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How do you control a class who can't understand you?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Mckk, May 31, 2011.

  1. Mckk

    Mckk New commenter

    I'm teaching English in the Czech Republic and unfortunately I'm teaching 1st grade (6-year-olds) who can't even read or write in Czech yet, let alone English. It's their absolute first year in school (as such, has little patience for lessons, and absolutely no knowledge of English beyond "How are you?" and "what is this?")

    So how on earth do you teach them?

    If I play a game, they don't understand the instructions. And 6-year-olds just won't sit down long enough to understand it in a foreign language, and by the time I have finished explaining, it's become boring, really. It's become that only 2-3 kids out of 10 would join in with the game (and inevitably that means the 2-3 who were interested to begin with soon lose interest). I also have a child who simply hates English - he even complained when he had to watch an English cartoon (to which one child actually responded for me by telling him that it's all the same eg. it's still fun)

    If I do anything else... well, what else can you do!? They can't read or write. They don't understand a word of what I'm saying and I don't understand them. And of course, as expected, the class is chaotic because the children are utterly bored. I'm already speaking all the Czech I know but unfortunately I only know about 100 words and not always in proper sentences, so half the time the kids still don't understand me even when I do use Czech.

    Help? :(
  2. Have you not had any TEFL training?
    How about doing some songs with pictures or actions?
    You could do counting, using your fingers, army repetition style? Get them to colour in the numbers and stick them to the wall - get them to point at 3, point at 6 etc?
    You could teach them 'hello' and 'goodbye' and get them to say that to everyone in the room?
    I would find some resources and keep it all as simple as possible if I were you.

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