domingo, 15 de agosto de 2010

Problems we face 2 (Boring Material)

One of my students is 13 and we’ve just started a book which I think that in the future has a great chance to become kind of boring for him. I’m already worried about it because it’s always complicated to find a complete material and I really like the structure this one has. The point is that certain units bring subjects in which he might not be interested in because of his age. In these cases, we have to use our imagination and creativity even more and try to solve the problem. A few tips:
a) After preparing a class, try to think about some extra activities you can apply based on the book. For example: a long questionnaire can be easily replaced by a nice match up. Just copy the questions in pieces of paper and write the answers as well. Then, ask your student(s) to match the questions with their correct answers;
b) Adapt everything you can in a way you think your student might feel interested in. For example, if the topic of the conversation is about “books” but you know your teen student is really into music, adapt the questions to this subject. Instead of asking him “What’s your favorite book?”, ask: “What’s your favorite song?”;
C) Pay special attention to your students and then focus on what can be interesting for them. I know we cannot skip most of the activities from the book but it’s not a big deal to emphasize certain tasks instead of others. So, if your student is having a great time talking about Internet, there’s no need to ask him to talk about politics which is a subject he doesn’t seem to be interested at all;
D) When you have a chance, bring some extra material to class. Most of the themes those books bring can be illustrated by magazines, newspapers, songs and even movies!
E) Show interest about what you’re teaching. Maybe that exercise from the book you’re working on is a little boring, but you don’t have to transmit it to your student. Try to make the task interesting and catch your student’s attention. As I’ve already mentioned in another post even the tone of your voice can make things different!

Good luck, colleague!

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