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Many different teaching aids can be used to help the teacher and make lessons more interesting for students. The following are the most common equipment and teacher's aids used in the classroom.
1) The board: All classrooms should have some kind of board or flip chart. It's important for board work to be planned and organized. Most teachers prefer white boards over chalk boards because they are cleaner and easier to use.
2) Interactive white boards: Often referred to as IWBs or smart boards and are increasingly being used in classrooms. They are required to be connected to a computer. Teachers can produce some visually stunning lessons with an IWB.
3) Overhead projector: These are useful for showing pre-prepared overhead transparencies. Teachers can overlay transparencies and write on them, which makes them a versatile piece of equipment.
4) Visual aids: Many different visual aids can be used in the classroom but the most common are real objects, pictures and photos. These aids can reduce teacher talk time, add variety/interest, attract attention, stimulate discussion, be used for prompts in games, set the context, and be used for presenting new vocabulary items.
5) Worksheets and work cards: These can be bought from a publisher or made by the teacher. They can be used to adapt published materials, act as prompts, help write exercises, be used in role play activities, and present new vocabulary.
6) Cassette recorder: These have been used in the classroom for many years and can be useful for recording authentic materials and playing them to the class, to record students' communication, and for teachers to make their own dialogues to use in the classroom.
7) CD player: These have taken over cassettes and used as a primary audio source in the classroom. They are used in a similar way as cassette players.
8) Videos and DVDs: Showing videos can be motivational for students, easier to understand than audio only, and hold students' attention. they can be used to stimulate discussion and for communicative activities.
9) Video cameras: These can be very useful to record the students during an activity then play it back for discussion. The camera can be used by students to record a film for an activity or project.
10) Dictionaries: This is probably the most useful tool for students. A good dictionary will help students look up meaning, pronunciation, usage, and help students produce language.
11) Coarse books: These are a good guide for both teachers and students. They should be used where needed but not over-relied upon. The teacher can supplement, omit, replace, and adapt sections as needed.
12) Resource books: These books range from grammar exercise books through to communication games books. These books are popular with teachers as they give activities and ideas to make classes interesting and stimulating.
13) Photocopiers: These are necessary for copying materials that are not contained in student course books.
14) Computers: Computers are quickly becoming part of the English language classroom. They have many good uses but should not be overused as students can become uncommunicative. Computer aided language learning (CALL) is developing rapidly around the world.
15) Online sources: There are thousands of websites that a TEFL teacher can use as resources which can be very helpful in many ways.
I learned a lot about equipment and teaching aids in this unit. Using a good variety of equipment and teaching aids can keep students interested and engaged in lessons. They can also make classes stimulating and fun for students so they enjoy learning the English language. Equipment and teaching aids are very helpful for the teacher, can make lessons diverse, and reduce teacher talk time to keep lessons more student centered. Good teaching aids can help students be more active and communicative.