I am teaching oral English classes to 2nd year university students in China. This is my first time teaching English. I have no experience or training but I have a general idea of what to do.
I have decided that the best way is by having the students speak in English as much as possible because that's the only way to become a good speaker. Since there are 40 students per class obviously they can't be speaking to me the whole time. Any tips on how to maximize speaking time and student interest? I would also like to maximize spontaneity and open ended discussions because no one talks out of a book or written dialogue.
My question is, how can I maximize my effectiveness?
Three of the classes are "business English" which are taken by business communication majors. I assume these classes have a different goal, but I don't know what it is. There is a dialogue book that the students have but it is not written by a native speaker and pretty much sucks. It's grammatically correct, but the phrases and general language usage are wrong. It does not have a "teachers guide" so I don't know the goal or method of the book so I can develop a parallel strategy (in fact given that it's Chinese I doubt it ever had a method, it looks random). Additionally there is no syllabus or class description available, and the current faculty give advice that is vague at best, and at worst say "you should have no problem."
Any tips, or Internet resources, about the above problem? Thanks!
(I'll try to stick around and post over the next few days/months, and look through older threads).
OK, I decided my first exercise. After fumbling around for an hour after I discovered the class was using a different book than I had, I recovered during the second hour. I showed the class a picture of an American ordering a pizza in Round Table Pizza (I deliberately took the picture before I left the US). Then I said "look at the picture and pretend you are the boss. What qualities do you want your employee to have?" Then the whole class came up with a list of properties, and I asked "why" for every property they mentioned and pursued the question. Then I showed them the question again and asked if the girl working behind the counter seemed to show those qualities, finally I compared her qualities to those of other students and foreign teachers and said "who would you hire if you could only choose one?." The best answer I heard was to hire both and see who did better, then fire the other one.
The students really seemed to like this one and I think it was educational, not only because it taught English, but also creativity and critical thinking, in addition to being a demonstration of Western education techniques and the Socratic method. While at the same time it wasn't a complete game.
I am now filling in the first hour of my classes by using the text book as an example of common phrases and how NOT to use English. I have heard the students get upset if the teachers ignore the book, even though the students themselves despise it.
As usual, if anyone has any suggestions I'd be happy to hear them.
Oh yeah, the other thing I am doing is hand shake lessons .