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  1. Newbie
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      • American English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Jan 2013
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    Teaching a kid with high level of English


    I've been asked to tutor/practice with an 11-year-old boy who has near proficiant English. What topics would you recommend for someone whose English is pretty good, but still a young kid? Obviously, he wouldn't like discussing topics like current events or economy etc.

    Any help is appreciated.
    Last edited by boon78; 18-Feb-2013 at 13:00.

  2. Newbie
    English Teacher
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    Re: Teaching a kid with high level of English

    It sounds like he is probably very confident in English and able to communicate well. If that's the case, I'd work with him on the things that most students need to improve in both their L1 and L2 at that age - academic English and vocabulary. How about asking him what he is interested in (like a sport, animal, celebrity, movie genre etc) and working with him to research the topic and make a non-fiction book or website about it. If he's more into fiction and creativity, you could work with him to write a short story, comic book, movie script, etc. Focus on the message or information that he wants to convey, and use grammar and vocabulary as a way to allow him to express that message more accurately, rather than as an end in itself. You could work with him to look at examples of the type of writing he is looking at, identify the features of that writing and what makes it successful. Come up with some strategies for working out unknown words and identifying new grammar patterns. You could also show him how to draft, redraft, edit, and refine his writing until it has the same characteristics as the successful examples you looked at. Don't let him fall back on the vocabulary and speech patterns that he is used to - push him to try more complex structures and use new words.
    You can have a lot of fun with this level, so go for it! Good luck!

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    English Teacher
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    Re: Teaching a kid with high level of English

    I found one exercise which worked with every age group. I found a random picture on the internet, printed it out and then gave the student two or three minutes to invent a story based on the picture. The student then had to tell me the story in as much detail as possible - of course, the higher the level of English, the more complicated I expected the story to be. I would make notes and then ask more and more difficult questions, delving deeper into the invented story all the time. It meant that my student had to use their imagination to come up with a story in the first place, try to use plenty of vocabulary to make the story interesting, and then be faced with questions they had no time to prepare for. I used this with my 8-year-old student (low level) and my 17-year-old student (high level, but not fluent), and one of my colleagues used it with 12-year-olds.

    It's not exactly the same, but this is quite similar to one of the pictures I used.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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