Showing posts with label Teaching Tips. Show all posts

Ace Your ESL Speaking Lessons: Strategies for Teaching Indonesian Students


Teaching ESL speaking can be a challenging task, especially for students who are not familiar with the language. As an English teacher in Indonesia, I have come across several methods and strategies that have proven to be effective in helping my students improve their speaking skills. In this article, I will share some tips and tricks that you can use to teach ESL speaking effectively to your Indonesian students.

ace your esl speaking lesson strategies for teaching indonesian students

Focus on Pronunciation

One of the biggest challenges that Indonesian students face when learning English is pronunciation. As an English teacher, it is important to focus on pronunciation right from the beginning. Make sure your students are familiar with the basic sounds of English and how they differ from Indonesian. You can also use tongue twisters and other pronunciation exercises to help your students practice their pronunciation.

focus on pronunciation to improve student speaking skills

Provide a Supportive Learning Environment

Creating a supportive learning environment is crucial when teaching ESL speaking. As an English teacher, it is your responsibility to make your students feel comfortable and safe while speaking English. Encourage your students to speak up and participate in class discussions. Also, provide constructive feedback and praise their efforts to boost their confidence.

provide supportive learning environment so students feel confident

Use Authentic Materials

Using authentic materials such as news articles, videos, and podcasts can help your students improve their speaking skills. When I was taking CELTA, I had to complete a written assignment where I had to design a lesson using authentic materials. It was an eye-opening experience to see how much we can create and develop from such resources.

Authentic materials provide your students with real-world examples of English in use and help them develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills. You can also use role-playing exercises and other interactive activities to make the learning experience more engaging.

Incorporate Technology

Incorporating technology into your ESL speaking lessons can be an effective way to engage your Indonesian students. You can use tools such as online quizzes, interactive whiteboards, and video conferencing software to create an interactive learning experience. This can also be a great way to connect with students who may not have access to traditional classroom settings.

I've experimented with a handful of online quiz websites in my classes such as Baamboozle, Kahoot, Quizziz, and Wordwall. These websites offer engaging and effective activities for students, and I've noticed that even adults have fun participating in them. When it comes to interactive whiteboards, Jamboard has my vote for being the simplest and most user-friendly option. Stay tuned for my upcoming post where I'll delve deeper into incorporating technology in teaching.

Emphasize Vocabulary

Vocabulary plays a key role in developing speaking skills. As an English teacher, it is important to emphasize vocabulary in your ESL speaking lessons. You can use flashcards, word games, and other vocabulary-building exercises to help your students develop their vocabulary skills. It is also important to encourage your students to use new vocabulary in their speaking practice.

emphasize vocabulary to improve student's fluency and coherence in speaking English

Encourage Speaking Practice Outside of Class

Encouraging your students to practice their speaking skills outside of class can be an effective way to improve their skills. You can provide your students with conversation prompts and encourage them to practice with their peers or native speakers. You can also recommend English language podcasts, movies, and TV shows for them to watch.

Provide Opportunities for Feedback

Providing opportunities for feedback is crucial when teaching ESL speaking. Feedback helps your students understand their strengths and weaknesses and provides them with the guidance they need to improve their speaking skills. You can provide feedback through one-on-one sessions, peer evaluations, or self-evaluations.


In conclusion, teaching ESL speaking to Indonesian students requires patience, dedication, and creativity. By focusing on pronunciation, creating a supportive learning environment, using authentic materials, incorporating technology, emphasizing vocabulary, encouraging speaking practice outside of class, and providing opportunities for feedback, you can help your students improve their speaking skills and achieve their language goals. Remember, the key is to make the learning experience fun and engaging for your students. 

What about you? Have you given any of these tips a shot? Do you happen to have other useful strategies for teaching speaking effectively? Why not share your thoughts in the comment section below?

Fun and Games: Enhancing ESL Learning with Board Games

Are you tired of boring grammar lessons and tedious vocabulary drills in your English class? Want to shake things up and make learning English more fun and engaging? Look no further than board games! Yes, you heard it right – board games can be an excellent tool for learning English in a fun and interactive way.

enhancing ESL learning with board games

Benefits of using board games

So, what makes board games so great for English language learners? Let's dive in and explore some of the benefits of using board games in the ESL classroom.

