Summer TEFL: Tips and Strategies for success

Summer TEFL: Tips and Strategies for success

9th May 2024

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has become a popular career choice for many individuals seeking to teach at home and abroad. With the demand for English language proficiency continually on the increase, TEFL teachers are in high demand and Summer TEFL programmes offer a range of opportunities.

Summer teaching has something to offer both the aspiring and seasoned teacher. For the new teacher it provides an opportunity to gain invaluable teaching experience and develop skills within a supportive environment in a quick and intensive way before embarking on a longer-term teaching position. For the experienced teacher there is the chance to mentor those new to the profession including the possibility of securing a more senior or management post. Apart from achieving a higher salary, this could also be just the experience required to set you on the next step up on your career path.

Challenges and Considerations

While summer teaching offers many benefits, it also comes with unique challenges and considerations. Firstly, teachers may need to adapt to a new teaching environment, which in itself can be challenging. 

Another consideration is the length of the programme. Summer courses are often shorter than traditional programmes, which means teachers and students may need to cover more material in a shorter amount of time, requiring skill in delivering and consolidating course content.

Ascertaining Learner Needs and Expectations

Pre-course level placement testing should provide the teacher with basic information in this regard but maintaining an open dialogue on this throughout the programme will be key to delivering and exceeding learner expectations.

Classroom Management

Effective classroom management is essential for a successful course. Teachers must establish clear rules and expectations from the beginning. These should include rules on tardiness, attendance, and behaviour and the school’s protocols on disciplinary issues should be followed.

In addition, teachers should create a positive and inclusive classroom environment. This can be achieved by using positive reinforcement; encouraging participation; and fostering a sense of community among the students. Use of icebreakers and team-building activities help students get to know each other and build trust.

Assessment and feedback are other important components. Teachers should employ a variety of assessment methods, such as quizzes, tests, and projects. This can help to ensure that students are being assessed fairly and accurately. It is important to provide constructive feedback that is specific and actionable and to ensure that students understand how they can improve their work. One way could be for students to maintain a personal learning portfolio. This helps them better own their learning goals and achievements and provide tangible evidence of the latter.

By implementing effective classroom management strategies; engaging teaching methods; and providing regular assessment and feedback, teachers can create a positive and effective learning environment for their students within a unique and memorable summer experience. In turn teachers reap similar rewards through sharing ideas and experience within a supportive, professional, collegiate atmosphere.

Image courtesy Bede's Summer School

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