Teaching Beginner Students The teaching of beginner students can be very challenging but ultimately very rewarding. The reason why it is challenging is because everything is so new for the students. They might not have any knowledge of english
whatsoever and so you have to gradually build their knowledge and confidence in a fun and interesting way. Therefore it is important to take the steps slowly, but also make the lessons stimulating and enjoyable.
In this essay, I will discuss the different types of beginner, the methodology for teaching beginners and suggested material for the first couple of lessons.
There are different types of beginner students and each kind of beginner has their individual needs.
First, there are real beginners, who do not know any of the english
language. These students can be any age group. However, depending upon their age group and the reason why they are learning english
will present new obstacles for the teacher to overcome. For example, if an adult decides to learn a new language for personal reasons, they might be a lot more motivated and enthusiastic than a young child who does not yet appreciate the benefits of learning a new language.
There are also false beginners, who have learnt some of the english
language before, but not retained the information. In many ways, false beginners should be treated like real beginners. They might want to start at the very beginning again to consolidate their knowledge and to build their confidence.
Then there are nationalities, whose first language does not use the Roman alphabet. These students require special attention to help them learn to write english
words. They might require handwriting classes. These types of students might include Russians, who use the Cyrillic alphabet, many students from United Arab Emirates who use the Arabic alphabet and also write from right to left, as well as Asian students.
The methodology for teaching beginners is very important. At first, they won’t have any knowledge of the english
language. So it’s essential to build up slowly. The best approach is to use lots of repetition, so that students can get used to speaking, hearing and pronouncing certain words. The use of pictures and objects can also help a lot, so that students can elicit meaning that way. It is recommended to introduce a sheet with classroom language, so that students can learn to use certain sentences in class. Examples of classroom language would be “Please can you repeat that?”, “I don’t understand”, “What page is it?”. The sheet would also use pictures of classrooms scenarios so that the students could work out the messages. Lots of repetition will help to build up familiarity and confidence. I think it’s a good idea to concentrate on speaking first, before writing. For as soon as a student can speak english
words and phrases, this will enable them to communicate with the outside world. This in turn will improve their confidence.
At the start of the very first lesson, I would write my name on the board and say “I’m Kirsty”. I would repeat this. Then I would point to a student in the class and hopefully they would say their name. I would keep pointing at students until they said “I’m….”. Then I would say very good – congratulating them, with thumbs up and a smile showing they have done well. Then, I would point at another student and ask: “What’s your name?”. We would go around the class, with the students introducing themselves. Every time that a student said “I’m….” I would say “good”. I would then gesture at the students to write their names on pieces of paper. I would demonstrate this by doing it myself.
The first lesson would involve learning to say “Hello”, “What is your name?” “My name is…..” “What is your name?” “Nice to meet you” “Nice to meet you too” “Bye” “Bye”. This would be exciting for the students because it is the start of a conversation and it enables them to introduce themselves to new people who also speak english
. Once they had learnt the phrases, I would create an activity stage where the students would be at a party. There would be music in the background and they could all go around introducing themselves.
The next important step, after this practical english
lesson, would be to teach the students to say the alphabet. There are seven sounds that are used to construct the whole of the alphabet. These sounds are ‘ai’ as in “train”, ‘ee’, as in “tree”, ‘e’, as in “egg”, ‘i’, as in bike, , ‘o’, as in “phone”, ‘oo’, as in “boot” and ‘ar’, as in “car”.
I would teach the students the different letters that go in each sound group. For example, A,H,J and K sound like ‘ai’, as in “train”. B,C,D,E,G,P,T and V sound like ‘ee’ as in “tree”.
I and Y sound like ‘e’ as in “egg”. O sounds like “o” as in “phone”. Q, U and W sound like “oo” as in “boot.” Lastly, R sounds like “ar” as in “car”
I think it is very important that beginners learn to say the alphabet correctly. So I would drill this with the students. I would also get them to practice common day words such as “OK”, “CD”, “TV”, “BMW, “VIP” and “USA”. Hopefully, this would help them to remember certain sounds.
These would be the first things that I would concentrate upon. At this stage it is important to build confidence and make the students feel positive about the new language. Therefore, it is important to have lots of enthusiasm, energy and tools, such as pictures or gestures, that would make their first steps into the english
language as fun as possible.