5 Essential TESOL Teaching Skills
TESOL Teacher Preparation
Teachers have to be masters of more than just the content. The way in which we get students to interact with the content and with one another is far more important. Consider those who are experts in something but poor facilitators of that expertise. I’ll bet you could fill a notebook with examples.
I remember trying to learn how to drive stick from a friend who could do anything with any type of vehicle, he was failed to teach me how to drive a manual car. He started me off on a hill saying ‘that was how his dad taught him’. The explanations that he provided were long and in no logical order. Some of the things he told me to pay particular attention I never even practiced. It was a horribly frustrating experience.
A few years later, another friend taught me how to drive a motorcycle. He had been riding bikes since he was five. He taught me everything I needed to know in one afternoon. He started me off by just shifting from 1st to 2nd and then to neutral. I must have practiced this step a dozen times. He showed me tricks and had me practice a bit at a time. He kept asking me how I was feeling, and he kept saying, ‘alright. Show me.’ It was an empowering experience.
What was the difference in those two experiences? While the content of both of these experiences was similar, the approach that each teacher took was very different. My motorcycle instructor modeled a number of skills that are critical to effectively teaching non-native English speakers.
Each one of the following TESOL teaching skills are explored in depth during the SIT TESOL Certificate course that TESOL Trainers offers in Santa Fe, New Mexico.