I've just begun a new year teaching adults English.This is the beginning of my third year teaching French students English.
I finished a forty hour TEFL course, and am currently working on some specialist certificates (Business English). I finished a Young learners certificate, and I'll have three other certificates to finish afterwards. I have learned so much. Yet, I feel as though I'm not as well equipped as I should be.
For instance, I have two classes to teach. One called 3 level English and another called 4 level Conversation.The problem I'm having with both classes is that (I've done both classes twice so far) they are two hour classes, from 6-8pm, one on Monday evening, and they other on Friday evening, there are 30 lessons in the year. I better understand what kind of weaknesses these students have, but I don't know where to start correcting from. Some of the mistakes I keep hearing are pronunciation of course, word order, grammatical structure, confused words (faux amis),misuse of prepositions, he:she instead of it, vocabulary, they don't use any kind of idiomatic vocabulary, or expressions ( I don't even feel like a professional in all of this!) I don't have any kind of syllabus, neither do I have any kind of higher ups. I'm free to do as I please... I really want to do a good job and help my students to progress in a pleasant and especially logical manner. I'm at a loss though as to where to start.
Is there some kind of logical order to begin in??? How do I plan out my year in order to avoid jumping around in a useless manner? Which would mean waisting their time and mine.
As for my conversation class, they're a great group (the other class is too!) they hit it off at the start of class. They're a bunch of chatter boxes. I was so happy to feel their genuine excitement. The room was literally buzzing with energy. I was amazed at how happy they were just to converse. There was a real exchange going on in class.
This class is called English conversation. There are 6 students all men. Four of them are very strong students, the other two are much weaker. They're vocabularies aren't as wide, but they are ready to speak about anything and everything.
I made up a questionnaire and all of them feel it's better to speak even if it's with a lot of mistakes. They're not interested in spending much time on grammar in class. They wouldn't mind doing a bit at home. They're really interested in using their class time to speak.
My thoughts are that if I can get them to brainstorm in class on a topic or structure, I could then come back at them with the correct structure and vocabulary. Next put them into practice with appropriate activities. But I can't do the same thing all year because then boredom sets in... Yet there needs to be continuity. I hope this is making sense.
It seems to me that a syllabus is really important in order to deal with a wide range of areas. Though I have no idea as to how to make one up. What do I need to take into account...
Any help, ideas, insight into something I have overlooked... anything, would be much appreciated.
Thank you for making this kind of site available. MZ14000