Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    violetablanca is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    Hello,

    I recently had an interview in which I was offered the position of teaching a brand-new conversation class for a night school for adults. During the first (and only time thus far) conversation that I had with the interviewer, I was told that there would be about 12 working professionals of (what I understood to be) a weak intermediate/intermediate level of English. That was all the information that I was given. Now the fate of the class is in my hands.

    In only a few days time (about a month or so before the actual course begins), I am going back to this night school to introduce myself to the potential students who may or may not decide to sign up for my conversation class. I will have to give a presentation (mostly in the studentsī native language, Spanish, from what I was told) about how the course will go... Obviously, it is in my best interest to have as many students as possible sign up for the class. The main concern that I have is that I was given complete and utter autonomy to come up with everything about this brand-new course by myself... ahhhh!

    The two questions that now remain for me are the following: 1) How can I grab the studentsī initial interest and "win them over" to want to take the class? 2) What is the best strategy to organize, structure, and effectively teach a weekly class of 90 minutes?

    So far, with regards to the first question, (apart from introducing myself and my credentials) I have already started to plan to talk a bit about the importance of learning English- that it will make them more marketable for a job search, for travel purposes, etc. But I need a good ice-breaker/attention grabber, and something to get them curious and interested in what they could derive from the class.

    If anyone has any ideas for anything, or has had prior experience teaching under similar circumstances and has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Leandro-Z's Avatar
    Leandro-Z is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    172
    Post Thanks / Like

    Wink Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by violetablanca View Post
    Hello,

    I recently had an interview in which I was offered the position of teaching a brand-new conversation class for a night school for adults. During the first (and only time thus far) conversation that I had with the interviewer, I was told that there would be about 12 working professionals of (what I understood to be) a weak intermediate/intermediate level of English. That was all the information that I was given. Now the fate of the class is in my hands.

    In only a few days time (about a month or so before the actual course begins), I am going back to this night school to introduce myself to the potential students who may or may not decide to sign up for my conversation class. I will have to give a presentation (mostly in the studentsī native language, Spanish, from what I was told) about how the course will go... Obviously, it is in my best interest to have as many students as possible sign up for the class. The main concern that I have is that I was given complete and utter autonomy to come up with everything about this brand-new course by myself... ahhhh!

    The two questions that now remain for me are the following: 1) How can I grab the studentsī initial interest and "win them over" to want to take the class? 2) What is the best strategy to organize, structure, and effectively teach a weekly class of 90 minutes?

    So far, with regards to the first question, (apart from introducing myself and my credentials) I have already started to plan to talk a bit about the importance of learning English- that it will make them more marketable for a job search, for travel purposes, etc. But I need a good ice-breaker/attention grabber, and something to get them curious and interested in what they could derive from the class.

    If anyone has any ideas for anything, or has had prior experience teaching under similar circumstances and has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
    There is something defenitely useful that is telling them your weak side. In other words, try to express that English is not something that can be acquired in 2 weeks. It is a process that needs to be modeled and polished. It hasn`t got a certain point when you stop absorbing topics and contents. The knowledge of the language needs practice as well as responsibility.
    Then, you can give an example with your own experience. Tell them you are constantly learning new things and admit that there are a lot of things you do not know. A useful phrase or saying: "The only thing I know is that I do not know anything.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    Do you have any further information about them, such as their occupations- it all sounds a bit vague to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    If they're low-intermediate, you will probably need to teach them a good deal of grammar and vocabulary. I would recommend putting together a lesson plan that covers a different topic or situation every week: ordering in a restaurant, negotiating a raise, making travel plans with a friend, etc. Then just tell your prospective students what they will learn to talk about, and if you've hit on things they don't know and need to, they'll sign up.

  5. #5
    violetablanca is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    Tdol- No, unfortunately, I was given no information about the students themselves... all I know that they will all be over the age of 18, and I have no clue about their occupations, etc.... Even their levels are a bit unclear to me, I was told that they had a level 1 and a level 2 previously, and that this will be like a level 3... but what I was told was not really put into any sort of relevant context.

    You are right, it is more than a little vague, hence the reason that I am concerned!!!

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    Could you include some needs analysis into the presentation to get them involved?

  7. #7
    violetablanca is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    Tdol- That is also one of my intentions... by having the opportunity to meet with them before the actual course begins, I will be able to gauge more accurately their approximate levels of English, as well as directly ask them "What motivates you to learn English?" and so on.

    Can you think of some other key information that I should make a point of inquiring about?

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    Do these levels have any descriptors?

  9. #9
    violetablanca is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    No, unfortunately they donīt. But based on the fact that the interviewer told me that she wants me to give the presentation primarily in Spanish about the conversation class as opposed to English, gives me the impression that they probably are not advanced learners at all (but I have no idea to what point that is).

    For this reason, I am going to really have to do some quick assessing during the presentation with a Plan B (and C and D, for that matter!), because Iīm going into this rather in the dark.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Teaching a New Conversation Course with No Support... Help/SOS!!!

    It's all so vague- I would ask them some general questions about whether they can do certain tasks at work- handle correspondence, etc, and then claim that after a few months of your wonderful teaching, they'll be able to do this, speak confidently on the phone, etc, and give presentations in English better than the one you're doing in Spanish. Getting them to like you would probably be the best approach- it rather sounds as if you're being given a group of people who have studied without much success and aren't very motivated but have to, so if they feel at ease with you, they'll probably go for it. As there's not much in the way of a course to sell, sell yourself.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [General] i need support in teaching english as a second language
    By eltontoska in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-Mar-2010, 18:37
  2. sos
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Sep-2007, 19:08
  3. basic conversation teaching materials.
    By hapteacher in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Feb-2007, 09:21
  4. Sos
    By xpert in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Feb-2006, 22:29
  5. Teaching Conversation
    By Donbelid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 17-Dec-2005, 20:00

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •