Tips for teaching English at summer schoolEmma Johnston, Shaun Thomas and Enya Cooper work at International House Toruń in Poland. Every summer they return to the UK and work in various summer schools around the country. Here are their top ten tips for surviving the summer season!

1 Mixed nationality classes

Mix the nationalities in your class so everyone speaks to someone from a different country.

2 Consolidation

As most students are only at summer schools for a very short time, don’t spend lots of time teaching new language points. Instead consolidate the language that they already have and get them to use it during communicative activities.

3 Get involved

Take part in as many activities and excursions as possible. Don’t be afraid to dance badly in the school disco. This will really help to build the rapport with your students.

4 Excursions

Find out some fun facts about the place where your summer school is based as well as any of the excursion destinations as you may find yourself acting as a tour guide leading a group of students to a place you’ve never been to before! It’s also good to incorporate some of these facts into your English lesson before the students go off on their excursions.

5 English outside of the lesson

Talk to the students whenever you can – in the school canteen, at the school disco, etc. Engage with them in English!

6 Share and experiment

Share ideas with other teachers in the staff room. Summer schools are a great place for you to try out a range of different activities. It’s a good chance to experiment with your teaching and try something new!

7 Working with other staff

Get to know the welfare officers as they can make your life much easier! You can also learn a lot from the activity leaders who are usually excellent at building rapport and you can also help them to grade their language with the students.

8 Dress appropriately

Don’t wear shorts and t-shirt in the classroom but at the other end of the scale don’t dress up in a business suit and tie. Also cover tattoos and remove any unusual piercings as in some cultures these may be offensive.

9 Go with the flow

Be flexible! Even the most organized summer schools don’t always go according to plan. Just go with the flow. Don’t get too stressed!

10 Enjoy yourself!

Summer schools are very intensive and hard-work, but they are also a lot of fun!