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Absolute beginners..

 
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amytrabs



Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:50 am    Post subject: Absolute beginners.. Reply with quote

Hi, I'm a second year ESL teacher in a public high school. I have ESL 1...newcomers. Last year, I had some students who knew a tiny bit...but this year all my ESL ones seem to know NOTHING...and I dont speak their native language..only a few key phrases. Last year I had a few students who would help the lower ones, but this year they are all low. Any suggestions to help them other than tpr and realia? I feel like they look at me and are super confused and I feel bad that I can't explain in their language. Do you believe success is still possible without the ESL teacher being able to speak their l1
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1311
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course but you have to get down to absolute basics. Establish routines that use reality - greetings with their names, asking how they are with pictures of sad, happy, angry, confused and so on faces for them to point to and repeat, "I am sad." Then lots of TPR and relia as you say. Try cooking, cleaning the classroom, doing some crafts, all while talking about what you are doing, asking questions and getting answers. Take them on the bus, to the library, to the supermarket and tape the conversations that occur, questions they will have to ask and answers they might get from various bus drivers, clerks and so on. Replay these for the next class. No harm in doing a lot of writing from learning the alphabet to putting up labels on everything in the classroom to putting lables on pictures you take of them doing various things. With a computer, printer and digital camera these can be almost instant. Teach them First Aid, dancing, and singing. The list is endless with celebrating holidays. Lot of repetition in various ways. it is most satisfying to see beginner's progress. After a month or so you will see the better students and can get them to help slower ones. Try to get in some volunteers though to give the slower ones some extra help.
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