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Middle School after-school classes - textbooks??? 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:29 pm
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Location: Gyeongsangnam
Post Middle School after-school classes - textbooks???
Hi,

I work at a public school, and as well as teaching the regular day time classes, I also teach after-school classes to middle school grades 1, 2 and 3. So far, I have been creating my own materials for the classes, but it's really time consuming and I have decided I would prefer to use a textbook for the next academic year.

Can anyone recommend a good textbook I can use for my after-school classes? My focus is mainly on speaking, but I also like to include reading and writing as well.

I was also thinking of the possibility of having a theme for the semester, something like a book-study (instead of the textbook) , where the kids read a chapter a week and then we discuss the chapter and do an activity in class.

If anyone can recommend a book that students of this age group would enjoy, and that wouldn't be to difficult, I would be really ,really grateful!

If anyone has any experience of teaching after-school classes at middle school, and tips for what works and what doesn't, I'd love to hear them too!

Thanks

Cat


Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:39 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
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I know what you mean about teaching those conversation classes without a textbook or guide. I have a high school class that I have to plan every week and the students continue with me for 3 years. So, it's hard to come up with that many engaging and helpful lesson plans.

My big problem with working with textbooks in the environment you're talking about is that we can't finish the book and we have to skip quite a bit of. It really makes me wonder why I have a book to begin with. But, that's coming from someone who doesn't really like to make the textbook the center of any class.

That being said, I recently looked through a couple Oxford books that were pretty good:
Engage
American English File

They have several different levels and maybe the upper levels will be helpful with your group. I haven't used them to teach but the units seemed like they'd be interesting for teens. I was actually looking for books that were slightly more advanced to use with my high school students but the books were too structure/grammar focused and more for teaching that point than simply using the language.

On another front, http://maryglasgowmagazines.com/teachers seems to be a good site for some interesting articles for teens. Again, I haven't looked through the site much, but I liked what I saw.

I bought some 1st and 2nd grade books when I was in the States. I actually bought them for my own children to work through but they have some pretty good units on 1st and 2nd grade language arts, math, and science that work really well with teen EFL learners. They like that the readings are authentic in a way and the questions are about the content and not about grammar.

For books, take a look at your local book store in the English section. They should have some graded readers which might be easier to work with.

Those are just some ideas. I hope they help.

_________________
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Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:43 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:29 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Gyeongsangnam
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Hi Mark,

Thanks so much for your response. I got a sample copy of the engage starter book ,which is great, and have started using it for my after school classes at one of my schools.

The problem now is my other school. (I teach after school classes at 2 middle schools). I teach 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students once a week for 60 minutes. The classes are all mixed levels, and in the 1st grade class there are 47 students! I couldn't believe it!

To make matter more difficult for me, the school has said they are not going to have the kids buy the textbook, and that I should just play games and do activities with the students.

How on earth I'm supposed to play games with 47 kids is totally beyond me, so I was thinking of doing some kind of play. That way, everyone can be involved to some degree or another, and we can work on it over a few weeks. (which will give me time to think of what we can do next!)

So my question to you is: do you think its a good idea? Or can you suggest something else that would work with 47 kids? Have you ever done something like this before, and if so, what kind of material could you recommend for me to use?

I was thinking of putting them in groups, giving them a topic (maybe a picture or even a script) and then letting them adapt or use the material in any way they want to make a play. (musical, rap, drama, whatever)

Any ideas and advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated!


Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:27 pm
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