View Full Version : Native Speaker in class

December 1st, 2009, 20:39
I have looked all over the site for advice or helps. I have a native speaker in my first year class at the junior high school. I can't figure out how to engage her. She is clearly bored out of her mind (one of her parents is Canadian, she visits during breaks, and speaks English at home). I try not to single her out in class because I find her ashamed of her English skills.

I can't engage her outside of the classroom because everyone simply asks her to translate whatever we've said to each other.

Help or ideas?

On a separate note, I also have a new Filipino student where English is her second language (she speaks better than the rest of the school) and Japanese is her newly begun third language. Thoughts or ideas on helping her fit in?

Muchas gracias!

December 1st, 2009, 21:26
Have you tried to make her your assistant? Then you can get her actively engaged in helping the class, keep her busy so she doesn't do the job of translating for others, and make her language skills a point of pride as opposed to shame.

Hope this helps :)

December 1st, 2009, 23:06
Make her a partner. She can and could be helping to teach the class.

December 2nd, 2009, 05:10
Yeah, there's not much to do but to ask her to help you teach. Find some creative way to officially make her a part of the class.

I have a girl in my ES who lived in America and I had to apologize to her before class and warn her that the lesson would probably bore her. During class some of the students tried to turn to her to translate/speak English, but I managed to stop them.

December 2nd, 2009, 14:13
If she doesn't want to help with the teaching, which she probably won't, you could always make up an activity specifically for her at a level that might challenge her. So say the rest of the class is doing a worksheet where they fill in the blanks with the correct tense, have her write a short essay about a topic instead.

Discretely explain to her after class that it's obvious she is far beyond the material you are learning so you hope the activities you give her will keep her from being so bored in class. Or maybe give he a reading assignment and have her do a weekly journal discussing what she read instead of the actual activity? It might help.

You could also ask her what she'd prefer to do. She doesn't have a choice whether she is in that class, but if she's willing to offer up some ideas you can try to make it as interesting as you can for her.

December 2nd, 2009, 14:19
I had a native speaker student in my class last year, and i did what they suggested and had her act as my assistant during some classes, but this made her obviously embarrassed. What ended up happening was we stopped having her come into my class and she went to the library and we made up special assignments for her (essays, special books she would read etc) then she met with me once a week or so after school and we reviewed what she had done.

December 3rd, 2009, 16:51
Yeah, I can definitely see the embarrassment angle. It probably depends on how you incorporate her into the teaching. For example, using her as a fellow judge in a game or something might work without too much embarrassment--especially if you occasionally use another kid, too.

December 6th, 2009, 13:03
Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it.

Wanderlust King
December 7th, 2009, 14:59
Making her an assistant sounds like an awful idea, no need to put a spotlight on her. Give her -- discretely -- different work, or see if she can do her own independent study in the library like someone else mentioned. Ask her what she's interested in -- maybe you can have her do research on a foreign country that she wants to visit. Part of your job, and part of English class, I think, is internationalizing. She might be fluent in English, but she still has the mind of a kid when it comes to other places around the world. I'd take that angle..