My first English learning student

I have been teaching my first English learning student for almost a month now. She has been steadily improving her English but I am always nervous about not telling her the correct way of saying things or trying to explain difficult grammar.

One thing that drives me nuts is my spelling. I was never a good speller and I always worry that i will spell something incorrectly in front of her, and that she will memorize it the way I had written. I have been careful with what I write and have looked up a few words to memorize their spelling before meeting her.

I am trying to prepare my student for an English speaking interview, but I also want to help build her up other English abilities. I can incorporate vocabulary and speaking practice quite well in our sessions, but I am struggling to find good material for her English grammar. Sometimes I will say a sentence and teach her how she could use it going forward, for example:

Can be… if…

I can be a teacher if I study hard.
I can be a doctor if I study medicine.

Anyhow, you get the idea. I want to try using more difficult grammar but I’m lost as to how to do it. I’m also nervous about my student’s progress too but I guess that’s something I need to rely on her studying more than simply my teaching. Although I need to put a lot of effort on my behalf.

Something that we used to do at a place I worked in Aus was to take a passage (usually straight off Wikipedia) and edit it to make it into a multiple-choice grammar quiz.

It worked pretty well so I stole it after I left. I had a student who couldn’t remember where an ‘s’ went so I knocked a few up with 50 bazillion 's’s in them and we did one every lesson for the next couple of weeks. Her 's’s got much better :laughing:

We used to read the passage with them (i.e. it was never homework)

e.g.

Something that (we/our) used to (do/did) at a place I worked (at/in) Aus was to take(x/s) (a/the) passage (usually straight (off/of) Wikipedia) and edit it (to/for) make (that/it) into (a/the) multiple-choice(x/s) grammar quiz.

My students know when I spell something wrong (not often, but it happens occasionally) because they’re all glued to their electronic dictionaries, and insist on translating everything instead of learning it properly.

If it’s not in the dictionary, I’m wrong. If I give them some slang that isn’t in the dictionary, they usually don’t write it down in their notes, because it’s clearly not useful.

Alternatively, if I just write something off the top of my head and I’m not sure about it, or someone asks me for a word (recently I was asked to spell Gesundheit, which I thought might be wrong), I’ll whip out MY dictionary and look it up. I don’t do that very often, but I’d rather make sure I have it right than pretend like I know everything. Usually they beat me to it on their dictionaries since they won’t stop using them no matter what I tell them, since they won’t listen to anything I say.

Then they ask me why they’ve studied for 20 years and haven’t improved…

Jeesh, dude! I hope they’re paying you well because you really aren’t enjoying yourself in the classroom. :slight_smile:

I enjoy helping people, but helping 99% of the students I meet is an exercise in futility.

I have a vacation coming up.

[quote=“TaiwanVisitor12321”]
I have a vacation coming up.[/quote]

:laughing: Enjoy! You need a break.

You are such a dedicated teacher…