Build student's vocabulary

First and foremost, board games are a fantastic way to build vocabulary. Many board games involve using specific words and phrases, giving learners the opportunity to learn new vocabulary in context. Whether it's a game about traveling, cooking, or solving mysteries, board games can expose learners to new words and help them remember them through repeated use.

Practice conversation skills

Board games also provide a unique opportunity to practice conversation skills. Many board games involve players interacting with each other through dialogue and negotiation, allowing learners to practice expressing their ideas and opinions in English. This can be especially helpful for learners who may be hesitant to speak up in a classroom setting.

Develop student's critical thinking skills

Another benefit of using board games is that they can help learners develop their critical thinking skills. Many board games require players to strategize and problem-solve, giving learners the opportunity to practice thinking critically in English. Games that involve logic and deduction, such as Clue or Settlers of Catan, can be particularly helpful in this regard.

Build teamwork and social skills

Board games can also be a great way to build teamwork and social skills. Many board games involve players working together towards a common goal, allowing learners to practice communication and collaboration in English. Games such as Pandemic or Forbidden Island require players to work together to overcome obstacles, which can be a great way to build camaraderie among learners.

Fun, fun, fun!

Finally, board games are simply a lot of fun! By incorporating games into the ESL classroom, learners can enjoy themselves while still improving their English skills. This can help to reduce stress and make learning English feel less like a chore and more like a fun activity.

Ways to use board games in ESL classrooms

So, how can you incorporate board games into your ESL classroom? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Vocabulary Games: 

Choose a board game that incorporates vocabulary relevant to your learners, such as Scrabble or Boggle. Encourage learners to use the words they learn in the game in conversation afterwards.

vocabulary games in ESL classrooms

Conversation Games: 

Choose a board game that involves lots of conversation and interaction between players, such as Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity. Encourage learners to express their opinions and ideas in English during the game.

Critical Thinking Games: 

Choose a board game that requires players to think critically and strategize, such as Cluedo or The Game of Life. Encourage learners to explain their thought process in English as they play the game.

developing critical thinking skills in ESL classrooms with board games

Teamwork Games: 

Choose a board game that requires players to work together towards a common goal, such as Pandemic or Saboteur. Encourage learners to communicate and collaborate in English as they play the game.


In conclusion, board games can be a fun and effective tool for learning English in the ESL classroom. By incorporating games into your lessons, you can help learners build vocabulary, practice conversation skills, develop critical thinking skills, build teamwork and social skills, and most importantly, have fun! So, why not give it a try and level up your English learning with board games?

From ABC to Fluency: Navigating the Obstacles of Teaching English to Young Learners

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Teaching English to children is a fulfilling experience that can come with many challenges. Whether it's language barriers, attention spans, pronunciation, cultural differences, or limited vocabulary, teachers must find ways to help young learners overcome these obstacles. This article will discuss some practical strategies that can help teachers create a supportive and effective learning environment for their students.

navigating the obstacles of teaching english to young learners

As an ESL teacher who has had the opportunity to teach children of all ages, I have come to realize that teaching children is not just about imparting knowledge, but also about building relationships and creating a safe and nurturing learning environment. Reflecting on my years of experience, I've identified a number of challenges that arise when teaching children, along with several strategies to effectively address them.

Language Barriers 

Language barriers can be a significant challenge when teaching English to children. However, teachers can help children overcome this obstacle using visual aids and hands-on activities. Flashcards, picture books, and other visual aids can help children associate new vocabulary with images, making it easier for them to remember and use in conversation.

Attention Span 

Young learners have a short attention span, making it challenging to retain information and learn new concepts. Teachers can combine fun and interactive activities into their lessons to keep children engaged and interested. Singing songs, playing games, and doing crafts can help children stay focused while learning new vocabulary and grammar. 

fun and engaging activities in children classes


Pronunciation can be a hurdle for young learners when learning English. To help children improve their pronunciation, teachers can use tongue twisters and other pronunciation exercises. It is also essential for teachers to model correct pronunciation and encourage children to repeat words and phrases until they feel comfortable saying them correctly. 

challenges in teaching english to children

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can make teaching English to children more challenging. Teachers should be aware of cultural differences and adjust their teaching styles accordingly. Teachers can create a more inclusive and effective learning environment by understanding and respecting these cultural differences. 

As a clear illustration, in Indonesia, it is customary for teachers to be addressed by their first name rather than their last. As a case in point, my students refer to me as Miss Tya, rather than Miss Arifin. This practice is a unique aspect of Indonesian culture. 

