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beginner advice please! 
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Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:59 am
Posts: 1
Post beginner advice please!
Good evening, first of all let me say thank you for such a wonderful website! I am writing for some advice and really hope that you can help...I am English living in Tenerife, Canary Islands, i speak fluent Spanish, and after years of working in children's clubs with only English children, i have been approached by a lady who works in one hotel and she has asked me if i could teach her (Spanish) children English! I would love to help, but i do not have any idea where to start! I am not a teacher or have any TEFL or similar experience, only experience looking after the English children in the mini-club while they are here on holiday.
The lady's children are aged 5 & 7, she would like me spend an hour with them twice a week, only speaking English. The main reason she asks for my help is because the teacher at the children's school is not native English and she (as well as other parents) is not satisfied with the progression of the children's level of English. I believe that i can help, i found your website and think it is wonderful but as i say, i do not know where to start! I don't know the children and so i don't know their current level of English or how i can start a class with them, i know that games are a great idea as it will break the ice and hold their concentration as well as teaching them little by little, but how should i begin the first time round? I really want to help, any advice and suggestions would be grately appreciated. Thank you. Krystina.

Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:05 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post Re: beginner advice please!
Welcome to the site and thanks for the kind words.

Since you don't know much about their level and what they've learned, I would take the first 2-4 lessons to feel them out and get a sense for what they know and what they need going forward. I think for the first lessons, you can just have a variety of activities and games to see what they can do.

I generally like to have 3-4 different activities of kids in this age group. That means you'll spend about 15-20 minutes on each activity and that keeps the children from getting bored.

A safe start is animals. You can adjust the lesson to be very basic (just vocabulary) to more advanced (talking about the animals.) So, for example: going from very simple to more advanced
- a rabbit (just vocabulary)
- What's this? A rabbit.
- Do you like rabbits? Yes./No.
- Rabbits are cute. Rabbits are fast.
- What do rabbits eat? Where can you see rabbits? Where do rabbits live?

You could use flashcards to play games like concentration or bingo. You could make a board game and talk about the animals when the kids land on one.

I would bring some alphabet cards and see how much they know. Do they know the letter, both upper and lower case? Do they know the simple hard consonant and short vowel readings? - - You could just have them place them in order and sing the ABC song. You could have them write some letters in a 3x3 or 4x4 grid to play a bingo game.

The alphabet and readings might be a little early for the 5 year old, but the 7 year old could use some phonics.

If you have access to some simple children's books, you could read 1-2 books to them.

TPR exercise time is great for this age as well. It gets them moving around and they can burn a little energy.

I hope that helps and gives you some ideas. Let us know how it goes or if you have more questions.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:38 am
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