Teaching Tips from the Trenches

I recently got a barage of requests for “advice”. I really am honored and EVERY time try my best to give the most and most apt advice I possibly can given all the variables involved.

This got me thinking and of course, “out popped a powerpoint”! I thought I’d record my thoughts in some fashion, to help all those new teachers continually entering our great profession. Also, to give a second sober thought and second wind to all those who are already in the trenches…

We might also benefit from reminding ourselves of H.D. Brown’s 10 Commandments for English teachers and students. They compliment each other and this chart I put together shows them side by side. On the left for teachers – on the right for learners.

Teacher’s Version                         Learner’s Version

1 Lower inhibitions                               Fear not!
2 Encourage risk-taking                       Dive in
3 Build self-confidence                         Believe in yourself
4 Develop intrinsic motivation              Seize the day
5 Engage in cooperative learning           Love thy neighbour
6 Use right-brain processes                  Get the BIG picture
7 Promote ambiguity tolerance             Cope with the chaos
8 Practice intuition                               Go with your hunches
9 Process error feedback                      Make mistakes work FOR you
10 Set personal goals                           Set your own goals

Brown, H. D. (2000) Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New York: Longman.

Please let me know what you agree, disagree with…. It is really between the pages that we learn!


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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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