TEFL for non native
speakersI?m a thai national born and raised in thailand. Being a non native english speaker, I?ve faced many difficulties in learning and understanding English since the beginning. Pronunciation was difficult, grammar was difficult, and I believe learning and just REMEMBERING all the tenses, modals, and verb forms would have been nearly impossible without the fortunate help I had from many American, Filipino, and European friends, who I could communicate with. I was homeschooled, and had to learn English, as my friends were mostly foreigners. I also wanted to study encyclopedias, read English novels, watch and understand Hollywood films, listen to songs, and date foreign girls, etc.
The main thing that helped me learn was personal motivation plus a lack of fear to communicate with foreigners. I believe that a lot of my people are shy and often avoid foreigners, as a result of communication problems. The way I learned was mostly through speaking/conversation and reading books?not through English Grammar classes. Like, I mentioned earlier, I was homeschooled because I hated the government school and did poorly there. I would read more English books than thai books. I did have a tremendous amount of motivation to learn, and a sharp memory for details, which is also a main reason for my success. As of right now, I speak with a fluent American accent, am able to pronounce even the most difficult words and sounds, and can read anything from patent applications to the King James Bible.
As a result of my success, I would strongly advise teaching methods which employ conversation practice in different live scenarios, teaching students how to understand, ask, and answer questions with ?what, why, how, when, where, do, are ,is ,have, has? and various modals. We might have illustrated conversations in scenarios that begin with introduction, and then move on discussing family, occupations, likes and dislikes, shopping, health, etc. (As we practice the conversations, we will also pay close attention to pronunciation and phonics.) In addition to this, lessons for students should include a lot of picture-word association activities, in order to help students identify objects, adjectives, prepositions, and verbs, etc. Once students have a basic vocabulary of words in different parts of speech, and know how to ask and answer simple questions, then we can move on to reading short stories, learning how to describe settings, understand dialogue, and also learn more advanced vocabulary items.
The age and needs of the students may also differ from class to class. Adults may prefer more reading and conversation practice, while young learners will be more interested in games and fun activities/worksheets.
teachers in thailand
should make themselves aware of different sounds that Thais have a hard time pronouncing, (such as ?l? at the end of a word, and the confusion between ?r? and ?l?,) so that they can focus on these weak areas when teaching phonics.
So in summary?when teaching non-native speakers in thailand, try focusing on these areas, and apply games and activities as needed.
1. Conversation in various scenarios
2. Picture/Word association activities
3. Phonetic and pronunciation problems
4. Reading from different sources