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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 14th, 2006, 11:49 pm
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Exclamation new esl teacher

I am a newly promoted ESL teacher. I have no experience in the area but as teachers and resources are limited at our school I have been asked to take on the job. My question to anyone is where do you start? The students we are getting speak very little or no english (they are from Vietnam). They are all 6 or 7 years old.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 15th, 2006, 07:41 am
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Join Date: Dec 10th, 2004
Location: Montreal
Age: 48
Posts: 1,224
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Default Re: new esl teacher

welcome to the site, ct!

i guess before i can answer most of your questions i have a few questions myself.

What resources do you have? Any books?
Are you teaching these students in the states or canada?
How big are your classes and how many ESL teachers are at your school?

That being said (or asked), here are some things to keep in mind...

most esl students of that age speak little to no english so its not an unusual situation and there are tons of activities and games you can do with them to get them to start using english.

first thing i would do is get a book. no need to reinvent the wheel by scouring the web trying to find the development stages of a language learner. i would recommend Let's Go Starter Level. It starts with the basics; letters, phonics, writing and a little reading. Be sure to pick up the teacher's manual as there are fantastic ideas on introducing whatever it is you are teaching.

next thing, slow down, slow down and then slow down. it can take a few class periods to actually teach a letter and its sounds.

also, challenge the students to speak only english in class. this will force them to learn english and not just learn what is in the book.

have fun! for your sake and theirs.

im sure i could keep tying for the next few hours but that might be overkill. here are some articles that could help you as you tackle this class:

When Teaching Young Learners
5 Steps to an English Only Classroom

sounds like these classes will be a great time! kids that age can be a lot of fun.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 20th, 2006, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: new esl teacher

Hi there! Interesting situation you're in. I do support what Eric just said about taking it slowly. For anyone just learning a new language, it really isn't that easy. The great challenge for you is to have fun in class and try your best to make it easy for the students to learn what you are teaching. Games are highly recommended, and I would incorporate them into every little thing that you teach. You should exaggerate your body language, and facial expressions, and this will help with the students learning what you're teaching and also keep them interested and smiling. The first few times you get at it can be quite challenging, but don't worry, if you prepare well enough for your class, everything will go relatively smoothly! Good luck!
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