As an ESL teacher working with children in Indonesia, I make a concerted effort to introduce my students to the appropriate use of English honorifics such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Dr. By doing so, I aim to equip my students with the language skills necessary to navigate diverse cultural contexts, ensuring they are well-prepared to communicate effectively in English-speaking environments beyond the classroom.

Limited Vocabulary

Limited vocabulary can hinder children's ability to express themselves in English. To help children expand their vocabulary, teachers can introduce new words and phrases into their lessons. Introducing a new word daily and encouraging children to use it in a sentence can help them build their vocabulary over time.


As a teacher, I am constantly learning and adapting my approach to ensure that my students are not just mastering English, but also developing a love for learning that will stay with them for years to come.

In conclusion, teaching children is both challenging and rewarding. Teachers must overcome language barriers, attention spans, pronunciation, cultural differences, and limited vocabulary to create an effective learning environment. It requires a great deal of patience, creativity, and flexibility, but seeing their progress and growth makes it all worthwhile. 

How to Teach One on One Conversation English Classes

In one of the teachers' sharing sessions in my school, one fellow teacher shared that she ran out of ideas when teaching her one-on-one class. She said she couldn't do some activities. A one-on-one class or private class is an effective way to motivate students.

How to Teach One on One Conversation English Classes online

Teaching individualized classes can be challenging yet frustrating, especially when your student is not as enthusiastic as you. Unlike a large classroom, where students are often pressured to perform well, a one-on-one class offers personalized instruction and allows students to speak freely. However, we need to factor in the student's personality in planning our lessons to run smoothly.

Reasons a student asks for a one-on-one class.

Since I started my teaching career, I have been teaching many one-on-one classes. Some of the classes indeed made me frustrated for many reasons. But as a teacher, it is essential to know why some students ask and/prefer a one-on-one class. Here are some reasons for taking a one-on-one class:

1. The student's level is lower/higher than others.

Sometimes a student joins an individualized class because there is no class available for his/her level, either it's too high or too low. In this case, a one-on-one class is a solution to cater to students' needs. The teacher can create a personalized lesson based on students' needs to help students develop their English skills.

2. Student's personality

Being a talkative person, I (almost) never have any problems working with and meeting new people. Back in 2000, when I was a student in an English course, I was the loudest and most enthusiastic when studying. As a teacher, I am always grateful to have enthusiastic students because they make teaching more manageable and less stressful.

However, some students are quiet in the class. It could be their nature, being a quiet person, or it's because they are shy. These students may feel uncomfortable studying in a big group. Instead of motivating them to participate actively, they could be unmotivated to study and constantly feel under pressure.

3. Parents' request

Some parents can be very demanding regarding their child's learning process. I have met many competitive parents who expect specific results from their children. As a mother, I don't really blame them because parents always want the best for and from their children. To achieve these specific goals, parents usually request a one-on-one class for their children.

4. The student has to achieve a specific goal within a short time.

A one-on-one class is also requested by students who need to achieve a specific goal, for example, IELTS band score and TOEFL score. They take this type of class so that they can study intensively to prepare for their exams.

Benefits of one-on-one classes

One-on-one classes provide the best opportunities for interpersonal communication. Unlike a large classroom, a one-on-one class will be more personalized and focused. Similarly, two-on-one students will be more motivated to learn. As a result, a one-on-one classroom can be a great place for teachers who want to reach out to students. With so many benefits, the one-on-one model is worth a try.

benefits of one on one english classes more personalized

A more personalized learning process

The advantages of teaching a one-on-one class over a large-group class are numerous. First, the individual nature of the learning process is more personalized, as opposed to a group-on-one classroom. Furthermore, students benefit from the one-on-one approach. They are more likely to interact with their teacher, which will enhance the quality of the lesson. When they feel comfortable with you, they are more likely to learn and retain information.

Students are more motivated and engaged.

Another advantage of one-on-one classes is that the individual student can better understand the material and teacher. Secondly, the student will be more motivated to learn and be more engaged in the learning process. Moreover, he or she will be more likely to remember what is taught. The student will be able to ask questions and feel comfortable. If the teacher feels comfortable with the individual student, he or she is more likely to address the student's needs.

