Feb 3rd, 2016, 10:45 am
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Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
| | Re: The best way to teach an adult student who understands everything...
First of all, ask yourself : is it grammar that she already fully understands? If not, then
the speaking task she was given was too difficult - it was outside her current level of competence (in which case it shouldn't have been set) or just on the borderline - ie involved grammar she's met but hasn't yet fully assimilated. In that case just help her correct it and move on - it will come gradually..
But presuming that she is making mistakes with language that she fully understands and by now should have assimilated, try the following :
a) set the task and then ask her to shut her eyes and then slowly and carefully think through in English what she wants to say (and if it's an interactive task what you or her partner might say and how she would reply etc), paying attention to the grammar. At the end of this "silent planning" stage, she can ask you about any expressions she's not sure of.
b) then ask her to perform the task. As she does, either take notes of everything she says, or record it.
c) give her the transcript or replay the recording. Ask her to look at/listen to it sentence by sentence and decide if she wants to change anything. As much as possible let her find her own mistakes, but if she misses anything, point her towards the problem and see if she can self correct. If not, explain and practice as necessary.
d) at the end, ask her to shut her eyes and repeat stage a - this time making sure to "think" the correct forms.
e) then get her to repeat the task. Again you can take notes/record -- and the sequence a-d can go on until she's had enough of it or has "polished" her performance adequately. Once she has, make sure she realises how much better the end version is than the first was.
But then in the next lesson ask her to repeat the task again - this time without the benefit of the silent planning phase. See if she can retain the level of accuracy that she ended on the previous time. If not, work on the transcript/recording again.
Once you're happy with her performance then go on to a new task and start again from the beginning.
If you use this type of task repetition over a series of lessons you should start to notice an improvement. It won't happen immediately - learners often find shutting their eyes and thinking in English odd the first time they do it. But it's a hugely powerful technique if done properly.
I'm presuming this is a one to one student. If she's in a class, then you can use the technique with the whole class - but obviously won't be able to transcribe or record her whole conversation. So monitor the students making notes of what various people are saying - including a good smattering of utterances from the target learner - and then put them all up on the board and ask the Ls in pairs to correct the mistakes. Apart from that, the sequence is the same.