Teach English in Xiditou Zhen - Tianjin

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Problems for Learners in FranceFrench Learners have an advantage of having already had some exposure to english as approximately 40 to 50 % of songs played on the radio are in english and it's is the primary language taught in the majority of french schools as a second language, so it is unusual to have a complete beginner who has no knowledge at all of any english. That said, there are some specific difficulties encountered by french Learners and I will attempt to give an overview of some of these. Grammar Learning in french schools is highly academic and most french people will be familiar with terms such as conjugating a verb and with the correct names for different tenses. This can be an advantage for a teacher, however teachers need to be conscious that some people may have had a very bad experience at school and that not all students will enjoy or respond well to an overly grammatical approach to learning. french grammatical structures are different in certain aspects; for example in french the adjective generally comes after the noun and often students will do the same in english e.g the car blue. It?s important to spend some time and attention on this area. The present simple in french also covers the present continuous so it can be difficult for students to understand the difference between the two tenses and students often say, ? I learn english.? /? I go to the shops this afternoon.? instead of ?I am learning english.? or ?I am going to the shops this afternoon.? Pronunciation There are certain sounds are difficult for french people speaking english, for example the sound 'th'does not exist in french so exercises, talking about how the sound is made in the mouth, tongue twisters is formed, and drilling are all useful. In french the letter ' i ' is usually pronounced 'ee' as in sheet. Work on minimal pairs e.g 'ship/sheep, hit/ heat' can be very effective. The letter 's' at the end of a word in french is often silent and it can take some time for french Learners to get into the habit of pronouncing the 's' at the end of words which can lead to confusion over singular/plural and also when conjugating verbs in the 3rd person singular. Similarly the letter 'h' and the sound 'h' does not exist in french and and students often 'drop their h's. As with the other sounds it is useful for a teacher to have several exercises, activities and games which give the student lots of opportunity to practice, to hear these sounds said by native speakers and also by themselves. Recording students and allowing them to hear themselves can be very effective. Classroom approach The general pedagogical approach of a country can be a help and/ or a hindrance. Language classes in which the aim is to have students conversing with confidence and experimenting with language without fear of making a mistake are often noisy, fun places to be and for students who have not experienced this teaching approach before there may be some initial reticence. In my experience this can be removed and fears allayed by leading by example, joining in, encouraging, giving feedback & not over correcting, especially in the early days. As I mentioned the french approach to teaching is very often highly academic with a teacher standing at the front of the class with little verbal interaction in the class so going slowly and encouraging people to participate helps the learning process enormously. Exposure to english As I mentioned previously, french people are exposed to a great deal of english music, however whilst France does import a high volume of American TV series, these are mostly dubbed into french and it is more difficult, to find original versions in english. This certainly helps students in becoming more familiarised with accents, sounds, expressions and so forth and it doesn?t feel like work! Due to the proximity of the UK, it is relatively easy for french students to go cheaply and quickly to the UK in order to immerse themselves in an english speaking culture either. This may be on an exchange programme, on holiday or even for a weekend. There are many opportunities in certain parts of France e.g. The Cote d'Azur and Paris amongst others where french students can have the opportunity to speak english on an informal level with native speakers. So french Learners should be encouraged to do any and all of these.