5 Useful Props for Improving Your TEFL Classes

5 Useful Props for Improving Your TEFL Classes

Making lessons more interesting and interactive is a constant goal of every teacher I know. Despite the wide range of online tools and teaching materials available, props are probably the most common way of doing this. The good thing about props in TEFL classes is that they can be used even when technology is not cooperating. Many teaching props are very versatile and having a selection of things within reach while we’re teaching can enable us to add fun and spontaneity to our lessons. We all know that we should have a whiteboard and some puppets or soft toys to hand when we teach, but we also have our own favourite additions. Here are five of my favourites. 

Use of Paper dolls in TEFL classes

Discussing the doll’s clothing can be a useful lead-in to the lesson’s topic because it provides context clues, which helps to overcome any remaining language barriers. For example, if asked where a paper doll wearing shorts and a T-shirt is going, the student will likely guess summer outings like the beach. They’ll know it is unlikely that the doll is going skiing, so the lead-in to the lesson’s topic can be more of a discussion. 

Paper dolls can also be used to teach about body parts, clothes and describing appearances. Another fun activity is using paper dolls to act out or write a story. 

Coloured pens

These are particularly useful props because they’re often close to hand when you suddenly need to demonstrate or practice a concept. In addition to being useful for teaching numbers and colours, they can help explain verbs like falling, holding and throwing. 

Coloured pens can also be used to teach determiners and prepositions in TEFL classes. They can be counted or placed in/on/next to something like a cup, for example

Use of Picture books in TEFL classes

Picture books can help teach verbs like reading and holding. They also contain useful vocabulary. Story books can be a fun way of introducing and reviewing sentence structure. Books for even younger children are useful for teaching colours, fruit and animal names. 

In addition to being used for teaching, picture books can also be fun to read at the start or end of classes.



Flashcards are helpful props for drilling concepts but they can also be used for games. You can give your students a quick glimpse of a flashcard and as them to guess what it is or not look at the flashcard and guess what it is (with clues from your student) yourself. You could even deliberately guess the wrong thing to make the lesson a bit more fun and interactive in TEFL classes.


Shakers are a nice option for teaching pronunciation and fluency in TEFL Classes. You can use a shaker to demonstrate the number of syllables or the stressed syllables. If you’re teaching lessons on poetry, a shaker can be a helpful way of demonstrating the correct rhythm. You can also experiment with different stresses and rhythms to add a playful element to your classes.

Using Poems in TEFL Classes

Using Poems in TEFL Classes

As teachers, we all have our favourite games to play in class, and our favourite resources to plan lessons around. Poems in TEFL classes can be a useful addition to these games and resources because they teach English in a fun, flexible way. Here are seven reasons why poetry-based activities are a great addition to TEFL lesson plans.




They’re flexible




Poetry can be used for whatever we want to achieve in our classes. For example, reading or discussing a poem makes a useful speaking activity, making our own poem is a fun writing activity and performing a poem is a great production activity for young children. We can teach an entire lesson on a poem or use a poem as a warm-up, cooler or filler. Having a few favourite poems in TEFL classes to use while teaching can be as useful as having some favourite games.


There are also many poems to choose from. Poetic styles and themes are hugely varied so there is a poem to compliment any vocabulary list or grammar concept we’re working on. There are also poems about basically everything. Food, emotions, the seasons, animals and anything you can think of. We can find a poem to compliment any lesson or course we’re teaching. 




They encourage free talk




Discussing a poem can be a useful way for students to share their opinions and practice natural conversation. A poem will provide several discussion points, from the theme to the affect of any figurative language. 


Teachers can choose a discussion that suits our lesson plans or, if advanced enough, the student can decide what they want to discuss. For less advanced students, we can base some speaking activities on the poem as a warm-up for free talk.




They teach vocabulary

 It is well known that poetry helps to improve vocabulary. Poems in TEFL classes not only introduce new words but encourage students to play with the words they learn. Regularly studying poetry will introduce students to rhyme, metre and synonyms in a natural, playful way. It also enables students to find patterns and similarities in the English language, as well as encouraging a light-hearted and experimental approach to learning. 

  They teach fluency

 Poetic rhythm and metre are useful tools for practising English fluency because of the clarity of the stress patterns. In a poem, it usually becomes clear very quickly which syllables should be emphasised, which makes overall fluency easier. 

 Iambic rhythms are said to replicate the natural rhythm of English more closely than any other poetic metre, although many people disagree. Either way, reading and listening poems in TEFL classes allows students to play with rhythm and stress. Teachers can discuss this with our more advanced students when working with them on their fluency. 


