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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 3rd, 2005, 07:08 pm
little sage's Avatar
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Question Teaching Families


I've recently been asked several times to teach children and their mothers in the same lesson. Frankly, I'm a little baffled.

Do mothers enjoy the same activities and topics that kids do?

Should I pick a book aimed at kids, like Let's Go or English Time, and have the mothers do the same activities/workbook/homework as the kids?

Will mothers dominate the conversation, speak for the kids and constantly correct them?

Since my teaching style changes a lot depending on the age group at hand (alas, the younger they are the goofier I become), I think mixing such disparate age groups would be hazardous to my psyche.

Any thoughts on the matter? Any good points I'm missing? Ever had this experience?

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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 17th, 2005, 08:38 am
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I saw you post earlier and thought someone would get back to you. Seeing that no one has... here's my 2 cents.

I have also been asked to do this and haven't formally accepted.

I usually take the stance that any mother/father asking to learn English with their child is not really serious about learning. I usually tell them that parents are always allowed to sit in on their kid's lessons. They can get what they can from the lesson but if they really want to learn at an adult pace we can have a separate class afterwards.

I run my own school so business first. I try to get the child's class going first. Then if the parents is really interested he/she will join an adult class.

So, far that hasn't happened.

So, if you are looking for the business/pocket money, say "Yes. Sure. You got it. Come on Tuesday. We'll fit you right in." Then, teach the child and have the mom/dad sit in the back, (or they can join in and do just as the Romans do.)

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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 19th, 2005, 06:03 pm
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Thumbs up A different opinion

Well, I have a different opinion.
Some people don´t learn a language easily and maybe these mothers are trying to give themselves a chance to learn together with their children. We learn as children do, but in a much faster pace. Maybe these mothers want to enjoy their children's growth in English and want to use them as their little helpers to do so as well. I´m sure it would be a lot of fun for them and for you. I believe you should focus on teaching the children only. Face the mothers as your helpers. In the future, in case the mothers really get into learning English, you can form a group of mothers and go faster.
I hope that I made myself clear. In case you want to discuss it further I would love to discuss this topic further on.
Good luck,
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 31st, 2005, 03:23 am
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Default Mother-Kid class, an update

Well, I took the whole summer off and now I'm back, getting ready to start teaching again this week.

I just wanted to update my story in this thread and let you know how my (short) experience went.

I discovered after I started teaching the mother-child combo (one mother and her 9 year old son) that the main reason for the mother to stay for the lesson was probably a transportation issue (the class was a bit to far for her to drive home and return conveniently). Also, like Miriam mentioned above, both their schedules (the mother and son) were quite full, and this was probably the only hour and a half during the whole day that they had time to share.

That being said, the mother was quite helpful during the lesson time: she would discipline her son if need be, and that was rare. I taught the child and frankly speaking, ignored the mother until the last part of the lesson when I would include her in the game to make it more interesting (not too many very fun games for 1on1 situations). So in that sense, her being there was helpful. I'm sure she got some useful listening practice in as well.

What I never really became comfortable with in the 2 months that we had class, despite everyone being so nice, was the feeling of being observed. I'm sure her son felt that pressure, too. I would have been more my silly self had the mother not been watching, and the son could have loosened up as well: it's tough for a 9 year old boy to sit with his back straight and not fidget or joke for a whole 90 minute block!

That's my sum of the pluses and minuses I experienced. Now that I'm getting back in the teaching groove, I'd like to discuss this topic more, too!

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