I am a student at NSU which is in Oklahoma. I have a girlfriend that is Japanese and her second langauge is English. She has many problems with remembering things let alone English. I am an English major and a native speaker and have enough knowledge of English and very little knowledge of Second Language Acquisition. The semester here is winding down quickly and I want to spend the one month break with her so I can help her with her English studies. She doesn't study that much and it is very hard to get her interested in it. I am not a teacher but one day I would like to be one. I want to help her but I have no idea what I can do. I have asked for help before from an ESL person on my campus but she is no longer in Oklahoma and all she sent me was a website of ESL stuff. I will appreciate any ideas or help with this please. Thanks!
Japanese and English are very different languages and there are major conceptual differences between them that can make learning difficult. however, romance is a great motivator. To be honest, I would focus more on getting her to speak, rather than woerrying too much about grammar. If you need to consult a grammar, I'd recommend this: http://www.usingenglish.com/amazon/uk/019431197X.html
What I'd do, is think of how she will need to use English and take her through those situations. Teach her shopping vocabulary by going shopping with her. I wouldn't spend the month studying grammar. get out and about and into situations where she needs to talk to you and others and use that as the basis for improvement.
PS- do come here if you have any questions. BTW, if you register, you'll get notifications of replies, etc.
My login is working now thanks. I tried giving her words to study like a list and she told me in order to remember them she has to memorize them over and over. If she doesn't she forgets them. Many of the words that I speak and tell her the meaning of she doesn't remember. Right now I really don't have time to give her lists and give quizes. She doesn't have all that time to memorize words over and over because she is in college too. I will try your suggestions. Thank you!
Also remember that the words have absolutely no connection, unlike European languages, where there are many similarities. A third of English words are recognisable to French speakers, say. A list of words can be what is known as a 'graveyard', because it is too much to absorb. It's better to try a few words and reinforce constantly. It's always harder to learn new words where there is no connection or link.
It's also curious the way the mind works- some words sink in, others don't. A couple of weeks ago, I learnt the Japanese word for 'dimple' (ekobo- my spelling). It seemed such a cute word that I remembered it. I might well forget many useful words but still remember that one. The mind is a slippery customer and memory the slipperiest.