help :)

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lindsaytaylor
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help :)

Unread post by lindsaytaylor » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:53 am

In February, I will be going to stay in Haiti for five months as an intern at a mission. One of the things I volunteered to do is teach English to a class of sixth graders. I only have a high school degree and it will be a casual setting- nothing formal- i just need some advice as to where to start. I will only be with the kids for a couple of months so I am just wondering what to teach, at what pace to teach, teaching styles, etc. I'm really clueless and would appreciate any advice! Thanks!

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ICAL_Pete
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Re: help :)

Unread post by ICAL_Pete » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:36 pm

You could start by taking a look at the TESL/TEFL training videos on the ICAL website but to be honest what you are asking for is more involved than you might think. Rather than going in totally unprepared and basically learning by trial and error at your students’ expense, you should consider at least some training that will give you the basic tools to enter a new profession with confidence, knowing that when you walk in a classroom you will be able to make a difference. If anything, do it for your Haitian students.

Ben

Re: help :)

Unread post by Ben » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:49 pm

Do you have any teaching experience at all? Any experience working with kids? It would be hugely beneficial if you could find a local 6th grade teacher and sit in on their class a couple of times and pick their brain to see how they manage it (the class). Volunteer at a church or community center just to get exposure to kids at that age. Books/websites/etc. can't give you that experience and you want to at least get a feel for being in front of a class before you go so you can ask for specific help (and experience kids whose language you speak so you can at least get the tiniest sample of classroom dynamics).

It doesn't matter what you're teaching... you need to know if you'll freak out in front of the kids before you get there! Plan on all of your plans going wrong and having to wing it! :shock:

lindsaytaylor
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Re: help :)

Unread post by lindsaytaylor » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:20 am

I don't have any experience in a classroom, but I have a lot of experience with kids. I've been a cheerleading coach for three years and have also volunteered at church teaching sunday school and helping out with the children's ministry for several years. Kids are my passion and trust me, I wouldn't want to do anything at the expense of the students. Maybe I've come to the wrong place- but I'm honestly just trying to figure out what I'm going to do. This trip isn't extensively planned out and I am winging it. It's more of an extra-curricular environment than it is class. It will be a couple days a week in the afternoon. I will definitely look into the videos you mentioned ICAL_Pete! Thanks!

Ben

Re: help :)

Unread post by Ben » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:18 pm

I'm glad you've got some experience with kids. That's hurdle number one. So what are you going to do? Depends on what level the students are (and whether they're all the same level) and what resources the school has (copier, board, books, etc.). I wouldn't even know where to begin with training before you go (I'm a pretty new teacher myself) so you may want to send ICAL_Pete an email or Private Message about that. I know that I would buy a lot of books before I left, fortunately someone has put together a pretty good Amazon list for TEFL.

Practical English Usage by Swan will answer all of your questions about grammar (believe me, you'll need a grammar book), and a picture dictionary will be really valuable if the kids have little to no English. Other good books on the list are Teaching from Nothing (Teaching with no materials) and some of the games books (which ones depend on the level).

Two books which are definitely missing from the list are Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener and 700 Classroom Activities by Seymour and Popova. Learning Teaching is kind of a follow up book for a TEFL cert covering lots of different aspects of teaching English and 700 is exactly what it says it is... with no photocopying required!

Books will help but any training you can get before you go will be much more valuable! Good luck!

seadreamer
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Re: help :)

Unread post by seadreamer » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:32 pm

Hi.. I think first of all you should determine your students level.You wrote that they were 6th grade but you don't know which subjects they know.To learn their knowledge you can give them a questionaire or a test. After you determine their levels,you can choose your activities.At that age students love everything. They like singing,drawing,acting...etc.You can ask them anything to do. Good luck :P

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