Language Teachers Just Curious... What Is The First Thing You Teach To Your Students... ... Provided That They Don\'t Know The Language?

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Sunday 05th of August 2007 11:34:08 AM
Just curious... What is the first thing YOU teach to your students...: You are starting from scratch, what's the first thing you teach them?
Is it pronouns, common words, useful phrases...?

Just wanted to know =]

Sunday 05th of August 2007 06:58:12 PM
That is good question. I my case, I learned some useful phrase. That is important, an that is fastes way to learn any language. I am never learning grammar, it is too difficult for new students.

P.S. sorry for my bad English

Monday 06th of August 2007 02:37:59 AM
For my language :p I wouldn't EVEN think of starting with teaching with a whole list of pronouns as you know :p there's too many pronouns in Malay :p and used for different situations.

Anyways, personally, I'd just jump straight to teaching how to use the language (constructing a sentence) with commonly used words, and vocabulary for nouns and adjectives come along naturally with those words. Since there are no tenses, conjugations or declensions, I don't have to worry about that at all. :D

Monday 06th of August 2007 06:38:00 AM
It depends on the level from which they're coming to me.

If they only know how to say "Hola," the first thing they need to know is how Spanish sounds when spoken, at full speed. So I spend a minute, saying random things at full Spanish speed. It helps give an idea of what they are going to eventually reach (and with it, some motivation) and how to analyze. In that first minute of SPanish they hear from me, I try to include as many words that have clear English cognates. One of the first important skills of language learning isn't to learn EVERYTHING, it's to learn how to pick apart what you can identify and form an opinion/understanding of it.

In short, I run them through exercises of identifying the listening patterns of the language.

After that, we run through pronunciation. I dedicate a lot of time to perfecting the rolled R. I tell them that I don't expect to master it from the first day, but that they need to experience hearing and saying the language as authentically as possible to be able to acquire a good accent.

Oh, and "Where's the bathroom?" often is a primary thing with travel-minded students :-D

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