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Teach English in GuAzhou Zhen - Yangzhou Shi
Teaching beginner students can be quite a challenge for many teachers. In order to turn this process into a rewarding and a successful experience, it is important to keep in mind the following aspects: first of all we need to define if our students are absolute or false beginners; secondly, we have to keep the learning material to the basics; thirdly, we should apply a lot of realia and TPR when teaching English to beginner students; and, finally, it is important to incorporate plenty of interactive learning in our lessons. Before we commence to teach English to our beginner students, it is essential to determine whether our students are absolute or false beginners. Absolute beginners are the students who have zero knowledge of the target language. These students will, most likely, take more time to get acquainted with the language. The false beginners, on the other hand, have already been exposed to the new language before and have basic understanding of it. These students might be familiar with some units and get over them quickly. Teachers should be aware of this issue and be flexible when making lessons plans. Both absolute beginners and false beginners have to be engaged throughout the lesson, with the appropriate material that corresponds to their skills. It is also effective to encourage more advanced students to help the less advanced ones, whenever possible. The next point to bear in mind is that it is important to keep our lessons to the basics. Our students are beginners and the new material will be overwhelming to them. In order to keep our students focused and motivated we should begin with the simple sentences and structures, with what the need to know first, for example, how to introduce themselves, or how to greet their friends. It is also very helpful to build on what the students might already know. Teachers should use little to no instruction when teaching beginner students. In other words, it is important to keep our language and instruction as simple as possible in order to not overload our students. In relation to what has been said before, it is very useful to incorporate a lot of demonstration, visual aids, realia and all the kinds of various props when teaching English to our beginner students. The use of TPR (Total Physical Response method) is a very effective way when teaching beginner students. TPR includes gestures and different kind of actions to convey the meaning. Because our students have zero understanding of the new language, it is vital to use demonstration instead of explaining the new units. TPR, demonstration, visual aids and other hands-on props are effective techniques to reinforce the new material and strengthen our student’s understanding of the target language. And, finally, to help our students become more engaged and motivated in the new language we should use interactive learning. Interactive learning provides our beginner students with a variety of situations where they can practice their language, as well, as improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Nowadays, there is a whole variety of interactive activities to choose from. For example, for our young learners we can use songs and crafts, where they can act our words. Adult beginners will, most likely, appreciate role plays, debates, or matching games. We can’t underestimate the role of digital media in the process of interactive learning. It provides our students with diverse and engaging ways of learning a new language. By following only a few techniques, we can make our teaching English to beginner students a remarkable and an exciting journey. Firstly, we need to learn our beginner students and their skills, secondly we have to keep our instruction and material as simple as possible, it is also crucial to use as much TPR, demonstration and other hands-on activities as possible; and, finally, interactive activities are always an inspiring and stimulating way to engage our students in the learning process.