[quote=“TaiwanVisitor12321”]Well, I’m sort of confused then. It lists “define” as being a very base level skill, which I would agree with.
I had a public school teacher in my classes who told me that my “vocabulary questions” were much too difficult for most people, and that’s why they never talk to me.
Questions like “Do you know another way to say X?” “What does X mean?”. Most people refuse to answer these. If they don’t answer I give them clues and hints and eventually boil it down to a yes or no question, which they still won’t answer, then I get really frustrated with everyone.
I have a pretty large number of vocabulary words to teach in each class, so I’m not sure how to teach vocabulary in an interesting way without talking to them, I have a big list to go down, and if I miss ONE, they’ll give me hell. If I want to explain #3, then #5 because they’re related, it just causes trouble because OH MY GOD WE MISSED #4!!!
So I’m a bit unsure how to teach a large number of vocabulary words without asking questions about them. I’m sure they’ve seen plenty of these words before.
Talkative students think it’s beneath them sometimes (or alternatively, they answer EVERY question before anyone else has a chance to speak up, and if I say it’s time for someone else to answer, nobody else will, so while that’s totally unbalanced, it’s usually the only way to get any sort of response), shy students are shy students. End result? Nobody answers me.
I think I could assign them questions and give them a couple minutes to think about it, but then we wouldn’t get through the day’s material.
Another question I struggle with is “How are you?”, and “What did you/will you do this weekend?”. I get the impression that they know, but they don’t feel like answering.
So what’s an appropriate question then? If it’s too easy it’s beneath them, if it’s difficult at all, they just won’t answer. I understand that chart, but not the way it applies to students in Taiwan I guess.[/quote]
Vocab blocks can easily be dealt with by chunking them up. If you have say 20 words, and 10 students, you pair them up and give them 2 words each. They then have to look in the ENGLISH dictionary to find out the meaning of the word, and a sentence to use it in, plus any synonyms. Then each pair has to present to the rest of the class, in English, what these words mean. They can provide a Taiwanese translation if they like, and at a push might be allowed to make some explanation in Taiwanese. Then when you have all the words explained (See how your role in this was FUCK ALL! ) you do a nice little pron exercise, highlighting the syllables and stresses etc. Then you can ask simple questions like: Does ‘JUMP,’ mean to do this? (Show the wrong action?) Does it mean to do this? (Show the right action, or get them to show you the action depending on their ages, adults won’t like that). Then you put a series of sentences around the room on bits of coloured card, each sentence has a target word missing. They move round the room in pairs, reading the sentences together and deciding which word from your list of 20 is missing. They can either write the full sentence, or you give them a bit of paper and they write down a= grenade, b= melee c= murder death kill (vocab dependent of course). Then when they have all 20 solved sit them down and each student can read out a sentence: Winny, please read out sentence A. Alfredo, please read out sentence B etc and NEVER REPEAT BACK THEIR SENTENCES. I guarantee ALL of you do this, go to work tomorrow and have a think about it. Kid says, “Me rika burnarna,” and you cover with, “Oh you like bananas? I LIKE BANANAS too!” You need to let them say stuff nobody can understand, and encourage them to ask each other to repeat back what they said. Students then learn the value of an accent etc.
I could go on, but a basic CELTA would teach you all of this stuff and much much much much much much much much much much much much more. Bottom line, any class, from 0 to adults, where they don’t move out of their seats (and they don’t do some of the teaching back to the group them self as adults) is gonna kill you and them.