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English Language Teaching Global Blog


Teaching English in the developing world

William Bradridge shares some ideas on how to make lessons work if you are teaching with minimal resources in the developing world.

If you are headed for a developing country to teach English, then don’t pack your iPad. The smart IT suite available to you where you did your training will be a long-lost memory: instead, wonder whether your classroom will have any chalk today.

So how can you plan for teaching English in a country where you’ll be lucky if you have a regular supply of electricity? Here are a few tips before you set off to help you get prepared.

  • People often love speaking about themselves, so use your students as a resource.  Get them to tell you about their lives and show a genuine interest in them. For example, consider establishing a regular routine of short 10 minute student input slots in each lesson. If you are teaching youngsters, establish this as a time for “my precious object”, where one at a time children show and tell something from home. It will give you a glimpse into their culture, history and daily lives, while giving them an opportunity to speak and share with their classmates.
  • Bring lots of realia from home when you go; maps, photos, menus, forms for completion etc. Remember basics, like scissors, Blu-Tack or colouring pens and paper. You’ll be glad to have these to hand when you get to your destination to find the cupboard bare.

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