When teaching 'False Beginners' you can be a bit more adventurous in your approach to teaching. Here are some things that you can count on - and some points to watch out for:
Make allowances for the different levels of your 'false' beginner class
False beginners will all have had some English training at some point in the past and this can cause some special problems.
- Some learners will really know more than they admit and, with the passing of time, might become bored with some of the basics.
- Different levels can quickly create tensions between learners, as those who know more can become impatient with others who require more time.
- Some learners might be false beginners because of inherent learning problems.
- Give more advanced learners more difficult tasks. - For example, when asking questions of students ask the more advanced learners questions beginning with 'Why' which will require a more advanced response.
- Give more advanced learners extra work in class and at home. - By having a few extra tasks at hand you can bridge the gap that is often created when those who are faster finish earlier.
- If more advanced 'false' beginners become impatient don't hesitate to ask them something that is over their head. - This might be a little harsh, but will work wonders!
- Remember that things will eventually even out after the first few weeks. - Usually, 'false' beginners are there because they really do need to review from the very beginning. This implies that sooner or later all of the learners will be learning something that is truly new for them and problems with impatience will quickly disappear.
- If a learner is a false beginner because of learning problems, you will need to consider different learning styles - People learn in different ways. If grammar explanations, etc. are not helping a particular learner, you can help that learner with visual, audio and other methods appropriate for different learning styles. For more information on different learning styles take a look at this feature.
Some Helpful Assumptions About Your Students
- Your students will have basic familiarity with linguistic concepts. - False beginners have all studied English at school and will therefore find things like conjugation charts and timelines useful.
- Standard themes will probably be familiar. - Most false beginners are comfortable with basic conversations such as: ordering food in a restaurant, introducing themselves, talking about their immediate family, etc. This will give you a good starting point on which to build when beginning your course and getting to know your students.
Absolute Beginners Teaching Curriculum
These exercises are meant to be taught in order to progressively build skills that ESL students will need to communicate the basic necessities of everyday life in an English speaking environment.