TIPS ON MAKING INSTRUCTIONS CLEAR Before giving instructions, remember to : Set the scene and get the students interested in what’s coming. Pre-teach any necessary vocabulary items. Clear up any problems of cultural content in the materials. When giving instructions : 1. Adopt a step-by-step approach. 2. After each step, check that all students have understood. 3. If your checking is verbal, make sure that your question forces the students to show that they understand what they are supposed to do. They will always say “yes” if you ask “Is that clear?” or “Do you understand?” 4. Keep your instructions as short and simple as possible, except with the more advanced classes. 5. Don’t give the students information or instructions that are unnecessary for the performance of the task. 6. Two students in an open pair, or all students in closed pairs. 7. Make clear whether the students should be writing or not. Give a demonstration. A demo for a mini dialogue, for example, can be done in these following sequence : (a). Teacher talking to herself, (b). Teacher with a (capable) student, (c). during the activity. If so, where they should write and what they should be writing : full sentences, notes, single word, ticks or crosses ? 8. Make clear who should start speaking in an activity. Also, emphasize the opening words of the activity so that the students can get started, i.e. the use of realistic, social language such as “Good morning, Madam. Can I help you ?” 9. Where possible, use gestures to reinforce verbal instructions. 10. Once the activity has started, go round and check early on that everyone is doing what they should be doing, a little encouragement may also be necessary at this stage. Then, the activity, keep checking for puzzled faces, students speaking B.Indonesia, students writing when they shouldn’t be, students not actually talking to each other, etc, and take appropriate action. 11. Be especially careful when introducing a new type of activity for the first time, e.g. mingle. Once the students have done this a couple of times, they’ll know what to do without the need for very explicit instructions.