Being successful in any career requires skills. This is no different for the ESL teacher. Apart from having subject knowledge, a great ESL teacher needs other skills. In this article, you will learn 5 skills that every great ESL teacher should possess. But, this is not a full list. There are many other skills that teachers should possess. We will look at these skills in our next article. For now, let us look at the most important skills.
Interpersonal communication skills
Firstly, a great ESL teacher should have good interpersonal communication skills. Successful teachers know how to interact with other people. This helps in creating a positive and exciting learning environment. Secondly, teaching with a smile helps in spreading the same energy to the learners. Positive energy boosts learning motivation. Eventually, the learning environment becomes more pleasant.
Also, this skill enables teachers to get students talking. This involves spending less time talking and more time listening. A good ESL teacher hence knows how to keep students communicating. This is a great way of learning the language.
A great ESL teacher is knowledgeable. Notably, speaking the English language is not enough. Teaching any language goes beyond just being able to speak it. Therefore, a great teacher knows the rules of the language. Also, a great teacher knows how to explain these rules to their students. With this knowledge, a teacher chooses the best learning style for their student. It is only through an interesting presentation style that learners can have motivation. In addition, the presentation style should be educational and fun. This way, students are willing to learn the language. Also, a good presentation helps students retain information.
Good organizational skills
A great ESL teacher should possess good organizational skills. At a higher level, organization skills help plan the curriculum. It also helps a teacher plan what will be covered by when. Then, the teacher uses these skills to plan daily activities. For example, a good teacher has a plan for the activities that will take place in every lesson. This includes knowing which learning tools to carry to class. Organizational skills are also used in recording and analyzing students’ performance. Lastly, organizational skills enable a teacher to properly organize a classroom. In a well-organized classroom, students have minimal distractions. This increases their focus on the learning material.
Sometimes things will not go as planned. This is however common in teaching. For example, an activity may take more or less time than planned. Other times, students will ask questions that were not part of the lesson plan. This thus shows that the unexpected will happen. This requires a great teacher to be flexible. This means being open to change. Sometimes this will involve making changes in the mid lesson. Without this skill, a teacher may get upset. Hence, such an attitude will spread in the classroom.
Great ESL teachers should be creative. This mostly involves supplementing learning with interesting activities. For example, teachers can use the following creative approaches to teach language.
- Matching games
This involves matching vocabularies with images and definitions. Students can also match vocabularies with meanings by filling in blank sentences. Matching games get students excited and motivated. This also creates a productive learning environment.
- Making crafts
Making crafts is fun. Let students show off their skills to reinforce the lesson. For example, they can draw animals and name them. Then, you can display their crafts to boost their motivation. Your students will be looking forward to the lessons.
This is a creative way of facilitating learning. It involves the use of real-world situations in learning. Students can roleplay various situations. For example, they can roleplay a visit to the doctor or a plan to hang out with friends. This creates a space for practicing what they are learning.
- Act words out
Acting words out is a creative way of improving learning. It allows students to be silly with words. For example, if you are teaching about animals. Invite students to act out these animals. They will love your lessons. Students love having fun. You can take advantage of this to improve learning.
- Learn a song
Songs are creative means of learning. A creative teacher will teach their students a song related to learning. Accompany the song with some dance movements. Students will have a great time learning.
Becoming a Successful ESL Teacher
It is difficult to be perfect. But, ESL teachers can be more successful by developing important skills. With good skills, teachers become better at what they know. They improve their communication. Lastly, they become better at what they do. Don’t worry if you lack in any of these. As long as you have the will to learn, you are good to go. Would you like to work as an ESL teacher? We have provided a list of five skills that you should possess. With these skills, you will have a successful career.