So my girlfriend and I are about to start working at school in Nakhon Pathom on Monday. We have been given very little information about the students/school but we do know that we are teaching large classes of 45-50 students who have very little English experience. The classes are M1, M3, and M6, and I am ashamed to admit I have no idea what this means. I thought it referred to grade level, but apparently the students will all be around 16 years old.
We haven't seen the textbook we are supposed to be teaching from but we do know that the first chapter is called "Meeting People" so I assume it will go over basic English introductions and small talk.
I know that establishing respect with the students will be critical in the first week and I want to make sure that they see our classes as fun/entertaining early on so they don't tune out. I also want to make sure that they understand from early on that disrespect and rowdiness in the classroom will not be accepted or tolerated.
Because they have almost no English skills yet I am a little worried that we will loose control of the classrooms before we even get them speaking a few words.
Do you experienced teachers have any advice for us newbies on how to start a class of 16 year old beginners off on the right foot?
"Thailand is way past the days of tuna, pineapples, and bargirls." - Sharky
Best of luck, mazaa.
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First things first....Are you good looking?....
And thrice Oh Dear!!!
It wasn't me............I wasn't even there.
Tough situation you've put yourself him. No preparation, no knowledge of the students and no resources. I would not follow the textbook first day back. Instead get to know the students and begin to assess who the smart ones are. Make a template T.Shirt on A4 paper, copy it multiple times and get students to write their names and draw things they like about themselves. It'll give you the chance to learn a few names whilst keeping them busy. whilst they do this test everyone on the first 20 verbs of English to see if they can actually read or not. Only then can you formulate a plan. As regards discipline this will come over time but only when you have the basic information as to how best to deal with them. good luck because you probably will need it.
As for the first day lesson, it seems that we will be spending most of the day meeting with the head of the English department, who is Filipino (should I be worried about this? I've heard that many Filipino teachers resent inexperienced western teachers getting paid more...) and they want us to do a simple introductory lesson so we meet the students, vice-versa.
I was planning to give a little introduction about myself "My name is____" "I am from California" "I like to play drums and guitar" accompanied by pictures so they have some idea of what I'm taking about". Then I was planning to have them do some sort of ice-breaker game where they have to ask similar questions to each other. They only problem is I really have no idea how this will work in a class of that size, and as I won't have been to the school yet I don't think I'll have chance to print any materials, worksheets, etc.
Basically I am asking Ajarn for ideas for simple ice-breaker games that would work well in a large class, would assess the English level of the students, and would not require previously photocopied materials. Tall order I know, but any thoughts?
One idea I had was to split the class into 4 teams, then write some categories on the board, maybe stuff like "foods" "animals" "hobbies", etc, then have the teams work together to list as many words as they can. Then I would ask them to list the words and each team gets a point for each word they thought of that the others didn't. I could also expand the game to require students from the team that got the point to draw a picture of the word on the board for the other students that didn't know the word. This would give me an idea of where they are at and give them a chance to review some stuff.
The only problem is if the class turns out to not know ANY English I'm pretty screwed...