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Advice on teaching speaking to adults

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sarakaori
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Advice on teaching speaking to adults

Unread postby sarakaori » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:09 am

Hello!

My name is Sara, I am new here and I have been teaching ESL for almost a year.

First, I have problem with classroom's energy. The situation is always like this: students show great interest and enthusiasm at first and I can even feel they actually enjoy my lesson, but then after 1-2 months, they get used to my teaching style and become less active and dynamic in class. Should I change my teaching style or the activities? Though I did try to carry out a variety of activities in class. I has always been critical about the activities for each lesson and I've tried to focus on the effectiveness of class activities rather than their creativity. Could this be the source of my problem?

Second, could you give me some advice on how I should improve my instructions? I feel like I can literally ruin every great activity just because I can't get the rules and the purposes through to my students and make the activities sound interesting.

Most of my students are hard-working and interest in learning English but I think I'm demotivating them with my poor teaching techniques and I'm afraid I'm wasting their time studying with me as I cannot fully engage them in the lesson.

Any help would be very much appreciated.
Thank you!

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Susan
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Re: Advice on teaching speaking to adults

Unread postby Susan » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:31 pm

Don't be so harsh on yourself.

A good way to introduce an activity is to demonstrate it, possibly with another student. this will help you cut back on lengthy instructions.

I would aim to use a variety of styles from the first lessons onwards; just to give options to students with varying learning styles.

They may be tired for another reason, not your teaching style. Keep an open mind and don't just think it is you.

Susan

ayanonline
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Re: Advice on teaching speaking to adults

Unread postby ayanonline » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:03 am

Thank you for sharing your experience. You surely is doing a great work . It is really impressive to know that you teach your students through fun activity. Activities or games always helps learners in better learning and retain it for a longer period. As you mentioned you face difficulty in retaining students' attention, I would suggest you to bring new elements to the the activity you are presenting in class.

First and foremost as a teacher it is very important for you to understand your students. A classroom usualy is consist of mixed group of students abd thus it is important for a teacher to know his or her class well.

Secondly, you may beging the class with warmer followed by contextualization. As warmer you may play name game or a song or something interesting that will help you to build the rapport with the students. Since its your known class it is obvious that you a;ready have that bonding with your students. However, such acytivities also helps to bring back students attention in class.

You may conduct quiz or picture description or some interaction to set the context, instead of straight away informing the students about the topic of discussion.

It is also suggested not to repeat similar activities in class as it can be monotonous for the students. bring some twist and turns to make the class interesting.

You may apply peer teaching techniques that is also very effective.

To know more about classroom management skills and techniques to make the class more interesting you may upgrade your classroom management skills.

ayanonline
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Re: Advice on teaching speaking to adults

Unread postby ayanonline » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:10 am

Thank you for sharing your experience. You surely is doing a great work . It is really impressive to know that you teach your students through fun activity. Activities or games always helps learners in better learning and retain it for a longer period. As you mentioned you face difficulty in retaining students' attention, I would suggest you to bring new elements to the the activity you are presenting in class. First and foremost as a teacher it is very important for you to understand your students. A classroom usualy is consist of mixed group of students abd thus it is important for a teacher to know his or her class well. Secondly, you may beging the class with warmer followed by contextualization. As warmer you may play name game or a song or something interesting that will help you to build the rapport with the students. Since its your known class it is obvious that you a;ready have that bonding with your students. However, such acytivities also helps to bring back students attention in class. You may conduct quiz or picture description or some interaction to set the context, instead of straight away informing the students about the topic of discussion. It is also suggested not to repeat similar activities in class as it can be monotonous for the students. bring some twist and turns to make the class interesting. You may apply peer teaching techniques that is also very effective. To know more about classroom management skills and techniques to make the class more interesting you may upgrade your classroom management skills. Second, could you give me some advice on how I should improve my instructions? I feel like I can literally ruin every great activity just because I can't get the rules and the purposes through to my students and make the activities sound interesting. The best way is 1st you as a teacher need to set the objective and the purpose of the activity being conducted in class. Then you plan the instructions. Here your instructions will be the footsteps to meet the actual goal. I think this will help you to give better instruction and meet the purpose of the activity.

sarakaori
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Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:11 am
Status: New Teacher

Re: Advice on teaching speaking to adults

Unread postby sarakaori » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:18 am

Susan wrote:Don't be so harsh on yourself.

A good way to introduce an activity is to demonstrate it, possibly with another student. this will help you cut back on lengthy instructions.

I would aim to use a variety of styles from the first lessons onwards; just to give options to students with varying learning styles.

They may be tired for another reason, not your teaching style. Keep an open mind and don't just think it is you.

Susan


ayanonline wrote:Thank you for sharing your experience. You surely is doing a great work . It is really impressive to know that you teach your students through fun activity. Activities or games always helps learners in better learning and retain it for a longer period. As you mentioned you face difficulty in retaining students' attention, I would suggest you to bring new elements to the the activity you are presenting in class. First and foremost as a teacher it is very important for you to understand your students. A classroom usualy is consist of mixed group of students abd thus it is important for a teacher to know his or her class well. Secondly, you may beging the class with warmer followed by contextualization. As warmer you may play name game or a song or something interesting that will help you to build the rapport with the students. Since its your known class it is obvious that you a;ready have that bonding with your students. However, such acytivities also helps to bring back students attention in class. You may conduct quiz or picture description or some interaction to set the context, instead of straight away informing the students about the topic of discussion. It is also suggested not to repeat similar activities in class as it can be monotonous for the students. bring some twist and turns to make the class interesting. You may apply peer teaching techniques that is also very effective. To know more about classroom management skills and techniques to make the class more interesting you may upgrade your classroom management skills. Second, could you give me some advice on how I should improve my instructions? I feel like I can literally ruin every great activity just because I can't get the rules and the purposes through to my students and make the activities sound interesting. The best way is 1st you as a teacher need to set the objective and the purpose of the activity being conducted in class. Then you plan the instructions. Here your instructions will be the footsteps to meet the actual goal. I think this will help you to give better instruction and meet the purpose of the activity.


Thank you so much for the advice. Now that I think about it, some of my students may be tired because they have English classes everyday from morning till evening, and I only teach them twice a week.

Last week I tried a new teaching style, combining some of my usual techniques, and the students were into it more than I expected. I guess it's refreshing to alter the teaching style after all. But that was a small class.
I'm wondering if there are any activities to get a large number of students (around 30) to speak English. I tried pair and group work but I found that not all of them were participating in the activities .

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Susan
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Re: Advice on teaching speaking to adults

Unread postby Susan » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:07 pm

I'm glad the change of style helped.

It's normal that a few students don't participate in a big class. Just go and stand by them during the activity. They will probably start speaking just because you are there. If not, try to work out why they aren't: eg, do they know the language that's needed, do they understand what they're supposed to be doing or is it Something else.

Susan

RikeNeville
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Re: Advice on teaching speaking to adults

Unread postby RikeNeville » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:57 pm

I've always found the greatest success when I've sold my students on WHY they are going to do something, and then explained how to do it. For example, before having them learn how to summarize something, I start like this:

"How many of you just LOOOOVE to spend hours and hours studying for a test? (over-the-top acting out looking for people with raised hands)
"How many of you would prefer to have MORE time to (list some activities you know they love)?"

"Today, I'm going to share with you a secret that will help you study more effectively, ultimately make higher grades in class, and best of all, have more time to spend however you want. This is a skill ANYONE can master with some practice, and we're going to practice today. But....here's the best part: You ALREADY know how to do this!" (enjoy looking at their faces of disbelief)

Ask a student what he/she did on the weekend. Point out that the student did not list every single thing, but just said the most important/interesting bits. "(name of student) just SUMMARIZED what she/he did on the weekend!" See? Every one of you can already do that!

Hold up a large college textbook. "Your final exam will cover ALL the chapters in this book. Who can re-read the whole book just before the test?" If anyone says yes, point out that they will be taking multiple final exams in university and that they'll have more than one textbook.

"If, while you are reading each chapter throughout the semester, you summarize the main ideas and key points, you'll have a study guide that is DRASTICALLY shorter than this book. That is what you'll study."

......I think you get the idea. I try to tie EVERYTHING into how it will help them achieve a goal of some sort. It has be a goal that they want for themselves, not what you want for them or what you think they should want. Once you have sold them on it, they'll be eager to do it. :)
I blog about teaching adult ESL. http://rikeneville.blogspot.com/


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