They can be used to mimic our natural learning pattern
Research shows that babies learn the underlying rhythm of their language before they begin to understand the individual words. Listening to English will mimic this natural learning pattern. Poems in TEFL classes are especially good options for listening activities because they’re often short and pleasant to listen to. Unlike other many other listening activities, poetry enables the student to focus on fluency instead of being distracted by vocabulary or grammar.




They’re easy to memorise




Memorising poems helps children learn new vocabulary and sentence structures. It can also help children review sentence structures they’ve just started learning. Having accurate sentences stored in their minds children a permanent point of reference to use when making English sentences. 

Another benefit of memorising poems in TEFL classes is that even if a student doesn’t know what a word in a poem means, they’re more likely to recognise that word when they encounter it in their reading or their classes. This will help them to learn about this word more quickly, which over time will improve their vocabulary. 

 They encourage further reading

Students are likely to read works by writers they’ve enjoyed reading in class. The advantage with poetry is that poems are often quite short so finding time to do extra reading outside lessons will be easier. Students can also listen to poems when they’re not able to read. 

 There are lots of places to find poems online. Here are a few starting points. 





































Free Classes

Free Classes

When you offer free classes you get asked, “If it’s free, can it be any good?”

And the answer is, “It is precisely because it is good that it is free!”

Why do we offer free classes? Because we know that you will love them and come back and take our paid classes. It’s that simple. If we weren’t absolutely convinced that MyCoolClass offers the best online education, we would choose a different way of marketing. But we don’t need to. The proof of the platform is in the teaching.

Why are we so confident? Well, to be honest, it’s because we know what we’re doing . All of our teachers are robustly vetted. To become a MyCoolClass teacher is a mark of distinction. We check teachers’ qualifications and do a background check. Nobody will ever work with us just on the basis of their passport


We are international. We benefit from the experience of many countries and can relate to the cultural diversity of our students.

And most importantly, we are all teachers. All of us. We are a co-operative. We understand that most people just want excellent classes from outstanding teachers at a sensible price. But it is because we are a co-operative of teachers that we understand that. After all, who has spent more time with students than teachers?

We know that paying for learning is a serious business. There are a million other things you could be spending your money on; holidays, that new guitar, a new smartphone. But you chose to invest the money instead. Not in stocks and shares but in yourself and in your future. As teachers we respect this immensely (because we did the same thing back in the day!)


There is another reason why free demo classes are good for students and teachers. The relationship between a teacher and a student is one of trust. A student gives the teacher permission to correct and guide them. Think about it. How many people would you let do that in your life?

With the best will in the world, not every student will connect with every teacher. That’s nobody’s fault. It’s just how we are configured. So trying out a free demo class gives the student a chance to get a feeling of the class energy and a sense of the vibes of the teacher.

I remember once signing up for Italian lessons in Manchester. The teacher, I am sure, was a wonderful human being who fed orphan kittens in her spare time. But I could not stand her! She insisted on total immersion from the very first class. Teaching the unknown by using the unknown! Some people are okay with this. However, it is not my cup of cappuccino. Had I known this I would have found someone else.

Try it!

One of the great features of MyCoolClass is that you can try all the teachers you like until you find the one who is right for you.

As Buddha said ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears.’ Well, get ready! We have lots of teachers appearing. Give it a go! Sign up for a free demo!

The Native English Speaker Myth

The Native English Speaker Myth

Dave Jolly was a brilliant musician. He could play Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and all the greats. The violin sung like an angel in his hands. But he couldn’t teach people how to play it.

What Dave did in the concert hall, Aritz Eizaguirre did in the kitchen. He was a virtuoso with food. He could both feed an army and create exquisite new dishes from exotic ingredients. But he couldn’t teach people how to cook.

So why do we think that people who are highly competent in speaking a language can teach it? It doesn’t make sense.

One assumption is that the native English speaker is the best person for English. In the British Isles alone you have hundreds of types of English – Mancunian, Scouser, Cockney, Geordie etc. None of these is ideal for intelligibility in an international setting. You want a good pronunciation model? Look somewhere else.

Learning English is not pretending to be an English person. It is acquiring competence in an international language. Where your teacher was born cannot be a deciding factor in choosing your teacher.

A Native English speaker has no idea what it is like to learn English as an additional language. They have never had that experience. Non-native teachers, on the other hand, do have that experience. In terms of empathy for a student’s experience the non-native teacher wins hands down. If you are trying to understand phrasal verbs, you are better off with someone who has had that (seemingly complicated) experience. When you are in unknown territory, you want someone who has a map.

