Teaching English??? Can’t everyone do that?

27 04 2010

Over lunch the other day I stumbled accidently into agreeing to teach private English classes. One minute I was joking with the boy that one day they could watch SpongeBob in English and the next, I’d been seconded as their English teacher and their Mum was working out what days they had free. Then on the weekend she asked Marina if they could start the coming Monday.

I tried to explain to Marina that I don’t actually know how to teach English – something she didn’t comprehend. Because isn’t it easy? I speak it – so surely I can speak it to them and they’ll learn – after all isn’t that exactly what they do on a daily basis with me?

They do a mountain of grammar in school here and can explain phrasal verbs by the time they are 8, whereas I did more than most which was miniscule, so I’m learning it all the first time now. Secondly, teaching is actually a skill set – something people go to Uni for several years to learn. Thirdly, I barely have enough energy to struggle in Spanish let alone help someone else struggle through English and feel responsible for it.

But when Wednesday come around, the kids came with their books from class, ready to ‘learn English’.

Since I can’t teach them what comes next in the book, I thought I might pick another topic to tackle with the. Here’s the killer: I actually don’t have the vocabulary to talk with these kids. I might know the word in English but without resources, pictures, books or vocab lists – all of which will take a stack of time to find since I’m not a teacher with access to school resources…

So – in order to increase my Spanish vocab – and their English vocab – I’m on the hunt for word lists in English. I’m starting with soccer/futbal so we’re ready for the world cup. If you have any ideas or word lists of vital vocabulary – send them on through!

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