Saturday, January 2, 2010

Seven Common Deadly Sins of EFL teachers

For the past three years I have been working with a number of trainees doing their best to become good EFL teachers. Having observed their classes and being repeatedly asked to pinpoint typical mistakes they make, here is my list of the Seven Common Deadly Sins of EFL teachers.

  1. They don’t set up contexts to introduce new topics
  2. Their TTT dominates the classroom making it largely teacher centred
  3. They teach/ practise grammar without drawing students’ attention to meaning
  4. They provide students with (usually) one form of (negative) feedback
  5. They believe in the power of worksheets as the best source of practice
  6. They make students sit most of the time 
  7. They provide students with a written form of a word before modelling pronunciation 
Sounds familiar?


  1. Ouch - even after 20 years of teaching, I must confess to all those sins at times. I should start my repentance programme for the new year -thank you for prodding me :)

  2. Don't worry - we're all sinners at times ;)

  3. I'm definitely guilty of 6 and 7, although being aware your doing something is half the battle to fixing the problem.