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One-on-one English lessons?

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One-on-one English lessons?

Postby fielle » Thu 12.03.2009 10:40 pm

It has currently been decided that one of my tasks starting next week will be to help one of my coworkers with his English before he heads off to the American branch of our company.

I am pretty inexperienced in English teaching. Any of you English teachers in Japan have any suggestions?
I probably need to gauge his current level first, and I'd like some sort of book/curriculum to work off of--I think I could get my company to buy a textbook or two for me.
The lessons seem like they will end up being about an hour a day 3/4 days a week, but I'm not sure exactly for how long.

Any recommendations would be particularly welcomed! Thanks.
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Re: One-on-one English lessons?

Postby becki_kanou » Thu 12.03.2009 11:54 pm

It will depend on his level of course, but for beginners, I like the Side by Side series. For intermediate students who need more work on natural conversation I usually use "Talk Talk: American Style". You should be able to find both of them on Amazon JP or at your local Kinokuniya or Junkudo.
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Re: One-on-one English lessons?

Postby fielle » Fri 12.04.2009 12:09 am

Thanks Becki, that sounds like a great start!

I'll go look those up in a bookstore this weekend and flip through them to see what they're like.
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Re: One-on-one English lessons?

Postby spin13 » Fri 12.04.2009 4:42 am

I suggest spending some time teaching him how to properly learn a language on his own. Most Japanese people I've met have been exceedingly good at completing English language drills and textbooks, but few of them understand let alone speak passable English. This doesn't preclude using textbooks, but I think it requires some flexibility and thought.

I suggest working on pronunciation, which means you will need to learn at least some basics of phonology. You don't need works like plosive and fricative, but you will need to demonstrate proper tongue and mouth position and reinforce good habits. The most likely points are r/l, f/v, and consonant clusters.

I also think you should introduce him to sources of written and spoken English he can understand and enjoy. Write down the steps you did to find those, then teach him how to further find material himself. This could be sites like Voice of America Special English or graded readers or the daily single-paragraph baseball recaps in the sports page.

Last you should introduce him to reading and studying methods. There are many and though leading by example has it's merits, your goal is less to force on him your style and more to introduce him to the myriad of choices. A few things, like good dictionary use, are universal and should be encourage of anybody.
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