Starting private lessons with 8-12 year olds

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Starting private lessons with 8-12 year olds

Unread postby JenniferG » 17 Mar 2010, 20:53

Hi !

I'm about to start teaching English privately to 3 Arabic speaking girls, aged 8, 10 and 12. I've been in the country for 3 years and do have experience in regards to their culture etc. HOWEVER, I've only been teaching 5 year olds up to now (for the last 2 and a half years) so I don't have a clue where to start with these older girls --- they all have shown me their English school books (English Parade 3 and 4 series), which they seem to have completed perfectly, but knowing their schooling background and how things work here in general they will not know much about what they've copied from the board. I'll have to find out what exactly they know / what levels they're at in order to teach them properly -- can anybody suggest anything ? What to do for my first lesson with them ?!

Many thanks :)
j
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Re: starting private lessons with 8-12 year olds

Unread postby Lucy » 20 Mar 2010, 14:42

You hit the nail on the head when you said that you need to find out what they know and work on activating that knowledge. Choose a section of the book that they've studied and do activities related to the language points there. I suggest you take something from the early lessons that they will find easy. If, as you say, they haven't had much practice in speaking, you need to make it as easy as possible. Play games that use the language they've studied and monitor carefully to see how well they cope. Normally I would suggest choosing a story and building a whole lesson around that but as there is a 12-year old in the class, a story wouldn't be suitable. Play some games: bingo, kim's game, etc. you can look through this forum and the young learner forum for ideas.

I'd like to make a comment about the ages: keep an eye on how they mix in the first lesson. I don't think it's a good idea to have an 8 and 12 year old in the same class. They have different interests and it will be difficult for you to find topics and activities that interest all of them. They might not even have the same level of physical abilities eg writing and cutting out. With children, it is generally better to group by age than by level. You maybe haven't chosen the grouping but keep an eye on it and be ready with a solution if it doesn't work out.

Lucy
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Re: starting private lessons with 8-12 year olds

Unread postby JenniferG » 20 Mar 2010, 14:52

Ok, since I've already started my lesson today I had to come up with something before anyone here had a chance to reply, he he.
So this is what I did:
Got a piece of paper and started drawing things .... a house, a sun, a river, some mountains, a palm-tree, a goat (all things they've seen before).
I wanted to elicit words from them to see how much they know. They knew some of the words, and I made them say them in full sentences: I can see .... a goat. Etc.

Then I asked them to draw their own pictures, which they enjoyed. I then asked them to write all things down into their books, heading : In my picture I can see ...

a sun
some mountains
some grass
a house
two windows
a door

etc.

So it was a good first lesson, one from where I can continue further into worksheets of 'I can ... '

I want to start introducing verbs in the form of card-games I found on http://www.bogglesworldesl.com
We can play memory games asking "have you seen ... a monkey playing soccer'.

Those are my thoughts from what it's worth, I think I can take it from here, LOL

have a great teaching day everyone :)
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Re: starting private lessons with 8-12 year olds

Unread postby Lucy » 21 Mar 2010, 17:57

Hello,

I'm glad it went well. Sorry my answer didn't get to you in time. Work was being done on the forums and I was waiting for that to be finished.

How did the older children do on these activities? I think your challenge with this class will be finding things for all the age groups to enjoy.

all the best,

Lucy
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Re: starting private lessons with 8-12 year olds

Unread postby JenniferG » 22 Mar 2010, 10:44

Hi Lucy

Because the girls go to different schools (even though they're sisters), there are quite a few differences, and the 8 year old is actually heaps ahead of the other two !
Because they're not western kids, it's quite easy to put them together because even older teenagers enjoy playing games such as hangman -- whereas a western kid might pull up their noses at that idea ! it's really quite nice working with this culture. Nevertheless some differences because of age are apparent, so I'll have to work around that by giving different tasks.
Thanks !

best wishes,
j
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