Help! I would like to help my friend's partner learn English

Help, tips and advice in teaching English

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Help! I would like to help my friend's partner learn English

Unread postby ratfly » 13 Apr 2008, 20:39

I am not sure if this is the place to ask for help, but I would appreciate any advice.

I would like to help my friends partner learn English, but am not really sure where to start. He can speak the basics well - he told me about his family and his job in very basic english. But I am not a TEFL teacher, I am a primary school teacher! Because of his working hours, he cant attend classes locally, so I would like to do what I can to help him out.

What sorts of things can I do with him? Should I teach him the tenses, different verbs, base it on themes (shopping etc)? He really needs to improve his English to be able to change jobs.

I really dont know where to start!

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Re: Help! I would like to help my friend's partner learn English

Unread postby Lucy » 16 Apr 2008, 11:26

I’m not sure where you and your student are based. If you’re in an English-speaking country, I suggest you teach by themes, starting by what is going to be most useful to your student. The most useful will be shopping, asking for directions, dealing with money (paying, banks, etc). If you’re not in an English-speaking country you can either teach by themes or organise the lessons around graded language structures; whichever you feel most comfortable with.

I suggest you take a course book and use that as your syllabus. In your case, I’m sure you know a lot about teaching and learning, what you are lacking is how to build a syllabus and what should be included in it. The course book will do this for you. Good courebooks include: English File and the Headway series. If you go to a good bookshop, they should be able to help you choose one. It’s probably best if you choose one that you think you can teach.

Remember that when learning languages the main areas to cover are: grammar, vocabulary, functions (set phrases used in specific situations eg “I’ll have the fish” used when ordering food in a restaurant), pronunciation, speaking, listening, reading and writing. Try to cover all these areas, you can do more or less of them depending on where your student’s strengths lie and what his needs are.


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