Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Advanced Students

by AJ

Im faced with a surprising challenge at TU. My students are the most advanced I have ever taught.... far more advanced than the university students I taught in Japan. In fact, many have lived/studied abroad and are basically fluent.

Ive never taught this level before. This was my first week and I drastically underestimated my students. Im afraid they found my lessons easy and boring.

So this weekend I did some research on advanced foreign language students. In particular I consulted Krashen's site and his compiled research and suggestions.

After reading through it all, Ive decided to take a literature-focused approach. I will utilize newspaper articles, magazines, and novels in class. I will institute free voluntary reading at the end of each class (students bring any reading material they like and read silently on their own for the last 15 minutes of class... see Krashen's site for a mountain of research on this).

In other words, Ill be teaching my classes like a sheltered American/English literature course. We'll read books and articles and discuss them in class. With some classes I will also use authentic movies for listening and vocabulary. Im using View from The Top for the "English for the airline industry" class, for example.

I havent quite decided how to institute a literature focus... as I must be sure they are prepared for the departmental exams as well. My freshmen classes already have two assigned books, so Ill use those and add Free reading to them.

If I could find a good airline related novel, Id assign that to the airline class... but right now nothing pops to mine. Nor can I think of a decent/interesting novel related to economics!

However, I do have an idea for my "English for Russian majors" class... I found a graded reader of Dr. Zhivago. I may assign it... or use it for read alouds in class. Students would then write summaries and discuss the major themes of the day's reading.