Develop student's interpersonal skills

A one-on-one class can benefit students in a variety of ways. In addition to providing individual attention, one-on-one interactions also provide ample opportunities for students to develop their interpersonal skills. In addition, a one-on-one class allows students to process questions and answers. Thus, the student can gain more confidence in learning. You can even tailor the lessons to suit the needs of your student.

Teachers can nurture the student more.

Compared to a group class, a one-on-one class is more beneficial for students. The teacher will be able to nurture the student more, and the student will be more likely to share his or her thoughts and ideas. The teacher will also be able to provide more personalized attention. If the student feels comfortable with the teacher, he or she is more likely to be open to sharing his or her ideas.

Students take responsibility for their learning.

One-on-one interactions give students the chance to step up their game and take responsibility for their learning. They will be forced to take the course work seriously, significantly benefiting your students. The small group size also allows the student to ask questions and curate conversations. It will also give the student a better understanding of the teacher's style and will allow the student to be more creative with the teacher.

How to encourage student participation in individualized classes

Now you know that there are many advantages of a one-on-one class. Here are some tips to encourage student participation in individualized classes:

Create an environment that promotes learning

Students can feel free to discuss problems and ask questions in a one-on-one class. This environment will encourage students to speak freely and take the initiative. Students are probably less shy to ask the teacher if something is still unclear. Teachers can also follow the student's pace in learning.

Give meaningful feedback

In this type of class, students will receive more detailed feedback from their teacher. This is because students will feel more comfortable discussing their difficulties and successes in the class. In a group setting, teachers may feel uncomfortable discussing errors and other inadequacies that a student may make and unable to effectively respond to the criticism. Alternatively, a one-on-one class will allow students to share their concerns and learn from their mistakes.

Personal attention

Having an individual teacher allows a teacher to know a student better than a larger group. This means that they can work with the student individually and offer support when needed. The one-on-one environment also allows the teacher to plan the next class and improve their teaching methods. This method will help students succeed and make the experience more enjoyable. So, why not consider a one-on-one class?

Having a one-on-one class is more personal

The teacher has the student's full attention during the lesson, which will enable them to grasp the concepts and learn them more efficiently. A private classroom allows the student to ask questions and solve problems. It also helps ensure that each student understands the topics and that any queries are appropriately addressed. The one-on-one format allows the teacher to go into greater detail with the student and is beneficial for both the student and the teacher.

Final thought

All in all, a one-on-one class is not everybody’s cup of tea. This goes to both teachers and students. As a teacher, I am personally always challenged whenever I have to teach this kind of class. I have to admit that I spend more time preparing the lesson with this class.

It may take time for teachers to be comfortable teaching a one-on-one class. However, I believe teachers need to prepare themselves to teach this class when it is required by the school, or there is a job offer. We’ll never know!

So, are you ready to teach one-on-one classes?

Adapting to teaching online

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It's been 2 years since the first covid-19 case appeared in China. Since then, everybody's life has been completely changed 180 degrees, including mine.

From offline to online classes

The way teachers deliver the lesson has turned upside down too. Before the pandemic, teachers can meet and interact with students face-to-face in the classroom. Now, we are forced to meet our students from online meeting platforms such as Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

Obviously, there are certain things that teachers cannot do while teaching online, and these have become a struggle for many teachers, even for those who are experienced.

Some may say that I enjoy this new situation where we teach online. Well, let me tell you, there are moments when I desperately want to scream in frustration (FYI, I did this a couple of times after making sure my microphone is mute and my camera is turned off., LOL).

Adapting to teaching online.

As teachers, we must continually dare ourselves and upgrade our skills. With the pandemic, teachers are challenged to learn and adapt to the new situation. Unfortunately, some teachers need more time adapting to this new situation while other teachers who are pretty used to technology find it easier to adjust.

How teachers can adapt to online teaching

Here are some things you as an educator can do to adapt to the virtual environment.

Familiarise yourself with the technology

I can say that I could adjust to this new way of teaching considerably quickly. Thanks to my dad, who provided me and my brothers computers and gadgets when we were kids. As the Academic Team Leader, I have helped (until now) teachers in my school deal with technical issues. From how to share the screen in Zoom Meeting to creating engaging lessons for online classes.

However, not all of us are tech-savvy. That said, it is essential to familiarise yourself with all the educational tools and platforms. You need to learn the ropes of whatever platforms you are using. Go to Youtube and watch the tutorials or ask for your colleague's help.

