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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:37 pm
zashi
 
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Question one-on-one class help me

I am teaching a one-on-one class with the kids 3 and 4 years old (I teach them separately) for 45 minutes … Their mother wants me to let them speak English fluently, but how can I do it all alone? (I meet them 3 times a week only and at their house they speak their native language )
Anyways, my problem is I think they don’t get much from me and I get frustrated…I want them to learn a lot from me… How can I let them speak English all the time or even just talking to me or to the people who talk to them in English???
The 4 year old kid is ok can speak and understand a little English (‘coz she is studying in an International School) but she gets bored easily… What she wants to do is what she has to do….
But the 3 year old is much of my problem, all she wants to do is play!play!play! I tried to play with her but the rule is we have to speak English, but she don’t speak English and when she talk to me with her native language I say “What?”(because I cannot understand her or sometimes pretend that I don’t understand her so she will be force to speak to me in English) and she will get irritated and will not talk to me anymore…I tried also letting her move like teaching her words like walk, run, etc she don’t want to do it… But there are times that she wants to learn, she will listen and repeat the words I’m saying but when I try to explain it to her by words or by realia she gets bored and prefer not to listen….

I really don’t know what to do... Please help me…
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:04 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Ono-on-one with such a young student is tough. I would say you should just interact with the child and play together while you use English. You might even try watching a short English TV show together like Dora the Explorer or something. While watching the show you can comment on things as they appear. Reading books is always a good idea. Sing some songs together. Songs with actions are even better.

For lesson content you might want to have a theme each week and bring some items to help support that theme. Work the items into the play-time but don't force them in or force her to talk. She'll produce when she's ready and feels confortable.

I hope that helps a little.

- Mark
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:05 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Wow those kids are very young! i guess that the parents want to give them a good head start!

I suggest going to some English book store and finding one of those easy prelearners books. Also you can start them on the alphabet and the song with it and then move on to some flash cards (loads of them here). It's true that you will have to play a lot and act like a kid too but I find with young kids that if you start clapping and saying something over and over that the kids will generally follow you. Just take your time, as the kid is very young and let them draw loads of pictures with the names underneath them (a drawing of a cat with "cat" written underneath it). This will make it fun for them.

I know the parents want the kids to speak, speak, speak but it's very difficult to keep them interested all the time so try and change it around to some writing and flashcards.

Best of luck!
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Unread Aug 24th, 2006, 07:28 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

The main thing is that they are being exposed to English. Re-use the same language a lot, while introducing new stuff - repetition is the key at that age. Oh yea, lot's of TPR!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 24th, 2006, 08:51 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Thank you so much Mark, livinginkorea and simplyesl... It really helps me a lot... And I will try all of these and let you know what are the results I'm sure teaching them now, is lots of fun...
Thank you...
And if you have more advice I appreciate it..
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 24th, 2006, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

I'm more than happy to help out. Just let us know how you get on. The feedback helps us all!!
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 5th, 2006, 09:29 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Hi Zashi,

How’s it going with those two young learners – a real tough one, I can empathize.

In many ways your biggest problem is the teaching brief from the learner’s mother. A 3 year old can’t really speak fluently in his / her mother tongue let alone a foreign language. Unrealistic learning expectations from parents is often the biggest hurdle when teaching children.

Research from the clever boys and girls at university linguistic departments has shown that when we learn our L1, mother tongue, we first pick up and then produce nouns. In teaching English to children I follow this rule and start with nouns – simple things like, cat, dog, pencil, chair. Common everyday objects, food items and animals, these never seem to fail.

On the bases of this I then introduce basic sentence structures – ‘this is a dog’, ‘this is a cat’, and build from there. In a relaxed learning environment a young learner can soon pick up the necessary language, but you’ll need to wait some time before you hear your efforts in productive speech.

In full agreement with the very sound advice all the other commentators have so far given, I think a rapid change of activity within your 45 minute lesson is very necessary. When teaching the 3 year old age group I never pre-plan time schedules, this is an age group with which you very much need to go with the flow – they dictate timing!

Generally I find drawing pictures an unfailingly successful activity – “OK, let’s draw a cat” Then you draw a cat, re-enforcing the language. Colour the cat black - “It’s a black cat.” Introducing colours. Draw the ears extra big “The cat has big ears” Introducing yet more language – big / ears / to have. And so on.

Teaching this age group can be some of the most rewarding teaching and at the same time the trickiest and most exhausting. The best of luck and let us know how it goes.
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Last edited by Mr. E English : Sep 5th, 2006 at 09:21 pm.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 5th, 2006, 07:30 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Hi Zashi,

I'm not a children's ESL teacher, but I'll chip in.

