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Key Takeaways from TEFL International Webinar on Student Retention

May 28, 2021

Did you watch TEFL International’s webinar on ways to keep ESL students engaged after the lesson? If you missed it, don't worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are some key takeaways from the webinar.

Customer Retention

Even though customer retention is a marketing notion, the same concept can be applied to retain students. According to Shopify, “customer retention is the collection of activities a business uses to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer.” In other words, if we apply this same idea to the classroom, student retention is the collection of activities a teacher uses to increase the number of repeat students.

Tips for Student Retention

How can an ESL teacher retain students and get them to come back? A combination of personal qualities, teaching techniques, and lesson dynamics can influence student retention. Keeping this in mind, here are some tips for retaining students:

  1. Give clear instructions. Repeat, rephrase, and confirm that your students understand the task.
  2. Give positive feedback and praise often. When providing a critique, be sensitive and encouraging. Try not to over-correct; use a range of correction techniques and ask concept-checking questions.
  3. Select topics and tasks that are interesting to your students. Make sure the activities and materials are both engaging and challenging but not overwhelming.
  4. Give students a manageable amount of homework. Choose homework tasks that they’ll find interesting and relevant. Be careful not to assign too much homework. An overwhelming amount of homework can cause a student to quickly lose their motivation for learning.

In Summary

Students will be eager to learn more from you if they understand the instructions, enjoy the classroom activities and homework tasks, and get appropriate and helpful feedback.

Teachers, what student retention strategies do you use to engage your students and get them to come back for another lesson? Let us know in the comments below!

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