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Advanced Elementary Age Private Student 
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:33 am
Posts: 10
Post Advanced Elementary Age Private Student
I am wondering if anyone has some ideas for my private 9 year old student and I. She graduated from an international kindergarten and although she is going to a regular elementary student her English is still very good. (Maybe same as a native speaker a few years younger than herself?) I am sure if there was a local international elementary school her parents would have enrolled her, but the nearest one is too far away.

Her parents are not so concerned that I actually teach her, they just want her to practice her English so she does not forget everything she learned when she was in Kindergarten. She also goes to an English school on Saturdays where she has some formal lessons. So I am looking for some activities that a we can do together! The activities don't have to have a focus of actually learning English, but something we can converse while doing. Generally if I try to just have a conversation with her she is not interested unless there happens to be a really interesting topic, but if we are doing something at the same time I can usually get her to talk. She especially likes games that she can beat me at! She has been coming here for over a year, so we are running out of things to do together. We have played card games, some board games, played various games with the Big Town cards, I taught her how to play chess, etc. If any members have children of their own around this age I would love to hear about some activities you do together. This is the only student I have of this age and level, so I am looking for activities that do not require a lot of preparation.

Thanks in advance!


Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:17 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2126
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post Re: Advanced Elementary Age Private Student
I have a Japanese student that was born in Luxembourg and attended an international kindergarten for a year before returning to Japan. She began coming to me twice a week in first grade of elementary school and has continued for 8 years. She is now in 8th grade but starting in junior high school she reduced her classes with me and only meets once a week.

Originally, she spoke really well. She was fluent but didn't have a rich vocabulary. Her parents wanted pretty much the same as your student's do. They just wanted to maintain her speaking ability. She is still very good, but her speaking ability didn't develop with her cognitive growth. She had complex thoughts and ideas but still was only able to communicate on a 6 year old level.

Anyway, I think she will see a large growth with the increased vocabulary she gets in junior high and high school.

I put her in two classes, one was about her age group and the second was with older students. That provided her with different content every lesson and gave her some exposure to more difficult tasks, but your situation is different with a one-on-one lesson.

Some ideas:
- read a couple chapters on a book each time (10 min.) My own children really like the Magic Tree House series.
- acting out stories or maybe putting on a puppet show
- use more difficult flashcard sets to build vocabulary and spark discussion
- phonics to build up reading skills so she can begin to read and increase exposure on her own

You could use the places 2 vocabulary set to talk about what different places have, what you can do there, and what isn't allowed. You could use the chores or daily routines sets to talk about responsibilities or make stories for some of the Big Town characters. You can play bingo, board games or concentration.

I hope that helps or gives you something to build on.

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Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!


Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:04 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:33 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: Advanced Elementary Age Private Student
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the ideas, I can work with those.

Like your student, I think my student's English ability is not sufficient to express her thoughts and ideas and it frustrates her at times. (Now that she is 9) I have not shown her all the flash card sets, but I have yet to come across a set that she did not know at least %95 of the vocab. I will keep trying to see if there are some she does not know. She does study vocab at her Sat School, but its for EIKEN, which I am sure you are aware has a whole lot of vocab a 9 year old would not use to express themselves.


Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:18 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2126
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post Re: Advanced Elementary Age Private Student
With some of the more difficult sets, try to get her to talk about the vocabulary or use the vocabulary. It's pretty free in that way. You can adjust the difficulty on the fly as well. But I think reading a story for 10 minutes and discussing (retelling) is a decent idea. I would work on her reading skills and maybe even give her some reading homework like they have in Japanese schools. I use the spectrum readers grade one with my older students. (You can find them on Amazon.co.jp.) Grade one might be OK if you start half way through or grade 2.

Let us know how it goes.

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Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!


Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:48 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:14 pm
Posts: 6
Post Re: Advanced Elementary Age Private Student
Try Roy's story cubes - they are a great tool. Together you could come up with crazy stories and your student could revise and learn new words. It's fun!


Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:33 am
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