Be realistic with your teaching goals.

I have to admit, teaching online does have some issues which affect my lesson's aims and classroom management. Let's see internet connection as one of the examples. When the connection isn't stable, either my connection or students', like it or not, I have to adjust the time, allowing students to have more time to do the tasks. As a result, I sometimes cannot finish what I'm planning.

Therefore, you need to be realistic with our lessons' aims. There will be times when you have to split the lesson into two meetings in online classes. It's perfectly okay. Just remember, your students are the priority. It's better to extend the lesson so that students can grasp and understand it well.

Be creative with your teaching resources.

One of the struggles many teachers face is how to use traditional resources they have in an online environment. I'm personally very grateful to teachers worldwide who generously share their ideas and teaching resources. They have opened a gate of new ideas, and I can proudly say I have made several worksheets too.

When I conducted a teachers' sharing session in my school, almost all teachers said they didn't know which resources to use. Others said they spent hours searching for the perfect worksheet on the internet or creating worksheets to suit their lessons.

What I can say is that you need to take advantage of your resources. Find a way to blend the traditional learning worksheets with the newer, more collaborative tools. For example, I use Google Jamboard a lot in my classes because I can quickly put the traditional paper worksheet into Jamboard for students to do. Now, there are many websites that provide online worksheets and allow you to create one too.


One thing to bear in mind is that students are also struggling with the transition. Therefore, we need to put students on the top of our priority list. Whatever the lesson is and how it is delivered, make sure we keep it lively and straightforward

How about you, teachers? How do you adjust your teaching in the virtual environment? Let's share in the comment!

Teaching Children

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Hello to all teachers! 

Welcome to my blog! In this post, I'll share my experience in teaching children. Here you go!

Teaching children means that you have to control your emotion. They love to make noise, jump, scream, shout, sing, dance, even if you don't ask them to do that. Teaching children means that you have to be VERY PATIENT! Show your lovely face to them. Don't you ever show your hesitation face or your sour face! Once you do this, they'll reject you as their friend. 

teaching children with toys
Mr. Benny Bear is loved by my students.

I believe some of you still remember Mr. Benny Bear. I used Mr. Benny Bear when I did the Peer Teaching: Teaching Children, and now I'm using Mr. Benny Bear as my class ritual for my Green 3 students. They love Mr. Benny Bear so much! They love interacting with Mr. Benny Bear, especially when they have to help me wake Mr. Benny Bear up. 

So, how about you, teachers? Have you got some tips on teaching? Just share with me so we can be better teachers in the future! See ya! 


Teenagers in the Classroom (1)

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teacing english as second language to teenager

Noisy and laughing every time, that’s my teenager class!

There are 13 students in my class. They’re about 12-14 years old and in their first and second year in junior high school. When my principal gave me this class, I was afraid I couldn’t handle them, but she encouraged me that I could. Then, after I met them, I fell in love with them! Even sometimes they make me crazy!

I find there are some problems teaching teenagers. Since they’re in their puberty, you’ll face some refusals, especially when you pair or group them with other students. For example, a girl student will refuse to be in pair with the boy and vice versa. As a teacher, you’ll also get protests from the student when you ask them to do some tasks or explain something, but they disagree with it. Actually, all of these can be a severe problem if you don’t know how to handle them.

So, how to cope with these problems, miss?

Well, there’re some tips on how to handle these problems.

Be their friend, but….

It sounds easy but actually not that easy. You have to find out what students like and don’t like. Try to listen to their songs, read their favourite books, follow the latest trend, and anything related to their life like school, computer games, and so on. From there, you can start a good conversation with them, and they will feel that you really give them attention. As a result, you’ll get their heart and build a good teacher-student relationship. But be careful! Even though you’re their friend, it doesn’t mean that you can give them the freedom to do whatever they want.

Discipline them!

Even you’re very close to your students, you can’t let them break the rules! There should be a clear boundary between you as a teacher and as a friend. Always remind them about the rules and the punishments you’ve made since the first meeting, e.g. punctuation, behaviour, clothes, etc. If they break the rules, give them punishment. Don’t spoil them! Sometimes, you let them break the rules as a new teacher because you want to take their heart. Be careful, teacher! This can be the start of chaos in your class. Strict to your rules! Although you’re a new teacher, show them that you’re the leader.

To be continued...