Tuesday, December 20, 2011

768. On duty, like you, committed teachers

How can I get my students should do their homework? Here you have a post by elena.t about how to help her students wish to fulfill their homework. Below you have more information about her circumstances. Basically her student won’t learn English and carry out their assigned homework. Also beneath is a reply by me. All this was published in British Council – BBC useful web site, which is www.teachingenglish.org.uk / Photo from: daylife com. Dublin Irish police officers stand guard outside the Bank of Ireland. Sorry for the likely format settings.

Helping with English homework

Submitted by elena.t on 15 December, 2011 - 18:20

Ive recently started volunteering in a childrens home and one of my duties
is to help with english homework. I am not an enlish teacher, but have a degree in psychology. The children are quite a long way behind and sometimes unwilling to concentrate and learn. Any advice which would help get their attention, make our sessions more interesting and also encourage learners who find learning english extremely difficult, would be much appreciated.

Submitted on 19 December, 2011 - 20:34

Hi elena.t and you all, teachers,

Let’s give it a try.

The first premise is you are a psychologist. So, you’ve got, I presume, a
valuable knowledge about the ways we people think, feel, how to boost our unique personal qualities, possible cognitive deficits... And you consider each kid the way he or she is. It’s a nice point to start.

I’m trying to write rather briefly. In a common day I have to deal with
this issue more often than not: homework. The same things: my students, many times, are behind and with a serious attention deficit, which shows itself clearer when having to carry out homework. Were these suggestions of any use, I’d like to have helped out another teacher(s) and Greek kids. I’m telling about my experience with the boys I’ve taught in both, group and private classes, plus what I’ve studied in the experts.

1. You’re intending to teach them English, ok. The people who are the
protagonists are them and just them. (Also you’re an indispensable person and a protagonist in the classes, crystal clear). Thus, second premise, the first thing to keep into account is that they won’t work and learn if they do not want to; it’s their business, their problem, ‘not yours’.

2. Therefore what I can do is helping them, pushing delicately, towards
wishing to fulfil their homework and learn and use English in a naturalistic
relationship among all of you, little by little; otherwise we’ll achieve
nothing, obviously all the time respecting their freedom: only will they learn if they wish.

3. Listen to them, whenever the chance comes up; I mean, they want to know hardly anything about English and the like. Get really interested in the stuff they say, although you may think that that stuff is childish or the sort. Students, more in kids’case, let them educate themselves by the person they know loves them; this is the love of benevolence that, I think, Aristotle, wrote about. In few words, love them.

4. Reckon the small correct thing one student does. For example, tell a
girl to do an exercise from the English book. She could start to read the
instructions, perhaps not understanding much, and she asks you what the meaning of this word is. Ok, she’s starting to advance, though this seems so small a step it’s not worthy to be reckoned: it was something so easy…! Then, she might not understand the instructions and she’s on the point to give all up. No way. You can say to her to read the instructions over and over, with a dictionary and your assistance. The point for this girl now is as though she would have to find out who ‘the bad guy is’.She understood at last: perfect. Next time it’ll be a bit easier to face up another exercise. I’m not writing about the second part, which would be her actual fulfilling what the exercise asks for, this is, writing the answers or filling in such or such drill, or read a story.
5. Remember that learning English is something realistic: they’re learning
something they’ll need, sooner or later. Use examples and sentences taken from their lives and interests.

Well, I’m finishing here. I hope these suggestions would be any helpful.

6. Let a student say the answer when someone else asks something he or she doesn’t understand. The helper will gain motivation and this fact will be a booster for the whole class.

Kind regards

Fernando Díez Gallego

Granada, Spain

Teacher of English and teacher trainer

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