Re: (teach) HELP, teaching primary students
- On Wed, 9/4/13, Nelson Bank <natlunla@...> made some suggestions aimed at getting his students to use their dictionaries. In doing so he is helping them forge the chains that tie the vocabulary in the target language to vocabulary in the native language. This is a disservice since no word in any language is a direct translation of any word in another (even words borrowed from the target language). The only way to build vocabulary is by using it, the way we build vocabulary in the native language.
Mert - Dr. Merton L. Bland, Arlington, VA, USA
school grades 2 to 6>
you walk around the class, your discipline will be better,
and you will be more confident that they are doing the
1-3: Ask students for a word or two in Chinese, then
use a dictionary to look up the word in English.
Teacher moderates to make sure the word is the right
one if there are multiple entries for the English. How
to use the dictionary will take up a lot of time.Grades
4-6: Class-generated lexicon just like Grades 1-3.
After the lexicon is up and running, apply a
simplified pronunciation alphabet to their words. They
will eventually do dictation using the phonemic
you go at the speed of them getting to like you, you should
- Alan, what is your book?I used OXFORD ENGLISH published by Oxford University Press and Shanghai Education Research Press, (or something like that). Brilliant books, with a work book.First lesson, first thing they teach is SIT DOWN, STAND UP, OPEN YOUR BOOK, CLOSE YOUR BOOK. Easy to understand without Chinese because it is all able to be demonstrated, and essential class language. Get groups to give each other the commands and they are on their way with confidence.Ria--------------
Ria Smit, Settling Back!Phone: (03) 9878 0399Mobile: (+61) 0481126298
- Alan explains,
> I have to teach 1st year primary students with no knowledge of English atall.
Use activities that engage the senses and involve movement. Genki English is full of good ideas.
Chris Hunt, the guy behind the Wise Hat website, is a genius at walking into a room full of kids with no English and having them speaking to him within minutes:
Get hold of some excellent picture books that kids can build on to create their own stories/variations
The PDF downloadable at this site includes some recommendations and examples of follow-up activities, though most are more appropriate for slightly older children.
I would also use _If You Give a Mouse a Cookie_, _The Doorbell Rang_, _Bears, Bears, Bears_, and many others.
Remember that you are not imparting information; you're creating an environment in which children will want to use English.
- <the chains that tie the vocabulary in the target language to vocabulary in the native language>I understand Mert's point of view. He wants total immersion from day 1.Concerning the links between the vocabulary in the target language and the native language, I think those are important also, especially for forming an affective conduit between the two. In scientific terms, I really get off when I say something in Chinese, and realize that there are differences, mostly subtle, between what I am intending to express, in English, and what my conversational partner hears. If I have to interject a term in English to refine my meaning, for example 'cool', then I am more confident I and my partner are on the same page. My goal is to express my English meaning accurately in Chinese. I've done that occasionally, and it's a great feeling.Nelson
- I want to thank Nelson Bank for his kind words. Yes, I believe in immersion from day one, Usually the first time we meet I gather the class around the door and point to the door sill and tell them that "out there you can speak anything you want, but in here only English is allowed." Sometimes I even follow this up by pretending to strangle anyone I hear deviating from this English Only rule.
My reference to "the chains that bind vocabulary in the native language to vocabulary in the target language is best expressed in S-R bond theory where S=stimulus, R=response, and IR=Intermediate Response. When someone asks me a question in my native language it's a simple S->R thing: I hear the the question (S) and I answer it (R). Unfortunately many of our students emerge from our EFL classes with the following chain: S->IR->IR->IR->R imbedded in them. They hear the question in the target language, translate it internally into the native language, formulate a response, translate that into the target language, and articulate the answer. What a waste of time.
Mert - Dr. Merton L. Bland, Arlington, VA USA
- <S=stimulus, R=response, and IR=Intermediate Response>It seems that if there is a memorized response to a stimulus, be it 'I'm fine, and you?' to 'Hi, how are you?', then learned 2nd language would be memorized and not understood. Obviously this is not the case. Somewhere down the line, even in an immersion classroom, meaning in L1 is taking place. This meaning is the stimulus for the response in L2. How fast it takes place would seem to be determined by number of usages of the same S-IR-R patter. At speed X (5 usages of the particular patter), it (S-IR-R) doesn't seem slow.Nelson
- I have always loved teaching in China, as it's always been university & I know I make a difference.
Now I'm teaching primary school kids, 44 kids in a class, 704 students a week.
So far I've had 3, 4, 5, 6th grades.
Ria, they have Oxford books, but there are many different ones, such as Oxford reading tree, which they do not use.
I find it impossible to have discipline.
The kids only understand 20 – 60% of what I'm saying, so I can understand they get bored.
I do games, but then they get too excited.
I try to make the lesson interesting, but 44 kids in a small classroom limits you.
To get them to listen to me, I've tried:-
Standing saying nothing to wait for them to stop talking in Chinese.
Standing outside the classroom to wait for them to stop talking in Chinese.
Banging on the desk.
I was told punish the very bad ones, but it's virtually all of them.
What's the key please?
I complained to a Chinese teacher so she sat in on my lesson, it made a big difference, they behaved.
I'm teaching such basic stuff, that if I need a Chinese teacher there for keeping order, then why am I there?
A Chinese English teacher can teach this more effectively.
I'm just window dressing, so the kids will say they have a foreign teacher.
Where do others find job satisfaction of such basic teaching?
Tomorrow it's 1st grade, they only know a few basic words.
I watched a Chinese teacher give the same lesson, she spoke Chinese 50% of the time to ensure they could understand.
- <I complained to a Chinese teacher so she sat in on my lesson, it made a big difference, they behaved.>
That's the only way I could handle Primary classes. A couple of years more and I could have done it solo.
Believe me, you are making a difference. Your students are lucky and privileged to have a native English speaker with them.
In my progress toward me being the only teacher in the room, I went through some phases, including anger, games, and a lot more. I could see that the best method was to get to be friends with my students. I believe that is the best method in China. You don't have to have reservations of making friends with your students there. Parents will follow. If you open yourself to having Chinese friends of your students and parents, you'll do well.
- Nelson, I always make friends with my students, that's why I enjoy teaching.
But 44 hyper active students in a class for only 45 mins = impossible.
They expect me to give them end of term exams over one period, the mind boggles.
I've told my boss it's not working, I'm not here for being window dressing