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Ideas for first class 
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:14 pm
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Location: Adelaide Australia
Post Ideas for first class
Hi! I have to teach a group of 17 3rd year Junior High students (all boys by th eway) from Japan who are coming out to Australia for just 3 weeks. No, I'm not asking for pity!! :wink: But I'd like to know if anyone has any great ideas for the first class. I have some ideas, but I mainly work with 2nd & 3rd year Senior High, so I'm not quite sure that they'd work with this group and I don't know what to expect. Should they be able to manage self-intros? How can I quickly assess their language ability?


Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:20 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:57 pm
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What is the make-up of the students? Are they all from the same school? Do they already know each other? Have they chosen to come or is it a mandatory trip for them?

Here is a good warm-up game

http://www.genkienglish.net/gokiburi.htm

For the older crowd I usually just make up the cards for them to flip over to evolve into the next animal. It's a lot easier than trying to get them to do the gestures. You could make it a simple self-introduction game. At least in Japan, Rock Paper Scissors sort of games work great for any age.

Four corners is another fun game and can also help you evaluate their
listening comprehension.

Have a sign in each corner. For Japanese students I use a circle (yes)
an X (no), triangle (so-so) and a double circle (emphatic yes). Then say a statement like ' I like swimming' 'I like to eat hamburgers' 'I want to go bungee jumping' 'I have a girlfriend :o ' etc and students and teachers move to the appropriate corner.

Regardless of their level, it always help to set a fun, non-threatening atmosphere. It makes learning that much easier.

Once they are at ease , they should be able to handle self-intros. In a way, they may handle this better than senior high students because they have yet to be taught all the difficult grammar and grammar terms that tend to confuse students and convince them that English is impossible..

A self-introduction using phrases like;
My name is.
I am from.
I like.
I play.
I want to
etc

It might help to model it first.

Their textbooks have most likely covered, simple past, present, and future and probably present perfect. However, I sure you already know that this does not mean they can use them in conversation.

I know this isn't a lot, maybe others can help with more


Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:50 am
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
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funwithstories wrote:
Their textbooks have most likely covered, simple past, present, and future and probably present perfect. However, I sure you already know that this does not mean they can use them in conversation.

The above is probably true. They also should have recently studied 'if' and 'when' clauses, comparative, superlative, and passive tense.

Any of those would be good areas to focus communicative acitivities around. They'll soon be starting relative clauses so if you wanted to teach them something new, those might be a good place to start.

Self-intros shouldn't be a problem but it depends on how much you really want them to say about themselves.

I'd probably pic something like my drawing game www.mes-english.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=38 or Treasure Island for the first class.

As far as assessing their ability, I've always found it difficult to assess speaking competence on the first few meetings. Most of the Japanese students I have taught generally say very little and appear to be incompetent, but after a few classes they come out of their shell and what I thought was a false beginner was really and intermediate student or upper intermediate.

However, with your group I'd say it'd be safe to say they are false beginners to lower intermediate.

_________________
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Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:20 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:14 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Adelaide Australia
Post 
Quote:
What is the make-up of the students? Are they all from the same school? Do they already know each other? Have they chosen to come or is it a mandatory trip for them?



They are 14 year old boys from the outskirts of Tokyo. They all are from the same school. - Kogakuin - if you don't know it, it's a big school with Junior high, senior high which are connected to Kogakuin Uni. They do all know each other. This is a school trip and therefore it's mandatory however, they are excited and looking forward to it.

Thanks for your ideas. I'll check them out!!


Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:53 pm
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MES-Addict

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:59 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Gunma Prefecture
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If you want to keep self-intro related question and answering as the focus of the activity you do, I recently posted a breakdown of a game based off of War played with regular trump cards that will get them all talking at the same time. Its in the games and activities section of these forums posted from not too long ago and it has a more detailed explanation of the rules.

The gist is basically coming up with 4 questions related to self-introductions that they could all answer without too much difficulty and that are open ended enough to get interesting answers. Then assign each question to one of the trump card suits. They play war with eachother and have to ask questions to claim their opponent's card. They can war in pairs or in groups of 3 or more. Winners just have to be sure they can ask a question for each card they want to claim.

You can make the questions explicit and write them out on the board or you could just make them general categories that the students can be creative with. For that age group, though, don't be too general b/c they sometimes just want to be told what they should say, especially if you're new to them and they're worried about embarassing themselves. :oops:

The cool thing is, you and any other teacher(s) involved can play too, and you can get a lot more talking practice out of it than if you had them do individual intros at the front. If you started things out easy by playing that 4 corners game above with possible answers to the questions you'll be assigning them to ask, they'll get the gist of how they can answer their opponents for the next game that much quicker. Plus, as the poster above mentioned, they'll be feeling more confident and relaxed after a softball game that gets them laughing, too. [/url]


Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:56 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 135
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One simple but effective way to get students talking AND to measure their English abilities is to ask either/or questions.

Start of with the very easy one-word phrases.
Do you like summer or winter?

If they seem to get that, then make the sentence longer:
Do you like summer or do you like winter?
And then to get even more repetitons compare student one with student 2.
Does student 1 or student 2 like summer?
Does student 1 like winter or does student 2 like winter?

and then move on to:
Do you like summer because it is hot or do you like summer because you can go to the beach?

If you are repetitive enough even the shy students will get a lot of listening practice and slowly gain confidence. The better students will start to answer you in complete sentences. The important part is to carefully watch and NOT GO TOO FAST.

It sounds almost too simple, but this little trick really does raise their confidence level and get them talking.


Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:42 pm
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MES-Addict

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:59 pm
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Location: Gunma Prefecture
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How did that first lesson go for you Eikawa no Sensei? I'm curious what you ended up doing with them, and how it turned out. Can you share? :)


Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:37 am
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