How to teach English to beginners

How to teach English to beginners ABC

Learn how to teach English to beginners of different ages and personalities. English teachers often come across the situation where there are mixed ages, abilities and interests in the classroom. Typically, private tutors are called upon to teach siblings, or groups of friends. For example, a teacher was tutoring a younger girl, who loved pink and dolls, while the boy loved building and drones. (Yes, these stereotypes, do still exist in the real world!) The teacher was having trouble preparing lessons that were not too babyish for the boy, while still engaging the girl. In addition, the girl was more interested in learning a second language than the boy. So, read on for help with this type of situation.

To follow up on all this know-how, you’ll need a cup of coffee! However, it is worth taking time to discover how to teach English to beginners because once you know, you will be able to prepare fun lessons in five minutes.


Mix and match to appeal to both pupils. For example the boy likes drones and the girl likes pink. Therefore, she can have a pink drone and the two kids can run about the room or garden, flying their drones over the vocabulary items that you name. Have kids fly over and collect flashcards or items that you name. Then, suddenly there is an emergency and the kids have to fly their drones to a disaster zone to deliver items. The girl can deliver dolls for people to play with while the boy delivers a toy of his choosing. In this way you may share a common activity and teach relevant vocabulary, while each child imagines their own scenario.

Key tip: If you integrate their own toys as part of class, you’ll be appealing to their individual interests.

Check out these one to one lesson solutions for more tips.

Different levels

It’s essential that you disguise the difference in levels, especially between siblings. This is even more necessary if a younger child or sibling is more talented than an older one. When this happens, the older child can feel embarrassed or deficient which can put them off wanting to learn. So, avoid competitions that are uneven. Instead put the siblings in a team together to compete against you, or against themselves, trying to do better in each round.

Resources to teach English to beginners

For more help on how to teach English to beginners, please check all these useful blogs below:

Try this story that teaches daily routine verbs and vocabulary for beginners. This story appeals to all kids, whether they are girly or masculine or somewhere in between ! This story has a matching song. Once kids know the story and language you can turn it into a short play.

Daily routine lesson plan

More on handling mixed ages and levels

Here are some blogs to browse for more tips on handling mixed ages and levels:

A great multi-level classroom strategy

For teaching 2 and 3 year old children at the same time

When you have mixed abilities and the bright kids jump in and do all the talking

More stories

A short story for family members. Ideal for preschool beginners.

Here’s a catchy, repetitive song to go with it: Family song for kindergarten.

Also for beginners, but for preschool to primary school kids, a story, lesson plan and flashcards for the school theme.

Lesson plan for school

School story and school flashcards.

Using drama with beginners

Short skits and one-act plays are ideal for beginners of mixed abilities and ages. Check these links for ideas:

Preparing short plays in English

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