First lesson with one-to-one financial English student

<b> Forum for those teaching business English </b>

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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:01 am

First lesson with one-to-one financial English student

Post by kimdasom » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:40 pm

Hey everyone,

I would like to ask you all for some advice, if that's okay.

On Wednesday, I have my first lesson with a one-to-one financial English student. For the first lesson, I am going to do the usual introductions/getting to know each other kind of thing.

One thing that worries me, however, is that the school has stressed how this woman is adamant that she does not want general English (even though she needs it) but just financial English.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can make the first lesson something that means we get to know each other, but perhaps incorporates an element of finance in to it?

Many thanks,


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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:15 pm
Location: Vancouver

Try using Word Associations

Post by Grover » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:24 am

You can use simple word association exercises to quickly generate topics on the fly. Use something that I call Guided Word Associations to focus topical choice by limiting prompts to financial words such as "banking" or "money" or even "theft." The idea is to move from prompt to related associations to personal anecdote. Everyone has probably more than a dozen anecdotes that they could easily spin off from such simple prompts. The real challenge is to get students to understand what is expected of them. Once you do, however, you will never run short of topics to converse about.

It's a pretty complex topic so I'm not going to attempt to elucidate it in its entirety here. I've just published a book on the subject. You don't have to buy it to get enough insight to put this approach to work for you in the classroom. If you or a friend has an iPad just search for Catalyst: A Conversation Taskbook for English Language Learners at iTunes/iBookstore and download the free sample. The introduction is included in its entirety. Read that and you'll get a sense on how you can start using the students themselves as your primary source of classroom content. If you can't find it on iTunes, there are also links on my website to get you there. Good luck.

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