Teaching ESL

How do I switch to using only English when teaching?
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Author:  Ana Kim [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:25 am ]
Post subject:  How do I switch to using only English when teaching?


When I did my ITTT TESOL certificate, they stressed that a teacher should always, only use English. I believe this is true, especially after having observed very effective classes being taught byexclusively in English, by native Spanish speaking teachers.
After seeing this, I am determined to switch to teaching only in English. I am having a struggle doing it though, as I worked in an academy where the native English speaking teachers explained everything in Spanish and told me I would have to as well!! I speak Spanish fluently and my students all know it. It is impossible to hide that, as even with children, their parents expect me to speak Spanish to them on the phone or when I come to the door.
My question is in particular for an 8 year old, who is not functional yet in English (can't actually communicate, though she has vocabulary). Do I explain first in Spanish, that we are only going to speak English from now on? Do I introduce it slowly? Do I prohibit her from speaking Spanish to me (e.g. explaining a game to practice vocabulary, that she learned in school, or telling me something that happened to her that day, as a mini-break from class). In the classes I observed, the teacher tried to stop the students from speaking any spanish. That seems to make sense, since if I let the student talk to me in spanish, then she knows I am understanding her in her language, and there is not so much motivation for us to work on English!

Suggestions, ideas or thoughts, please!

Author:  benny1380 [ Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How do I switch to using only English when teaching?

You need a visual aid to help with this.

I am in now way competent in Slovak, even though I live and teach here.

It was easier for me, as from day 1 I told the students that I don't speak Slovak so everything will be in English!

A few of them caught on, or heard me out in the town etc.

So we have a rule. As soon as the classroom door is closed, the only language spoken is English.

So with the younger students, you can leave the door open on the first lesson, explain in Spanish what is going to happen, then shut the door. Make it clear that is the last time Spanish will be spoken in the classroom.

If they break the rules, you have the luxury of being able to speak to the parents in Spanish!

Hope this helps

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