45 ways to fortify your TEFL class

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If you feel your English language class is in need of some reinvigoration, here are forty-five suggestions which might do the trick.

This is a compendium of ideas and techniques which can help fortify any TEFL class. Some are my adoptions and adaptations of existing techniques, and some are my original ideas. It is an eclectic assortment ranging from general lesson organization to the minutiae of classroom management. There is no particular sequence, and suggestions can be read in any order.

Below you can find supplementary information to augment each idea, and a place for any comments (anonymously if you wish).

  1.  Self-Introduction Quiz
  2.  Class Map
  3.  What’s in a Name Card
  4.  Drilling is not Boring
  5.  Green is the Color
  6.  Reading Concerto
  7.  Symbolsong
  8.  Course Assessment: The Middle Path
  9.  Catchphrase
  10.  Apres Writing
  11.  Writing and the Maximum Score Conundrum
  12.  Tricolon
  13.  The Title is Vital
  14.  Anadiplosis
  15.  Anaphora vs. Epistrophe
  16.  License to Lie
  17.  Group A or Austria?
  18.  Two’s Company, Three’s a Wow
  19.  Handwriting Plus
  20.  Countdown Timer
  21.  Conversation Strategy
  22.  Bookending a Speaking Activity
  23.  Conversation Challenge
  24.  Lighthousing
  25.  Fantasy Points and Where to Find Them
  26.  The Roadmap
  27.  Carousel & Carousel-lite
  28.  Theme Park
  29.  Fast and Furious
  30.  Wordsearch Unplugged
  31.  Threads
  32.  More Than a Memo Pad
  33.  Words of Praise
  34.  Random Questionnaire
  35.  MCQs with a Twist
  36.  Pause and Effect
  37.  Spelling Test to the Rescue
  38.  Stick, Twist or Fold
  39.  Judicious Use of Fonts
  40.  The Reverse Lesson
  41.  Treasure Hunt
  42.  Fruitful Student Feedback
  43.  Thank you for …
  44.  Be Prepared
  45.  Be Yourself

Concise descriptions accompany each suggestion, with examples where appropriate, spiced by anecdotes from the backstories.

Every class, every student and every teacher is different, and there can be no one-size-fits-all strategy. So each of the forty-five ways is flexible and versatile, allowing you to add, subtract, adapt and expand to suit your particular situation, your students’ needs, and your personal preferences.

There’s nothing new under the sun, and many teachers are bound to have had some similar thoughts and ideas, but the bottom line is all 45 fortify my TEFL classes, and I hope they work for you too.

Why 45? There is no deep or mysterious reason, it just fortuitously happens to sound like ‘fortify’, and is equal to the number of suggestions.

Otherwise the only unique property of the number 45 is that it is the sum of all the decimal digits (ie 0+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9).

45 is the atomic number of rhodium.

A 45th wedding anniversary is known as a sapphire wedding.

A ’45’ is a term commonly used for a vinyl record, a ‘single’ which typically carried one song on each side, and spun on a turntable at a speed of 45 revolutions per minute.

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