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  1. #1
    hatikva is offline Newbie
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    Default Help please in teaching ESL

    I REALLY need the kind assistance of experienced ESL teachers!

    Here's the story. I have been asked to teach a group of ten factory workers. What the company wants is for me to help the workers master English terms that appear on their computer stations (nothing terribly difficult, i.e., 'moisture', 'malfunction', etc.) in both reading comprehension and speaking. Also to generally improve their spoken and reading English.

    My problem: Although I know my way around the English language, and consider myself a natural teacher, I have NO ESL teaching experience, and I am very aprehensive about exactly how to fill each class. I am actually a translator by profession. My nightmare scenario: standing tup here and running out of things to do and say.

    Specifically:

    1. The first lesson: What in the heck do I do with them? I don't know how to start off on the right foot. Especially worrisome (for me) is determining and afterwards dealing with their inevitably different levels of English mastery throughout the course.
    2. In consideration of the factory's goals for these students: How to I prepare lesson plans?? I am not feeling creative here, and don't want to have to reinvent the wheel. I dread having to bust my head and devise activities ahead of each class, because I don't know if I am good at it. Are there any ready made resources that I can draw from that meet the goals for my students? What I would consider manna from heaven are 'idiot-proof' lesson plans that tell me what to say to the students, what tasks to assign them, what activities to conduct, materials, etc.

    I appologize if I'm sounding naive here, but I have committed to teaching this class and I have nine days in which to prepare....So I would really appreciate your kind and sage assistance....

    Thanks in advance,
    Harv

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Help please in teaching ESL

    Quote Originally Posted by hatikva View Post
    The first lesson: What in the heck do I do with them? I don't know how to start off on the right foot. Especially worrisome (for me) is determining and afterwards dealing with their inevitably different levels of English mastery throughout the course.
    I would start with a needs analysis.

    Get them to talk in English about themselves and their jobs. Find out exactly what they do, why they need English, what problems they as individuals have with English and what they want to learn. As they speak, write down recurring mistakes so that you can deal with them in future sessions.

    In case they are reluctant to talk at length, have some questions ready - there are some ideas here: Needs analysis | Onestopenglish

  3. #3
    hatikva is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Help please in teaching ESL

    Thank you for this!

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Help please in teaching ESL

    Can you get a print-out of all the terms used in their programs?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help please in teaching ESL

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Can you get a print-out of all the terms used in their programs?
    That's a good idea.

    However, do remember that you may be the expert in English, but they are the experts in their subject. It could be that they understand some of the English technical terms better than you do, even if their overall English skills are weak. And be careful. I remember, fairly on in my Business English teaching career, firmly telling one HR group that the not particularly technical expression 'new hire' was wrong, not English. Oops .

    I used to ask my learners to give me copies of the English manuals they used, and of non-confidential correspondence they received and sent. By asking them to explain terms I did not understand, and terms I thought they might be unclear about, we were able to discover lots of things that needed working on. It also gave me the chance to see that some of the phrasing that seemed wrong to me was actually normal in that line of business.

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