Teaching ESL

esl for moms
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Author:  caz [ Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  esl for moms

hi everyone, i was wondering if anyone could give some advice, about teaching moms english in japan. I have been asked to teach english to moms, so they can use it at home, just like a mothers tongue. The head teacher who had this idea didnt give much thought to it, she just requested me to teach english to mothers, with their tots, i have no text book, or any materials, i have been using my kids toys. Someone said to me, "just do what you do at home with your own kids", but trying to do that in a classroom, and making it fun isnt easy, at home its perfectly natural, but in a classroom!!!?? this is giving me so much stress, so far i have just been teaching expressions, useful sentances such as " are you hungry" etc or its bath time! and some expressions of praise, but i cant go on bugging my head for ideas, i am just not qualified for this.!!!! I am so angry at the head teacher because when you ask for her advice she just says " ohhhh its up to really" WHAT!!! she is never at the lesson either.

Author:  Matt Dream [ Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Caz,

I am sure you are more than qualified for this! Don't worry. Teaching kids with their Mom's can be a lot of fun. I don't have much time to write at the moment, but please take a look at my web page for teaching 2- 3 year olds. It may help a bit. You are free to download any of the songs, and use them in your class:


With the Mom's there, teach them a few things each week they can practice with their kids at home, "what's your name?" " how old are you?" here you are? thank you...etc. gotta run to a class, but good luck!

Author:  caz [ Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

thanks matt for taking the time to write to me, its nice to know that you think i can do it even when i feel like i cant,,,tee hee, that helps. I am gonna go and check out your site now, i love your songs too!

Author:  mesmark [ Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:32 am ]
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I'd probably have the mothers bring in some English books they plan to read to their children. That seems like a good place to start.

You could work with their reading and then teach them a few things that help them talk about the book with their children.
'What's this?'
'Do you see the ...?'
'Where's the ...?'
'Oh, look! There's a flower. A pretty red flower.'

That would be a nice controled environment. You could also work with a few other settings, like getting dressed, bath time, dinner time. But, peppering a scene such as those with a touch of English doesn't seem very 'natural'. That's why I think reading time could be all English and then possibly expanded.

Good luck.

Author:  caz [ Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:27 am ]
Post subject: 

Thats a nice idea,,,reading a book! its so simple and yet i didnt even think about it. thanks mark. That will reduce a lot of stress!
One mother brought a cd with her and asked about some of the songs, since she couldnt understand the words, so i can ask them to bring books next time.
I taught them how to "brush your teeth" and we made a craft from it, i simply took pictures of my two boys with cheesy grins as if they were about to brush their teeth, and i printed those,lamenated them and attached a paper laminated tooth brush and taught them " this is the way we brush our teeth" etc they liked that. i even added some baby hand signs which was interesting. but never thought about a simple book.
many thanks
god bless.

Author:  mesmark [ Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'm glad the idea gives you something to work with.

Another idea is to have the mothers keep a little journal of what they'd like to say to their kids in English that they couldn't say or didn't feel confident about. You might want to put a 2 to 3 minimum requirement. If the mothers aren't doing this, then you could explain that it's up to them to actively teach if they expect their children to passively (or actively) learn. There's no magic pill.

One last thought is to teach moms how to the plethora of learning aids on the Net. There's so much out there and if the mothers can find a good source, preview and utilize the materials, they'll have a very powerful supplement right there in the home.

My advice on the internet front is to make sure the mothers choose one thing and do it over and over again for the day. It's not good to do 30 topics one time. It's better to do one topic 30 times.

While we're on the idea of general lessons for the mother and what to expect from their kids. It might be good to have a little talk about what to expect in he beginning. You might ask them how many times they said 'Mama' before their kids actually said it. Also, would they expect one of the next words to be 'refrigerator'? Would they expect the children to say it properly?

It's going to be slow and it's going to take some real effort on their part. It's acteptable to expect a higher level of production from their kids than a one year old, but they shouldn't expect immediate production or force their kids to say anything they're not ready to say. (No magic pill!)

You could also have a section at the end of the class where the moms discuss successes they've had. They can talk about something their kids said in English, or something that really sparked their kids interest, as well as what didn't work, I guess. I just like to keep it positive, but there's something to be said about learning from others' mistakes. Just make sure it's light and supportive. Not so good to let that get competitive or make some parent feel their kid isn't living up to the rest. (Maybe best to feel that out a bit. If you got a group that's friendly and relaxed, I think it would be good. - Japan is pretty competitive and tends to benchmark based on those around you.)

Author:  caz [ Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

that is some great advice there Mark, i take it your talking from experience! tee hee, i am writing all your ideas down Mark cos this helps not only me but the moms too, many of them Do expect their kids to speak english over night, even MY kids dont speak much English and i speak english everyday to them. Again thanks for giving this some thought. much appreciated.

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