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cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
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English Teacher
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English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
Dear all teachers,

I am teaching two adults separately who are a couple. I am employed through a company and they are on a plan which has far more lesson time than they can take (they are paying for lessons that they don't take). They only have a few lessons a month that fit with their schedule. The problem is standard lesson content is useful for them but a bit much for their elderly minds so one student who is an adult beginner has only one hour and the other student who lower intermediate has only one and half hours of lesson. The other student has medical English content as she is a doctor- ENT with some American English. How can I make it easy for them to have longer lessons- so I get paid more? We communicative lessons- mostly role plays at the moment.

Michael
Teacher in Japan.
 

NinjaTurtle

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For ideas on how to teach a beginner, look my post, post #8, in this thread:
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/260438-IELTS-Life-Skills-A1-for-an-absolute-beginner

For a beginner, concentrate on grammar not vocabulary

-----

For ideas on how to teach an intermediate student, the whole idea is to get some kind of discussions going. Take a look at my post, #7, in this thread:
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/264942-Teaching-verb-tenses

Pick a topic and ask yes-questions, no-questions, and Wh-topics on the topic. Have the student ask you back the same questions. With practice the student should be able to make a three-minute speech on every topic. (And, once in a while, you can begin the lesson with YOU making a three-minute speech.) Then begin asking questions. Here is the basic list of topics that should be used with an intermediate student:

Self-intro
Family
Friends
My house-apartment
My dream house
Shopping
Cooking
Eating out
Getting sick
Getting injured
Hanging out – free time
Typical day, typical weekend
Chores, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, sweeping, mopping, etc.
Sports, doing and watching
Exercising
Music – listening and playing
Watching movies
Watching TV
Traveling in Japan
Traveling to foreign countries
Transportation (bus, train, etc.)
Car
Money
Weather
Pets
Animals
National holidays
My life story (includes elementary school life, high school life, etc.)
College life
Studying English
Work
My life plan
My career
Fashion
Getting my hair cut/done
Generation gap
Japanese culture
- Food
- Language
- Chinese characters
- Japanese art and paintings
- Japanese music (karaoke, enka, etc.)
- Japanese dance
- Games – Go, Shogi, Mahjong, etc.
- Japanese history
Air pollution
Bus exhaust
Water pollution
Supermarket plastic bags – good or bad?
My hometown’s environment
Religion
British-American English

No one likes to discuss all of these topics. Before each lesson, both you and the student should a topic that both of you want to discuss, and then you can discuss that topic in that lesson.

You should be able to come up with at least ten questions on each topic. "How often do you take out the garbage?" "What kind of pollution bothers you the most?" "What happened at the Battle of Sekigahara?" "How many strokes does the Chinese character for 'fish' have?" If you need help in coming up with questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Remember the technique: ask a yes-question, then ask a no-question, then ask a Wh-question, have the student answer, then have the student ask you back the same question.
 
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cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
Thanks but I already have content that they want to do- one hour for one student and one and half for the other student. The problem is that it requires thinking just like yours. I want content that is easy on the brain for 50 year olds. The beginner student is a bit low for a lot of content that you suggest- he is doing restaurant and hotel - dialogue scripts and questions- tired after one hour. The intermediate student is doing Medical roleplays/terminology, using how questions and American lingo- a lot to think about rather than simply too much.
 
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cloa

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Joined
Jun 22, 2017
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English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
No, I can't play the guitar or any other string instrument.
How about suitable poems which cover a lot of vocabulary?
 

Tarheel

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I went to the grocery store with my friend Betty.
We got some fish and some spaghetti.
:)

Do they have spaghetti in Japan?
 

NinjaTurtle

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How about suitable poems which cover a lot of vocabulary?

Poetry only works for a few people. I doubt it would be successful for you.

I find myself going back again and again to my list of 52 topics. I think that everyone has one or two of those topics that are interesting to them. Try it. It's all about asking questions on those topics. If you need help coming up with questions on one or two of those topics, please do not hesitate to ask.
 

Tarheel

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I went to the store to get some milk and bread,
But I brought home some beer instead.

:)
 

Tarheel

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If you need help, just ask!
I'm sure I'll be up to the task.