The idea that a native student visiting your country in their gap year is better qualified to teach English than someone from your country who has studied the language for years is nonsense. And it’s not just about studying the language. Teaching is a profession. Teaching is a vocation.

Are proper qualifications important?

      “Excuse me, waiter, this paella is horrible! The rice is burnt, and the ingredients are undercooked!”

True that, but the chef is called Pedro. So, it is an authentic Spanish paella.

In all other areas of life, you want people who are qualified to serve you. Why not in education? You are going to invest time and money in your education. Don’t let yourself be fooled by irrelevant selling points.

Teachers are experts in the art of explanation. They know how to programme the acquisition of both knowledge and skills. They know when to challenge their students and when to hold off. They can look into the future and see where students might have difficulties and they can prepare for that. Teachers have three important skills

1. empathy,

2. empathy and

3. more empathy.

Find a teacher with that and you will not care what colour their passport is.

Years ago, I knew a hairdresser called Kevin. He sold his hairdressing service under the name of Pierre. He thought a French name sounded more sophisticated. So did some of his customers. They all walked out thinking they got a French haircut. But it was a Kevin haircut. And a good one too. That’s what mattered.

I am a native English speaker with more than 25 years’ experience and let me share this with you. I had to train to become a teacher. I had to learn my own language again from the outside. I had to make an effort to empathise with students who were doing what I had never done. Not once did I give a better class, offer better advice, or provide more value because of where I was born.

When it comes to choosing a teacher, it’s the person, not the passport, that counts.








False Friends in Language Learning

False Friends in Language Learning

‘Eeuw! Too much information!’ That’s what I thought when Gorka, my student, told me he was constipated. I was new in Spain and still in the Guesswork Stage of dealing with language learning. Gorka too was doing his best with English. He was testing and experimenting with words. In language learning, you naturally assume that a word in a foreign language that sounds or looks like a word in your own language may means something similar. Often it will. But not in the case of ‘constipated’. In Spanish ‘constipado’ means ‘congested’. If you have a cold, you will be ‘constipado’. But ‘constipated’ in English refers to a ..ahem…geographically different congestion. In Spanish they say ‘estreñido’. It was as a result of Gorka’s congestion, that I discovered ‘false friends’ – words that look like words you know, but mean something else entirely.


















One which comes up all the time in my conversation classes is the word ‘actual’. In Spanish ‘actual’ means contemporary or current. In English it means ‘real’.


















‘A lot of people call me Donald but my name is Donal actually’. When I say that some students think that I was thinking of changing my name.


















If you are ’embarazada’ in Spanish, you are expecting a baby. But to be ’embarrassed’ in English is to feel f shame.


















When you are ‘molestado’, you are annoyed. If you are ‘molested’, you are abused,


















Your clothes are ‘ropa’ in Madrid. But ‘rope’ in Manchester is for typing up boats.


















Stefania from Estepona buys her books in a ‘libraria’ while Stephanie from Stoke borrows books from a ‘library’.


















If you ‘asistir’ a class in Spain, you are attending. If you ‘assist’ in Ireland, you are helping.


















A person who in Malaga is ‘destituida’ has lost their job. A ‘destitute ‘ person in New York has lost everything.


















‘Pretender’ in Palma de Mallorca is to try. But if you ‘pretend’ in Preston you will try to fool someone by giving the impression that something is true when it is not.


















Students will carry their notes around in ‘carpetas’ in Cadíz but in Fermanagh they carry the use ‘folders’ . They walk on ‘carpets’ though just as the Spaniards walk on ‘alfombras’.


















A ‘nudo’ is a knot. A ‘nude’ is not. This is probably one to remember. To be ‘nude’ is to be wearing no clothes,


















Be careful when you want to find a grocery store in Galicia. ‘Grosería’ means ‘crudeness’ or ‘a disgusting thing’.


















When someone talks about ‘éxito’ in Extremadura they are not talking about finding a way out. They are talking about success. English speakers use ‘exit’ to mean the way out of somewhere. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have an exit door that leads to success?


















It is one of the marvellous things about learning an additional language that we can be surprised. It keeps your brain young and, to be honest, your sense of humour in tip-top condition.


















