ESL / EFL Teaching Tip: Tips for Teaching Beginners


This is Maria, a teacher trainer at Rennert International, giving 2 quick tips about teaching beginner level students.


Maria: Hi, my name is Maria and I am a teacher trainer here at Rennert, but before I was a teacher trainer I taught beginners for many years. And one thing that I found super helpful was acting things out as I did them. Now it is important to think about because beginners have limited vocabulary, their listening skills are also limited, so how I supplemented that was if I gave them any instructions I would actually do them as I delivered the instructions. So, if you want them to stand up, I actually stood up so they could see what I wanted from them and that was really important. If I wanted them to, you know, write a paragraph I would gesture, you know, the writing. So, things like that are really really important. Gestures and body language are really important for beginners because that is how they can make the connections—that’s how they can start to make the connections between what the words are and what you actually expect them to do. Another thing that I found was really helpful was to have a bank of pictures available. So, if your students have questions about, you know, an object, a particular object or don’t know what that is having a picture of it really makes it just much smoother and they make that instant connection. So, for instance if the picture—if the word, is umbrella or something and you pull out a picture of umbrella, “Oh, that’s umbrella”, so they are able to make that instant connection with that. And it’s just really helpful for your students to start to build that vocabulary and start to make those connections, and it gives them a lot of confidence because they are able to understand what you want from them and they are able to actually do the activity smoothly. So, try that out and I’m sure you’ll be great! Bye!


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