In the age of globalisation, the English language is considered universal and is practically spoken around the world, in different countries. Despite the different accents and terminologies, English is still defined as a universal language. If you are a professional who wants to teach English as a career, a certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) should be one your top priority.
The quality of English language lessons around the world is a priority not only for countries that has English as a second language, but also countries that has a large population of native English speakers. Currently, the pressure is directed to English teachers because of the increase in the number of English learners around the world. To ensure quality, educational institutions are looking to hire more TESOL certified instructors or get their English instructors be credited with a TESOL certificate.
The Six Principles
TESOL is also an international association of TESOL educators. A recent publication coming from TESOL.org known as the “Six of Principles of TESOL”, was issued to guide teachers in teaching the language to learners. The six principles are a set of guidelines that serve as a universal model for English teachers to follow in order for them to come up with effective English instruction lessons.
The six principles are: (1) Know Your Learners, (2) Create Conditions for Language Learning, (3) Design High-Quality Lessons for Language Development, (4) Adapt Lesson Delivery as Needed, (5) Monitor and Assess Student Language Development, and (6) Engage and Collaborate within a Community of Practice.
Today, we will breakdown each principle.
Principle 1: Know Your Learners
As a teacher, knowing your learners is a fundamental requirement in creating an effective lesson plan for students. Through understanding your students’ backgrounds’, you will grasp each student’s language proficiency level and their language development, helping you come up with a well-crafted lesson plan that is customised for your class. Aside from this, understanding your students’ basic information, such as their families, languages, cultures, and educational backgrounds, correct placement of students, engage them more in class, and help teachers understand each of their students.
Principle 2: Create Conditions for Language Learning
There are many factors on how students will be able to learn better in class. One classic example of these factors is the expectations of teachers when it comes to the success rate of their students. At times, teachers must raise the bar when it comes to expectations, but students must be able to see this as motivation. It’s the responsibility of teachers to create a classroom setting that will make students comfortable — a setting that will push students to learn enthusiastically and engage them to participate. Teachers must understand the compatibility of learning materials, physical environment, and social integration in order to promote learning to students.
Principle 3: Design High-Quality Lessons for Language Development
Students learn from what teachers have taught them. On the other hand, teachers create their lesson materials based on textbooks, their knowledge, and curriculum. For students to efficiently understand the English language, teachers must be able to plan out meaningful lessons. These lessons should be able to pique the interest of students, evoking critical thinking and strategies. Lessons must be able to target different English proficiency skills of students, whether speaking, reading, or writing, and make them understand the language itself.
Principle 4: Adapt Lesson Delivery as Needed
On the part of teachers, they should be able to assess their students based on their responses in the lessons. And based on these responses, teachers will be able to determine how their students are learning the language. Are these students struggling with the new language? Are they having a hard time in certain areas? Or maybe these students are not challenged enough? Students’ responses help teachers know if students are able to reach the learning objectives. If students do not reach or have surpassed the objectives, then teachers must be able to adapt and change their lessons accordingly to help students fully understand a lesson before moving on to the next.
Principle 5: Monitor and Assess Student Language Development
Students are different from each other — some are fast learners, while the rest can be moderate or struggling with understanding a new language. So, it’s the responsibility of the teacher to regularly monitor their students to understand their progress. Through interaction, teachers properly identify their students’ language development and properly align lessons fit for their learning curves.
Principle 6: Engage and Collaborate within a Community of Practice
Sometimes the best learning activities are made through collaboration. Teachers are encouraged to engage and collaborate with other professionals within the language and teaching community to come up with high-quality materials and activities that will challenge and, at the same time, motivate students to learn the English language. On the other hand, teachers also learn and further enhance their craft as they undergo professional development and receive comments and suggestions on their lesson plans from other professionals.
A Holistic Approach
Despite the fact that the principles are six, the guidelines should be viewed as one holistic approach. A teacher cannot focus on one guideline alone. The six principles are a must for every language teacher for it helps them to prepare effectively high-quality materials they are going to use when teaching students. The principles will also help them have guidelines to use in order to properly teach students and motivate them to learn a new language.
To fully understand the principles and how to fully integrate it into your profession, you can Study TESOL in Melbourne through Explore English’s in-depth TESOL courses that focus on preparing you with the practical skills and knowledge to teach the English language to non-native speakers.
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