They are really young, at that age they hardly know their own language yet, so you'll really have to grade your language. Maybe you can cover in English some of the things they are learning in their own language - colours, numbers - they'll get excited when they know the answers.

Also, if they want to play, let them play, but try to incorporate some English into the games. "You won!" , "very good"

I have to share a story a fellow ESL teacher told me about his time in Japan. He had to give a demo lesson with five year old kids - with their parents watching. Well, the kids just jumped all over him and pulled his shoes off and he couldn't control them at all. He thought the demo was a distaster, but the parents loved it. They said it was the most fun their kids had ever had!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 18th, 2006, 07:28 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

I'm on the same boat as Zashi. A mother requested that I teach her 8 year old daughter one-to-one. She's a beginner and I want her to learn English without getting bored. My only experience is teaching with a class. I'm giving her a trial lesson this week and would very much welcome suggestions. Thanks in advance!
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 18th, 2006, 08:14 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

I just started a one-to-one with an 8 year old Chinese boy. We do 2 hours every session. I had a mini white (provided by the parents) which worked a treat. I also use "English Tycoon" froms Mark's mes-english.com site, although I did modify the rules a little. Some other games:
- Slap.
- A go fish type game based around the target language.
- Pictionary (pencil and paper works).
- Charades - It still works with just the two of you.
I'll post more as I come across them.

I always let my personality shine through in my lessons and a one-to-one is no exception - just be friendly and a little silly!

Good luck!
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 21st, 2006, 09:23 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

It's true that children that young aren't even necessarily fluent in their own language yet and you need to find activities that they will like doing and just do these activities with them with the hopes that they will pick up the language along the way (especially with 3 and 4 year olds who are very interested in their independance at this age).

I'm also responding to this post because I specialise in games that teach English to children. Games can be very successful, if you can find the right ones. When you are playing games with just one student, there are a number of things that you can do to keep them fun, interesting and competitive, such give a limited time for the task using a stopwatch or timer. The student must complete the task before the timer goes off so you add excitement by having a race against the clock. You can also time your student and then see if they can beat their time in the next round.

You can also play too and again there are things you can do to make it a genuine game, rather than one where you either win all the time or pretend to be slow. For example you can give your pupil a head start or make your task harder.
for the 3 and 4 year old you would not want to have a competitive element and you also need to make sure that the children absolutely never lose or they will cry and then sulk. With my niece I recently taught her some english words and she is only just 4.

I laid picture cards out on the grass and she had to jump on the picture I called out, then we did a few other games where she was listening and responding. Another one was where I spread the pictures around while she looked the other way - putting one behind a tree and the other over by the pond, then I called out one of the words and counted to five, she had to run and find the right picture and bring it back - of course I NEVER reached 5 before she returned with the picture - that would have been a disaster.

Then we carried on with speaking games. We played for 40 minutes solid like that and she loved it and can still remember the words today.

You can find out more about teaching children with games through the site below.

I wish you all the best with your one to one teaching. It's highly rewarding and a valuable skill because you can use the same games and techniques to teach your own children or family members a second language.

Kind regards,

Shelley

Receive free games and ideas to make teaching children more fun on: www.teachingenglishgames.com
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Last edited by Pix : Sep 24th, 2006 at 06:55 am.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 26th, 2006, 11:29 pm
zashi
 
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Hi i just want to share with you some of my experiences after I've read all your sugestions...


Well, I've learned that my two learners like to draw and color, so Mr.E's suggestion is very helpful to me.Last time we study about "Family" I let her draw her own family and I also draw mine, then we talked about it, like What's the name of your mother?,etc.. As well as introducing new vocabularies like brothers, sisters, grandmother etc...Then she gets more excited as she gets to know more words about her family. Then she started to share stories about her brother, like "My brother speak English very good".... Well,this is a good start for my 4 yrs old kid...

And for the 3yrs, I also let her draw her family but this time i helped her...Then I introduced the word Father,Mother,Sister and Brother while pointing at the drawing, until she will be familiarized with it. Then I tried to ask her Who is this? while pointing at the Father for example,then she will answer. But when it comes to brother and sister she is still confused. So I add some drawings like for the sister I make it longer and introduce new word 'long' and put some clip on the hair. And I ask her that she also add something for the her brother and she added a hat in the drawing. And she was giggling about her drawing,and added more and more stuffs on her family and aded a pet too..Then it's time to color, i tried to compose a song while she's coloring I keep on singing mother,fathe,brother,sister over and over with different tunes and she started to dance her head and finally sing with me haha it was fun..Then i helped her color the pet I made it pink not the usual brown or black dog then she was amazed and try to create new colors also,for example the hair of her mother she made it green.And by the way I was the one holding the crayon so she has to ask me correctly first what color she wants to use. And we keep on giggling and giggling while doing this and it was really fun fun fun....

