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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 28th, 2009, 10:25 am
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Default Private ESL lesson with an adult

Hi there,

I am teaching private lessons to adults in Buenos Aires and I wanted to get some of opinions from the more seasoned folks out there. My experience has mostly been teaching children and now it's quite a different thing that I'm doing.

I have a student who needs to learn more formal, business English because he has only 1 month to improve his English skills if he wants to get this really great job. He needs to increase his vocabulary and comprehensions skills and just obtain a higher level of proficiency. I'm sending him home with lots of themed vocabulary relevant to his job. We read articles together and talk about them. But we spend most of our time on grammar. I feel like it's really dry but when I try to do anything more "active" he doesn't seem to see the point (ie. role-plays, cherades, quick ordering activities, etc.).

He's pretty advanced and serious and I'm not quite sure if I'm approaching the situation in the correct way. Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated! Thank you!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 28th, 2009, 08:16 pm
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Default Re: Private ESL lesson with an adult

I believe that older learners learn better in real life situations , try to work on dialogues and role plays.

One question, How relevant the usage of English is in his future work ?

If he is going to be speaking english all day in his future work I think it is nessesary both real life situations and grammar to be practiced.

cheers!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 2nd, 2009, 07:20 pm
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Default Re: Private ESL lesson with an adult

If he's of an advanced level and focusing on business English, I can understand the lack of interest in charades. Role plays and dialogues, assuming they focus on immediately real and relevant language, are very, very beneficial.

He may need to understand that a role play allows him to mimic real use of the language, including any dynamic, unexpected occurrences. Studying sentence structures and vocabulary all day may mean he understands the information when encountered, but he won't be able to put it to use.

Compare the role play to sports. If someone shoots hoops all day on the basketball court, he may become quite good. However, this doesn't mean he's ready for a game. Hence the coach has players play practice games because they allow all the other components to be used too. The same holds true of role plays and many other activities.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 2nd, 2009, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Private ESL lesson with an adult

It sounds like role plays are what he needs. I bet if you come up with a role play that has to do with his future job he will be more responsive. Think of a situation he may run into at his work and design the role play around that. Ask him what he would say if his boss said: (fill in the blank). If he is really goal oriented just make sure he knows that every exercise you do is to get him ready for the job. I hope this helps!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 3rd, 2009, 07:30 am
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Default Re: Private ESL lesson with an adult

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I really appreciate it. I'm starting to see that he responds well to activities where he has to used the target language within the context of a role play but NOT where he has to be creative in any way. Perhaps producing the language will come a bit later, once he feels more comfortable.

Again,

Thanks for your help!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 3rd, 2009, 01:36 am
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Default Re: Private ESL lesson with an adult

With Adults learners, do what makes them happy. If this man only wants to cover grammar, then do just that. Private students pay you to learn. If that`s what he wants, do as he asks.
There are business text books on the market which you could find which could be relevant to his situation. Check out Oxford University Press for their cataloge.
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