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  1. #1
    violetablanca is offline Newbie
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    Default Preparing 2 Students to Live Abroad in a Short Time... Ideas?

    Hello, everyone,

    I have two private students who I will soon begin to tutor together. They are both university professors who will be going to live abroad in about 4 months to do research in a German university (their native language is Spanish, and they believe that it is more practical and will be easier for them to learn and use English there instead).

    Their levels are about at a solid intermediate (or maybe a little higher) level. While their grammar and reading skills are fine, their conversational skills and listening skills are notably weaker. They have expressed to me that their priorities are being able to converse and and understand English not only for their work (like communicating with their director and colleagues), but also functioning on a daily basis (they mentioned some practical activities, such as opening a bank account, getting around the city, socializing, and the like).

    I have a few half-developed ideas, but because I really have to make every class count because they will be leaving in four short months.

    I think it's an advantageous situation, because I have 2 students to work with instead of a one-on-one situation, but I am not used to working with more than one student at a time, so any suggestions or ideas are very, very welcome!

    Thank you for reading!!!

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Preparing 2 Students to Live Abroad in a Short Time... Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by violetablanca View Post
    Hello, everyone,

    I have two private students who I will soon begin to tutor together. They are both university professors who will be going to live abroad in about 4 months to do research in a German university (their native language is Spanish, and they believe that it is more practical and will be easier for them to learn and use English there instead).

    Their levels are about at a solid intermediate (or maybe a little higher) level. While their grammar and reading skills are fine, their conversational skills and listening skills are notably weaker. They have expressed to me that their priorities are being able to converse and and understand English not only for their work (like communicating with their director and colleagues), but also functioning on a daily basis (they mentioned some practical activities, such as opening a bank account, getting around the city, socializing, and the like).

    I have a few half-developed ideas, but because I really have to make every class count because they will be leaving in four short months.

    I think it's an advantageous situation, because I have 2 students to work with instead of a one-on-one situation, but I am not used to working with more than one student at a time, so any suggestions or ideas are very, very welcome!

    Thank you for reading!!!
    I think you're right that it's an advantage that you have 2 students together for this. I find that situational, conversational exercises work much better when you can get both students involved instead of one student and a teacher.

    I like to use role plays in these situations, and try to make them a little trickier as they go on. You can start with, for example, going into a bank to open an account. One is the customer, one is the bank clerk. Once they have the basic vocab for this, the actual role play is pretty simple. However, having done it once or twice and having the students play each role, it's good to mix it up by perhaps telling the one playing the bank clerk that (s)he should now make life difficult for the other person. Perhaps insist that it's impossible to open an account with less than 1million! Or claim that unfortunately, there is a limit on how many people with dark hair can open an account in one day, and that limit has been reached. These kinds of exercises are great for helping the students be more creative and inventive, and they also usually turn out to be pretty funny into the bargain.

    I also have an exercise which can help prepare them for being in noisy situations. I ask one student to hold a conversation with me, nothing complicated, simply a normal conversation on any topic. At the same time, I have the other student sit very close to us and read out loud from a passage. I also ask the other student to occasionally interrupt with a completely irrelevant question or statement. It's interesting to see if the one that you're trying to have the conversation with can continue to concentrate and manage to ignore the interruptions. You can test afterwards how well they managed by simply asking them to give a quick precis of the contents of the conversation (I sometimes find they remember more than I do!)

  3. #3
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Preparing 2 Students to Live Abroad in a Short Time... Ideas?

    I think anyone living in a foreign country should be able to know how to contact emergency services, i.e. police, hospital, Dr. etc.

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