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I need some help with books

 
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ulsanchris



Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Location: take a wild guess

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 2:10 am    Post subject: I need some help with books Reply with quote

I need a bit of advice about books. My teaching book of choice is the Let's Go series. IT advances at a good pace; the pages are not clutered; has good support material, and the teacher books are ok.
The problem is my students find it boring and are complaining to their parents. The books they want to use is the Fun Fun series, which i positively hate. I hate the drawings. They use improper english at times; the pages are too crowded; at times they do not cover difficult grammer in depth and give too much coverage to easy grammer; the tapes are crap; the teacher book is in korean, and limited support materials. Not one of the authors has degrees in childhood education, or any connecting field. I really really hate this series. grrrr Twisted Evil
So what I need is an alternative to both books. Can any of you suggest a good alternative?
Thanks.
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never used the Fun Fun series. Unless you can convince the parents that Lets go is better than Fun Fun then get prepared to teach Fun Fun.

The parents will get their way everytime. They pay the fees. Hagwon Directors will prefer to keep students and use a bad book rather than lose students and use a good book.
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Tancred



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

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we use the American Start series at my school for the elementary kids...i find it works great. The Korean teachers will teach them from the book and when i go in i usually extrapolate on whatever point they're at in the book and do my own take on it. It works well...there are a bazillion games and activities that one can use to supplement these books...most of them are straight-forward...they don't resort to the sad and pathetic "Hey look, we're all having fun learning english" drawings of some of the other books.

That would be my advice for the younger students anyway.

T.
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Dazed and Confused



Joined: 10 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally hate Let's Go.
I've found the Parade series to be excellant for the hyperactive kids. I am a bit dissapointed it doesn't cover much in the way of grammar at the lower levels but if you're capable of teaching it then by all means do so.

I do know a teacher who uses High Five. But he is Korean. He's had some success with it with a class who hated Let's Go and Parade. I've found it to be somewhat similar to Let's Go.
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some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's Go is a good series, but if the kids hate it, there's not much you can do. I have had some success with Let's Go, but only with certain classes. You never know what the class will like or hate.
What I do with Let's Go is concentrate on the songs. Where there are chants, I turn them into a song and I usually spend the first 10 mins. of class going through all the songs in the book. Some kids love this idea, (usually younger ones) some hate it.
The teacher cards make a great game: You divide the class into 2 teams.
You hold up a card with the text covered. The teams have to guess or say the correct text.

EX: The card may say "go bowling" , so I ask the question,"what does she like to do on Saturday?"

The first team to answer correctly gets a point. If they answer together, you get them to do rock-scissors-paper to determine the winner.


It's a great way to review the vocabulary from each level.


The classes who hate Let's Go.. well, we used a series called "Finding Out" which I hate, but the kids seem to like. The good thing about it is the crosswords and puzzles in the workbook get the kid's interest. The bad thing about it is that the Textbook is useless. If you take a look at it, you'll see what I mean. But the teacher cards for this series are even better than Let's Go. You can get the kids saying actual sentences with these. The uno games that you'll find in most ESL bookstores are based on "Finding Out", so all the picture cards are related to that series.


We have started to use another series, which I suggested, called, "English Time". It's set up similarly to Let's Go, but the workbooks are much more interesting. These books will actually get the kids to think a bit.
Some kids will hate this book too, but most of my classes prefer "English Time" to "Let's Go". (some kids will hate anything that involves doing any work)


For older classes we use "American English Today" and though the kids don't seem to like the reading in it, the workbooks are great. I usually use copies of material from these workbooks in all my other classes regardless of the text they are using.

That brings me to my final point. Whatever book they use, you can always suppliment the class with work from other books. I like to use the crosswords from "Finding Out", the vocabulary and phonics sections from "English time" and the grammar from "American English Today" and "Up and Away".


Whatever you use, you are going to get complaints. There will always be someone who doesn't like what you are doing.

I hope this helps
Cheers
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whatthefunk



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Location: Dont have a clue

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to use Lets Go, but then we changed to Fun Fun. I think the two are very similar except for they occasionaly use improper English and the tapes/CDs suck. The kids enjoy them much more though, so I don't have a problem with it. The teachers books are in korean, but thats okay because a teachers book lesson has never ever worked for me. If your hagwan manager is anything like mine, he/she will do what the parents want to keep them happy, so you'll probably end up with fun fun.
Id say use the Fun Fun, just skim the overly crowed pages, and incorporate the grammer and songs from Lets Go. If you like teaching guides, you can probably even use Lets Go teaching guides to a certain extent. I find myself giving the kids worksheets from the next level up just to cover the grammer a little more (so the fun fun 2 class will sometimes get a copy of a fun fun 3 worksheet). I hope this helps...
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ajuma



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Anywere but Seoul!!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's too bad that some of the Sesame Street books have been discontinued. These were GREAT!! They started at a "non reading" level but taugh basic grammar, such as "He is" "They are"..."What is he doING" He's swingING". And the songs and chants were really fun. How many kids leave the class singing songs that they learned in class??? They use "real" English, not just the pattern stuff. If SS is available, GET IT QUICK!!!
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ulsanchris



Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Location: take a wild guess

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 5:31 am    Post subject: hmm Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice guys. I've come to the dissapointing conclussion that I am just an anoying foreigner at my hagwan and any advice I can give my director is just that much more useless information that he has to forget. IF it wasn't for the fact my job depended on it I would love to see his business go broke. Twisted Evil
ESL4kids how many lessons do you have a week with the kids and how long are the lessons?
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lesza



Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Location: terminal city in a month or so

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, the comments on this topic are very helpful. I tend to agree with the critiques of the books I am familiar with. The only thing I would add is that while I love New Parade, expecially for beginners and classes with students who are really into cutting and pasting (more physical), I think it was designed as an ESL series versus an EFL one.

The difference is that as you move up the levels of New Parade there are big jumps in the amount of assumed prior learning and a dearth of grammar. I can imagine it working well in a North American classroom aimed at non-English speakers who are surrounded by English all the time. Here, we are teaching English as a foreign language and the students are rarely immersed in an English setting. So the gaps in NP get pretty hard to fill. But I wholeheartedly agree with the post re. using a variety of books to complement each ones strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks for the space.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used and researched quite a few different books for ESL. I would have to say that the Let's Go series is by far the best going. Make sure you have all of the supplementary materials though and you know how to use them. You will not find a series that really compares.

The only real draw back to this series is that it is so prevalent at Hogwan's throughout Korea. There is an attitude in Korea that "What's new is better". Many hogwans will look at other books, even though they are inferior, just to differentiate themselves from the competition.

That's my 'baek won's' worth....

Kyle
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ItalianPrincess



Joined: 22 May 2003
Location: Hey...why is there a big raccoon staring at me????

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 9:10 am    Post subject: Smile Reply with quote

We use the Smile series at my hogwan & supplement out material with short reading books, phonics books, and songs & games from we sing for the little kids & then we add grammar once they get into book 3. The kids enjoy it & they learn much better. The only draw back is that its out of England so sometimes it spells words the British way not the American way which our school teaches American English
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