Feb 14th, 2008, 07:15 pm
mind like a sieve
| || |
Join Date: Nov 15th, 2006
| | Re: Difficult adult beginner
This always drives me nuts: A student who thinks he knows more about ESL pedagogy than the teacher. There's nothing wrong with asking questions, redefining goals, and settling on particular activities based on the person and his background. There's nothing wrong with admitting that a student is right, too. But I've had students who, for whatever reason, have to make the classroom a contest of wills. (It would be like going to the doctor and scoffing at his prognosis.) Not fun at all!
First, the student needs to understand that direct grammar translation definitely won't help him. The purpose of language is communication these days, and I suspect he's learning to communicate in English. He isn't learning the language to pour over books and documents and translate them from/into Italian.
Second, set short-term goals with the student. What does he want to do in one month's time? Then you can construct activities and explanations to work towards that short-term goal. This will get you away from the textbook when needed, personalize the lesson, and add versatility without the games he dislikes. Additionally, if he can track his progress by achieving these goals, then he may instill more trust in the activities and methods you choose.
Third, if each lesson continues to be a contest of wills, politely explain to him that you and he aren't a good match for the teacher-student relationship. Thank him, wish him luck, and suggest that he find another teacher better suited to his needs.