Teaching English as a second language
Thread poster: Daly Gordon-Bahat

Daly Gordon-Bahat
Local time: 15:26
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Aug 25, 2007

As an experienced English teacher, I have learned through the years that teaching a language must be done while using it in class as much as you can. When I enter the class, I "forget" about being an Israeli whose native tongue is Hebrew (much to the disapopintment of my pupils, of course) and I speak only English. I do so because I believe that students should be exposed to the language taught as much as possible.

However, all of that changes when I begin to teach English Grammar, which is very different from the Hebrew one. For example, we have only three tenses - future, present and past while in English when dealing only with the present tenses we teach the Present Simple, Present Progressive, Present Perfect Simple and Progressive. Let's not forget the difference in gender - while in English the word 'You' refers to singular\plural\female\male, in Hebrew we have a different word for each and the verb changes differently for each. So now you
can begin to understand the big difference.

When I say, all of that changes I refer to the language - while I insist to speak only English during the lessons and that the kids will answer in English as much as they can, when I teach grammar, I speak Hebrew. I do so mainly for two reasons - to lower the anxiety Israeli students feel whenever they hear the word grammar and in order to demonstrate and clearly explain the differences between the two languages concerning grammar.

Being an English teacher is my passion and my designation - I know it may sound bombastic, but this is genuinely how I feel. I do not know how many of you know how low is the salary of a teacher in Israel - around the minimum wage. So you can now understand that this is not a profession one chooses for money but rather out of idiological reasons - being an educator, trying to influence the minds and behaviour of teenagers, enjoying the special relations you develop with them and so on.

And with this optimistic message I will close my article.

Please send me any reflections and comments you have.


simona dachille  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Italian to English
Me too... Aug 26, 2007

I have often reverted to Italian when teaching grammar to Italian students. If they can get an explanation in their own language, why not? As long as there is lots of real practice in the desired language too. I found Involucri's Grammar Games extremely helpful for all levels. You don't have to explain too much as you play as long as you have already covered the target language. The rest comes naturally...language learners often just have to be reassured about following their instinct rather than mega grammar rules!


Daly Gordon-Bahat
Local time: 15:26
English to Hebrew
+ ...
thanks for the reply Aug 27, 2007

you mention some games - can you send me a link for them? Is it possible to use them for Hebrew speakers?


PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
teaching English as second language? It was easy for me! Aug 27, 2007

Dear All!
I taught for two consecutive years to school kids. I have taught to nepali and Indian kids. And I found it easy to teach those students who knew Sanskrit grammar. Those pupil who knew about Sanskrit could easily learn English grammar after getting inputs from me.
Warm Regards!


Barbara Biaggi  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:26
English to Italian
I'm interested, too! Aug 27, 2007

Dear Simona,
sorry to break into your "conversation" but I'm interested in the grammar games you mention ... would you be so kind to give me some more information, such as publishing house, etc.?

Thank you very much


Local time: 14:26
English to French
+ ...
Grammar games Sep 3, 2007

To those of you asking about the book 'grammar games', I 've just discovered I've mislaid it... however, the author is Rinvolucri, his first name is Marco, I think, and the publishing house would be Oxford University Press or Cambridge University Press.
Have just googled it. It's Mario Rinvolucri and it's Cambridge UP

[Edited at 2007-09-03 21:04]


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