing, predicting, skimming and scanning, guessing from context, paragraphing. Especially skimming and scanning are frequently used strategies. We can quickly browse through skimming to get general ideas. Find specific pieces through scanning. For post-reading, what needs to be done is associations and summarising. At the same time, I can also help my students to understand the whole article better through the "graphic organizer".


How to teach vocabulary

I had a pain point in learning vocabulary before. I forgot the words that I had memorized the next day, and even if I remembered them, they wouldn’t be used in the article. Now I understand that I need to teach not only pronunciation, meaning, spelling, but also how to use them. This is the key. The best way is to work in context. By connecting the words with context, I can quickly understand the usage of this vocabulary. At the same time, I also learned word-formation. It has 8 types: compounding, conversion, chipping, blends, back information acronyms, onomatopoeia, and eponyms. They are the most common way of forming words. Finally, I also learned some activities to teach vocabulary. My favourite is "using a word thermometer". Specifically, it divides the students into two groups and answers the words that can be associated with the pictures.   If one group answers it slower than the other group, this group's temperature will become higher, finally, whose temperature reaches 45 degrees Celsius, this group is about to sacrifice.   This can mobilize the enthusiasm of students and let them take the initiative to participate.

How to teach listening

When I practiced listening before, I would listen to word by word until I heard the pronunciation of each word, which was very tiring. Now I have learned that there are two strategies for listening, one is bottom-up and the other is top-down. For bottom-up, I need to hear very carefully and be able to pass what you hear to every word and sentence, finally got the meaning. For Top-down, just use the previous background knowledge to get the general meaning. Different scenarios use different strategies.

This is the main content I have learned. In short, I really learned a lot of ways to teach students better.


In general, through this in-depth study of the TESOL advanced program, I have mastered how to start classes, learning styles, and how to better teach speaking, writing, reading, vocabulary, and listening. I feel that I have benefited a lot, and it has had a profound impact on my future study and teaching career, allowing me to continue to work hard and explore how to better teach students.

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