Sep 29th, 2007, 08:26 pm
| || |
| || |
Join Date: May 24th, 2007
Location: Los Angeles
| | Re: Help with students who don't speak any English??
If you are dealing with students with a truly limited vocabulary, you have to think in pictures. Buy at least one picture dictionary (The Oxford Picture Dictioary remains the best), start collecting ads with pictures, and consider getting a bilinguagl picture dictionary for the students. Focus on nouns. Colors. Shapes. Simple, everyday items. Then move on places. Rooms. Supermarket. School. Park. Beach.
Then move on to verbs. There's even a Verb Picture Dictionary by Longman, but I can't recall the title off my head. I'd introduce past tense after a month or so if they are genuine absolute beginners. With verbs, the students can start to tell simple stories. I go. I go beach. Okay, add a "to". I go to beach. Add "the". I go to the beach. Excellent! Repeat many, many, many times.
Asking students to bring in pictures and photographs helps. It allows you a natural way to learn about them and teach the language in a comfortable, natural manner. You must however systematically expand their vocabulary. The student may not recognize what you are doing, but you have to gently cajole them into learning a huge amount of information. Finally, many students learn best by ear. You idea of phonics is right. Focus on simple patterns... at, bat, cat.... etc. Have fun, but set a rigorous pace.
The first 500 words are the most difficult and most vital. I'd also suggest that your students watch television in English with captioning even if they don't understand a single word. They will absorp some of the patterns and word stresses in the our crazy, misspelled, and mispronounced language.
Good luck. Have fun. Think in pictures.