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From Rudimentary to Fluent In One Month!

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:57 pm
by GlobalKSP
My girlfriend and I, beginning in March, will have one month to teach 40 Malaysian students of many ages and abilities converstaional English geared to eco-tourism. The classes are 5 days a week, 9pm-11pm (after they are done working their regular jobs).

Neither of us are TEFL certified but both of us have experience teaching other subjects. We're working on learning Bahasa Malaysian ourselves in order to have the class run a bit smoother, with less culture shock, etc...

Since there will be two of us I think it a good idea to split the class up according to first day abilities. Any good ideas on how to "test" these abilities?

Since there will be no written grammar tests, we're trying to focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. I've been searching this site and others looking for activities to get them talking. I have many other 'worries' and i'm a bit rushed at the moment (on prep) but for starters, how would you go about this? You have 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, for one month to get these students to speak fluent enough English to gain a job in tourism. This is doable I'm sure, and clearly an Intensive English Program. Any ideas or places to look?



Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 4:10 pm
by Xaos
I realize, of course, that my answer comes too late, but I'd recommend that you simply ask the students to start out by writing down all English words they know, working in groups, on a sheet of paper. One person can have a pen and the others call out words they know. Some students won't know any word. Some students may know several. Not only does it let you see who knows at least something, but it lets the other students ask what all those words mean.

Postcards, magazines, and collages to evoke vocabulary

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:46 am
by Eric18
Have you considered passing out postcards on the first day and asking them to describe their English abilities? You can also have them describe the picture on the postcard as a follow up activity.

Pictures and visuals matter in both evoking and sustaining English vocabulary. I would also suggest getting a picture dictionary.

Finally, you can have younger students create collages and write about them.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:07 am
by woodcutter
It is now 23 months since the first post in this thread. Could I enquire as to whether the students are all now fluent in English, and perhaps 22 other languages as well?

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:31 am
by iain
Yes, it would be interesting to find out how things went, although I can pretty much guess. 40 mis-matched adults attending class after a full day's work - hardly ideal. What is telling is the fact that the original poster - no teaching experience but presumably an educated adult - reckoned that to bring this group to 'fluency level' in a month was a realistic prospect even though they admit that they don't know where to start.
The fact that this task was set at all and then given to teachers with no previous experience is pretty indicative of how many people view language learning in general. No wonder there are so many disappointed learners around.

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:48 am
by woodcutter
It's the fault of the "I can speak 10 languages and I learned Turkish in two month" type boasters. Most such people are talking out of their rectums - and even if they aren't, all such boasters should be shot for the benefit of us poor language teachers.