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Newbie at Teaching kids

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Newbie at Teaching kids

Unread postby Funkyduck84 » Fri May 05, 2006 9:55 am

Hi everyone!

I'm a relatively new EFL teacher - i taught German kids last summer (was my first teaching job) however, being able to speak the language fluently myself, i had no problems understanding them. I'm due to start a new job teaching classes of kids (Aged 11-16) of mixed nationalities in about a month's time but i'm incredibly nervous that the younger ones are not gonna understand me whatsoever (does that make sense?) --- I've also never taught an elementary class before and probably will have to this time round and am really worried about it. To top it all off, the school is accredited by the British Council and are due for inspection/re-evaluation this summer and i've been told that i'll be definitely having the rep. sitting in my class! Help!! A big part of my is really dreading this job despite the fact that i really do love to teach. Also, does anyone have any pointers they could share with me about teaching elementary kids ?

Thanks v. much :?
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Unread postby Kevin Vosper » Sun May 07, 2006 12:33 pm

I think you've already said the most important thing which is "I love teaching." Not many people can say that about their job. I think you'll find it will be a lot easier than you think. However, I do understand your concerns, we've all been there, so here's a few pointers which might help.

Firstly, prepare well for each class. Your lesson plan will be the first thing the British Council look at. It will also help your classes run smoothly and give them a clear aim and sense of direction.

Secondly, speak slowly and clearly and don't be afraid of repeating yourself if the students don't understand at first. Use simple formal language and avoid phrasal verbs and idioms since the students will probably not know many of these at elementary level.

Thirdly, use lots of pictures, real objects and gestures. It's amazing how much we communicate by using visual clues, which is why using a telephone in a foreign language is so difficult. When you start a new activity take the first turn yourself so the students can see what it is that you want them to do.

Finally, don't worry about the British Council inspection. They are all experienced teachers and well aware of the particular problems of teaching elementary students. I had a British Council inspection last summer and the inspectors were very supportive of the teachers and their advice very useful. Try to think of it as a chance to develop your teaching skills.

Perhaps a quick example will explain how the above works.

Teacher shows a pen and a box and says "pen, box"

Students listen and repeat

Teacher puts the pen on the box and says "the pen is on the box"

Students listen and repeat

Teacher puts the pen in the box and says "the pen is in the box"

Students listen and repeat

Continue for under, in front of and behind

One student comes to the front and puts the pen in, on, under etc the box

The class says where the pen is

Repeat several times

Students work in pairs putting their pens on in under different items of classroom furniture

Students leave the room and the teacher hides the pen somewhere

Students return and have to ask where the pen is the teacher can only answer yes or no eg "is the pen under the table?"

Students then take turns hiding the pen

You have now taught prepositions of place using very few words except the target language and I have found that even beginners have few problems understanding. If there's a simple slogan to teaching elementary classes it's demonstrate don't explain.

Hope this helps and good luck with the new job

Kevin
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Unread postby Shelley » Sat Aug 19, 2006 4:00 am

Well, you have such a great start knowing that you love your job and by proactively trying to find ways to help you ease your concerns before getting into the classroom!

If you are not planning on using games as a substantial part of your teaching with children then I truly believe that this is the way forward. The way I have been teaching (and many others like me), is truly revolutionary compared to what I experienced in school (not THAT long ago!)

My own experiences with this have been very rewarding, with children coming to learn from me in their free time, and wanting to continue, missing me when I was gone, etc.

Also other teachers using my games have reported similar great results.

As well as looking at games on many sites, and in forums, you can receive some free on the website below.

Kind regards
Shelley, Fun English Games
http://www.teachingenglishgames.com
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