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  1. #1
    tnhills is offline Newbie
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    Wink Teaching English to Brazilian Interpreters

    I am an American high school English teacher, and I have been given the opportunity to teach 15 students in Rio de Janeiro. They are all at different levels of experience with English, and they primarily use the language to interpret for American missionary volunteers. I have never taught English as a Second Language before, but I am told that they need help with religious vocabulary and understanding the spoken word (most of the volunteers they work with have Southern accents, since most are from the state of Tennessee).

    How does one handle the teaching of vocabulary in this type of setting, and who much emphasis should be placed on grammar exercises? Should I focus more of my time on spoken or written English? Also, they have specifically asked for lessons on phrasal verbs and idioms. What is the BEST and most concise list available?

    This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I want to walk in on the first day with a clear picutre of what they need. Otherwise, I will be wasting precious time regrouping after I get there. PLEASE ADVISE! After all, everyone knows that there is no smarter group of people than English teachers, right??

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Teaching English to Brazilian Interpreters

    If they're already doing the interpreting, then concentrating on grammar would, I think, probably not be advisable. I would focus on spoken language. Try downloading some texts and MP3 files of American preachers, especially those from the south, which you could use as texts. I would find out which version of the Bible they are using and get a copy as that will give you a lot of help with the vocab, and you could use texts from it as the basis of lessons.

    Concentrate on the pronunciation difficulties they are encountering- try the American Dialect Society for details and information about the dialect, though you should know as you seem to be living in the same area.

    Get started by preparing a needs analysis- if they are interpeting, they will be able to communicate, so I would focus on getting that right- get them to tell you what their difficutlies are and find out what situations they communicate in.

    I'm noit sure that concise lists of phrasal verbs and idioms would be that much use as interpreters will know many of the basic ones, and those would be the ones on such lists.

  3. #3
    tnhills is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Teaching English to Brazilian Interpreters

    Thank you so much for your timely reply. I just got an e-amail today from one of the most experienced and well-spoken interpreters. He gave me much of the same advice, although the idea about downloading American pastors is an excellent idea. Also, I appreciate the referral to American Dialect Society. I think, after hearing your advice, I am right on track. I really appreciate your words of wisdom.

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Teaching English to Brazilian Interpreters

    Enjoy Brazil and do come back if you have any other questions.

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