EFL Boardwork for the Classroom
1. Play the video below to start this lesson.
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2. Basic Concepts
Organizing the board for a more effective lesson is the mark of a skilled EFL teacher. KISS or "Keep it Simple for Students" is a good rule. Walk through your lesson and as you do it, put everything on the board. Ideally, you don't erase anything in one lesson and by the end of the lesson, it should look very well-organized and understandable. Check it from the back of the room.
Usually the best way to organize your boardwork is to literally present the lesson in a dry run and write everything on the board including target language, grammar structure and vocabulary. As you think your way through the lesson, you will probably notice that you need to reorganize or restructure your thinking. This is an excellent practical exercise just to catch the flow of your lesson as well as for organizing your EFL boardwork.
Note that in some classrooms, students will not be able to see the bottom one-third of the board from the back of the room. In some classrooms, the far left and right sides of the board may not be visible to students on the far opposite side of the room due to the extreme angle or from bright light from windows. If there are curtains in a room, use them. Write on the board in the classroom and walk around the room to see if your writing is BIG enough, clear enough and visible to everyone.
Never erase anything from the board without asking your students first. Why? Your very best students are taking notes! Just a simple, "Okay if I erase this?" and a fast look around the room will do the job. It's only polite, isn't it? Good teachers certainly don't mind waiting while their best students are taking notes.
A good lesson plan should have an example of what the board will look like on the last page. This will help you plan your EFL boardwork in advance.
3. Expanded Concepts
Boardwork is a fine art that the best teachers practice improving regularly.
Help your students by presenting your lesson clearly, visibly and in an understandable manner. Make a habit of regularly walking around the room and to the rear of the room to be sure what you are writing is legible and easily seen.
A good EFL lesson plan will include the boardwork that the teacher has thought through for the class.
Here is an excellent article about EFL boardwork written by the British Council
4. Markerboard Videos:
Below are a series of very simple but very helpful short videos with ideas about how to best use your markerboard. The instructor will show you how to brainstorm, draw and other board skills that you might otherwise not have thought you had. The last video gives you a few tips about making the best use of your whiteboard, tips and even etiquette.
While these videos are not in an EFL classroom, we think you can still learn a few good ideas here, in a short amount of time.