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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Frustrated teacher needs help! :(    

Frustrated teacher needs help! :(


Frustrated teacher needs help! :(
Hi Everyone!

I am getting very frustrated with my student and with myself really. She is 12 years old and I give her private lessons. The problem is there are absolutely NO results. We go over something she says she understands and then she cannot do her homework properly. I explain present simple to her and then for homework she writes "I be a student" or something like that.
She is dyslectic and has big problems with English. She likes me but she hates to learn English and she doesn t want to learn it (that s what her mother told me). She also daydreams during lessons and it s hard to keep her concentrated.
I tried a strict approach but it isn t working and I really need some tips! :(
She isn t my only student and I never had problems with anyone else - usually "my kids do well at school and the progress is visible, but not here.
Please can anyone give me tips on how to make the lessons enterntaining for her and also maybe someone knows how to deal with dyslectic students. HELP :(((

30 Sep 2010      

United States

Perhaps you could drop the grammar for a bit and just talk to her.  Make the lesson a social thing rather than a lesson.  If it clicks with her she wil begin to motivate herself.
(but speak as much as possible in English and have her answer the same--tell stories about yourself, those often help)

30 Sep 2010     


Thanks for your answer :) The problem is her parents want her to know: present and pasy simple and continuous and if that wasn t enough present perfect. She needs that for school.
I was thinking of warming her up to the idea of talking in English and just letting her enjoy it and I think it is a great idea :) She likes to learn about me and tell me stories about herself, but how to incorporate that with parent s/school demands :(

1 Oct 2010     


I totally understand what you re saying, having a dyslectic student myself. I have been teaching her for three years and, although she s not progressing as rapidly as the other students, there is a certain degree of improvement (even if it is less than I have hoped for and certainly less than I have worked for! Cry)
So, don t worry! You re not alone on that one!Hug
My student s parents always expected more, since the demands of school are rising, but I talked to them and they seemed to understand that their child needs more time processing information.
I use a lot of pictures and matching activities, as well as songs. I realised that she finds it easier to remember short  stories or anectodes,so I try to teach grammar this way.(e.g. I say that the nouns ending in -s, -sh, -ch, etc. had a big fight with the ending -s, so we use the letter -e- in order for them not to meet. e.g. watch-e-s)Thumbs Up
Also, dyslectic kids are often more sociable and talkative than others. Use this by letting your student talk freely about anuthing s/he likes. But don t interrupt to correct him/her. Instead, let them finish and repeat their phrase using the correct form. I have noticed that this works better.
That s all I have to say to you. Hope I ve helped!

1 Oct 2010     


There are some useful boardgames in this site that are excellent to practice English tenses without noticing! Everytime my students try to build a sentence I recall grammar structures and by the end of the game they know that if it is the verb to be it s am, is or are, if it s 3rd person singular, add an S... When it is my turn playing, I also repeat the rules as if I needed to remember, so that they listen to them over and over.  It s a great way for these kids to learn without boredom...

1 Oct 2010     


My son suffers from dysorthogrAphiA. He hAd A greAt French teAcher lAst yeAr who explAined thAt it s A reAl disAbility: there Are some connections in the brAin thAt don t work.They Are not less intelligent thAn the other kids, fAr from it, but they hAve to creAte their own system of grAmmAr rules And spelling. but As she told me, it tAkes time... As for dyslectic kids, she told me thAt it s Almost impossible for them to leArn written English properly. So perhAps would it be good to wArn pArents or to Advise them to speAk About it with A speciAlist so thAt they cAn understAnd whAt dyslexiA reAlly involves in leArning A foreign lAnguAge! I guess they cAn get better since I myself got pupils who cAn mAke some progress but it Also depends on the degree of dyslexiA they suffer from. I try to use orAl skills As much As possible And use A lot of drills, repetitive structures to help them. Good luck!

1 Oct 2010