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  1. #1
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    Default Understanding children's learning

    Hi all

    I wonder if some of you with a good understanding of the psycological area of teaching elementary school level would give me your views on extra study outside the classroom along with general comments on the information I give.

    For background, I teach a class of 30, 10 year olds English for 7 hours average per week. The parents appear highly competitive and also motivated. This is a true foreign language (not ESL) and the kids are all Asian. There are increasing discipline issues and being the only class at the whole school of this nature the kids cannot be mixed and have been together for 3 1/2 years!

    I would like to know if extra study is an aid to a class like this for children who are not behind in their learning? I have some children who study 2 hours at the weekend and some who have to attend extra English and non-English learning for anything upto 3 hours per night 5 days a week. Nearly all go to bed at 10 pm or later (cultural issue) and are up at 6 ish. I know the Dept of Education (USA) recommends 10-12 hours per night every night for children of this age.

    It appears to be a trend in this class and I think I now have in excess of 70% who are doing extra study.

    My observations are- an increased amount of motivational problems from more students- I think because of the familiarity and number of hours we are doing + extra study hours, and a danger some are just going to tune out totally to English and develop a hatred for it. Furthermore, the positives in gaining decent pronunciation in spoken communication are being eroded from non-native speaking teachers supplementing the school programme. I am hearing a distinct change in a few who have this type of teacher! However a few do have native speaking teachers also.


    Furthermore I don't see a huge jump in ability of the child doing 2 hours extra every night and actually she appears about the same. She is also the most talkative student in the whole class! I am interested in your views as professional teachers with regard the obsession with parents for this extra tuition and if it is at all beneficial?

    I know when I was at school in the UK, extra tuition like this other than for students falling way behind was unheard of!

    Any opinions expressed for a TEFL teacher would be greatly welcome.


    Mak

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Understanding children's learning

    Can you record the students to show ow their pronunciation is being affected. If you could show that the extra work is actually having a negative effect, you might be able to do something, though given the cultural issues, it might not work.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Understanding children's learning

    Thanks for the reply TDOL. I'm aware of the cultural issues surrounding this topic and have decided to leave it. Parents know best or think they do in this case so..............

    I must say I thought there may have been a little more input from some of the highly qualified teachers in regard extra work of students 9/10 years old and there views on it's benefit or negative side to growing up.

    Tad dissapointing really.


    Mak

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Understanding children's learning

    I've never taught children, so don't have any specialist knowledge there.

  5. #5
    wafaa is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Understanding children's learning

    Hello makaveli
    I'm wafaa. It's the first time I write aletter in this forum. I'm an English teacher. I've taught English for more than twenty years. I'm interested in your letter. but I'm not sure I'm going to give a reply. I want just to introduce myself and say hello. Maybe next time we'll be able to participate some ideas concerning tea ching young learners. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by makaveli View Post
    Hi all

    I wonder if some of you with a good understanding of the psycological area of teaching elementary school level would give me your views on extra study outside the classroom along with general comments on the information I give.

    For background, I teach a class of 30, 10 year olds English for 7 hours average per week. The parents appear highly competitive and also motivated. This is a true foreign language (not ESL) and the kids are all Asian. There are increasing discipline issues and being the only class at the whole school of this nature the kids cannot be mixed and have been together for 3 1/2 years!

    I would like to know if extra study is an aid to a class like this for children who are not behind in their learning? I have some children who study 2 hours at the weekend and some who have to attend extra English and non-English learning for anything upto 3 hours per night 5 days a week. Nearly all go to bed at 10 pm or later (cultural issue) and are up at 6 ish. I know the Dept of Education (USA) recommends 10-12 hours per night every night for children of this age.

    It appears to be a trend in this class and I think I now have in excess of 70% who are doing extra study.

    My observations are- an increased amount of motivational problems from more students- I think because of the familiarity and number of hours we are doing + extra study hours, and a danger some are just going to tune out totally to English and develop a hatred for it. Furthermore, the positives in gaining decent pronunciation in spoken communication are being eroded from non-native speaking teachers supplementing the school programme. I am hearing a distinct change in a few who have this type of teacher! However a few do have native speaking teachers also.


    Furthermore I don't see a huge jump in ability of the child doing 2 hours extra every night and actually she appears about the same. She is also the most talkative student in the whole class! I am interested in your views as professional teachers with regard the obsession with parents for this extra tuition and if it is at all beneficial?

    I know when I was at school in the UK, extra tuition like this other than for students falling way behind was unheard of!

    Any opinions expressed for a TEFL teacher would be greatly welcome.


    Mak

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