Not teaching parrots

Teaching ESL to adults

Moderator: Joe

Posts: 1
Joined: 21 Jan 2011, 07:45
Status: Teacher

Not teaching parrots

Unread post by pengyou » 21 Jan 2011, 07:58

I have been teaching Oral English in China for the past 10 years and am getting tired of what seems to be a crippling habit that foreign teachers have. That habit is of assigning presentation assignments to the class, i.e. prepare a lesson for the class, make an advertisement for a product, etc. They will respond "but the students are still speaking English" when i question them as to why they are doing it. However, they are not learning the mechanics of discussion, interchange, dialogue, etc. They also have a one year course in presentation in their sophomore year, and do nothing more in their writing, listening, reading classes than parrot back answers to their teachers. As a result, my sophomore students cannot communicate well with others in English :(

I have 5 weeks off now. I would like to spend some time online researching this question, but I first need help in phrasing the question. What are the right words to search on to answer this question? I have tried basic words "teaching english as a foreign language", "tefl teacher training" but I get such a broad array of hits that the search is useless. What search words would be more useful?

Secondly, I am also interested in practical ideas, lesson plan, links, articles, etc that you have used that were successful - or even clearly unsuccessful.

Posts: 8
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 21:49
Status: Teacher Trainer

Re: Not teaching parrots

Unread post by SGreene » 04 Aug 2011, 13:40

Hi Pengyou,

I hope this reply is not too late.

It sounds like you are asking all the right questions. Perhaps you could focus your research on two different aspects; speaking skills and listening skills. By finding out what we do when we are speaking and listening you will be able to refine your research further specifically for your situation.

For some more practical tips take a look at the downloads section of my website; There are lots of activities that use youtube which help with real, authentic activities. Some of them are in the 'Teaching Private Classes' section, but they can easily be adapted.

Good luck and drop me a line if you need anything else (you can find my e-mail on the website).


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