I have recently started volunteering for an organization that promotes literacy for adults. Basically they provide free tutoring for the GED test, Civics test, and ESL. It is a very small organization that mostly helps with the GED. I will be the main tutor for those needing help with English, but I need some help getting started. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'm not sure what I should teach first.
My students will be mostly Spanish speakers with very little English, if any. Class is once a week for two hours.
I only have a BA in English, but would like to get my MA in TESOL in the fall of 2014. In the meantime, I am hoping to volunteer my time for those wanting to learn English. I would like to help them as much as possible, so I'm working hard at finding the right materials and starting points. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
What a wonderful experience! You'll be able to make a positive impact on their lives. :)
Personally, I would start with the things that they will need to do in their daily life, as they start to speak English. For example, shopping at a supermarket (buying and selling, prices, asking if they have such-and-such, etc.) I'd also focus almost exclusively on communication, since they are already in the country. I'd aim to make the classes immediately useful, to keep them coming back in the beginning. There are things that they avoid doing because of the language barrier. What are they? It might be nice if you could do a simple needs analysis with them to find out what they wish they could do, and what kind of language learning background they have. Maybe you could develop a survey they can fill out, all in Spanish, at the beginning? Even if people come and go, the results might give you some idea of where to start and which direction to head in.