Teacher Tip — Homework

Not everyone will always do it, and some students may never do it, but homework can be a valuable addition to your class. To help you and your student get the most from it, here are some tips for dealing with homework.

  • Be consistent. Your students will learn more if they commit to doing homework after every class. If you know this is impossible for them, then assign homework for them once a week or over the weekend, when they may have more time.
  • Give short assignments. As adults, most of our students lead very busy lives, so they don’t have hours to spend on homework. Giving short assignments can make it more “doable.”
  • Don’t wait until the last minutes of class to assign homework. Include it in the agenda on the board, and mention it during class.
  • All Interactive English textbooks have a homework section on the last page of the lesson. There are generally at least three sections. The first section usually has a listening activity. Often it is the same track students listening to in class, but with a different task. If your student has difficulty completing the listening on their own, consider assigning the “Extra, Extra” section for homework and doing the listening as a review in the following class.
  • In the “Hello World” section, have your students commit to an activity. Their homework is doing the activity, but they should decide what it is while they are in class.
  • Don’t neglect the journal prompts. You may need to provide a journal to encourage your students. This can be as simple as a few pieces of paper folded in half and stapled in the middle to form a notebook. Lower-level students may only write a few words, but as your students progress, their entries will become longer. Rather than merely correcting journal entries, consider responding to the content only.
  • Be sure to go over the homework in the following class. If you are tutoring an individual student, go over the answers. If you are teaching a group, have students check in pairs, or have people write answers on the board as they enter the classroom.