Teaching absolute beginners

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Information about Teaching absolute beginners

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: Ottamay

Source: slideshare.net

by Tim Schneider Peace Corps Volunteer English Education Ialoveni, Moldova ETRC Spring School March 6-8, 2014

What is an absolute beginner?  learners who have had no contact with English at all  often come from developing nations  often have had very little education  often more challenging to teach as the teacher can not expect learners to understand even a minimal amount of English  The question, 'How are you?’ will not be understood.  The teacher must begin at the very beginning, usually with no common language with which to explain the basics.

Improve the learning with:  Technology - keep it interesting for 21st Century pupils  Words – Simple and direct. Don’t get confusing.  Pictures – Bright and colorful. Symbolic.  Movement – Get the students to move.  Interpersonal – Have the students share what they learn.  Intrapersonal – Have the students reflect on what they know.  Nature – Use nature however possible.

Have concrete goals  We will learn the 4 seasons and 4 adjectives to describe them.  We will learn the 12 months of the year.  We will combine the months with their correct seasons.

Las Estaciones y los Meses del Año

Las Estaciones invierno primavera verano otoño

Vocabulary Memorization  Repetition – 1967 study found that 7 times resulted in an 80% recall of 216 L1/L2 word pairs.  Use of an actual dictionary appears to speed retention of vocabulary.  e-dictionaries increase the use of the dictionary, but don’t increase retention like a book can.  Optimal number of words to learn is between 18-300, but with harder words, fewer is preferred.  What is practical for your classroom?

invierno frío El invierno es frío.

Word association  invierno and iarna – both start with “i”  frío is close to frig in Romanian or frigid in English.  notice the color choice for the adjectives; how can you use color to help with association?

primavera cálida La primavera es cálida.

caliente verano El verano es caliente.

otoño fresco El otoño es fresco.

Assessment  Fill in the missing letters. _ nv_ _ rn _, pr _ m _ v _ r _  Mix the letters. - toñoo, ovaner  Show a picture without the word.  Give the adjective - frío  Complete the sentence El ______ es caliente.

invierno enero

invierno febrero


primavera marzo

primavera abril

primavera mayo


verano junio

verano julio

verano agosto


otoño septiembre

otoño octubre

otoño noviembre


invierno diciembre

Homework Poem – Tammy White  Spring is wet The flowers grow It rains a lot And melts the snow  Summer is hot It's full of sun There is no school It's lots of fun  Fall is cool The leaves fall down The colors change All over town  Winter is cold The snowflakes fall We skate and ski And make snowballs

Color and label

Where there is a desire to learn, anything is possible.

Have fun!

Bibliography  Vocabulary Learning in a Second Language: Person, Task, Context and Strategies September 2003 — Volume 7, Number 2 http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume7/ej26/ej26a4/  HOW TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE - http://www.umich.edu/~lsastudy/foreignlang.html  Learn the months of the year in Spanish - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga8h5d242-M  http://www.coloring-pages-kids.com/  http://voices.yahoo.com/childrens-poem-four-seasons- 2132129.html?cat=25

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