teaching high school EFL

Discussion about teaching ESL to children

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teaching high school EFL

Unread post by Ann » 07 Nov 2008, 05:38

I am an American teaching Chinese high school students EFL in Beijing. I have three classes of about 25 students each that each meet once a week for 40 minutes. They also have English with a Chinese teacher every day. One of my classes has very good English and they are motivated students. The other two classes have students with a wide variety of English levels. Some of the students have very good English and are very confident speaking it to me, while others give me blank stares when I ask them simple questions and are not confident at all in using what little English they know. I have to pull their teeth to get them to talk in English sometimes. I want to help all the students learn something from the class, and my goal is for every student to speak at least a little bit in English every class. However, I feel that if I have them simply speaking in small groups to each other, that a lot of them won't do it. That leaves me with no option but to have them speak one at a time in front of the whole class, and while they would probably eventually do it, I think it is putting too much pressure on some of them.

I've been teaching this class for 8 weeks and still feel that I am getting nowhere with them. If you have any tips for how to get them to talk more, I would greatly appreciate it!

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Joined: 16 Mar 2009, 16:05

Re: teaching high school EFL

Unread post by domgag12 » 16 Mar 2009, 17:23

Hi Ann
This seems like the classic scenario. It reminds me of my experience in Xinjiang. To have them speak in front of the class is obviously too much for some of them. I used to have them stand at their desk and I would have a small conversation with them. Loud enough for the rest of the class to hear, but quiet enough for them so as to not to start weeping in a shameful way ;)

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