They dont like fun stuff? (first post)

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They dont like fun stuff? (first post)

Post by castle » Sat Nov 19, 2005 3:25 pm

This is my first post, so I would first like to say thanks to for the good advice you have made available here. I have been reading this board for some time, and there have been days when it has really saved me in class, so thanks again. I still have many questions as I am relatively new to teaching ESL, and I will try not to ask them all in this post :lol:.

I taught adults for one year, and then moved to Japan. This is my first time teaching children, and my first time working with teenagers who maybe don`t really want to be in class. I work for a small company, and teach in a small class environment (one-to-one or one-to-three). I feel that I have made the adjustment from teaching adults to children pretty well, as many of my students are having fun, and are even beginning to help each other in English. But its the other small percentage of my classes that I am beginning to wonder about.

The problem I have with these classes seems to be that the students are terribly bored with practicing what they can they say (understandably), but dont seem to want to learn new material, or even do anything fun.

One student is 7 and when she is with other students, she is talkative and participates in class, but when we are one to one she pretty much spends the whole time rolling her eyes, cringing and asking me what time it is.
The other class is made up of three teen boys who seem really annoyed with having to be there.

I really try my best everyday to make these classes fun, and really do worry that I am failing them in some way. But, I have tried everything from textbook stuff, to crosswords, to making action movie posters, to talking about Harry Potters vacation......nothing. Seriously, if glue, markers and Harry Potter cant interest this kid, I dont know what will. And likewise with the teens. I brought a Battle Royale poster into class and tried to generate some interest in movies...nothing.
(and yes, they all saw the movie and liked it). Sure, talking about movies involves learning some vocab, but what should I do when the fun stuff fails also?

Should I just accept that some classes just wont like anything I do?
Any suggestions would help.

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Post by Bann_Me » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:23 am

Kids generally like MONKEYS. So you can dress up like a monkey or you can actually steal a monkey from a zoo and let it loose in the classroom. The kids love em.

the kids will love you.


Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:33 pm

One of my colleagues in Japan at a private school like you described used various card games, a ball, and word games that she made up for the vocabulary. She had a pack of cards based on the series Let's Go and played various games like memory, swat (where you hit the card the other person calls and keep it if you are right), Fish, Old Maid (you make one of cards the old maid which you don't want) and so on. She used the soft squishy ball to do things that came in series like days of the week, months of the year, numbers, letters of alphabet in a catch game. She cut up sentences and the student put them together so they made sense. She kept the games going quickly for the thirty minute lesson and the student gradually got into the competition and did really well. All these students have text books that they study at school and my colleague based her vocabulary on those. The teenagers will have textbooks too that you could build on. Do get them to talk about why they are coming to the classes though even if you have to get someone to translate. Usually they have done poorly in English classes and their parents are making them come. This is one more thing in their very hectic schedule and takes an hour of their sleeping time so they resent it. If you help them with their English homework, they might be very grateful.
Just a thought.

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Post by castle » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:04 pm

Hello Sally,
Thanks for your respose, I have not tried swat yet. Your other suggestions are already standard practice in class, and most kids enjoy those activities, but a few classes just dont enjoy anything. I had someone ask the kids what they enjoy They dont know themselves, so im just going to leave it at that and keep trying.

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Location: China

Post by elbereth_elendil » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:40 am

:lol: Well, have you ever checked out that why they don't like your class? You see, children are quite mystic creatures. They've got their own logic in their little heads we can not quite follow. Things we think interesting can not suit all children. Interesting topic in mother tounge isn't so fun as in another language they can not use fluently.
To that little girl, i think maybe she is the one who likes parteners. She may feel lonely in your class or too shy to be alone with a teacher. A possible solution is to put her back in a class of three.
For the three boys, i think they might be forced to your class by their parents, just like my students do. (i'm in China and everyone has to learn English. :( Many students are learning and hating it at the same time. Therefore, i have to make it clear to them that it's their duty in school and it will influence their future. If you can make the boys believe that English will be of some use in their life, they will be happy to learn it. For example, some of my boys learn English to play English games. Maybe you can try some online games with them. If they are able to play games with other kids on net from English speaking countries, they will fall in love with it.

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