Teaching English to Beginner Students
Teaching English to beginner students is one of the hardest levels to master, but one of the most rewarding if you do it right. Let me show you my method.
Hey everyone, it’s Chris Westergaard, one of the teacher trainers at The Language House in Prague. We are a TEFL certification course that trains new English teachers every month. My first class teaching beginner students was nearly 20 years ago. I can remember completely this first lesson and how unprepared I felt in the classroom. It was a disaster.
Since then, I spent a lot of time and thought creating a complete system to tackle this level called The 5 Points. Essentially, The 5 Points is a clear and logical system to get your students from learning individual words and grammar points to using the language in real-life conversations. This is the goal, right? We want our students to be able to communicate with each other and not just do basic worksheets that don’t lead to anything useful. How is this possible? How can someone actually teach a beginner student without using translation? How can you get students at a super low level to communicate with each other?
Check out the videos below for these answers and more. Each video is about 10-17 minutes in length. I highly suggest getting a pen and taking some notes while watching the videos.
You Need to Know These Fundamentals First (video 1)
The first video in the series is all about the basic concepts you need to teach this level effectively. If you go into a beginner class with the same mindset and skillset as your other levels, it’s simply not going to work. I’ve got about 15 tips to help you.
Here’s How You Teach Vocab (video 2)
In this second video, I cover how (and when) to teach the target language (vocabulary in this case). The video starts with some important things to consider before going into the specific steps and techniques that I use in my classes.
Structuring Your Lessons with The 5 Points (video 3)
The final video in the series (although I might add more to this article in the future) is about The 5 Points system for teaching beginners. We cover what each point is, how to structure new language around it, and all of the techniques to make it all work – and get your students speaking! I have a lot of useful content in this one. You’re definitely going to want to bookmark this and watch it a second time when you do your own planning.
Putting it all Together
Beginners is such a great level to gain mastery with. Some of my fondest memories in the classroom are with beginner classes. I hope the videos help! Feel free to reach out to me or leave a comment on my YouTube page. Good luck with your own classes!