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How to be a Good Teacher for Adults?
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Keepongoing



Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 4:31 am    Post subject: How to be a Good Teacher for Adults? Reply with quote

They tell me class is too slow but they take forever to do a task and tend to speak Korean a lot. I have done many things to spice up the environment and to be an energizer bunny. I give them attention and show sincere concern for them. How can I do better? Any hints gained from experience? What have you found to work best? I know there is no gimmick. I just want to learn about your experience. Thank you
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 4:39 am    Post subject: Re: How to be a Good Teacher for Adults? Reply with quote

MASH4077 wrote:
They tell me class is too slow but they take forever to do a task and tend to speak Korean a lot. I have done many things to spice up the environment and to be an energizer bunny. I give them attention and show sincere concern for them. How can I do better? Any hints gained from experience? What have you found to work best? I know there is no gimmick. I just want to learn about your experience. Thank you


rule number one: SHUT DOWN THE KOREAN SPEAKING. No Korean allowed. If they are using Korean they are not learning.

rule number two: it is not always in your best interest to finish a task. Cut it short, summarize and move on to the next task.

rule number three: no routine. throw in something new or different at least once every 3-4 classes.

advice: pick up books like, classroom dynamics, role play, & Learner based teaching. All of these books are in the resource books for teachers[/]series by [i]oxford.

advice: not everything has to be fun and games, teach the grammar related to the lesson. use hand-outs; either create them yourself or copy from a grammar book or the net.

advice: sit in on a lesson of a successful teacher and see what they do different from yourself - then ask questions. Do this 2 or 3 times. Also ask successful teachers to sit in on your lessons and criticize you.

Hope this helps... I know it helped me immensely.

finally if you don't have any formal training either get some or buy and read a few pedegogy books. I recommend anything by douglas brown or Jeremy Harmer.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught an adult class at the Womens' Center in Cheonan for 1 and a half semesters...it was actually my favorite part of the day.

The first semester was really tedious. I stuck to the curriculum, mostly because I had fallen behind during the first few classes. But the second semester, I used various activities, like kimcheeking mentioned...handouts, song sheets for which they had to fill in the blank words, diary entries, so on.

Teaching adults can be really easy and really fun, but you have to prepare your lessons a little more thoroughly than you would at a hakwon.
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Cthulhu



Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use the textbook (if you have one) just for the first 15 minutes, then expand from there. Or if there is no textbook, do the theme or topic for the first 15 minutes and then run away from it.

As mantioned above, I find that homemade handouts with different situations, role-plays, humerous "problems" etc. are the best way to go. Mixing it up (as KK pointed out) is very important. Even though "by the book" is a useful way to teach, it is not a popular way to learn. Even if they are "getting it" less than you desire, the fun they are having in getting only half of it will make everyone happier.

However, if you've tried a lot of this already and nothing is working, it could simply be the class dynamic, or lack thereof. Early class times, bad age mix, low level, shyness, slothfulness etc. can all kill a class. I've found that the same lesson with different classes can have a very different result, depending on the students. Even lower-level students with more gregarious personalities do better than higher-level snoozers. Sometimes there's nothing you can do.
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Keepongoing



Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 1:05 pm    Post subject: Very True Reply with quote

It is true three classes will love somehting and then another class will be totally unresponsive. I do teach at a hakwon and I have a Masters in TESOL (maybe that is the problem? LOL). My MA was weak on pedagogy. I have a lot to learn; maybe I should do a CELTA?

I will look into Jeremy Harmer, I like him. I am teaching a role play class which has been very successful. It is the two hour speaking/listening class. I suspect it has a little to do with sexual energy..the girls like the younger teachers, stating that they are exciting and handsome.

Anyway I am learning, still a student and always will be.

