Many ESL/EFL teachers find shy/beginners the most difficult to teach. My advice: plan + structure the lesson, use a text, ask lots of questions — engage the students, but respect their personal space. Also, give them lots of time to answer answers. Don’t be afraid of silence. A mentor advised me: after you ask the question, count to yourself from 15 backwards.
This was supposed to be a “Travel English” class, but clearly “Travel English” is the least of the students’ worries, so we’re using the TEXT but focusing on very basic stuff.
The first part of the lesson involves an indirect review of words describing people/location alongside introduction of some new vocabulary (actions). Grammar point present progressive tense. (Indirect lesson points: inclusion of articles and prepositions.)
The exercise leads up to the dialogue on the CD. You’ll hear me stopping the CD to check vocab and explain things as necessary. The students then check each other’s work. The topic of the dialogue is making plans to meet someone.
3. Listening/Repeating/Alphabet dictation
(basic sentence structures from the activity.) These students are shy, so I don’t drill too heavily. The drill is mainly to make sure they’re able to get the sentences out, so when we do the “role play” they’ll be able to use them.
4. Main Dialgoue
Here the students have to listen and fill in the banks. After checking each other’s work, they are challenged to close their books and re-enact the dialogue. As they are very shy, I do not ask them to come to the front o the room and do the activity separately.
5. Review — of new grammar from the beginning of the lesson.
The class ends with a simple homework assignment.
Throughout the lesson, you’ll hear indirect reinforcement of other language points. For example, I ask them what page of the book we’re on, when the next lesson is, and they’re given various instructions. This is language that is repeated week after week.
Point: Lessons should be broken down into small activities that lead to one another. 10-20 minutes will suffice for an activity (it depends on the activity and the attention span of the students.)
note —> 3 “regular” students were absent. The students present were new ones — so I only knew one of their names, hence you won’t hear me calling them by name… ideally, students names should be used a lot. It holds their attention.