TEFL Teaching Tips and Hacks for the Classroom

We are always reminded of how valuable our time is and why we should not waste it! And we agree. This is why we appreciate a good hack. People adore posting hacks that will make our lives a little simpler and make us look a lot wiser than we are, whether it’s on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter. We’ve gathered some of our favorite teaching tips for English as a Foreign Language to help our TEFL teachers have the smoothest possible experience teaching!

kids learning

Learning your Student’s Names

To create a comfortable learning atmosphere in the classroom, it is critical to use your students’ names in the classroom. However, while your students only need to remember one name (yours), you’ll need to remember at least twenty if not more! Draw out a map of the desks on a piece of paper and place it on your desk when you first teach a class. Write the names of each student on the drawing where they are sitting. Utilize the strategy to recall the students’ names and use them as frequently as possible during class. When you wish to call on a certain student, quickly glancing at the plan on your desk will remind you of their name, and repeating their names throughout the lesson will assist you remember them for the following lesson.

Encourage Student Participation in the Classroom

There are a few teaching tips you can try to help uninvolved students become more involved and quieter classes become more dynamic. One method is to use a ball. Even for adults, incorporating a ball into the lesson is exciting. When you ask a question, toss the ball to the first person who catches it. After that, they can pass the ball to someone else to answer the next question.

Another approach is to use pens, rubbers, or other similar items. Give each pupil the object you’ve chosen at the start of the lesson. They return the object to you whenever they participate in the class by giving an answer or answering a question. The children are not allowed to leave the classroom until their turn has come.

Lesson plans

Simply begin in the center. According to numerous studies, the most important learning ideas are absorbed when presented in the middle of a class. Work outwards from there after you have essential points and a middle planned. Build up to it in the start of the class, then add engaging activities at the conclusion to reinforce the important concepts.


You’ll not only be repeating your own classes, but you’ll also have work to mark and a lot of crucial loose paper to deal with. The importance of organization cannot be overstated, and we have one word for you: LABELS! These days, you may obtain ultra-compact wallets and folders. Keep your lesson plans organized and well-labeled in them. Each class should have its own color-coded folder for unmarked and marked work. Move forward as you finish work, and you’ll know exactly what you’re taking back to school and how much work you still have to do. Obviously, maintain these folders in a convenient location.


A great teaching tip is to utilize technology to its greatest potential – What a wonderful moment to be alive! – Learning a foreign language has never been more important or in demand, but it has also never been more accessible and simple for both students and teachers. The internet isn’t simply for arguing with strangers on Facebook and looking at pretty animal images. It’s also a must-have tool for communicating with others and exchanging language knowledge, queries, tools, and experiences. In today’s world, videos are all the rage, so whatever you want to teach, there is almost certainly already a video available. Students of all ages will enjoy and benefit from watching videos. So why not incorporate them into your teaching; not only will this save you time, but it will also benefit your students.

Use Games!

Games can be used to warm up the class before your lesson, to offer students a break during the session when you’re teaching a difficult subject, or at the end of class when you have a few minutes to spare. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different games you can play with your kids. We have a whole blog dedicated to classic TEFL games that every teacher should be familiar with to help you get started and feel prepared. Having these on hand before entering the classroom will guarantee that your classes run smoothly, and you’ll be able to quickly regain the attention of the class if things get out of hand.

Read our blog on TEFL classroom games here!

Always Have a Back up Activity on hand

Your kids have completed all of the past simple tense practice exercises, and you still have some time. What are your plans for the future?

Students’ learning speeds vary greatly, and you’ll almost certainly come across students who can master a lesson faster than others. Make sure you always have an alternate activity in your back pocket in case you finish earlier than intended. This could be a cool-down game, a speaking activity, a video comprehension exercise, or any other time-filler you can think of to get your students to practice English before class ends.

Do I need another language to teach TEFL or other qualifications? Talking with locals

Make your Classroom Student-Centered!

As an English teacher, you’ll want to encourage your pupils to use as much class time as possible to practice and develop their language skills. This involves allowing your students to participate in activities and limiting teacher talking time  in the classroom.

Here are some examples of how you can use this new TEFL instructor technique to increase student talking time:

  • Ask your students open-ended questions.
  • Use speaking exercises or games to get your students chatting.
  • Students should read the directions for class activities.
  • Make pupils work in pairs or groups on activities.
You Have to Be Open-Minded!

