Top TEFL Tools for Today’s ESL Classroom

We get it! As an aspiring great TEFL teacher, you want to transform your learners’ lives with

language. The commonality successful TEFL teachers share is their dedication to improving

their teaching methods. At iTTi South Africa, we’re equally dedicated to equipping our

TESOL teachers with tools that will take them from the TEFL tenderfoot to the experienced

English educator. That’s why we’ve compiled the following list for you to utilise in your online

or abroad classroom to reach the shy, bored or energetic EFL student.


Flashcards should be the first tool added to your teaching kit! Used to aid memory and

retention in learning, flashcards can be utilised in every lesson and in any phase of the ESA

(Engage, Study, Activate) method. Flashcards are adaptable, making them ideal for visual

learners of any age and language level.

In the EFL classroom, flashcards can:

  • Introduce vocabularyin choral or individual drilling;

  • Be stuck around the classroom for reference;

  • Set the context (such as a hospital when learning medical vocabulary);

  • Aid in sentence construction, and

  • Be used in activities (such as Charades for teaching verbs or Pictionary when learning about nouns, comparatives and superlatives, etc.).

And because they’re lightweight, they’re easy to transport around the globe in your backpack or glue them onto sticks for easy reach when teaching online. If you find yourself short of resources to print flashcards -- no stress! A little creativity, stationery and magazines can go a long way.


Bring the outside world into the classroom with realia! Using real-life objects effectively illustrates English vocabulary and written text, allowing students to make connections with language concepts to their own lives. Realia can engage students, elicit language, stimulate discussion, serve as prompts in communication games (such as for collaborative story building or roleplay), and add an element of fun to seemingly mundane topics.

Periodically add to your collection of objects (anything from puppets to silly hats) and keep them close at hand to captivate your class.To learn more about how to use realia in your EFL/ESL lessons, check out this blog post.


Total Physical Response (TPR) is essential for the TEFL classroom! Part of the Communicative Approach, TPR encourages learners to respond with actions before words, and you as the teacher will immerse your whole self when teaching anything from English imperatives to storytelling.

Using TPR will:

  • Engage your visual and kinaesthetic learners;

  • Crack those introverted students’ shells, and

  • Provide some comic relief between serious study phases.

Toss the nerves aside, loosen your hinges, and bring English to life with games, songs, and actions linked to vocabulary to create a lasting impression.

Lesson Plans

Devising lesson plans makes you a teacher with skill and foresight! While many online companies or schools abroad may supply you with the set lesson material, there are also many others that leave the lesson creation and content up to you.

By pre-creating some lesson plans, as an EFL teacher, you will:

  • Know how to set enabling and terminal objectives;

  • How to meet these objectives;

  • Understand how phases interconnect;

  • Anticipate the time required;

  • Prepare supplementary activities, and

  • Evaluate students and your own performance.

If you’re ever thrown into an unanticipated situation of teaching on the spot or filling in for another teacher, you will have ideas and material to draw upon and teach confidently. We recommend that you create a few and adapt it as necessary.

Click here to learn more about how to create a winning lesson plan.

Grammar Guidebook

Even experts need to consult a guide sometimes! A grammar guidebook or manual, whether it’s a hard copy or digital gives you a point of reference. This way, you can clarify English concepts, teach with conviction and be prepared to answer questions like a pro.

We recommend that you procure an ultimate TEFL manual and brush up on those grammar basics.


Modern teachers use technology to their advantage! For online TEFL teachers, using technology is a daily norm. However, what sets you apart is:

  • A secure internet connection

  • A noise-cancelling headset

  • A reliable laptop

For super tech-savvy teachers who want to take their classes to another level, consider installing the video-enhancing software ManyCam.

Overseas teaching? Take a tablet laptop to play appropriate English-language learning videos and music for your students, or a phone to record class videos for roleplay and correction activities. Be sure to upgrade your digital teaching tools for maximum effective modern-classroom teaching.

Keen to learn more to be the best EFL teacher in today’s classrooms? At iTTi South Africa, our TESOL programme uses the same teacher training textbooks as acclaimed four-year colleges in the USA and UK. Receiving this level of education and training is why our graduates are hired by the most prominent, quality English schools around the world.

Let us help you unlock your greatness as a TESOL teacher by registering today.

26 views0 comments
  • iTTi South Africa Facebook Page Link
  • iTTi South Africa Instagram Page Link
  • iTTi South Africa Youtube Page Link


iTTi South Africa Head office: Brooklyn Lodge,

Gonubie Main Road, Gonubie,

East London 5241