Tuesday 17 January 2012

Quick Tip: Give Daily Homework

Tell your students that they have homework and they'll be sure to start moaning and groaning.  Homework is like vegetables; people don't like them, but they're still good for you and you should do homework daily.

Teachers might not give homework for a variety of reasons; they don't want to listen to their students complain or maybe they don't want to grade it.

The truth of the matter is that if you don't give homework to your students, chances are that most of them won't even open their books to review what was taught.

Giving homework gives them a reason to review what was taught in class and to look ahead and see what's next. That's not to say that you need to give long, boring assignments in order for students to succeed. Remember KISS: keep in short and simple. For example, if they need to learn 10 vocabulary words you could tell them that they need to one or two of these:
  • Find out what part of speech they are.
  • Write a simple definition, without copying from the dictionary.
  • Write a sentence using each one.
  • Write a story using all 10.
  • Read their sentences aloud to someone.
  • Read their story aloud to someone.
  • Find the translation of those 10 words into their native language.
  • Read and record their sentences.
  • Listen to that recording.
  • Read and record their story.
  • Listen to their story being read to them.
Each activity is short and simple. Homework is a necessary evil and one day students will see that it's good for them.  There are more tips about giving homework in TEFL Tips' homework article.

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Email me with your quick tip, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.



  1. I give homework every lesson. My students don't complain any more because they know that I'll give them more if they do. I don't normally give them loads, but enough to make them think about English between classes and hopefully study what we did in class. I have a red and yellow card system in place. If they don't do their homework they get a red card. 3 red cards in a term involves a telephone call to mummy or daddy. I've never had to call a parent.


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