ITTT Review Unit 7: Teaching New Language

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ITTT Review Unit 7: Teaching New Language

It is sometimes said that grammar is like the tree trunk and branches of a language, whereas the vocabulary are the leaves. They need each other to exist; grammar can’t exist as a communication tool without the vocabulary and vocabulary can’t be used to communicate effectively without the support of grammar. Unit 7 of the 120-hour online course by ITTT is about Teaching New Language.

What do we need to consider when teaching new language?

Every lesson is unique and will have its own challenges. However one thing each ESL lesson has is that you’ll be teaching some form of new language.

Teaching new language can involve introducing new vocabulary, practicing particular grammar structures and thinking of fun and creative ways to introduce and teach new language. One of the many excellent things about this online TEFL course is that it helps TEFL trainees to consider very real situations that you’ll face as a TEFL teacher and how to prepare for teaching.

Unit 7 gives you practical advice on what students require when facing new language and how you, the teacher, can approach teaching new language for the first time. Other online TEFL courses that I’ve seen just haven’t prepared new teachers for the real classroom environment in such a good way.

How to learn teaching vocabulary on your TEFL course

Learning vocabulary is very important to English language learners and students can make lots of different sentences with just a handful of grammatical structures by switching the vocabulary. Teaching vocabulary will give your students the confidence and courage to speak more.

The ITTT 120-hour TEFL course says that students will find it easy or hard to learn vocabulary based on appropriacy, spelling and pronunciation, similarity to English words already known and the similarity to the students own language (the word for green in French is ‘verde’ and I always remember this because I think of the word ‘verdant’. ‘Chocolate’ is ‘chou-ke-li’ in Chinese, etc).

Choosing which vocabulary to teach your students isn’t always easy either. The ITTT 120-hour course mentions that appropriacy to students’ level and usefulness to your students’ daily lives is a big factor. Of course, your curriculum and text book will often guide your decision making in teaching new language and teaching new vocabulary.

What techniques can be used when teaching new vocabulary?

There are lots of cool methods for teaching new language and teaching new vocabulary. The online TEFL course gives the following suggestions:

-          Realia (real objects students can hold and pass around)

-          Mine and action

-          Discussion

-          Pictures and photos

-          Contrast

-          Discovery

My personal favourite is using realia in the classroom to teach new vocabulary (teaching fruit? Bring some in! Let your students hold it and eat it afterwards!) Using photos, flashcards and video is also a great way of teaching new language and teaching new vocabulary which your ESL students will love.

Teaching new grammar

Similar to teaching vocabulary, teach new language also involves introducing new grammatical structures, often for the first time. The ITTT online TEFL course suggests using discussion, scenario building, prompting, question and answer, and using objects, mime and drawings to elicit sentence structures. Communication games, story building, debates and role-plays can serve as a fantastic way for your students to practice their new language towards the end of lessons. This 120-hour TEFL course by ITTT is shaping up well to prepare trainee teachers to teach English well.

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By Stuart Allen



Stuart Allen