- Dear Daf,
Im blown away by your response... you are my hero. I do all I can to not teach with textbooks (no fan at all of them) but almost always I am thwarted by the powers-that-be.
I was only able to teach two classes without, but I "got away with it" because I was teaching a class of students who had already reached the school's goal on the TOEFL exam.
To answer the question, I ditto many on here. We will still "need" textbooks because we simply are not ready to let go of the security blanket. By "we" I mean teachers, at the very least.
As far as the quality of materials to be found online for free, the quality is improving fast. The problem is time to find them.
To that end, please check out my wiki-webliography at http://virtuallanguagelaboratory.wikispaces.com The English page for students is pretty well done as its been in the works in several incarnations for about 3 years. The rest of the site is far newer (and needs a lot of help still) The blessing and goal of this wiki is that multiple (the more the merrier) teachers can join the wiki and edit. Other webliographies are managed by only one person and so are incomplete, give no idea whats right for you and/or fall out-of-date with dead links very quickly.
Please join and help out!
<end shameless plug>
- Graham and Mike,
That (no real beginners) is usually the case with us too in the United States, but there are still some people in the world who have never been introduced to English--I have a woman who escaped from North Korea in 1998 and spent time in prisons in 3 countries before making it to South Korea in 2002--she somehow enrolled in my ESL class at the U of Maryland this semester. She started the class with the English alphabet but no decoding skills, a few numbers and random words. Her classmates are all advanced beginners. For a student like her, private tutoring is probably the best answer, until they get enough English to really benefit from a "beginning" class.
> ________________________________what about real beginners? Don't you ever have any of
> From: Graham Stanley <blogefl@...>
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Friday, March 6, 2009 8:59:04 AM
> Subject: Re: [evonline2002_webheads] Re: Blown away
> Hi Mike,
> At the Barcelona British Council Young Learner Centre I can assure you that
> we never have real beginners any more - every student that walks in through
> the door has at least some knowledge of English nowadays.
> On Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 1:52 PM, Michael Marzio <marzio-school@ wanadoo.fr>wrote:
> > those? My school has always had about 20% of REAL beginners as part of the
> > population (as real as you can get in a world where every culture mixes up
> > their own language with English words). Let's just say a real beginner is
> > someone who has never studied English at all, usually due to lack of
> > interest or opportunity.
> > I don't understand how you can even begin giving real beginners any sense
> > of accomplishment without a minimum of old fashioned structure, which
> > usually includes a book, especially a workbook, and listening tasks with
> > paper or workbook to check comprehension.