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    • Join Date: Jul 2008
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    Exclamation Running out of ideas

    Hello everyone.
    I teach English in Tanzania, Africa. I currently have a class of 16. I have been teaching for about 6 monthes now, and we are currently translating the story of Joseph (from the Bible). However, my students are getting really tired of doing this, and I would like to do some discussion work. I really don't have any idea of how to do this, though. My students are at the level of being able to introduce themselves, but not much more after that except for about 30 other odd words.

    Please, if anyone knows of some discussion activities/topics/whatever you can do to help, then please respond.

    Thank you all,
    african pearl

  1. Junior Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 61

    Re: Running out of ideas

    Why don't you start out with easy things. Everyday things that everyone knows about and, if necessary, you try it with the help of the students' mother tongue.

    Have all students help find a possible way to say how the sentence this one student wanted to express could be translated into English. It works, even with the little vocab they know. Trust me, it usually works quite well. My students are always happy to talk about more private things which concern their everyday life and not only work with texts from a book. However important the book may be.

    Doing that, you can introduce a lot of new vocab. And that way you might be able to teach them a lot more words which they can actually use in their everyday life.

    I hope this idea helps

  2. ICAL_Pete's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 105

    Re: Running out of ideas

    Given the currrent low level of proficiency of your students and the type of reading you are doing you could try out a miming game in class. This would help you reinforce and practice the vocabulary you have introduced so far.

    You can read how to go about it in this article.

    Also check the Classroom Techniques and ESL Activities sections in the ICALwiki for ideas on how to make your lessons more stimulating and engaging for your students.

    Good luck!

  3. Site Contributor
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 111

    Re: Running out of ideas

    Tough one!

    Some tips off the top of my head:
    - Choose one sentence stem or grammatical form that can be used to express themselves and be combined with loads of different vocabulary, e.g. "I like" or "Tomorrow I am going to"
    - Always teach the questions when you teach the answers, so that they can ask each other and make a basic conversation out of it
    - Make sure the questions they ask each other are to find out real information, like "Do you like spiders?", not "Are you wearing a skirt?"
    - Buy a textbook of their level and choose the best bits from it

    Mime is also a great hint, but if you can choose sentences they mime and then discuss even better
    Last edited by Tdol; 14-Oct-2013 at 11:06.

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