Teaching beginner students The term beginner tends to strike fear
The term beginner tends to strike fear into teachers because they know the students need a lot of work in that department. Many teachers claim that teaching beginners is a wonderful and rewarding experience.
The term beginner is a very broad term, so you need to put them into categories of what type of beginner. The absolute beginner doesn't know any English at all. The false beginner is a student that has studied the language, but has not retained much of the language. They will probably be able to produce a few simple structures. The adult beginner will have made their own decision to learn English and will probably be highly motivated. The young beginner often lack motivation because as they haven't made the choice to study and don't see any benefits to doing so. Younger beginners do tend to pick up the language faster than adults do. The beginner without Roman alphabet will need a lot of initial work on basic literacy skills. A lot of reading and writing practices will help.
Teaching beginners require special skills and psychology. Make sure you are aware of your students needs. Have clear and realistic aims, and don't try to do too much too quickly. Adapt to suit your classroom and arrange the classroom. Be as visual as possible and take care of the board. Control your language and give clear and simple instructions. Pace your class and use choral repetition. Use pair and group work and ask lots of questions. Encourage students to speak English in class as much as possible. Don't use the student's mother tongue even if you know it. Revise constantly and homework is very important.
What can you deal with a mix of real and false beginners' Even false beginners will need to practice basic structures too. You can help weaker students by pairing them up with stronger ones. Give the extra work to allow them to catch up. If you can't get through the material, don't rush through it. Save it for next time or for revision purposes. The most common mistake is the teacher goes through it too quickly. Don't run out of material during a lesson. If it happens, simple revision and review activates can be used as fillers. If the students cannot understand the tape, play it again. Listening skills take time to develop and students should gain as much exposure to different accents and speech patterns as possible. If the students still can't understand after many listening, the teacher can give out the tape script. This is usually found at the back of the course book. You can also read it more slowly. This should be the final option.
Do not over correct or else their motivation will be lacking. Do not have the book open at all times. Be sensitive to your students. Respond to your students as individuals not as a cluster. Create a relaxed and supportive atmosphere to learn or else it could be too distracting. Praise and encourage students or else they may lack the motivation to study hard. Focus on what is easy instead of what is difficult to give them hope. Explain your methods clearly, so they understand what you are talking about.
Sources 1.Ittt, unit 19, teaching special groups, teaching beginners
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