New Teacher at New School, first time abroad; any advice?

<b>Forum for teachers teaching adult education </b>

Moderators: Dimitris, maneki neko2, Lorikeet, Enrico Palazzo, superpeach, cecil2, Mr. Kalgukshi2

Post Reply
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:52 pm
Location: UK/Spain

New Teacher at New School, first time abroad; any advice?

Post by nickbarrett » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:33 am

Hi everyone,

Long time reader, first time poster.

After years of trying to find the time to do it, I finally did my CELTA this year (I previously had a TEFL) as I've moved to Spain (it's been my plan for years to come here to teach ESOL).

In the UK, I taught mostly Spanish with some ESOL, and I followed a fairly set methodology as taught in the CELTA and other courses.

However, in my new school, they have a different theory wherein they want me to teach all the grammar upfront. Has anyone come across that before? It does seem to be fairly common here in Spain that students are asked to do the reading and writing, and grammar activities at home so classes can be focused on speaking more. Does anyone have any advice?

Classes are very mixed, with an A2 course that's just finishing having a complete beginner as well as people with several years' English. The Advanced course has a virtually native speaker and someone who struggles with upper-intermediate. Again, any advice? Please?!

I'm also a bit stuck with resources. They want to follow a core book (but don't know which ones), but the problem is that several students will be continuing and will have finished their book (the PET course uses Complete PET for example), whereas other students will be new. The tutor who I've taken over from suggests a new, higher level book, but surely that will be too high a level for the new students?

Finally, I'm also to teach younger kids for the first time (except in family groups), and I would love some advice about where to start with them too, but I'll post that in the kid's section.

Thanks for reading; any advice greatly appreciated!



Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:05 am
Location: Korea

Grammar to Speaking

Post by sawlor29 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:27 am

Hi Nick,

I understand where you are coming from. Having mixed classes can be especially challenging. Here is something I did at the university I teach at and it worked quite well with mixed levels. Try this speaking format:

A: Topic Question (make sure the grammar point is used properly)
B: Answer (Keep it simple but make sure the grammar point is used properly)
A: Follow Up Questions (focus on fluency, and not the grammar point)
B: Answer (focus on fluency and not on grammar point)


1. the first question and first answer are meant to ensure students practice and use the correct grammar point. So both high and low level can work together to ensure their answers are accurate and follow the grammar rule.

2. the follow up question and answer (I have students ask at least 2 follow up questions) are to give students a chance to practice their fluency and use the language they have previously acquired.

3. higher level students will generally give more complex and detailed answers to follow up questions. They will also continue to use the grammar focus when asking and answering follow up questions

4. lower level students will generally give more basic answers to follow up questions. I tell them to try and use the correct grammar for follow up questions and answers, but that being able to get their point across is more important than perfect grammar. (if they focus too much on speaking perfect grammar, they miss out on a lot of speaking practice. That's why I just make the first question and answer grammar focused.)

Hope this helps!


Also, I have a website that uses short TV video clips (1-5min). Each video has its own lesson with vocab and discussion questions. I find it helps to incorporate these video lessons from time to time as a more natural approach to learning. (The site is for English learners and teachers in Korea, however, the 'TEACHER' page can be used by teachers in any country)

Post Reply