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Thread: 1 on 1 conversation class with intermediate english speaker:

  1. #21
    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    probably somewhere in japan

    Default Re: 1 on 1 conversation class with intermediate english speaker:

    Kind of resurrecting this one. Do you guys have any tips in particular for very, very low level speakers who just want to have fun? I have 4 girls at my school (they come in pairs of 2 on different days of the week) who want to do Eikaiwa practice, but they're hardly able to understand anything.

    I feel like there are students for whom you need to dumb down your English, and then there are students who just don't know enough to understand even extremely dumbed down English--for them you need to basically use a script with lots of repetition. My kids are all in the latter camp.

    Does anyone have any scripts/worksheets they've made for this purpose? If I don't plan in advance, I always find myself grasping for straws while the kids are probably wondering what the hell I'm on about.

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default Re: 1 on 1 conversation class with intermediate english speaker:

    You could make a question jar sort of thing. Write short English questions 'What singer do you like?' 'What is your favorite color?' 'Do you play any sports?' 'Where were you born?' on bright pieces of paper and such. You can then coach them on how to answer the questions, and do some simple practice based on that.

  3. #23

    Default Re: 1 on 1 conversation class with intermediate english speaker:

    kingmongkut, i had my first class with a student like the ones you described,....spent most of the time winging it and doing much grasping.

    but yeah, figure out a basic script, something as close to a normal daily conversation as possible, and then break it down into modular chunks. spend time on each chunk until they can get all the way through the "conversation".

    but i think i might google for some movie scripts for the next session, as winging it was way more stressful than i could have imagined.

  4. #24
    Biowarfare Hedgehog edesuyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    PA, USA

    Default Re: 1 on 1 conversation class with intermediate english speaker:

    Here's some advice from the prospective of the student. I have 4 years of university Japanese under my belt, and for the past year, I've had 1on1 or 3on1 conversation classes as supplements.

    Most frustrating thing is when the other person attempts to finish my sentences for me way too soon, when I know how to say what I want to say but am just going about it slowly/carefully. Like, I'll get the subject out, and a split second later, I'm being fed an assumed sentence to go with it. It's often the wrong idea too....

    I guess the advice would be: know the level of your student. If they are more advanced, then make sure they have the confidence to stab half-blindly at what they want to say, and give them the time they need to say it. If there's still a problem knowing whether they are still thinking or are just stuck, maybe encourage them to use "ano..." or "umm..." to indicate they are still thinking.

  5. #25

    Default Re: 1 on 1 conversation class with intermediate english speaker:

    Kingmong - I think when the English level is low a lot of planning is required. I have a similar small group and photos work great (though obviously the printing costs and stuff are a bit of a pain) - tend to print lots of stuff from England and just talk about it with them. One of them went on holiday to Australia so I got her to bring in her photo album and we asked her about it.

    I am also a BIG fan of what edesuyo said. It is so hard to be patient enough as a teacher, especially one on one, and sometimes to tell if the student is completely confused or thinking of something. I often have what I think are very awkward silences, but then a second or two later it becomes clear to me the students are just trying to make the sentence in their head to ask me stuff.

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