About the author: Najiba Ahmadi is a Star alumna and a current teacher at Star’s C Branch. She graduated from Kabul University’s Mathematics Science faculty.
As an English teacher, you should use English in your classes as much as possible. Doing so will show your students that learning English is very different from any other classes. It will help to maintain a good English-speaking atmosphere which will help your students focus on learning and using English. When you give students instructions, ask questions, or make comments in English, your learners will be more attentive to what you say which reinforces the English learning. Thinking in another language and not having to translate your sentences from your own language before speaking is a sign of great progress. So, it is important to avoid translation as much as possible; speaking English in the classroom encourages students to think in English.
In addition to having the students listen carefully to the teacher, they should have to do something in response. For example, when the teacher says to a student, “Come to the board, please,” the student should leave his place and move to you to show that he understood what was said to him. Active learning is more effective than learning passively. Active learning links words and phrases to actions, objects, ideas, thus affecting students in a strong and positive way; this also helps them to learn and remember certain phrases, words and sentences.
When the teacher gives instructions or asks a question in English, having the students do or say something in return will help them to realize that they can understand questions and instructions given in English. Additionally, it gives them a feeling of success, thus improving their confidence. Remember how important a feeling of confidence is when you are learning a language. Feelings of success and confidence will help students overcome the difficulties in learning a foreign language by allowing them to know it is okay to make a mistake.
Using English more in your classes will increase your own confidence as a teacher as well. You will see that your students understand you and that they are learning to use English. You will feel very satisfied when you no longer have to switch from speaking in English to your own language or vice versa; this will show you that the students are making progress learning this new language. So remember, speaking in English saves time and employs a student-centered teaching approach to teaching, keeping your students constantly engaged.