Tips for successful instruction-giving

Tips for successful instruction-giving

1. Plan your instructions - even script them at first if you feel it will help you.

2. Having planned them, review them and edit as necessary.

3. Only say what you have to.

4. Use simplified language, but do not over-simplify for the level.

5. Don't patronise (e.g. talking unnaturally slowly or loudly).

6. If you are getting blank faces it probably means they do not understand. So adjust your language as you speak, if necessary.

7. When giving instructions, make sure the students are looking at you and listening to you.

8. Don't give out papers before your instructions unless you have to - you will lose the students' attention.

9. Stand front and centre. Keep still.

10. Project your voice slightly so your intructions stand out.

11. Maintain eye contact.

12. Break up the instructions: "Do questions 1-5. Say if the sentences are true or false. Give reasons for your answers. Work together. You have five minutes. Go."

13. Only give instructions for what they have to do at that time, not later.

14. Give an example of what they have to do.

15. Give a rough idea of how long they have.

16. Make it clear if you want them to work individually, in pairs, or in groups.

17. Don't ask lower-level students "So, what do you have to do?" - they haven't got the language for this, and confusion will result. Once your intructions are over, tell them to begin, then check if everyone is doing the activity correctly and deal with individual problems.

18. If one person says "I don't understand", help that person individually, don't hold up the rest of the class, and the lesson.

19. Don't invite the students to do something; politely tell them. So, don't say "Would you like to stand up?", say "Stand up, please".

20. Students like and expect the teacher to be polite but direct in her language. They need to be told clearly what they have to do and how you want them to do it. Don't be afraid to do this! But don't tell the students they are going to find the activity boring, or difficult, or interesting, or easy!