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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 13th, 2007, 03:50 am
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 29th, 2006
Location: Beijing,China
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stanley is on a distinguished road
Default adult students - first impressions count

I will soon be embarking on my first ever business English class with my first ever group of adult students. HELP!

Specifically, I'd like opinions on:

Learning names (they're Chinese ) - do you think name cards/labels are too infantile?

establishing ground rules - do I need to do this? - I'm very experienced with kids and making class rules is almost the first thing I do with them but is this appropriate for adults?

Any other good tips for making a good first impression - getting off to a good start?

Please bear in mind they have already been assessed for ability and a suitable (i hope) course has been designed for them by the language centre I work for, so I am not looking for teaching ideas, more 'adult-handling' ideas!

Thanks
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 13th, 2007, 04:33 am
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Ninja Fighting Teacher
 
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Location: South Korea
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Default Re: adult students - first impressions count

I would give a list of English names to the students on the first day so that they can pick one. A lot of students like to have English names but some don't. The ones that have English names are easily remembered whereas the others you will have to make more of an effort to remember them. Also calling them Mr. Lee or Mr. Wang is another option.

About ground rules, it depends on your style of teaching and their position in the company.

If they are high level managers then they might miss a lot of classes, which might be dishearting for any teacher.

Student with low English levels might resourt to speaking a lot of their native langauge in class and get another to translate.

Everybody has mobile phones but do you allow them into class? If you do then do you kindly tell the student to take it outside?

Having said all that, you'll find soon enough that adults are very much like kids, they like to play games sometimes, like to joke around and like to interact with their classmates a lot. Just don't let them play too much!

Best of luck,

LiK
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 13th, 2007, 05:06 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
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Default Re: adult students - first impressions count

I always use name labels as it's essential in helping me use their names and, if they don't know each other, in helping them get to know each other. And a big yes to ground rules. I wrote an article called First Lessons : Establishing Classroom Culture which answers this type of question and might give you some more ideas.

Last edited by susan53 : Jan 13th, 2007 at 01:07 pm.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 13th, 2007, 07:57 am
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
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stanley is on a distinguished road
Default Re: adult students - first impressions count

Thank you both very much. Helpful comments indeed!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 13th, 2007, 11:39 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
Join Date: Aug 1st, 2006
Location: Italy
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Default Re: adult students - first impressions count

I'd go for the name tags. It's a business english class, so chances are they already have or will at some stage go to conferences and seminars where name tags are the norm.

With my adult groups I remind them that they are adults! That is to say I promise them more freedom and less 'control' because they won't act like kids. This is a bit of psychology that works most of the time - it's my 'nice' way of telling them that I expect good behaviour.

If you have the class 'boss' ie the one who thinks he knows everything and wants to tell you what to do, jump on it right away. It's less painful at the beginning when you still don't know each other so well. If you let it go on you lose control of the class.

In any case, good luck. These types of course are great fun. Teaching adults is enjoyable in other ways.
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