Here’s a short teacher tip that one of the mentor teachers at my language school once shared with me, as a secret to improving my classes. It’s so simple, and incredibly obvious, and to some extent I’d been exploiting it already, although not to its fullest. And that secret simply is, look to what is being used in Kindergarten teaching, and then see if you can adapt it (if necessary) for use in your classes.
Most kindergarten EFL teachers will, to some extent, already be using songs, crafts, and maybe even activity ideas from mainstream teaching. However, I’ve also noticed that a lot of the ideas I was taught about teaching come from an ‘EFL mindset’. Classroom management is one of those areas. I find most EFL teachers tend to think within the same paradigm about ‘classroom management’.
However, when you look outside of the EFL field, to broader teaching practices, ideas, and so on, quite often you discover that things are done very differently.
In many cases, the ideas and tools, I’ve found that are being used by general teachers, are far superior to what is considered commonplace in the EFL domain.
Practically speaking, if I’m researching a topic, say something like assessment, or differentiation, I’ll look to the way its done in other fields before reading EFL literature. That way, I don’t constrain my thinking to the ‘EFL mindset’.
As simple as it seems, this one tip has been responsible for some of my best ideas, techniques and approaches I’ve been able to apply into my EFL kindergarten classes.