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University Students 
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:25 pm
Posts: 28
Post University Students
I am an EFL teacher and lecture at a local university here in Malaysia. I teach Technical English, Communications Skills and other English subjects.

I sometimes find that the students are not able to speak English at all and are not able to follow the syllabus, I often need to get right back to basics and use material aimed at much younger students.

This can sometimes cause quite a split int he class as some students are very capable to begin with.

If anyone else has had similar experiences I would be happy to hear about them??

Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:52 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
I have a university class with mixed levels as well. Some are excellent and others can't make a complete sentence. There are also plenty in between. Unfortunately, they all come to me as a group of 40-45.

What I have done is work with very basic sentence structures. We use some more difficult vocabulary, but keep all of the sentences very basic. We do some conversations and while we are practicing, I let more advanced students know about how we can make this structure more complicated, by adding clauses, changing to the perfect form, etc.

I also challenge the more advanced students to add to the conversations. Add some metalanguage, add sentences into the conversation to expand on something, or add sentences at the end to continue the conversation.

Unfortunately, I have to aim a little above the bottom level, but then that gives everyone a chance to do well, learn and advance. For the better students, they don't need much motivation to study, so if you just show them how to expand on what you are doing, I'm sure they will.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:43 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 135
I use 'embedded readings' to help deal with the different levels.

The first reading is a short 'story' using only the basic structures. Here I mostly use proper nouns etc.

ex: (good at... / better than (A))
1. Ken is good at baseball.
Ken is better than Ichiro.

2. Ken is very good at baseball.
He is better than Ichiro.
Ichiro is good at baseball, too, but Ken can bat and throw better.

3. Ken, a Tokyo University student, is very good at baseball.
Ichiiro, a famous major league player, is good at baseball, too.
However, Ken is much better than Ichiro.
Ichiro can throw and bat well, but Ken can throw and bat better than him.

etc etc

Since the students know the basic outline from the first 'story', it is easier to read the next level. This really helps them pick up on the words like (too, however. him) You can tell the students to work on whatever level suits them, though I do recommend they at least read the first one.

Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:52 am
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