:)
 

cloa

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English
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Australia
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Japan
The beginner student is doing these lessons for a purpose- he travels to Finland, Denmark and New York and teaches Kendo there- he is a highly rated Kendo expert. He wants to be able to talk to students for a drink or talk to hotel or restaurant staff. More likely for English to be a reasonable common language for at least the Finns and Danes. His wife is also learning for purposes- she wants to be able to able to talk to some English speaking patients or their parents and to be able to talk in New York- she doesn't go overseas as often as her husband. They are unlikely to have a lesson together but it could happen.
 
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NinjaTurtle

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Cloa,

Have you tried having a Q&A with him on the topic of Kendo? I can think of a bunch of questions that you could ask him. First question: what is Kendo? Since he is an expert on the topic, this should be interesting for him. Ask him about the two Chinese characters, Ken and Do. What they mean? "Do" means the path, but the path to where? (It is the path to Enlightenment, "Satori".) Does he incorporate the striving for Satori into his lessons?

Ask him to explain how to write the strokes for the two Chinese characters (left-side radical, right-side radical, etc.) Ask him how to hold a "fude" (Japanese writing brush). Ask him how to grind an ink stone into ink using water. It is in this way that very short Q&A can eventually be built up to full-blown discussions.

Bring a fude, ink stone, ink-grinding stone, and Japanese writing paper to class. (Newspaper works great as practice writing paper for beginning brush-users.)

Watch how he reacts at every step. If you notice he finds calligraphy boring but the history of Kendo interesting, go in that direction. Ask him about his first ever Kendo teacher. Ask him about his first ever Kendo lesson. Ask him about his first ever bamboo sword and where he bought it. Ask him if he has ever practiced using a real steel sword and how well it went. (Was he afraid of slicing someone?) Bring a bamboo sword to class and ask him about it. Tell him to bring a Kendo helmet to class and ask him about it.

Give it a shot. I think you will find it interesting.
 
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cloa

Junior Member
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Jun 22, 2017
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English Teacher
Native Language
English
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Australia
Current Location
Japan
I have tried some question and answer about Kendo- not those particular questions. He finds that really hard- so easy to get to a word he doesn't know. The problem is not one of does he find the topic interesting- we are doing plenty of interesting topics. Rather that after one hour of lesson, he finds the English too much to handle. Hence if I did some Kendo related content at the end of the lesson then it would probably be one word answers filling in a worksheet and then we do the sentences together with him reading or repeating after me.

"Bring a fude, ink stone, ink-grinding stone, and Japanese writing paper to class"- don't have those myself.

"Class"- teach him one to one in his home.
 

Tarheel

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I have tried some questions and answers about Kendo- not those particular questions. He finds that really hard- so easy to get to a word he doesn't know. The problem is not one of does he find the topic interesting- we are doing plenty of interesting topics. Rather that after one hour of lessons, he finds the English too much to handle. Hence if I did some Kendo related content at the end of the lesson then it would probably be one word answers filling in a worksheet and then we do the sentences together with him reading or repeating after me.

"Bring a fude, ink stone, ink-grinding stone, and Japanese writing paper to class"- don't have those myself.

"Class"- teach him one to one in his home.

:)
 

cloa

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Japan
This what I went with for him and his wife. She could do more spoken English. Her lesson was 3 hours- some of the time was talking about what she wants and he wants for the lesson and general lesson management. Her husband was there for a short time doing the patient role of a medical roleplay.

The husband's proper lesson was 2 hours- he could speak much less and understand less. He didn't understand did the 9th dan kendo talk about a fight that the other master did. He thought I was asking about what the other master said about fighting.
Kendo
What are the two kanji that make up the word kendo in Japanese?


What do they mean?


What does the second one mean to you?


How to draw those kanji using calligraphy?


Did you ever meet a 9th dan Kendo Master? Or who was the highest ranked Kendo that you met?

Yes, I did. No, I didn’t.

What was his name?


His/her name is ………………………………………………………..

Did you have a practice fight?

Yes we did. No, we didn’t.

What did you do? (draw if you like)





What did he do?



What was he like?

(happy, sad, thinks a lot)
 
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