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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Greek
      • Home Country:
      • Greece
      • Current Location:
      • Greece

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    I need some advice.....

    Dear Teachers,

    I need some advice and I would be very grateful if you could help me... I obtained my proficiency certificate ten years ago and I have been teaching english for six years in english schools. The problem is that during all these years I haven't had the opportunity to practice the language with a native speaker.. As a result I am not as fluent as I shoul be in order to teach an adult for example.. All these years I have been teaching all levels from pre-junior to FCE level.. This year my ''boss'' told me to have a CPE class and I feel very nervous.. I am very responsible and I want the best for any student... My question to you is ridiculous because Iam a teacher and I am asking other teachers to help me! You see I'm an adult 35 years old and I can't imagine of ways that would help me at this age to be improved.I have a fear of not being able to answer a question in class because I may be asked something that slips my mind or something that I have completely forgotten..After the years of the absence of a proficient approach to the language, will I be able to teach this class? What should I do? Study grammar? Read books and look up the unknown words? Read texts from an exam paper? How could I have a regular chat with a native speaker?

    Thank you very very much in advance

  1. Bennevis's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 1,052
    #2

    Re: I need some advice.....

    As far as improving your NATURAL English in general, there are several things you could do. First off, read the book called "The Firm" (by John Grisham); secondly, watch the movie itself. Another thing you could do is watch native speaker youtube videos. As for communicating with native speakers, I'd advise you to join a good chat-room and participate in its discussions. Don't worry if you don't get to socialize with native speakers so often. We've got the Internet. We've got Skype.
    Mastering English is hard work upon yourself. You ought to have a lot of time for English. I am only kidding when I say you should read the specific book I've mentioned. But, personally, I simply fell in love with the language it's written in. It's so conversational and at the same time simple. Good luck with your endeavors! Please forgive me if you feel I'm patronizing you! I didn't mean to! Just a friendly piece of advice from a true fan of English.

  2. Bennevis's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 1,052
    #3

    Re: I need some advice.....

    I almost forgot to tell you! Write down ALL THE WORDS AND WORD COMBINATIONS you come across and don't know in a notebook. I've been strictly following this routine for years and have amassed as many as 15 000 words and collocations in 4 notebooks. Of course, most of them remain unused, BUT you can go over them at your leisure. There is a huge possibility many of the words you've written out will come in handy when you most need them. Take it from me!
    Last edited by Bennevis; 12-Sep-2011 at 00:43.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: I need some advice.....

    You have my sympathy. This is a problem faced by many non-native teachers who have limited opportunity to practise with native speakers.

    There are actually two problems here. The first is the one I have just mentioned, and there is no easy answer to that.Reading widely and watching as much film and television as you can will help, but only to a limited extent. You will just have to try to accept the situation. Unless you have the opportunity to work in a country where English is spoken, you are not going to improve a great deal.

    The second problem is that of teaching CPE, and here you are on firmer ground. You passed the examination yourself (admittedly ten years ago) - something many native speakers could not do. Yes, I am serious! In order to pass, most people need good communicative ability in English, a sound knowledge of how the language works, practice in examinaion techniques, and intelligence. You have all four, and you also have teaching experience up to FCE level. You are much better equipped for the task than many native speakers.

    It will not be easy, and your confidence may slip at times, but you have a solid base of knowledge and experience. Prepare your lessons well, and take advantage of any Teacher's Book that goes with the Course Book you are using. You will sometimes find that you simply do not understand why one answer is correct and another is not, You may find it hard to believe, but that happens to native speakers too.

    As a qualified and very experienced teacher of English, I had to prepare my CPE lessons very thoroughly, and even then I could not always give an instant answer to every question that my students asked - and I am a native speaker. Sometimes class discussion helped, but sometimes I had to tell my students that I would give them the answer next lesson. Be honest with your students. Tell them that you need to check certain answers with colleagues because even native speakers have problems with CPE questions.

    Ask for help with individual problems in this forum, but don't be surprised if 'the experts' do not always agree.

    I wish you luck. I am sure that you will be successful.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Greek
      • Home Country:
      • Greece
      • Current Location:
      • Greece

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 3
    #5

    Re: I need some advice.....

    Thank you so much fivejedjon... You 've really helped a lot... Always be in good health..

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