Thankyou soooo much to all of your suggestions it was all very helpful to me...

More Power!!!

Go ESL teachers GO!!!!




-zashi-
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  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 26th, 2006, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Great that it has worked out so well!
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  #14 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 27th, 2006, 01:27 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Hi Zashi,

Thanks so much for the update and I'm delighted to hear things have gone so well - very well done!

It sounds like you've got it 100% spot on with lots of talking and lots of fun. If your 3 year old doesn't produce the language immediately don't worry about it, it's all sinking in and one day she'll just come straight out with the language in perfect production - that's the way kids are!

I also like your technique of holding the pens and making your student ask you for the colour she wants - real communication!

Great job!
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  #15 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 27th, 2006, 04:57 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

I liked the part where you made up a song and sang it over and over with the intented vocab. (father, mother, sister and brother). That's really great 'cas the kid will ALWAYS join in if you keep on trying and smiling and even clap your hand or click for fingers for a beat!

I'm glad that it went well. Great feedback for everybody here!
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Unread Sep 28th, 2006, 11:45 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

hi! I would just like to thank everyone who posted their suggestions. It was a great help! In my one-to-one trial lesson, I suggested that the mother join her daughter so she could experience herself what learning English would feel like. The daughter was quite shy but she was all smiles during the lesson. I think what surprised her most was when I let her write letters of the alphabet, colors and numbers freely on the table which I covered with plastic. I would ask her a question and she would write down the answer on the plastic covered table using a whiteboard marker. Both mother and daughter seemed to enjoy the slam game, too. We start our first lesson this coming October. Thanks again! and still open for more suggestions!
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  #17 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 2nd, 2006, 01:25 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Hi

We just had a discussion about teaching one on one classes over at ESL Teacher Talk.com.

You can hear the whole thing here:
http://www.eslteachertalk.com/2006/1...n-one-classes/
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  #18 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 16th, 2006, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

It sounds like you are good at making up songs so I am going to share something I have done with young children that they love.

Its music and movement involving you modelling movement so the child will join in with you as you sing the appropriate song. For instance, say you choose to be a dog, you get down and begin crawling around the room as you sing ,
'woof, woof, woof
woof, woof, woof,
I'm a little puppy dog,
woof, woof, woof,
running round my garden,
having lots of fun
running round my garden,
having lots of fun
'woof, woof, woof
woof, woof, woof,
I'm a little puppy dog,
woof, woof, woof,

Then you could mime digging up a bone singing
Dig, dig, dig etc,
then pretend to eat the bone, singing
crunch, crunch, crunch etc

This song can be adapted to a cat etc.

Another song I sing is for butterflies as I move around the room flapping amy arms and pretending to be a butterfly.

Flutter little butterfly
Flying all around
Flutter little butterfly
Flying all around.
Flying high, flying low (fly up high, then down low)
Flying everywhere you go
Flutter little butterfly
Flying all around

You can make it more fun by pretending to stop and sit on an imaginary flower, ask what colour their flower is, this is funny.
Then take off again for a new flight, ha ha.

Change things up as much as your creativity allows, bzz,bzz, bzz, I'm a little bumble bee etc.

Hope I don't sound too crazy, kids really love this type of activity and soon you can ask them to choose which animals to be, elephants walking with straight legs and arms, snakes sliding along the floor. Lots of vocabulary, fast, slow, high, low, big, small etc. Get them to do an action and have the others guess what they are being!
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  #19 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 17th, 2006, 01:41 am
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Hi Zashi,

It sounds like you're having a great class. What you said about the mother wanting the little ones to Speak Speak Speak reminded me of one mother of a student I had who wanted the same thing. Her 5 year old was super shy so getting her to speak was quite a task. It's good to remember, like other people here have said, that that kids should be speaking at their pace, not their mother's.

I don't know if you want to pick a course book, but I enjoyed using the Supertots book with this quiet youngster. It's full of bright coloured pictures that are simple enough to talk about and has reward stickers that she can add onto the pages herself. The workbook has lots of puzzles, games and colouring activities that the two of you can do together. The songs that match the book are also short and catchy with a lot of TPR, which means she can repeat the wordss if she wants to/ can, but if not she can do the actions and you know she's still absorbing the English.

One idea I got from the book was to use puppets. I used the photocopied characters from their book stuck to chopsticks, but any puppet or doll is great to bring to class. Bring one for you and one for her and then "let" the dolls have a conversation. It's a fun way to play in English.
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Unread Oct 17th, 2006, 01:20 pm
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Default Re: one-on-one class help me

Yes Little Sage, puppets are great.. Especially with shy children. Also they make children relax and laugh and reduce anxiety. Just hiding behind a table and popping the puppet up and saying hello really animates conversation.
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