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Practical Teaching

Real EFL teaching is all about the nuts and bolts of classroom performance. For many, the communicative approach is the Holy Grail of TEFL. This approach forms the basis upon which you will teach new language to your second (or third) language students. If you have applied the approach correctly, then your students will already have understood that this ‘learn by using’ approach is both effective and (in the best of cases) fun. Because of this, they will not resist either your attempts to get them involved in the games and activities used in the modern TEFL classroom to teach them new language or the techniques used to reinforce that learning. And whereas games and activities involving teaching the four language skills: speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing seem to make sense on some conscious level, even grammar can be taught in a fun way. If grammar and fun seem to represent a conflict of terms, then the ideas presented in this section may help to change your mind.

Learning does not have to be dull and painful. Unlike bodybuilding with its no pain, no gain credo, learning a foreign language does not have to be synonymous with pulling teeth. And if you are finding that getting your students to learn new language is like the proverbial pulling of teeth, then quite possibly (note I did not say absolutely), the problem is your teaching style or your choice of activities. And though elaborating on teaching style is beyond the scope of this section, the games and activities suggested herein may just find favour among your students. In any event, you have nothing to lose and your students have everything to gain.

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