Here are some ways how to get better as an ESL teacher. Basically you have to apply yourself. That can seem tough when you don't have much time and no one is paying you for it, LOL. But if you apply yourself even a little bit you'll get somethings back from it.
That might be happier students and then a happier you:)
1. Study online
Many websites offer free information for ESL teachers. So if you're savvy you'll find a good deal of information online for free. Searching stinks, here's a list of links to the best ESL resources on ESLinsider.
And here are some others (coming soon:)...
2. Read some books
This is the primary source of information found on the web or in courses. There are a lot of great books out there which will help you to become a better teacher. Here's a few great books to start with.
- How To Teach English (with DVD)
- How to Teach English Language Learners: Effective Strategies from Outstanding Educators, Grades K-6
3. Watch videos
There are a number of instructional how-to videos out there where you can acquire the tools to teach. Youtube is a pretty good source for this. Here are several excellent resources that will help you.
- University of Oregon's teacher training on Youtube.
- ESLinsider provides an extensive selection of how-to videos shot in the classrooms of Eastern Asia with a focus on teaching English to children.
- Teaching Channel focuses on providing resources to public school teachers, however it is still helpful for ESL teachers. Check out their Youtube channel and website.
Watching videos of yourself teaching is also an excellent way to improve your teaching.
4. Take a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA course
TEFL/TESOL/CELTA courses provide teacher training to those who would like to go abroad and teach. They are not always required, but they can provide you with at least some teacher training. These come in all shapes (in-class or online) and sizes (hours).
- ESLinsider's online TEFL course. Excellent online training with a focus on teaching English to young learners.
- Not sure? Here's a list: Which TEFL Course Should I Take?
5. Watch other teachers
Huh, that would be a good idea wouldn't it? Imagine that, if you could actually sit in on a class and watch them teach. If you're already abroad then ask to sit in on another teacher's class in your school.
6. Join a TEFL/TESOL organization
You can garner a lot of good information from some of these. Most have monthly or yearly membership plans. Some will hold workshops or you'll be able to access online materials, tutorials and/or listen to other professional English teachers. Here's a list of TESOL organizations.
7. Get free on the job training
Some of the larger private companies and schools in Eastern Asia offer free paid training. In some cases you can even get TEFL certified for free at their school. For example, Hess, a large company (franchise) in Taiwan with many different buxibans (private schools) throughout the island offers this service.
It can be a good idea to inquire with your prospective employer to see if they offer any training. Don't always expect much, sometimes training could just be watching another teacher for a day or it may not exist. Each school is different, so it's best to inquire within. Check out some sites where you can find an ESL job.
The Peace Corps offers on the job training that sounds pretty extensive.
8. Go back to school
If you are in it for a career then you might want to go back to school. You may want to consider a degree in education or an MA in TESOL.