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that fine line between teaching and babysitting...

 
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dyak



Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 12:50 pm    Post subject: that fine line between teaching and babysitting... Reply with quote

Ok… I have a slight teaching ‘challenge’ at the moment; I have half a class of Korean/Polish children aged 10-13 while the other half are adults of various nationalities. I love teaching them, especially the kids but if I pitch the lesson at their level, the adults feel somewhat ‘talked down to’, shall we say; and if I pitch the lesson more at the adults, the kids are bored in 5 seconds and I end up treading the fine line between teaching and babysitting (which probably pays more here in London).

Any advice would be more than appreciated.

Cheers.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a class with half the population kids and half the population adults???? Sounds like a nightmare, especially with the difference in levels.

First priority is to see if you can split the class to be taught at different times.

If you can't (and I presume so), then give the adults something to do for a while (read an article, read some instructions, chat about their weekend, watch a video clip, review vocabulary, WHATEVER), and during this time, get the kids going on something. You might feel like a yoyo bouncing back to each group, but it's all I can think of.

You didn't say how many people you are teaching or at what level, so it's not easy giving advice, but assuming the kids are one level and the adults are another level, this might work.

I don't envy you.
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dyak



Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Glenski, they're a level 2 class and there's about 10 of them altogether.

The class can't be split, and I can't split myself; I've tried it before and I can't make it work... though it did kind of work accidentally the other day when I had the kids drawing and the adults writing.

The other (amusing) problem is that the kids learn at least twice as fast as the adults... roll on Monday... Rolling Eyes
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, dyak, I'm not familiar with your "level 2" designation.
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dyak



Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're elementary but not beginners by any means... with some closer to lower intemediate (level 3)... what are the designations in Japan?
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dyak,

Unless people have taken certain tests, like the eiken STEP tests 1 to 4, I think the only designations that people use are as follows:

beginner
(sometimes false beginner)
(sometimes pre-intermediate)
intermediate (sometimes broken into low, medium, and high)
advanced

To be honest, even these rankings have too much gray area in them for my taste, and teachers differ in what they consider one level or the other.
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Wolf



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 1245
Location: Middle Earth

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Japan I often used the NOVA level system. . . not that it was any good, but a majority of the teachers in Japan got their start with NOVA, so we all know that one!

But there is no standard that I am aware of for guaging levels - each school I knew of made its own.
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A nightmarish constellation, and this in London of all places?
What exactly is your job? Any goal? Exact subject?

You MUST separate the two levels.

Can you ask the adults to do exercises in writing?

Can you take the youngsters out of the classroom and do a walkabout or physical exercises outside?

If your answer is negative, then there is but one solution:
Have both groups do writing assignments in class, so that no noise distracts either group.

Perhaps towards the end of your lesson, you can do some games with both groups together: Scrambling of words, unscrambling; rumour game, whatever; these games are great with students of almost any level.
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Cobra



Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try showing movies, preferably cartoons with family appeal like Disney.
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dyak



Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice... the games do work well, there's a competitive child in almost everyone I think. It's a great learning experience for me too; maybe a 'guide to teaching adults and children at the same time' is in order... Wink
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have the better (or older) students teach the poorer students. If you can get the better students to buy the game plan, this really helps all involved. And find a song they can all sing. You can't have two groups do one talking exercise, and the other two (older) groups do a variation of the same talking exercises? Or do you divide your students for group/pair work?
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C76



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 113
Location: somewhere between beauty and truth...in Toronto. ;)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2003 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting problem...

I agree with the idea of splitting the class' activities. Don't be afraid to...It may create more work for you, but in the long run it's bound to be more practical for your students.

In addition, on those days when you divide your class...You might want to open and/or close with a general activity. Something related to your daily subject(s). Ultimately, I think doing so will create a positive atmosphere. Your class will be more united, etc.
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