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What To Teach English To Beginners Adults
It may be intimidating to be assigned to teach a class of complete novices, particularly if the class is monolingual and you don't speak the native language, or if the class is multilingual and the sole common language is English. However, teaching absolute novices in English is not only doable, but also one of the most gratifying levels. Here are some suggestions for teaching English to complete novices that should help you get your students off to a good start.
Instructions should be as straightforward as possible.
It's human nature to want to use our best manners while talking to a group of people, particularly a group of people we've just met for the first time like a classroom full of pupils. The fact is that nobody enjoys being impolite. It's unlikely that a student who speaks no English at all would enjoy (or even comprehend) the following: "OK, so now what I'd want you all to do, if you don't mind, is just to get up for a minute and come to the front of the class. And don't forget to bring your reading material. Can't we all simply agree to that? ”
Instead, use just the fewest words feasible and supplement verbal directions with appropriate hand gestures, and split up long lists of instructions into manageable chunks. The words "please" and "thank you" are sufficient for politeness. All of you, please take a book. Raise your feet. Get over here right now. All of this is really appreciated.
First, let them hear you out.
It's possible that right away, your pupils will want to start using the language in conversational contexts. Don't force students to speak before they've had ample opportunity to listen to you using the language (though this doesn't mean you should just be babbling on at the front of the classroom - with beginners more so than with other levels, you really have to consider what you say and grade your language accordingly).
Just keep on drilling, drilling, drilling, drilling, drilling...
There has to be a lot of drilling and repetition for beginners to acquire the hang of the sounds in a new language. Repeating the same phrases over and over again may be tedious, but it's important. Try back-drilling a new phrase by first breaking it down into smaller chunks, and then reassembling it piece by piece, starting at the end and working your way back to the beginning. This will help you perfect your intonation and the other facets of linked speech.
It is important to establish classroom terminology early on.
Apologies if I have to ask, but could you please talk more slowly in class? Just what is it that has to be done? It's beyond my comprehension. Explain what... means. Please tell me the English equivalent of... Although - is more often used when instructing kids, it may be just as useful when working with adults who are just starting out. Even in the most welcoming and laid-back of classroom settings, students of a foreign language may feel anxious about speaking up or asking questions if they don't understand anything being discussed. Teaching kids the basic terms they'll need to participate in class discussions and ask questions is a great way to set them up for success.