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If you think kids are hard!!

 
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stalinsdad



Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Jeonju

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 3:14 am    Post subject: If you think kids are hard!! Reply with quote

I used to teach kids, now I teach adults. Is it the experience of all teachers who teach adults that they complain continually, most of my lessons are great, but there is one that is getting on my wick. It is either too easy or too hard, should I just except that I will never win? Sad
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I get very few complaints. Are your classes well leveled? If not, that could be part of the problem.

My advice is don't give up. Keep fine-tuning your lessons and eventually you will get it. Talk to other teachers in your school who are more experienced teaching adults and find out what works for them.

finally don't react, act- be proactive.
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Squaffy



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something I picked up from a different website a while back (sorry, I forget the source) - do a level check. Often you can pinpoint one key area where their understanding is lacking, making some lessons 'too difficult' and others 'too easy'.

Quote from the file I saved:
There are a couple of different ways to do a level check. One popular way to do it is grammatically. This is based on the supposition that the lower the student is, the less he'll be able to speak in proper grammatical tenses.
The assumption here is that students learn (from low level to high level) in the following order
1. Full Sentence
2. Present Tense
3. Past Tense
4. Future Tense (using 'will')
5. Future Tense (using 'going to')
6. Continuous (-ing)
7. Conditional (If _______?)

You could begin by asking the students simple questions that require a full sentence (level 1.) Once you are reasonalbly sure they can do that, you go to Presnet Tense questions, then past Tense, and so on......
When they start to falter and start NOT answering in the proper tense, you've found their level. You can now choose an appropriate textbook from there, one that focuses on the level that they were having problems with, and go on from there.

In a level check, it's important to listen carefully and pause longer than usual to allow your student to digest your questions and come up with appropriate answers. Use minimal Japanese to help them, and coax them as often as possible to use English. Keep smiling.

Make the level check casual and comfortable by talking about things the student knows. Use as few yes/no questions as possible.

Hi there, how are you?
PAUSE. Don't accept a nod or smile. Repeat the question if you don't get a response.

What's your name? (or if you already know them, ask them to spell their family name, or ask for their parents' names)

Where do you live?
Don't accept a simple city answer (or even "Japan"). Pin them down. See if they understand, "What part of XYZ city?"

How long have you lived there?
Look for an answer using "for" or "since" properly.

Tell me about your family.
VERY open-ended. Eliminates any yes/no. Make sure they talk about how many members are in the family, any jobs or school majors, ages, hobbies, etc.

What are your hobbies? (or more complicated, What do you like to do in your free/spare time?) Maybe throw in a "Have you ever...?" follow up.

When did you start (hobby)?

How often do you (do that hobby)?

What did you do last weekend (or on your last vacation, or last Xmas)?
Obviously looking for past tense.

What are you going to do this weekend? (or more complicated, What are your plans for the weekend?)
Obviously looking for proper use of will/going to as future. Follow this up with more WH questions to keep the future tense rolling.

Now, it's the STUDENT'S turn to ask YOU questions. Give them the chance to ask you anything at all, but they must ask 3 questions. This is usually the hardest part for students and is a good test of how well they form questions.

After all this is done, ask why the student wants to study English. Get some specific answer, but don't be surprised if it only takes a single sentence.

Announce you are finished and congratulate the student on ANYTHING you can find positive in his/her performance (intonation, pronunciation, listening ability, vocabulary, etc.).

The whole interview should take 10-15 minutes"


I have used this before to figure out where some students don't quite 'get it' - hope this helps a bit.

PS - how's the puppy?
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stalinsdad



Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Jeonju

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice!
Of course i'll keep plugging away, and I will use some of ideas squaffy.
The puppy I am glad to say has made a full recovery Very Happy he was biting my legs in the shower this morning and is eating as if there were no tomorrow, I will post this good news immediately.
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BTM



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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vastly prefer teaching adults, but not when it's a class mixed with younger people, usually, a situation I often had back in hogwan days.

I found the trick with the more recalcitrant types was to explain at the outset what I was going to teach and how I was going to do it, and solicit their approval and agreement. After that, they'd rarely criticize, because they'd 'bought into' what I was doing...
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 12:44 am    Post subject: If you think kids are hard Reply with quote

Sometimes it doesn't hurt to ask a student how he or she would like the class to be run. If your troublesome student makes a suggestion you might find that the rest of the class will disagree and put him or her in her place quite smartly.
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 11:35 pm    Post subject: If you think kids are hard Reply with quote

Could be that your troublesome student just doesn't like you. Could be a personality thing. Ask if she or he has rubbed anyone else up the wrong way. This kind of thing does happen, and sometimes you gotta try a novel approach. Try giving some exercise that shames the student. Ask them for example "what two things they would like to change about their lives". Tell them you want to know what parts of their character, or what parts of their body they would like to change. Maybe you culd suggest in as much as they are adults, that some of them might want to change their husbands or wives. Look at youir troublesome student when you make trhis suggestion. I have a questionaire with ths and other questions which I always give to my students. I make them exchange with a partner, and have their partners read the answers.
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Seatangle



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: Left of Center

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That could have been me writing the original message. I normally teach kids, but have one adult class offsite that has been a continual problem since day one. Most of the students are fine, but one has some kind of criticism or comment almost every day. He is a supervisor at the company where the class is held and he is more or less in charge of the class for the company. The apprentice students almost never talk and he is very worried about that situation. For a long time I assumed he wan't happy with my teaching. I took his criticisms personally.

Since I've started the class I've discovered two things: One, the lower level students do talk, but only when the supervisor is not around. When he is there they are too timid. Two, after some conversations with this supervisor, I discovered that he isn't trying to criticize me in fact. What's really going on is he's afraid of his boss. See, if the other students aren't learning he's afraid he'll look bad. Finally one day I explained to him that it's not magic. The students will improve but it will take some time. I tried to help him understand that I know what I'm doing and if he will have some patience he will see results. Since then he has been much less trouble.
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MrTESL



Joined: 17 Mar 2003
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting topic, and a thorny issue. I've always found that if I have a bad feeling about the quality of one of my own lessons, I'm probably right. If not, then the student has a problem, not me.

As suggested, talking to the student may help. So might being more authoritative in the class - if you're strong and have a clear, well-thought out plan, Korean students will respect that.


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Cheap, fast TESL certification - http://members.rogers.com/tesl/
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