learn to teach English
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How can you teach English ?

English teaching knowledge

To teach English professionally you need English teaching knowledge, which basically means that you should know how to teach English in a structured and systematic way, applied to the level of English that your student has.

For example, if your student is a beginner, you wouldn't start by teaching him the future tense, but you'd start by teaching him the present tense.

Progressive and structured English teaching

The next important factor, is teaching English in a structured manner, which is the natural way of how to build up and expand the student's English language knowledge and not even expert language teachers can do this without some sort of guideline to follow.

The easiest, most logical structured and best guideline to teach English in a consistent progressive manner are the English language course books New English File and New Headway.
This is because the course books follow the natural structure of the English language from zero level to advanced level and you don't really need to know what to teach and when to teach it because the English language course books do it for you.

It's similar to the process of a small child learning it's mother language where that child will start with sentences like " Me want ice-cream" or "You daddy" and progress onto perfecting its language structure to "Where are you going ?" and "Where have you been ?" and so on.

The child doesn't know that she is using the present, or the present progressive nor the present perfect, and neither does she know what verbs, adjectives and prepositions are, but learns to use and include them perfectly in her spoken English.

So if you have never taught English before, the NEF and the NHW course books do all this work for you, and all you need to do is to learn how to use these course books and how to apply them to any level of English teaching you may encounter. We show you exactly how to do this in our Learn to teach English course.

How do I know at what level the student is ?

What do you teach a student who already knows some or quite a lot of English ?
At what level do you begin ? And how do you find out the student's level ?

Most experienced teachers only need a 2 minute conversation with a student to figure out at what level of English that student is but you do not need any experience at all to be able to find out this level and in our course we show you how.

We show you in 5 minutes how to test your student's English to know at exactly what level that student is and which course book to use to start teaching him English.

And you must be able to find out at what level any student is to decide which course book you will use to start to teach him English but also, the student needs to know that you are able to assess him correctly.

It would be a mistake in assessing a student who is a beginner as someone who is at the elementary level, and then start him at that level, because he won't cope with that level and both you the teacher and the student will feel frustrated and your work will be difficult.

The opposite also applies if you decide to start a student on the elementary level, but really his level is the pre-intermediate. In this case the student will think that you don't really know how to teach English because you have failed to assess his level of English correctly. And in this case the student will know, because everything will be too easy for him.

How do I teach English grammar ?

You don't.
Modern English language courses today do not teach grammar as it used to be taught in the past. No sensible language course book will start with : I am - You Are etc. and to teach the verb to be to beginner students, complete sentences are used where the verb to be is incorporated. This not only gets the task of teaching the verb to be done, bat at the same time also teaches the student to connect and learn other new words.
So after the first lesson, the student will know not only the verb to be, but also other words.... for example : I am ..... happy. and so on.
And he has learnt this without having to robotically repeat a hundred times : I am, You are etc.

How do I explain English grammar ?

You don't.
But you can if you like.
You don't explain English grammar because the New English File and New Headway course books incorporate it in the actual lessons, and this works the same way as for the young child as described above.
The student doesn't need to know that : I is the first person singular, am is the verb to be particle, that this is the present tense form, used generally, but not progressively, and that happy is an adjective and in this structure must be placed at the end of this sentence.

All the student needs to know is: I am happy= whatever it is in his own language.

If a student does ask you for a grammar explanation, for example...
'Where do we put adjectives in a sentence ? '..
'How many conditional tenses are there in the English language and how do you use them ?'
What do you do ?

Well, most average people don't know the answer to the first question, simply because they never needed to know, as the young child above.

And even most expert English language teachers will have difficulty answering the second question.
Most teachers know that there are 3 types of conditionals, a few more teachers know that there are five and very few teachers actually know that there are 7!

If you don't know the answer to either of these questions .... what do you do ?
Well, you could tell the student that you don't teach grammar. End of story.
[ logical explanations = use the child example ]

But say that you don't want to look like a complete idiot, (student's aren't stupid ) .. then there are three easy steps you can take to avoid being embarrassed, and actually give the correct answers and grammar explanations.

Do our course and learn how!   {;>)