MyCoolClass offers language learning lessons for all levels. Not just English and Spanish…Hindi, German…check it out! Go to MyCoolClass, and click on Find a Teacher. You can reserve a free first class right now and be discovering false friends (and more than a few true friends) this week!
































































































































Facilitating English Language Learning Among Young Learners and Adults

Facilitating English Language Learning Among Young Learners and Adults

English language learning is becoming more and more popular among students, young learners, and adults due to the growing popularity of the language and the need to adapt to international standards. Facilitating Language Learning can be a daunting and difficult job for trainers if not well versed in the topic. Non-Native speakers find it difficult to get a teaching job in English due to their fluency and pronunciation. Therefore citizens from native English-speaking nations like U.K, U.S, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia are in huge demand due to their English Language skills and proficiency. Their fluency and command in the language make them superior and the top-rated teachers in the world and are considered by teaching institutes. They are hired and recruited for their skills to teach young learners and students the basics of English Language and linguistics and enhance their communication skills. English Language learning can be a rewarding experience for any new learner or student and can help him take better decisions in the future to make and advance their career.

A TEFL/TESOL certification is mandatory to teach English online

The TEFL/TESOL certification has become a mandatory requirement for teachers to teach English online. The certification can be attained from leading institutes like Asian College of Teachers, International TEFL Academy, Bridge Education Group, etc. English Language learning in 2021 is becoming increasingly popular among students and young learners. They are looking for the best teachers to teach them English online. MYCOOLCLASS.COM is credited to be one of the best English Language Learning platforms and is known to recruit the best teachers from around the globe.

English Language Learning can be started at any age group

There is no age limit that restricts an individual to learn English and its linguistics. Students and young learners can enroll in preliminary courses and adults can take up courses related to increasing corporate communications. There is also the option to enroll in courses that teach English from the very basics.  In fact, students and young learners consider mastering the concepts early in their life span to be better communicators and be on par with international students. They look for the best teachers to attain perfection and mastery over language. The best teachers are selected based on their qualifications and certifications before they can continue their teaching careers. Therefore an individual need not worry about age, religion, or ethnicity to learn English and it is imperative to acquire the skills required to excel in their job or career.  

How is English language Learning accomplished?

English language learning can be accomplished by students by selecting an English Language learning platform and select the best teachers to continue their learning career and move forward. The students have the option to try and get the best teaching help from expert teachers in each of these platforms. They can book their slots based on the teacher’s availability and can purchase study materials from the online academy. Study materials, therefore, help in filling the gaps that they face in terms of comprehending the language. English Language learning is therefore a very exciting journey in a student’s life and can be rewarding in the future.

How do we acquire mastery over English Language?   

Mastery over English Language Learning can be attained by following Chomsky’s model of teaching and knowing the basics of English Language grammar and linguistics. There are various models of learning that give students the benefit to learn from the strategies or techniques and acquire mastery in the subject. Language learning requires patience and hard work and following the teacher’s guidelines and standard practices. There are different strategies like Communicative Language Learning, Communicative Language Teaching, Task-Based Learning, Grammar Translation method, Natural approach, Lexical Approach that acquaints students to learn and develop good skills in English language and linguistics.

MYCOOLCLASS facilitates and enhances English Language learning

MYCOOLCLASS is a teacher’s cooperative owned by teachers to help students excel in their careers and advance forward. Our aim is to help students across the globe and get acquainted with the subject.  MYCOOLCLASS is designed to help students with language learning across various geographies. Besides English, the platform is suited for students willing to know about other languages like Italian, Spanish, French, etc. We have a very simple and effective methodology to help students enroll in courses by visiting the marketplace and choosing their teachers. The marketplace consists of teachers from around the globe with different skills and students can get to know them by visiting their profiles and booking classes with them. They can schedule and plan their learning sessions with tutors depending on their needs. There are also other courses besides Language Learning in the platform to help students and learners with their requirements. 


MYCOOLCLASS invites all teachers and students to try and use the platform for teaching, learning, knowledge sharing, and communicating effectively. It is very essential to choose the appropriate language learning platform for students to get what they are looking for. We are here to help students with their basic necessities and are always reachable in case of any questions or doubts.  We are available as per the time schedule mentioned in our calendars and students can effectively book classes without any hassles. Therefore, come and explore your teaching and learning journey with MyCOOLCLASS.


Why is English Language required?

English Language is required to compete and excel in education and job and get acquainted with the language that is accepted and recognised worldwide.

Where can I learn English language?

English Language can be learned at any point in time. It should be given preference when one is studying in school and can continue learning as long as he or she acquires mastery. It can also be taken as a subject while doing graduation and post graduation after completing board examinations and high school. English Language is also taught by expert teachers at leading education platforms.

How can I gain mastery over English language?

Mastery over English Laguage can be attained after acquiring basic knowledge in grammar and linguistics and practicing it while communicating, reading and writing. Constant practice and speaking improves fluency and command over the language.

How long does it take to learn English language?

Learning English language takes time but after learning the basics but it can take years to become a master and be a leading practitioner in the subject.

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