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Unit 19 discusses what skills and techniques are needed when teaching special groups: beginners, individual students, children, business people, and multilingual classes.
Beginners are students that, for whatever reason, have at best an insignificant amount of knowledge of the English language, including the roman alphabet. Naturally, this lack of knowledge gives rise to several problems, depending on the students motivations and needs. Unit 19 gives many tips about methodology and techniques that can be used to address possible issues with beginners.
Individual lessons have many advantages such as no mixed levels and usually highly motivated students. They often allow the teacher to be a partner that helps and works with the student. On the other hand, group activities and group dynamics are unavailable, and the teacher has more responsibility in keeping the student motivated and interested in the lessons. Unit 19 provides many suggestions for 1-1 activities and homework.
Teaching children comes with its own set of features. On one hand, children possess an innate curiosity which drives them to want to learn new things. On the other hand, they naturally lack the understanding of why and how a lesson should be conducted, so boredom and discipline are often an issue. Unit 19 addresses in detail the do’s and don’ts for teaching children and gives some important advice about the features that should be present in the parent’s or other’s speech when communicating with children.
Business English (BE) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is a growing part of teaching English world-wide. Although specific knowledge of an industry or business is very useful, it is definitely not a prerequisite to teaching English to business people. Like with other special groups, teaching BE and ESP requires its own specific approach and methodology, depending on the context: one-to-one, in-company group, and in-school group.
Learners from a company are commonly referred as ‘clients’. The type of clients can vary immensely in age, group size, frequency of attendance, diversity of levels, stamina, and motivation. As such, a needs analysis and careful planning should be conducted at the beginning of the course. Unit 19 discusses in detail many of the possible features of teaching BE and ESP and provides a needs analysis sample that can be used as a template.
Multilingual classes always include students from various nationalities. Although having people from many different origins definitely poses some challenges, it is also an advantage to have people bringing a variety of culture and ideas to the classroom. In addition, because students will most likely only have English as a common language, they will not be able to rely as heavily in other languages to communicate. That is why Unit 19 gives some important pointers on the subject of avoiding the use of the mother tongue in multilingual classes.