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    #1

    Teaching English to Complete Beginners

    I am in Brazil for three months and have some friends who want to learn english. Some of them are such beginners that they are only able to say hello, hi, beautiful, love and maybe a few other words here and there. They want to learn English and I have agreed to give them some lessons. I am struggling though with how to get them started. I speak a little Portuguese but not enough. My question is how do I teach them the basic phrases like my name is... etc. if i don't completely understand them and they don't understand me at all? Where do I start? Please help me.

    (Note from moderator: This was posted separately from what is post #2. However, it is so similar to that other post, that I have amalgamated the two into one thread. My response to post #2 is in post #3.)
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 06-Apr-2017 at 22:25. Reason: Added explanation for merging two threads

  2. Newbie
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    #2

    teaching English to Complete Beginners

    I am in brazil and have some people who want me to teach them some english. How can I teach a complete beginner how to say basic phrases like hi, how are you, and my name is...? I don't speak much Portuguese so if you could help me with a good method of teaching complete beginners that would be wonderful!
    Thanks!

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: teaching English to Complete Beginners

    I am in Brazil for three months and have some friends who want to learn English. Some of them are such beginners that they are only able to say "Hello", "Hi", "beautiful", "love" and maybe a few other words here and there. They want to learn English and I have agreed to give them some lessons. I am struggling though with how to get them started. I speak a little Portuguese but not enough. My question is how do I teach them the basic phrases like "My name is..." etc. if I don't completely understand them and they don't understand me at all? Where do I start? Please help me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren.cory18 View Post
    I am in Brazil and have some people who want me to teach them some English. How can I teach a complete beginner how to say basic phrases like "Hi, how are you?" and "My name is..."? I don't speak much Portuguese so if you could help me with a good method of teaching complete beginners that would be wonderful!
    Thanks!
    First, please see my corrections above. As a native English speaker, it's important that you use correct grammar, punctuation and capitalisation in your written English.

    In my opinion, it's good that you don't speak Portuguese. I know not all teachers think the same way but I always demanded that only one language be spoken during classes - English. I mostly taught one-to-one but on the rare occasion I taught a group, my approach was pretty similar.

    It's amazing what you can do with sign language. Most hand gestures work in most Western countries. If you want to teach them how to say "Hello", you wave as you enter the class and say "Hello!" over and over again. They will pick that up fairly fast and repeat it back to you.

    For "My name is ...", I always did the following:

    1. Point at myself while saying "My".
    2. Pat yourself on the head while saying "name".
    3. Simply say "is".
    4. Say your name. If you have a name that might not be recognised as a name in Portuguese, choose an international name and use that instead. In Spain, I used to introduce myself as "Marta" (even though that's not my name) because the students realised immediately that the sentence was about a person's name.

    I then pointed at the first student, pointed back at myself, repeated the sentence "My name is Marta", looked quizzically at the student while pointing at them again and then looked expectant, to make it clear it was their turn to speak. In a few cases, it didn't work but in general, each student worked out pretty fast that they needed to repeat the first three words back to me, followed by their own name. Of course, once the first couple of students got it right, it wasn't hard for the rest of the group to follow their lead.

    Note to Lauren.cory18 - your two separate posts were so similar that I have amalgamated them into one.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 06-Apr-2017 at 22:28.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Teaching English to Complete Beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren.cory18 View Post
    I am in Brazil for three months and have some friends who want to learn english. Some of them are such beginners that they are only able to say hello, hi, beautiful, love and maybe a few other words here and there. They want to learn English and I have agreed to give them some lessons. I am struggling though with how to get them started. I speak a little Portuguese but not enough. My question is how do I teach them the basic phrases like my name is... etc. if i don't completely understand them and they don't understand me at all? Where do I start? Please help me.

    (Note from moderator: This was posted separately from what is post #2. However, it is so similar to that other post, that I have amalgamated the two into one thread. My response to post #2 is in post #3.)
    HiLauren,
    There are several things that you can do. Gestures and non-verbal communication is very powerful. Using hands, pointing, and being open minded to the other speaker and what they are also trying to communicate is valuable. Use images to communicate or if you have your phone, use videos.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Teaching English to Complete Beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by lmd2017 View Post
    Gestures and non-verbal communication is are very powerful.
    .

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: Teaching English to Complete Beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren.cory18 View Post
    Where do I start? Please help me.
    Have a look at some books for beginners, which are mostly written from the perspective of teaching people who don't understand. Much of this is fairly straightforward- teaching someone the colours, furniture or numbers doesn't require knowledge of the speakers' first language. You can then build on this towards simple structures. Start with words that you can point to and move on from there.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 08-Jun-2017 at 13:11. Reason: Fixed typo

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