TIPS ON MAKING INSTRUCTIONS CLEAR Before giving instructions Set the scene Pre-teach

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
When giving instructions :
1. Adopt a step-by-step approach.
2. After each step, check that all students have
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?”
Keep your instructions as short and simple as possible, except
with the more advanced classes.
Don’t give the students information or instructions that are
unnecessary for the performance of the task.
Two students in an open pair, or all students in closed pairs.
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 ?
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 ?”
Where possible, use gestures to reinforce verbal
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.