Working with students from various countries and backgrounds is one of the things that makes teaching English enjoyable. This necessitates adaptability and a grasp of other cultures, learning styles, and personalities. Allow your pupils to feel free to express themselves in class without fear of being judged, and avoid taboo issues that could lead to bad disputes.

Take Teaching Tips from Experienced Teachers

Do you have issues with specific categories of students? Having trouble deciding which software to use to teach English online? You don’t have to cope with these issues on your own!

If you have family or friends who also teach English, don’t be afraid to ask them for assistance or suggestions. You can also join an online English teacher community, such as TEFL Jobs Group or the Teaching English Online Group on Facebook.

Value Your Free Time

While it’s fantastic that you’re passionate about your work, don’t forget to relax and take care of yourself! You can always make time in your schedule to indulge in your hobbies or relax to improve your mental health. Do you wish to go surfing or do yoga first thing in the morning before going to work? Don’t second-guess yourself; just do it!

Also, keep in mind that you are not required to be available to your pupils at all times. Establishing your working hours and letting your pupils know when they can contact you if they need assistance is beneficial. It’s also a good idea to let them know about your vacation ahead of time and set up automatic email responses if you’ll be out of the office for a few days.

There’s always more to learn and more confidence to gain, no matter where you are in your TEFL career! The TEFL Institute has the appropriate course to take your teaching from mediocre to outstanding, whether you are a newly trained TEFL teacher or have 10 years of teaching experience. Click here for information on our range of courses!

If you liked our teaching tips, please share them with others and if you’re interested in learning more, check out our other blog posts here!

TEFL is an acronym for teaching English as a foreign language. Simply put, TEFL teachers teach non-native English speakers to be fluent in English through TEFL methodologies. It covers a wide variety of methods depending on the age range of your students, the class size, the English level, and the students’ country’s standard methods of teaching. A TEFL course will teach you how to teach English to non-native speakers and help you gain the certification to become a TEFL teacher.

This depends on the type of learner you are. People who find the TEFL course easier are those who have a BEd, have recently studied in another sector and are in the zone, or are self-motivated to complete an online course. Unlike other courses, TEFL courses can be quite lenient in terms of repeating the tests, so it can be a little bit of a trial and error scenario. This takes the pressure off a bit and makes it a little easier. The level 5 TEFL course is significantly harder than the 120-hour TEFL course as it’s government-regulated and needs to meet certain standards from the students’ answers.

TEFL is an amazing career and opens a lot of doors for you! Because the industry is so varied, any type of person can be a TEFL teacher. Prefer to work online than abroad or in a classroom? No problem! Want to work part-time while raising a family? Absolutely! Want to travel the world with friends in your 20s while earning money? Why not! TEFL teachers around the globe are normally on western wages, meaning that between currency exchange and cost of living, you’ll be on a premium wage.

Each TEFL course is different with its own agenda on what to teach you. Both the level 5 course and the 120-hour course are your main TEFL qualification that teaches you from basics of methodologies, lesson planning, and classroom management, as well as grammar and pronunciation. These two courses will give you the qualification to be able to teach English as a foreign language. They touch on a range of topics for every scenario. There are also specialist courses that have niche subjects to help you to specialize in certain areas, such as Business English and Exam preparations. Most importantly, TEFL courses give you the opportunity to travel and work abroad or online. They give you freedom and a handy paycheck!

The 120-hour TEFL Courses are equivalent to a UK level 3 qualification. The Level 5 TEFL Course is a UK Level 5 TEFL Course. Check out this comparison chart if you’re not quite sure. Other Level 5 ESL Qualifications include CELTA and TrinityTESOL.

The minimum requirement to become a fully qualified TEFL teacher is the 120-hour TEFL Course. This course starts at entry level so you won’t need any prior training when starting the course. It’s an all-rounder and teaches you the skills you need in virtually every scenario of TEFL teaching. Of course, you can aim higher by enrolling in the Level 5 TEFL course, and there are lots of specialist courses to choose from if you’d like to go into the more lucrative, higher-paid TEFL jobs. If you have no experience in teaching, you might want to consider the 10-hour virtual course which includes teaching practice and will say so on your certificate. This will give you the upper hand against other newly qualified teachers.

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