The selection and proper use of materials is crucial for student satisfaction and retention. Moreover, it can save you hours of lesson preparation when classified accurately.
We have therefore asked some of Verbling's most experienced teachers for some tips on how to select and work with materials and this is what they have shared with us:
PREPARING YOUR MATERIALS
- Prepare in advance. Students like to have something very concrete to work with.
- Ask students if they have a preferred method of learning, what usually works best for them. Or try to figure it out by incorporating different methods into the first lesson (communicative, task-based, the lexical approach… etc.) and paying attention to how the student responds to them.
- Think about what the student needs as opposed to what you think they need.
- Evaluate if the student may benefit from receiving the materials before their lesson.
- Learn how to plan for not just one lesson, but for the long term. This will help you visualize the learning process.
WORKING WITH MATERIALS
- Choose content that is appropriate for your student’s interests and measurable learning goals.
- Incorporate authentic materials as early as possible. TED talks and articles are popular from an intermediate level.
- Be mindful of cultural differences and make sure to showcase diversity.
- Use structured materials that contain a variety of activities to develop all four language skills (unless requested otherwise).
- Classify your content so that it’s quicker and easier for you to browse among it. You can use our library to organize your materials and keep them handy.
- Keep up your research in order to update your materials regularly. Sign up to blogs and/or YouTube channels, attend webinars, and engage in discussions with other teachers.
- If you don’t develop your own content, you might want to consider paying an annual subscription for professional materials. It’s an investment and will save you time in preparation time as well as prevent you from having copyright issues.
Our thanks go to:
Anonymous | Spanish Teacher
Marie Richards | English Teacher
Emma Segev | English Teacher
Charly | French Teacher
Denis | English Teacher
Charlotte Friend | English Teacher
Claire Demuyter | French Teacher
Chad Hansen | English Teacher
Carla Aguilar | Spanish Teacher