Hello everyone. I was wondering if you could help me. I am a rather inexperienced tutor in an ESL class. It is kind of a unique situation because I don't know what we will be learning about until I get there so I can't really prepare and end up thinking on my feet a lot.*
I was wondering if there were some general pointers you could give me about how to teach english better. I am rather soft spoken and I feel a bit intimidated tutoring people who are older than me. I love doing what I do, I just want to be able to get better at it. The class I work with is almost entirely spanish speakers if that changes anything.
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
Re: Tutor Questions
Thank you. I will try to be a bit more self confident. I wish I could prepare more, but I am merely support. There is a teacher that decides the lessons and I help them work through the worksheets and stuff. I will try not to let my age handicap me though. Thanks for your answer. :)
Re: Tutor Questions
Perhaps you need to sit down with the teacher you mention and ask for advice. Apparently, a teacher is doing his/her thing and leaving you completely out of the loop. By asking for advice, you are not threatening the teacher and you are letting the him/her know indirectly that there is a problem that the teacher can solve easily and look like a hero to everyone. The goal would be, of course, to find out what in the world the teacher is doing, what the game plan is, and where the students are going to be in a week, in a month.
The idea about survival English is great. This is not a time to ask for term papers on the importance of water to Portuguese navigators. Your students will probably tell you, if asked, that they want to learn how to read classified ads (lots of abbreviations and strange terms, everyone needs to know how to look for a place to stay and a job), how to buy postage stamps, how to send and receive a package, how to pay a gas bill, what to say at the gas station, etc. Your students are going to leave the classroom
knowing that they are learning something useful, something they can put to work tomorrow and next week.
Have you brought in guest speakers? I had success doing this in an English conversation club in Brazil. A guest would come in and talk about a hobby, job, vacation, etc. I tried to get everyone to ask at least one question. Small discussion groups were encouraged. (The smaller the groups, the greater the number of students participating and learning.)
In an area where I had never seemed to meet speakers of English, I started finding them left and right. Guests were telling their friends about the fun they were having. They felt useful and important. And they were both. And I bet Wyoming has more English speakers than Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. One guest had flown with Lindbergh. He delighted us with stories of flights in the 1930s. What a treasure we had amongst us.
Good luck to you. You are clearly dedicated to your students, and your enthusiasm will achieve much.
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