Teaching ESL
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Teaching Junior High
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Author:  Duffin [ Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Teaching Junior High

I teach at a junior high school in Taiwan. Most of my classes are between 45 to 49. The levels in the class are exceptionally varied. Some students can carry a 20 minute conversation with a foreigner, and some have no idea what a cat is. Then there are 35 students varied in between those two levels. I have a basic book to teach, but the school also wants additional things to aid the students enjoy English and to learn more. Any ideas for activities, topics, or teching styles would be appreciated. Most of my experience comes from classes of 10-20 students.

Author:  Snowflake [ Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:29 am ]
Post subject: 

It is hard to work with that many students, especially because you have to make them be occupied and concentrated, and we all know that students study only if they want to, and us teachers are there to make them love learning. :D You could try these games, there are all sorts of activities.

http://bogglesworldesl.com/adultesl1.htm

Besides this, I prepare grammar exercises at home, I copy them and I give to every student.

Hope this helps you.

Author:  keepie [ Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:54 am ]
Post subject: 

@ Snowflake: Thanks a lot for this link. It's very useful for me as I teach adults.

@ Duffin: This sounds really a challenge...
Well, for the ones who can hold a 20 minutes conversation and those who are slightly under this level, you could let them do some project work.
For example choosing a holiday flat or place, planning a shopping mall, looking for a language school in another country. Any idea will do, they will be able to manage nearly everything.

Author:  Duffin [ Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:00 am ]
Post subject: 

I have been teaching them for a few months and I have tried many different things with them. I have tried games, songs, teaching the book, tried open discussions, etc. The problem that I really face with these kids is that they are Junior high kids. Junior high kids are so worried about seeming a bit different from the group that they do not want to say anything that could be not in group think. They will continuously look around the class to guage the possible response of all the other students. Even students that I have taught in previous years that have learnt many of the items simply answer i don't know rather than have to formulate an opinion. The most frustrating age to teach!

Author:  dave_b [ Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sounds like putting them in smaller groups would work better. If they are not answering in front of the class, maybe they would speak up more in a smaller group.

Having them in small groups would also allow you to match levels more easily. A group of advanced students can work on one assignment, while a group of 3-4 beginners can do something else.

Or, mixing the levels allows higher students to help lower ones.

In general, you may get a better result with more group work. As long as you are walking around monitoring, you don't have to feel like you need them to answer questions in front of the whole class all the time. You will be able to tell how they are doing if you monitor the groupwork.

Good Luck!

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