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teaching 8-10 year olds

 
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DirtGuy



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 529

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: teaching 8-10 year olds Reply with quote

My boss at my 2nd job has just taken on some new students. They are all boys in the 8-10 year range and will be moving overseas (Korea, I think) soon. They'll be attending international schools. The problem is their spoken English skills are very low. Vocabulary seems good but a conversation of any sort is beyond their abilities at this time.

My job is to simply "talk" with them and get them used to speaking English. That's it. I have no clue what to do or even what to talk about. Conversations with my college students are hard enough but at least we can find common interests. What am I supposed to do with students decades my junior?

Any info from anyone, and soon, is really appreciated.

DirtGuy
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1188

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I have done in the past is to take the activities I used with my older students and adapt them to the age and abilities of my younger students.
Many of the university students seem somewhat childish anyway, so what works with them often also works with younger students.

In my experience boys that are aged 8 to 10 seem more outspoken about their likes and dislikes. So, after you have spent a little time with them they will probably let you know which activities they prefer.

Just ask them about friends, family, hobbies, food, etc.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5813
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video games, action heroes, comic books, kung fu, KFC, sports, computers, latest tech gadgets, movies, cartoons/anime . . . .
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zactherat



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My job is to simply "talk" with them and get them used to speaking English. That's it.


Personally I would insist on following a book. Unstructured speaking depends too much on rapport, which may or may not swing in your favor, and a little reading and writing goes a long way to cement accuracy. People that request oral-only classes invariably have very little idea about the full range of factors which contribute to successful SLA.


Anyway..

One thing to try: make board games where students roll the dice to get to the end of a sequence of squares. Prepare a template and have students write in a question onto each square, like a "have you ever...?" questions, and introduce penalty/bonus squares like snakes and ladders/miss a turn, etc. This works well if you introduce a theme, e.g. a particular place, and have students write up rules for playing (like landing on a player means shunting them back a space, roll again for doubles and stuff like that).

A million different directions you could take that in..

Another thing to do is use movies, but choose specific segments carefully, e.g. I used The Jonny Depp Charlie and the Chocolate factory before, and did one lesson on character descriptions (each child is introduced in their own segment), then predictions about what would happen to them (pausing it as Augustus Gloop starts eating the grass).

Stories (video and/or books a/o pictures) are a good way to create semi-structured speaking practice, because you can do vocab, predictions, comprehension and re-tells at the end. Good value.
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Songbird



Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 601
Location: State of Chaos, Panic & Disorder...

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get yourself a Jenga set or make one with wood pieces (you know, the rectangular pieces you build into a tower, then have to pull them out slowly without letting it topple)- write a simple question on each block e.g. How old are you?'' 'What are you wearing?'. When they play they must answer the question.
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