Teaching ESL

Teaching returnees
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Author:  samuraistu [ Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Teaching returnees

Hi, Yeah I deleted the last topic by mistake. Not sure how I managed that one.

Yeah, I have a few returnee students and was wondering if anyone has
any advice or can point me in the direction of some resources. Thanks Stu

Author:  mesmark [ Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have 2 students who just moved back to Japan and were born and raised in Luxemburg. The oldest (6 yrs) spent 2 years in an international kidergarten and speaks English near perfectly for her age. The younger (4 yrs) didn't go to the kindergarten and can understand English pretty well but isn't comfortable speaking.

I've had a hard time with them because of their age and that their parents don't want to pay for private lessons (well understood.)

The older sister comes to 2 different classes (one for her age and one class with students 3 years older.) So, far just being in those classes has been enough but in about 6 months my son is going to start a first grade US English curriculum and I'm just going to put her in with him and teach the two of them privately twice a week.

The younger girl is going to just attend normal English conversation classes once a week for now and possibly twice a week in a similar fashion as her older sister now.

The two different age level classes keeps them from repeating similar content, at least for the time being.

Can you tell me the age of these students? Are they coming to you privately as a group or individually? How many classes do you have per week with them? and the time per class?

Author:  samuraistu [ Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Mark, thanks for the reply. In answer to your questions my students are
9, 11 and 12 and they each come once a week for a private lesson. The lesson time is only 45 minutes, I have requested extending the time but the Eikaiwa I work at doesn't seem keen so I have to make do.

The 9 and the 12 year old are brothers, they lived in the UK for 7 years and have been back for about two I think. The older brother's level is close to native but he is quite shy in using his English. His mother wants him to pass all Eiken tests so recently we have been going over some Pre 1 exams but I don't know how effective 45 minutes once a week really is. Any advice on preparing students for Eiken would be appreciated.

The younger brother's listening is good but he needs more speaking practice. I have used a few different textbooks and I try to keep the class varied but he gets bored quite easily. I am not sure which is the best way to approach this class.

I hope that is enough background info. If you can give me any tips or advice it would be greatly appreciated.



Author:  mesmark [ Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

Stuart - Tough situation. It would really be great to have at least one class with those kids all together, even if it's at a reduced price (I'm sure they're paying plenty already.)

My thoughts on lessons that really bring out conversation, questions, and curiosity are fun/amazing science projects. Here are a couple links to different sites with easy to prepare projects and you can even use the instructions as part of the lesson.

http://www.learner.org/catalog/resource ... act01.html

Through these types of activities the students think in English, respond in English, ask questions, formulate ideas and apply meaning. In my opinion that's about the best you can do with 45 minutes once a week.

Eiken! Aaarrrrggghhhh..... Eiken is for people who can't speak English that need some qualification to say they have some level of proficiency. Pre-first grade contains words he doesn't know in either language and won't ever have a chance to use. (When was the last time you used the word "autonomy.") He's going to get all of that grammar and test English in school. What's the rush? Also, unless he has eiken first grade, it really won't matter other than it impresses the neighbors.

(Can you tell I'm not a fan of the eiken? Don't even get me started on eiken junior.)

I would advise he work on maintaining his speaking level, increase his vocabulary through reading, and aim for the eiken first grade sometime in high school (2nd or 3rd grade.) If the student is really wanting to do it, have him study at home and come to you with completed work for you to review and quickly answer any questions.

But I guess your boss needs to keep the customer happy. Most places that teach eiken prep just use those review books (mondaishu) one after another and have the kids memorize the vocabulary and regurgitate it week after week. It seems really easy and lazy, but I can't really think of any other way to go about it. You just need to be able to explain meaning and grammar structure or at least be able to point them to that spot in the book.

Is reading English books (maybe upper elementary targeted) an option?

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