Thank you
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Mr.NiceGuy



Joined: 03 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything said is good. But I think you're forgetting one thing. That is, conversation.
Adult students are basically there for conversation. Books are for boys. These are real men.
Or at least that's what they think. The majority of my classes consist of topic-discussion, plain and simple. I have students write down a topic they're interested in talking about, put it in a can, and pass the can around the room. Then, as one chooses a topic, I stand at the board, make grammar corrections, add correct verb-noun phrases, and teach new expressions. Works quite well. I actually feel like I'm teaching something.
For example, one student says "I want to have a diet." I say, "Go on a diet," and write it on the board.
Of course I've my own curriculum I follow, which is reading, listening, writing and speaking, but everyday I let them have conversation. It seems to be what they want most.
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 7:18 pm    Post subject: helpful book Reply with quote

I just bought a book called "Discussions that Work: Task-centred fluency practice" by Penny Ur. It has been working really well with my shy and hesitant middle schoolers to get them talking. I think the majority of the exercises are designed for advanced learners, so it might really be helpful in your class.

I don't teach adults now, but hope this will help.
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canukteacher



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few things that have worked for me:

--Discourage writing if your in a conversation class. Your students are not talking if they are writing.

--Try working in very small groups. I try to limit group sizes to a maximum of 3. This insures that each person has lots of opportunity to talk.

--Ask your students what they want to do? What they like? What they don't like? This can take some doing. But if you ask them point blank Do you like this__________? Eventually you will get some response. A group I am teaching right now want to play games. I am not big on games, but if they prepare the game then they can play it. I do not participate in any way in the games. Encourage them to bring in their own topics. The higher the level the easier this is.

--Unless you have a class of total beginners, get away from the text book. I find Koreans will "marry" themselves to the textbook unless you make the effort to get them away from it. Perhaps because they paid for it they want to use it. That is a good point. No one likes to spend money on something they are not going to use. I try to limit text book time to 20 minutes.

Hope some of this helps!

CT
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william beckerson
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My secret has been to be incredibly charming
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PootyTang



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Valley of the sun

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a male model helped me a lot.... Very Happy
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take them to a bar. This will work wonders, guaran-damn-teed.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTM wrote:
Take them to a bar. This will work wonders, guaran-damn-teed.

How will this help accomplish anything in the classroom. I agree it will be helpful for classroom morale, but only once a month (maybe). What do you do after that? How does that make your lessons better or more interesting?
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Tancred



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Upon a mountain in unknown Kadath

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have fairly advanced/intermediate adult students and we usually just talk about current events...with a newspaper article thrown in here or there...oh, and they seem to love to hear about your personal life...throw in a few things...even if they aren't true. I make it sound like i'm james bond and the classes are usually quite exciting for them.
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kimcheeking:
Quote:
BTM wrote:
Take them to a bar. This will work wonders, guaran-damn-teed.

How will this help accomplish anything in the classroom. I agree it will be helpful for classroom morale, but only once a month (maybe).
Helping them accomplish something in the classroom is a small part of my goal - rather see them accomplish it out in the world, and bars are part of the world, aren't they? Not trying to be flip here, but the classroom is an artificial environment, looks exactly the same every time you walk into it, and one of the biggest obstacles in education is to help the students take what we gave them out the door with them ...

Um, and let's not downplay the importance of morale. I think we've all seen the shy salaryman suddenly remember a whole lot of vocabulary when you put a glass of beer in front of him - there've actually been studies on the effects of alcohol on the learning process, seems access to memory is improved when inhibitions go down after one drink, but the effect levels off after 2 or 3, and then decreases after that the booze starts to slur the pronunciation ...

Making the classroom fun is a better way to decrease the inhibition level, though. I used to do a "Joke Day" when I taught esl back in the States. The students could either stay up and watch Leno or Letterman and tell one of their jokes or else spend an hour translating a joke from their language - if it wasn't funny after translation, we'd spend a little time talking about why ...

When things are really bad, I throw in the towel and turn it over to them. Generate a list of topics, and each week one student is assigned to present it and teach a little vocab, with me standing by to gently guide them back or correct any glaring errors ...
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kimcheeking wrote:
BTM wrote:
Take them to a bar. This will work wonders, guaran-damn-teed.

How will this help accomplish anything in the classroom. I agree it will be helpful for classroom morale, but only once a month (maybe). What do you do after that? How does that make your lessons better or more interesting?


Crikey, king. I was just makin' a little funny (with a delicious nuggety kernel of truth, which as we all know, makes comedy all the better!)
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