5 Common problems and their Solutions for TEFL teachers

However noble the profession of teaching might be, it does come with its own share of problems. When it comes to TEFL teaching, the problems are there but those are not like that of regular teaching.

A TEFL/TESOL teacher might face a good extend of issues irrespective of the fact whether she or he has been in the field for quite a few years or is a new entrant here. But then again, there is nothing that proper training, plan and skill cannot handle.

So, here we are to give you a glimpse of what common problems you might come across during your career as a TEFL teacher. We have handpicked 5 common problems and have the easiest solutions too for you.

  1. Class size: too big or too small for you to tackle?

While you were undergoing TEFL teacher training course, you were instructed about tackling a class, but when you actually step into one, you find there are far too many students than you can tackle singlehandedly. Sounds like a nightmare?

The trick lies in the delivery of the lesson. Make the lessons fun and try to engage the learners in very way possible. This way you provide them with a variety of learning openings.

Now, it is not only a big class size that might come your way. You might find it difficult with too small a class also. And it can be worse if those handful of students have different levels of understanding.

What you have to do is understand which students are strong and which are a little low on that. Now engage them in various activities through careful lesson planning. This way, you strike a balance among them.

  1. Motivation: lacking in the students?

Whatever amount of effort you put in, your students seem not to have the motivation to indulge in the coursework-a common problem with any TEFL teacher. Believe us when we say, it is not the fault of the course modules or the content.

You need to chalk out more plans which will make the students more involved and engrossed in the activities and the lesson. To make a class exciting go through what you are going to teach and plan beforehand the activities you can come up with while imparting knowledge.

With prior set classroom rules, you can induce a sense of participation among the students. But before that, try to identify the learning needs and the trait of understanding of the learners. That way, you can make necessary changes in the lessons and meet their expectations.

  1. Use of language in class: mother tongue or first language?

This is especially a common problem when you are in charge of a class of young learners. It is not really easy for them to speak fluently in the first language. Also, you cannot refrain them completely from using their mother tongue.

In such cases, try to balance the situation. Set up a three-words-rule. Tell your learners to speak in the first language but allow them to use their native language for maximum three words.

Thus, you do not pressurise the child for using first language. At the same time, you enable her or him to gain confidence in speaking for they know they can substitute words in case they do not know the alternate. Problem solved!

  1. Class type: students hesitant or hyperactive?

In a class, you might find students who are least interested in taking part in anything, and those who are more than ready to do things even before you ask. Both of them might be a problem. How do you handle this?

Find the reasons why the hesitant group of students are that way. They might have been bullied or may not feel comfortable among students speaking a language other than their mother tongue, might be going through culture shock etc. once you do identify the reason behind their lack of self-confidence, you can counsel them or plan activities encouraging more and more their participation.

As for the other group of students, plan exercises or activities which will keep them engrossed for hours. That way, they have to devote more time and patience for their lessons. Gradually, they will be able to put control on their energy level.

  1. Listening activities: are the learners listening actually?

How you deliver the lesson is not the only important thing for a class to be successful. Your online teacher training course will let you know that how the class receives the same, is equally important.  Often students fail to participate in the listening activities.

Now, there might be various reasons for this. The audio source might be of poor quality, the seating arrangement in the classroom might be faulty; even the study material you choose may not be at par with the age group of the class.

How to resolve this? Well, we just pointed out some possible reasons. Find out what is happening in your class and implement strategies accordingly. Remember, listening is an integral part of optimal learning.

You can only take control of the classroom when you know the policies and strategies and tricks. Armed with an online TEFL certification, you can get a hold of the situation using some tactful measures. Problems might be many, but none of them comes without a solution- believe that.