Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Conversational English

I was informed on Saturday that I would start teaching in the Bible College on Monday. Conversational English and Vocabulary.

Could have used a little more prep time but I searched on the internet and found some good ESL stuff and ordered a book from Amazon.* My focus is on getting these guys to really speak and understand the language, not just have a head knowledge of it. (They have grammar/English in the mornings with another teacher.)

I'll be teaching on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, possibly adding a Friday Morning class. I have 14 students ages 17 to 25, all boys. I'll take a picture one of these days and post it.

Today we worked on 5 conversational questions and their answers. "How are you?" "What is your name?" "Where are you from?" "How old are you?" and "What are you?" (I am a student.) We practiced asking each other all class and then I paired them into 7 teams of 2 and gave them the homework of practicing with each other and then they'll do their dialog in class in front of everyone on Wednesday.

Of course there are the bold ones who jump right up to try and others who are, let's just say, much more reluctant. It was amusing when they were asked their age and responded, "I am fine, thank you." or when they tried to ask a question and came out with, "How old are you from?"

There was the one boy who insited on saying, "Where are you?" instead of "Where are you from?" Even tho I explaned very clearly that they have two totally different meanings. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Well, I should get back to getting E. ready for her English midterm (ha, she's 4 people!) tomorrow. I wonder if her teacher will deduct points when she sings "Mary had a little ham..." or not.

* If you have any ideas for teaching beginners English or websites for it, let me know. The students seem to be especially interested in Phonics - you know, how to learn how to spell. I'm sure my parents are rolling on the floor laughing at the thought of me teaching anyone how to spell.

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