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Foreign Language Teaching tips...?





quex
Well, I'm sitting in the office of Towa Middle School right now in lovely (and damned humid) Towa town, Hanamaki city, Iwate prefecture, Japan. I don't have any classes today, so I've been spending my time chasing butterflies around the office and cheering on the tennis team. Very few students come to the office to practice their English with me during their free periods; only those who participate in the speech contests ever seem to have any interest.

So, calling all creative people, can you think of any unique ways to invite students to practice English outside of class? Specific games or challenges? If you were (or still are) a student of a foeign language that you HAD to learn for seven years, minimum, how would you want your teachers to make it more interesting for you?

As always, thanks for your help, folks.
Aiz
Well I don't know if my case counts, but here's my two pennies worth:

My native language is Chinese, I moved to the US at age 12 (I'm 20 now *sobs*) and went through all that nice stuff with learning English. It took me 2 years to get out of ESOL, but I've been self-teaching Japanese for a few years now (But because of my short attention span >.>; I'm getting nowhere, but at least I actually learned some and WANT to learn more)

I think the quickest way to grab someone's attention and interest in a language is to get them interested in a fun thing that involves the respective language. For instance, watching some show in english, perferably without subs, that are fun and easy to understand even if you don't know the language.

What I liked about my ESOL teacher is that, she seemed very interested in what she was talking about, and it might seem childish, but she gave out candies and such rewards for doing certain things and so forth.

I still suggest a more relaxing and fun atmosphere for free period learning, since you have to perk their interest enough to abandon time away from all those books and teachers to go to you, a teacher =P.

It's hard to perk student interest, especially with foreign languages. So, I wish you good luck ><v and hope I was able to at least help a little.

Ganbatte! *waves pom poms around*
ppalayo
The best tip for a language teacher is: MOTIVATION. You have to motivate your students and make them like your class.
How? There are lots of ways. I think games in class are a good option because they learn and have fun at the same time.
I think boring grammar is necessary but you need to make funny practice.
Acting, games, drawings and many other things can help.
A good game to learn vocabulary can be pictionary or guessing by mimics.
I hope it will help you.
Bye
billys
ppalayo wrote:
The best tip for a language teacher is: MOTIVATION. You have to motivate your students and make them like your class.

I totally agree with you ppalayo. The trick for someone to gain interest is firstly MOTIVATION. An example last year I studied so hard, as I wouldn't thought I would have ever in my life, but I was motivated beacuse I wanted to enter the department I liked in the university. [And also picked the subjects I liked (I guess that you like something most of the times if you are kind of good at it!)]
Good luck with your class!
Meggsy
Somethings I found helped me:

I made flash cards with English on one side and Japanese on the other.

I was also lucky enough to visit Japan for two weeks - the experience and amount of things I learnt was amazing.

Have exchange students, you may even be paid to host them and you can practise speaking to them and they can practice their english.

Listen to CD's and read books.

Motivation is a key thing too - you need to want to do it and want to stick to it.
yaashop
I'm an english teacher myself and teaching non-native student t the moment. English games i would liek to suggest is somethign like Pubquiz - asking them random general question about anything and give the prize this game swill help them on listening and general knowledge to winner another one is spelling-bee tis one will help their pronunciatioa nd vocabulary. hope this help ^^
Zenrei
quex wrote:
Well, I'm sitting in the office of Towa Middle School right now in lovely (and damned humid) Towa town, Hanamaki city, Iwate prefecture, Japan. I don't have any classes today, so I've been spending my time chasing butterflies around the office and cheering on the tennis team. Very few students come to the office to practice their English with me during their free periods; only those who participate in the speech contests ever seem to have any interest.

So, calling all creative people, can you think of any unique ways to invite students to practice English outside of class? Specific games or challenges? If you were (or still are) a student of a foeign language that you HAD to learn for seven years, minimum, how would you want your teachers to make it more interesting for you?

As always, thanks for your help, folks.


Hi all I do have a few tips worth of information
My native Language is Spanish and i learned english throught High school, im self Taught Japanese and italian and there are a few thing you need to know before you try to tackle a Language in a submisive possition
1. Practice. find someone who speaks it, a little, alot. When i started teaching myself japanese the first thing i aquired was Skype, in order to chat with japanese people and hear their tones of voice etc.
2. Tackle one thing at a time. if you try to master writing and speach and gramar and vocabulary at the same time, YOU WILL FAIL.
3. divide the work in small pieces so you can master it even if it is useless by itself, because when u tackle another piece it will seem easier or you will find yourself constantly thinking "hey i know this or that ^.^"
4. Buy, Download, copy or watever Media of such language. songs are good. in my case i am blessed since japanese is commonly found in anime movies, or cartoon episodes.
5. whenever you can, make an Index Card (little piece of cardboard 4x6 inches) with Words on one side, and the meaning on the backside. and try to learn 5-12 words a day only, more than this is only retained in your short term memory. every day you study u make one new index card after a few days you have 12 or more index cards and after a month id say you might have 120. you can go back and learn these words after you feel active enough. after doing this for a month or 2 and you try to tackle gramar, all you will need to learn is the gramar rules cause you will already have an understanding of the words.

Once u practice for a few days: may it be just vocabulary, gramar. try exposing yourself to the elements. try watching a movie with subtittles. and you might find yourself understanding the words the actors say. or even being able to follow the story at least for a sentence.

In my case of japanese I tackled Vocabulary first. i learned some numbers and some words like "you" and "i" and small verbs like "go, do eat, drink" and when i tackled gramar and read the sentences it seemed easy. when i watched Naruto or some other Anime. i Find myself understanding whole sentences ("Especialy when they go to eat Ramen ^.^")
now i not only know some verbs but i know how to conjugate them in diferent times frames like the past and i know how to break the verbs down to the root forms to be able to search them in the dictionary too. i have a lot of road ahead of me but little by little is the way to go
chotto chotto de Razz
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