Saturday, April 7, 2012

On the tip of my tongue, but...

Today I am thinking about how students can overcome problems of forgetting words during a conversation.

Some of my students say they are okay with reading and understand almost everything they read, grammar is okay, etc but when they get into a conversation they often get stuck because some word they want to say just doesn't come to mind.

I feel guilty because this is my job, to solve such problems.

 My students use a cd I have made, a melange of short stories that they listen to over and over in their cars. They say it helps to have those words " ringing in their ears" and when they chat the words come more easily. Actually, i made the cd for someone else, and gave it to these students just for general listening and pleasure. So, by giving them the cd, I really just got lucky! I guess that's okay even though it isn't  such a "professional" solution. Really the students found the remedy-- or at least it's a partial remedy--themselves. 

That's what we really want to do,isn't it: let the students take initiative. Teachers can be a resource and a guide.

Part of the problem comes, of course, from living in their native language environment where they must spend a large part of the day " out of English"

What else can I do? I could make another cd for them, maybe include some listenings that are relevant to their work or typical of conversations they are having in English .

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