EnglishClub
Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub


Teaching pre-literate students

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

Moderator: Susan

Teaching pre-literate students

Unread postby caitanya » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:27 pm

Hi, everyone! I am new to the board and am seeking some advice.

A bit about me: I have been a volunteer ESL instructor for two years now through an organisation in my city. My first student was a good intro for me. I was glad to have her as my first student.

Currently I am faced with a new challenge: I am tutoring a 30-something-year-old woman who barely even knows how to read or write in her native language. She has two small children and without a doubt I know she is not practicing in between lessons. I have been scouring the internet for pre-literate lesson ideas and come up with not so many great things. Anyone have any good ideas? Thank you so much!
caitanya
Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:23 pm
Status: Trainee Teacher

Re: Teaching pre-literate students

Unread postby AlexCase » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:52 am

Is your main aim to teach her to read, or to teach her other things such as conversational English in ways that don't need reading and writing from her?
AlexCase
Busy Member
Busy Member
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:13 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Status: Teacher

Re: Teaching pre-literate students

Unread postby caitanya » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:30 pm

I'm doing both. Just to let everyone know with what I am working with, I just found out yesterday that she didn't even know how many months are in a year.

But I'm glad you just asked me that because it's just made me realise how visually focused I am. I do try and teach her both reading and speaking at the same time. She hardly ever understands anything I say in English, so I usually say things first in English and then I translated, two words at a time sort of thing.
caitanya
Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:23 pm
Status: Trainee Teacher

Re: Teaching pre-literate students

Unread postby AlexCase » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:30 pm

What would you say her language level is? False beginner?

Have you tried doing roleplays, e.g. shopping roleplays, using realia or picture flashcards? Pictures and mime are two good ways of getting away from reading and writing. You can easily make your own picture flashcards with words on the other side with Clipart in Word. This is for kids, but might give you some ideas:

Phonics Flashcards

The good thing about the methods explained in that article for your student is that she can learn lots of useful vocabulary and phonics at the same time, as long as you choose the words you use carefully.

Also, how about a picture dictionary?

If she needs a confidence boost and a basic level of language to struggle along with, you could do a lesson on words that are the same in most languages, e.g. pizza and mango. The other thing to think about is how she uses or will use English outside the classroom.
AlexCase
Busy Member
Busy Member
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:13 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Status: Teacher


Return to ESL Teacher Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests