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New member here, need advice, teaching children ages 5-12

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DBcharity
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Location: vietnam

New member here, need advice, teaching children ages 5-12

Unread postby DBcharity » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:00 am

Hello everyone,

New member here, and need some advice on how to teach english as a second language to children between the ages of 5-12. I am volunteering soon at a church in Viet Nam,and what i've found out that these children don't know a word of English. I'm not really a teacher, I just know English but don't know what to really start out with first, such as lessons plans, guides, ect. I want to really teach them and want them to succeed. Please, tell me what I should start out w/. And what are the next steps after that?? Thanks in advance. P.S. also, I want this to be a interesting experience and lots of fun for them.

Kevin Vosper
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Unread postby Kevin Vosper » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:32 am

Dear DBCharity

Without knowing what resourses you will have it's difficult to know where to begin. However, here goes. I teach a similar age group here in Italy and I've found that one mistake many teachers make is to speak too much. Try to speak as little as possible but when you do, speak clearly and slowly and don't worry about getting silence in reply. It takes time for beginners to process language and them speak it.

At this age many short activities rather than one long one are more effective. I use a lot of games, songs and especially pictures with my classes. You might want to take pictures of your family with you as I've found children are very interested in the teacher.

Most importantly be clear about the aims of the lesson. Are you teaching introductions, prepositions
of place, the past simple etc? This does not mean that such jargon needs to be known by the students, at least at the beginning, but it is important that you know exactly what you are trying to teach. For this reason, especially if you are new to teaching, I find a course book essential as it gives a structure to the students learning (and saves you a lot of work). Unfortunately I've seen a lot of bad course books in Asia with anything up to fifty new words, which the students are expected to memorise, in each chapter. Whatever book you end up using try to "bring the course book to life" Easy to say, not so easy to do. I often look at the aims of each chapter and then try to think of interesting ways the material in the book can be exploited. For example, if you have a dialogue about buying things in a shop bring in lots of real objects and after they've practiced the dialogue get them to set up "shops" in the classroom and buy and sell to each other. Similarly with numbers set up "train platforms" in the classroom read out train anouncements and the students have to listen and go to the correct platform. I'm sure you can think of many more such ideas yourself.

Two final thoughts, drilling students seems to be quite a controversial technique in EFL teaching. My own view is that it is a very important technique to use, especially with Asian students who very often need the support of their classmates when practicing difficult English sounds such as "TH." Above all enjoy yourself. A happy teacher is also a good teacher.

Best of luck with the teaching

Kevin

Weibing
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Unread postby Weibing » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:49 pm

You really need a book just as Kevin said, no matter how old your students are. But you should choose the proper book for your students to learn/read. Sounds to me you might need a beginner book to teach with and might as well teach them from the very beginning, the alphabet because your students don't know even one word of English. And if you happen to know a little Vietnamese...But at least you know English.

The younger your students are, the more teaching skills might be needed. But the problem is that you aren't a teacher. Such things happen - especially in areas like Asia, where people are eager to learn English and more English teachers are needed. So some native English speakers (who come to the area)are asked to teach English, even they aren't really an English teacher - they might just come here for sight-seeing. My friend Steve, a native English speaker, strongly objects to the idea.

Good luck!

Ben

Unread postby Ben » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:25 pm

As usual, Kevin and Weibing have given some excellent advice. With Christmas approaching, you could also request some books for teachers from your friends and family. Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener (I swear I'm not a publisher!) is a book I really value and How to Teach English by Jeremy Harmer is very good as well. I'm sure others will offer suggestions too.

Also use the web to get resources (assuming you have a printer). http://bogglesworldesl.com/ has some very good visual aids for elementary learners. Again, I expect to see other resources listed here soon. Members of this forum are very skilled and helpful. Good luck!

Ben

Unread postby Ben » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:32 pm

As usual, Kevin and Weibing have given some excellent advice. With Christmas approaching, you could also request some books for teachers from your friends and family. Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener (I swear I'm not a publisher!) is a book I really value and How to Teach English by Jeremy Harmer is very good as well. I'm sure others will offer suggestions too.

Also use the web to get resources (assuming you have a printer). http://bogglesworldesl.com/ has some very good visual aids for elementary learners. Again, I expect to see other resources listed here soon. Members of this forum are very skilled and helpful. Good luck!


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