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Coursebooks and grammar practice materials gave some of the basic information that my students and I needed, and this helped a good deal. Working out the rules on the spot was generally useless. In fact, as I slowly came to realise, it's no use trying to analyse language on your feet: your first answer is always wrong.

6 Tips for Teaching English to Complete Beginners

Better explanations could generally be found buried in a larger reference work; but you had to dig for it. So I started digging. As time went on, I wrote these answers on index cards, and put them in the staffroom of the school where I taught, with an invitation to other teachers to contribute their own knowledge and insights. My aim was above all to produce something different from a standard language manual: not page after page covering the whole of a topic, but single separate answers to single separate questions.

How to Teach Used To and Would

Intermediate and advanced students don't generally want to know how gerunds, prepositions or past tenses are used; they want to know why this gerund, this preposition or this past tense can't be used in this situation. It was also important to know about the problems that speakers of particular languages have with English.

So information of this kind also went into the card index. Time went by, and after 15 years or so in classrooms I moved into full-time writing.

6 Tips for Teaching English to Complete Beginners

How easy it would be, I thought, to turn my card index into a book. Of course, it was not easy at all.


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But a couple of years later, I did produce a rather messy badly-typed draft, to which, fortunately, Oxford University Press reacted positively, and after substantial revision the book was published in It was, I believe, the first reasonably comprehensive and properly-researched guide to common problems in English as a foreign language, and it was widely used. English should not be taught the same way Mathematics or History is taught.

There is no room for lectures because luckily as the teacher, you already know how to speak English while the students really need to practice more than anything else. Getting students to communicate with you and each other in a positive creative environment should be the goal of every language teacher. You can incorporate many different games into your lessons and with lots of miming and role plays students will probably laugh at you, in a good way, on more than one occasion.

How To Teach Children English

Taking the focus away from grammar rules and focusing on communication will encourage them to try their best, which is all you can really ask of them. Students just beginning their English studies have absolutely no idea what to expect so it is beneficial to you and all their later English teachers to help them enjoy it by encouraging them and showing them that learning another language is not an overwhelming task.

Learn English With These Basic Conversation Exercises

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Students just starting their English studies risk being overwhelmed by new material.

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