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Poll: Which language level do you most like teaching?
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Which language level do you most like teaching?

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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 26th, 2006, 02:18 am
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Default Which language level do you most like teaching?

A little while back Eric asked us which age group we prefered teaching and it generated some good discussion and interesting comments.

Following on from this I've got another 'which do you prefer...?' question for you.

Which language level do you most like teaching? And why?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 26th, 2006, 02:50 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

Damn hard question to answer! I had to think about it for a while. I have mostly taught elementary with some intermediate and I think it depends on the age group.

If I was teaching kids then I would have to say elementary because that is a great time to teach and interact with them. They are so fascinated by everything that you do and when they can finally understand certain phrases, that you are trying to teach then it becomes a real joy. You can play lots of games and sing songs and be a kid yourself (wishing that my teachers were as cool as I)! You give them the tools to carry on.

If I was teaching adults then I would have to say intermediate. I have taught elementary before and they tended to go off topic a lot in their native language and as I didn't speak it, the class seemed less focused than others. Maybe I wasn't as good with them as with others or maybe they weren't interested but however I decided that I would try my hand at teaching adult intermediate classes and it was a blast. The students are a lot more talkative, spoke very little in their native langauge and were a lot more focused then the elementary adults that I taught.

It's interesting that many books and teachers have a way of determining who is advanced, intermediate, etc. I have one system for myself which proved very easy for me. If the students don't speak much of their native language in the classroom and want to speak rather than listen to me than these students are intermediate and these are the students that I want to teach for adults!

Sorry that my answer was pretty long. Just to recap!

kids - elementary
adults - intermediate

Interesting topic!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 26th, 2006, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

Up until two weeks ago I taught exclusively to adults. The levels range from absolute beginner to proficiency. There are obviously merits to teaching all levels but I'd have to say that I prefer pre-intermediate. They have enough language to be able to communicate quite freely but still literally eat up all the new stuff you present. They keep it to English mostly in class and the difference in ability from the start and end of the course is the most noticeable of all the levels.

Now I'm teaching kids from 3 -6 years old, all beginners, and it's a great laugh. Looking at the concentration on their faces while they're colouring something or doing a puzzle together is just so nice. It's really satisfying when they understand (something of) what you say and react to your input. The posts from members of this site in response to my call for help have been really useful.

So, to continue livinginkorea's summing up:
adults - pre-intermediate
kids - beginner
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Unread Sep 26th, 2006, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

Great post clive! By the way I was wondering...

You taught adults for years and then decided to teach kids? Why the sudden change?

It has been different for me. I have always been teaching adults and kids so it has always been a mix for me.
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Unread Sep 28th, 2006, 02:28 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

i really enjoy elementary. the level lends itself to lots of fun games and good times in class. my favorite is teaching elementary level to elementary students, though it's fun teaching uni students that level, too.

sometimes i really miss teaching my elementary students...
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Unread Sep 28th, 2006, 02:31 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

I like anything above elementary - just because I've taught so much of it! I like the challenge of teaching more advanced topics.
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Unread Sep 28th, 2006, 05:24 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

Quote:
Quote livinginkorea
Great post clive! By the way I was wondering...

You taught adults for years and then decided to teach kids? Why the sudden change?

It has been different for me. I have always been teaching adults and kids so it has always been a mix for me.
I still teach adults in my school in the afternoons, but the opportunity came up to do 2 hours every morning with kids split over 3 groups. It's something I had never really wanted to do (fear of the unknown and all that) but the idea of a new challenge has appealed lately. That may be something to do with becoming a father this year as well. It'll add another string to my bow too. I'd say I'm finding it tougher than the adult classes but with some time I guess things will calm down a bit.

What about you? How do you find mixing the ages? And which do you prefer?
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 18th, 2006, 06:43 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

Upper-intermediates do it for me!

They provide a great opportunity to start looking into some nitty-gritty grammar, with lots of deductive comparative grammar presentations.

They can also start getting into some fluency work with longer discussion sessions and class debates.
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Unread Oct 19th, 2006, 09:52 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

I like elementary and pre-intermediate if the students are kids because you can have so much fun with them and learn through games.

Adults can be a bit hung up about letting themselves go so for adults I prefer upper intermediate to advanced where you can have discussions which are genuinely interesting.
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Unread Feb 9th, 2008, 06:48 pm
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

Upper-Intermediate to Advanced adults. Obviously the discussion opportunities to discuss real-world, relevant topics exist. More importantly, a good number of them realize how important English can be for future career success, and so really apply themselves to improve their skills. (Yes, other learners may realize this, too. But younger learners tend to focus on passing the tests to get into university. Lower-level adult learners understand the importance of English, but tend to see it more abstractedly because they can't really apply the language yet.) That said, the occasional class of younger learners for variety is great, as well as a few classes each week with beginning level students. I don't think I would enjoy exclusively teaching only one level.
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Unread Feb 13th, 2008, 05:11 pm
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

I like Pre-Intermediate because you still see people making big strides every day, but it is beyond just vocabulary expansion. I enjoy Elementary and doing the vocab expansion, but by the time they get to the Pre-Intermediate most of the students are forming sentences and making an attempt at conjugation.
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Unread Feb 23rd, 2008, 04:38 am
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Default Re: Which language level do you most like teaching?

I don't really mind the level all that much. They are all interesting and worthwhile in different ways.

What I'm more concerned with these days is the number of students in the class. I've grown weary of large classes where you aren't able to give students the kind of focused, individual attention they need and ought to get.
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