Teaching ESL

teaching the not so young.
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Author:  ematmos [ Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  teaching the not so young.

I've just agreed to start teaching a 62 year old Japanese lady. She has no (limited?) experience learning English, and I have no (none) experience teaching anyone of her age. :|

The class would be once a week for 50 mins

I haven't met her yet, so I'm not sure if she can read at all (I suspect not), and I think that she is mainly interested in learning some English so she can travel overseas. (my boss is not very forthcoming with information).

Apart from not singing "The Hokey Pokey" I'm not sure where to start. :? If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.

thanks in advance,

Dan :D

Author:  jurgensboot [ Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Can you speak Japanese. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago. A Thai woman wanted to learn "conversation" she couldn't speak a word of English and i couldn't speak a word of Thai. We had no books so needless to say we just looked at each other. I would get a starter book, a good one is Reward. Very simple.
Good luck

Author:  andiusaugustus [ Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:55 am ]
Post subject: 

Obviously the first thing you'll have to do is get an idea of her level. If she can read, then you'll be able to use one of those starter conversation books.

If whe can't read it will be more challenging. You'll have to start out with very basic conversational phrases and work from there. It would help if there were some way to translate the phrases into Japanese. Alot of listening and repeating I suppose.

Author:  raindrop [ Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:12 am ]
Post subject: 

I actually have about 15 students who are 60+ years old. The oldest one is 73, and they are very energetic and motivated students. I really love teaching them. Most of them are also interested in traveling now that they are retired. I am Japanese so I could use it when teaching, but I usually don't.

For students who don't know any English, I start off with "greetings". I teach them, "How are you"? then some responses. I'd even take about half hour just teaching the greetings. I'd do it very slow and make sure they are learning. You could have different face pictures facing down on the desk, :D :) :-) :( :cry: , have her pick one up and respond with feelings. I use the same pic cards for children or eldery students. Also the same games and activities.

I'd then teach them alphabets and some basic pronunciation. Then have them learn how to introduce themselves. I'm ...., I'm from ..., I like... simple stuff.

I recently used "Side by Side 1A" with my 60 year old student, and she is doing very well. If you get the one with workbook in it, she will be able to practice writing at the same time (this could be her homework as well ). Even her purpose of studying English is for traveling, it'd help if she learns the basic grammar. I'd use the textbook "passport" once I finish Side by Side 1A with her. Memorizing traveling phrases would be much harder for her, I think.

Hope this helps a bit.

Author:  Julian-K [ Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

I used to teach a guy in his mid – late seventies, and he was an absolute joy to teach. Sometimes needed a little more time than normal to think things over before coming out with answers and sentences, but otherwise he was super fast on the uptake. We used to do allot of narrative “read and discuss” type lessons and he always got really into them. I guess maybe your student isn’t that advanced though, so I don’t know how helpful that is.

Author:  enjoyinglifeinseoul [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:05 am ]
Post subject: 

Yeah you'll definetly have to meet her first to get an idea of her level before you do much of anything else.

As for as getting a book, I would go to a book store with her and together you can pick out a book. That worked really well for me in the past.

I've also done the same as Julian-k recommended with the read and discuss. another one that some of my students enjoyed was having them watch a movie and we would talk about ti afterwards. However, they need to be at more than a begging level for this to work well.

Good luck and enjoy.

Author:  ematmos [ Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks to everyone for your help,

The class begins in 3hrs and I've just spent the weekend in bed with a cold. So I feel a little under prepared.

:D Fortunately I just found a copy of Side by Side which seems to fit in well with what little I have planned (Raindrop your recommendation gives me a lot of confidence!). And I had a chance to meet my student for 5 mins the other day, and she seems very cool.

The 1st class will be greetings (as suggested). I while I know it goes against all my teacher training to use Japanese in the class, I will use it a little (at least for comedic value as my Japanese is very average :roll: ).

once again thanks to everyone, I look forward to letting you know how it goes!


Author:  jonmarks [ Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:45 am ]
Post subject: 

It's a while ago now, but I've taught one-on-one lessons with people over sixty four or five times now.

What I found was that they tended to be more interested in getting more fluent with the English they already had than in taking in a lot of new stuff. In other words, the goal seemed more to be enjoying the lessons and keeping their knowledge active than making a big advance in level.

But that doesn't help with students at the lowest levels. In that sense, my guess is that whatever you would do with a much younger student will be fine. At 62 she's ten years younger than the candidate who came second in the recent USA presidential election. At 62 your mental faculties are still in pretty good shape! (Well, I hope so, anyway - I'll be 62 in 18 years time, and hope I won't be too much of a befuddled old fool.)

Author:  raindrop [ Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:36 pm ]
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yeah... my elderly students love playing games as much as the younger students do. just do whatever you do with young learners, but - maybe at much slower pace. :) oh and yeah, write words on the boards bigger than usual, too! maybe talk a bit louder... hehe

as for SBS 1A, the first unit, as a review, I bring in some pics of celebrities and have the student be the person on the picture... you know, have her pick a card from the pile, and be that person and introduce herself/himself.. if she picks the one with Michael Jackson, she has to say, "Hello. My name is Michael. I live in America. I'm a singer. I like kids.." etc. etc. It's usually a lot of fun. You could even throwin pics of E.T. or some Japanese people. It's better you start off and model first so she would know what to do.

let me know if you need more tips! I'd be happy to help.


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