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    • Join Date: Aug 2008
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    Question new teacher needs sugguestion

    I am a new teacher of ESOL. I have two learners who speak absolutely no english. Any sugguestions on what I should concentrate on? I decided to start with numbers and using flash cards. Should I even try to teach reading/writing english to someone who doesn't speak any english other that "hello" and "goodbye"? or should I focus on JUST speaking/hearing?

  1. Junior Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 75

    Re: new teacher needs sugguestion

    If you're living and teaching in an English-speaking country (and it looks like you might be), I would teach some survival words, expressions and questions.

    Teach the types of things you think your students will absolutely need on a day-to-day basis, and some other basic things. For example:

    My name is___________.
    My address is ___________.
    My phone number is ___________.
    Excuse me.
    I'm sorry.
    Thank you.

    Also, phrases of greeting and saying goodbye.

    The rest will depend on the specifics of your students' situations. Are they adults, kids, spouses, parents, etc.


  2. #3

    Re: new teacher needs sugguestion

    I agree with esltutor in that you should start with simple phrases. As mentioned, definitely cover a few hello/goodbye phrases, as well as anything needed for survival. Future lessons could include prices, simple introductions, how to order food, etc. It really depends on their needs, though.

    One word of caution: I would be careful about covering too much. The students will need to be able to produce the language with some degree of confidence outside the classroom. Give as many opportunities as possible to practice the phrases/target language in fun, realistic activities.

    Good luck!

    Chris Cotter
    Just print and teach materials at Heads Up English.
    And now, you can follow updates at Twitter, too!

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 3

    Re: new teacher needs sugguestion

    Hi, i agree with the two previous posts but i would try to teach basic necesary language in a conversational form.

    I would create a 4 - 6 line dialogue, with an interchanging key word in each line. For example, a 'getting to know someone' dialogue would go as follows:

    1. Hello, my name is Jessica. What's your name?
    2. My name is Sarah.
    3. What do you like to do?
    4. I like to read books.
    5. Where do you do it?
    6. I do it in the park.

    The whole conversation can be narrated visually, and then practiced through roleplay. This way the student is learning basic conversational skills through speaking and listening skills alone. Also, it will give the student confidence to use the conversation in real life situations.

    The underlined words can be changed as many times as you wish, increasing vocabulary. I would also advise the underlined words to be resourced as flash cards to increase understanding. You will be surprised how easily the rest of the sentences are comprehended if you keep them simple and repetitive (formulaic.)

    I would introduce the dialogue 2 lines at a time and obviously change the topic to suit individuals.

    As the students acquisition increases, the same dialogue patterns can be used on tapes for listening activities.

    I would avoid teaching grammar ata ll at this stage.

  3. Junior Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 63

    Re: new teacher needs sugguestion


    I agree with the other posters about the importance of students being able to answer basic survival questions. If you use picture prompts to support the questions, they usually catch on quickly.

    Something I've found very useful is to draw a timeline of my day/ week/ and include pictures of basic information about myself. Don't worry about drawing beautifully- just try to make it clear enough that the students get what you are trying to communicate. That makes it easier for students who might be feel self-conscious about drawing. If you laugh at your own pictures it can help make the whole process enjoyable.

    I would draw a picture of a family in a house, and a clock to show what time I get up. What my daily activities are (coffee- drive to work- eat dinner etc). Then I ask students to do the same. I have found this to be really valuable as it brings up vocabulary etc that you wouldn't always find in beginner books. With one class we ended up with words like factory, overtime and others that were really useful to my students.

    We use the pictures as the basis for developing a basic vocabulary, and for learning about each other. Students (in my experience) find this very motivating, as they are learning English that applies to their daily lives.

    I hope this helps.


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