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3 Essential Teaching Skills Every Teacher Needs To Know

3 Essential Teaching Skills Every Teacher Needs To Know | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is a challenging yet rewarding task that requires a set of essential skills. Pronunciation, grammar knowledge, and teaching method are three crucial elements that every teacher needs to possess in order to be effective in their role. From developing a neutral pronunciation to understanding grammatical rules and exploring different teaching methodologies, these skills are necessary for both native and non-native English teachers. In this blog post, we'll delve into each of these skills, highlighting their importance and providing practical tips for improvement. Whether you're a seasoned teacher or just starting out, this guide will provide you with the tools you need to succeed in the classroom.


Pronunciation is the first skill to take into account, and it is crucial for both native and non-native teachers. The majority of students who are not native English speakers face this issue, and it can be very stressful for them if they cannot understand the teacher's speech. It is essential for the teacher to develop neutral pronunciation, and there are many self-study training programs available to help hone this skill.

For native teachers, such as those from certain regions of the United States or the British Isles, it's important to practice neutral pronunciation as English language learners may find it difficult to understand speech with a strong accent. Similarly, non-native English teachers should also strive to maintain a neutral English accent that is not influenced by their native language's accent.

It's also crucial for students to regularly practice their pronunciation and become familiar with their speech apparatus. As a result, educators must explain how speech organs produce sounds. Whenever possible, incorporate pronunciation exercises into your lessons.

Grammar Knowledge

Grammar knowledge, also known as language awareness, is the next skill to consider for both native and non-native ESL teachers. It's important to have a comprehensive understanding of grammatical principles and related information so you can effectively explain them to your ESL students.

Grammar rules can be challenging to explain, so make sure to practice before each lesson. Both native and non-native English speakers can benefit from this. Anticipate the questions your students might ask and practice your explanations to avoid misunderstandings. Do any grammar-based worksheets and exercises yourself before giving them to the students, and always provide examples before starting the worksheet. To make grammar an integral part of your students' speaking or listening skills, try to make the activities engaging.

Teaching Method

Teachers need to be knowledgeable about and adaptable to as many different teaching methods as possible. Seek out the most modern and updated approaches, and take advantage of the numerous teaching communities and websites that offer information on appropriate methodologies. The more methodologies you are familiar with, both contemporary and traditional, the more adaptable you will be in lesson planning. This information will also help you anticipate potential difficulties or issues that your students may encounter.

After reading and comprehending a specific methodology, put it into practice by planning a lesson based on that methodology. Every methodology has its strengths and weaknesses, so be adaptable and use as many strategies and techniques as you can in your lessons.


In conclusion, pronunciation, grammar knowledge, and effective teaching methods are the three essential skills all teachers need to possess. A teacher's pronunciation skills, whether native or non-native, play a significant role in ensuring that the students understand their speech. Grammar knowledge is crucial to explain grammatical principles to students, and being familiar with different teaching methods helps in lesson planning and addressing potential difficulties. To be a successful teacher, it's important to continuously hone these skills, be adaptable, and use engaging activities to make learning an enjoyable experience for the students.

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