New beginner adult class.

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New beginner adult class.

Post by tngreen » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:52 am

Hello Everyone,
I have recently started a new adult class and none of them can speak English at all. I really don't have any idea where to begin with them. All of my previous adult classes have been intermediate students. Any suggestions you may have will be greatly appreciated.


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Post by Lorikeet » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:28 pm

Are they literate in their own language? Do they use a roman alphabet? Are they really absolute zero in English, or does it just seem that way because they aren't as high a level as you are used to? How long are the classes? Are you supposed to cover all skills, or is it "conversation"?

I've taught "zero level" English on and off for many years. At the absolute beginning level, you can use pictures and or objects for the "What's this? It's a ____" approach. You can do questions they will need like "What's your name?" You can teach the names of the letters. You can do dictations. You can dictate the letters to teach new words. You can make "forms" for them to fill out. (Name, first name, last name, and branch out) You can give dictations of this type (after they are ready): (Draw a box. Put an "M" in the box) You can teach the numbers 0 to 9 and dictate phone numbers. You can have them tell you their phone numbers, or if you don't want to use real phone numbers, pass out fake ones. They can dictate phone numbers to each other. After the phone numbers, you can practice two-digit numbers and go on to addresses. You can do something with the sound/spelling correspondence in English (I dictate words like "cat" or "had" just to help them sounds things out, and for pronunciation, and to understand the system.) You can do actions with commands to learn verbs. (Please stand up; please sit down; please write "cat" on the blackboard; etc.) I usually start with "I have _____" "Do you have____?" using objects. You can buy some things in different colors to teach colors (I use old pens, new combs, paper cups, etc.) When I was teaching that level I had quite a collection. Anyway, if you want anymore information, you can PM me.

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Post by Sally Olsen » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:23 pm

Where do you teach - what country? If you are in a NES -Native English Speaking - country they will have libraries and they will probably have books for beginners both ESL and Literacy. If they don't you can ask them to start a collection. Take your students and borrow some books at the library. They can borrow various books and teach each other from their books. Most of these beginner books start the same way but use different methods so it is fun to compare them. Once two or more students have mastered their book, they can spread out and teach two others. There are often tapes or videos that go along with the books that you can let them use or you can make a tape to go along with the books. You can get programs on the computers too that teach these basics or use children's games. That teaches them to use the computer as well which is a very valuable skill. If you don't have computers go and and visit your school board computer repair shop and I bet they have tons of really old computers just sitting on shelves that you can borrow or know of companies that refurbish old computers and give them to educational programs for free. Scrounge typing programs from your friends or the school board and phonics programs if they have them as well. Make books for them using your digital camera and a word program. Find out from someone who can translate for them what they need to know - how to make appointments, how to talk to the teacher at school, how to answer the phone, etc. and make these into little practice exercises. You can video one person doing the activity and then type out a transcript. Watch TV with the subtitles turned on - the highlights of the news for two minutes or a cooking show and video it so you can repeat it many times. They can copy dialogue and practice conversations. You can scour your neighbourhood for volunteers who can spend time with one or two students once or twice a week so they can get personal help.

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the adult class

Post by ljy_angela135 » Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:41 am

I used to teach the students aged at 20~24 whose English proficiency was lower compared with their peers. At first, i felt frustrated at them. But the students who wanted to study did cheer me up. I think the best way to teach them is to trust them and respect them. The teacher talk should be slower and simpler. Give them more time to cope with their trouble. Do encourage them from time to time.Anyhow, the students have developed high sense of self-esteem now.
i hope my advice is helpful to you

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Adult Basic ESL

Post by teacherjuli » Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:04 am


I currently teach adult basic ESL in New York. I'm in a similar situation because my students do not speak any English. I like the book side by side book 1.

Good luck!


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