I have just got my first teaching job in a private school in Chiang Mai teaching M1 M4 and M6. For M1 and M4 they have given me textbooks to work with so that is relatively straight forward. However, for M6 they told me I am teaching 'university entrance exam preparation' and have given me a book which is nothing more than photocopied multiple choice questions bound together. I have not been given any help on how to go about teaching this book.
One teacher has taught half of the book in no particular order and I am teaching the second half. The topics aren't very clear cut, for example the section called "tense forms" contain fill the gap multiple choice questions on a range of different tenses - so it would be difficult for me to teach something upfront and then give the students these questions to do. I have been told never to try to teach all of the tenses together, and I am struggling to see a way I can teach this book.
Has anyone taught M6 entrance exams before? Or has anyone had a similar experience - what did you do?
Has anyone taught/revised all the tenses and their different uses with M6 or similar age students? Surely this is asking a lot from them?
Also, does anyone have any ideas of what I can do for the first few lessons to get to know the students and assess their level without giving them a test or doing anything too boring?
Many thanks in advance for any suggestions - let me know if I need to give you more examples.
This is a difficult subject to teach. First of all, what kind of University are you preparing them for? Are they going to go to attend an international program or a regular Thai program? If they are going to an international program or an overseas university they will need to work on the 4 skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. I would recommend using either an IELTS or a TOEFL prep book that comes complete with a CD for the listening sections. If your local bookstore doesn't have a good book, you can torrent one with the book on PDF & some MP3s included. I actually prefer the ebook, as I can print out sections for the students and it's easier the play the MP3s than the CD!
If they are attending a regular Thai program, speaking, listening and writing will probably not be required, typical entrance exams will just be grammar & maybe vocab questions - though you should double check this rather than just taking my word for it!
I would use the material that you have been given as a diagnostic tool. Have them do the exercises as though they were taking a test (good practice for them!) and then see which type of questions gave them the most trouble. Once you've identified what they need to work on, I would recommend using either one of Raymond Murphy's or Betty Azar's grammar books as your source for lesson material. Murphy uses British spelling and grammar and Azar uses American, but she also points out the British spelling and usage so that students will be aware of the difference. Their books should be found in any good bookstore or can be torrented. Azar also has a website will lots of free material to supplement the books. Welcome to AzarGrammar.com
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And I thought that it was just a car!
i've started trying to prep 'em a bit and what i'm finding is that a) their plans vary widely and therefore b) how to prep 'em varies widely. i'm starting the M5s with stuff like that, i think it's too little too late for m6. what i'm doing is customizing quiz formats and content to students' plans. the Chula fanciers get one quiz, the US-bound kids get one that's SAT-like, the ABAC kids just give me a pile of money...
generally last semester the m6s spent a big chunk of time on actual college entrance exams and essays rather than test prep.
oh and one more thing, be warned that the O-Net test is a convoluted, pseudo-esoteric pile of shit. some of the questions include stupid shit like "what color is the color of love" (actual question) and sometimes they even get the grammar wrong in the question.
Imodium can't stop me.
thank you for your helpful suggestions. I have been teaching them from Murphy which is going ok so far. I asked them what they want me to focus on and a few said "vocabulary for O-Net exam" Any ideas how to tackle this given that it is a horrible exam?
Also anyone know where I can get example questions for any part of the exam from? The book the school gave me is in thai and mostly incorrect. A case of TIT?