How to be a Professional ESL Trainer? A Step-By-Step Guide for ESL Curriculum Beginners

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New TEFL instructors may feel intimidated by the prospect of teaching the ESL curriculum to beginners (who have a minimal to no prior understanding of the language), particularly if they are unfamiliar with the student’s native tongue. Teachers might be unsure about how to approach this level of instruction or even where to begin. Don’t be alarmed—any teacher could do it! We’ll provide you with tips on how to instruct English to beginners as well as classroom resources you can utilize (such as props and perfectly matched games) to motivate your students to improve their English.

Who is a Beginner ESL Student?

Let’s start by giving a general summary of student levels. A selection test or interview is often used to categorize English pupils as either beginning, intermediate, or advanced level students. There are also levels between these in certain schools, including high beginners.

In-depth classification systems are also widely used, like the Common European Framework of Reference for Linguistic (CEFR), which divides pupils into six groups. However, it is customary to refer to levels such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

The main traits of each level are broken down in the list below.


A learner of introductory English concentrates on learning basic adjectives, location

names, family names, and everyday items. Additionally, subject pronouns commonly used adjectives, and modal expressions are becoming more and more familiar to beginners. Although some syntax and grammar may be covered, the classes will mostly concentrate on teaching students how to ask questions and create simple sentences.

It’s important to note that the majority of learners are not total beginners because they have had previous exposure to English, either it was through early schooling or basic English courses, or movies and music. These pupils are referred to as “false starters” since they possess some foundational English knowledge but lack the proficiency to be classified as intermediate.


A medium learner has learned the fundamentals, is capable of expressing the majority of concepts straightforwardly, and is progressing to increasingly challenging verb tenses and grammar forms. These pupils normally demonstrate more rapid improvement and may want to broaden their language to change the terminology they use.


Students who have mastered the language can communicate with ease, are honing their language abilities, and are working to seem like native English speakers. They study more independently and might be motivated to use real English materials like podcasts, magazine articles, and journal articles.

Tips to Teach an ESL Curriculum Beginner

These are a few illustrations to instruct beginners and other participants.

Total Physical Response

Total physical reaction (TPR) is an excellent method for instructing adult and young

learners in English. TPR recommends conveying meaning through your body language and facial expressions. TPR is extremely effective because specific hand gestures and facial expressions are universally understood, no matter where you are on the globe. For instance, you may represent the movement of “hopping” when teaching the word “cat” using TPR by holding your fingers up to your cheekbones to resemble whiskers.

Use Pictorial Content

Including visuals in your lectures is another excellent technique to help novices understand what you’re saying. For students of all ages, pictures are an effective approach to conveying meaning without confounding the audience. Additionally, kids could gain from connecting the pictures to the English words, which might help with memorizing.

Use Simple Language

Make an effort not to confuse beginners when educating them by using lengthy, complex phrases. Be succinct and clear while giving instructions, and make sure to give examples as you go. Use as few auxiliary words and expressions as you can when introducing kids to new words or grammatical ideas so they can concentrate on the crucial or intended portion of your speech.

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