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any english teachers here(26 posts)

any english teachers hereishmael
Dec 17, 2002 8:04 AM
I might be getting a job teaching adults english. I'm sure they already speak it, they just need to get it farther from ebonics and closer to the queen's. I'm going in for an interview tomorrow and I want to have some ideas when I go in. I've taught chess to kids in a classroom setting and english in a one-on-one setting but english to adults I dont know. And then if I do get the job do I need a leason plan? But first, how do I get the job? A haircut is all I can think of for sure. what do I want to wear? say? everything?
Don't use that as your writing sample.DougSloan
Dec 17, 2002 8:24 AM
I count at least 11 errors in your post. Everyone makes mistakes now and then, but come on...

I think the number one thing you must demonstrate is your own proficiency with the language. I'm not joking. Take some good writing samples.

(I was an English minor with a major in philosophy, specializing in logic and philosophy of language.)

Good luck.

where are these elevenishmael
Dec 17, 2002 8:36 AM
I see i spelled lesson wrong..what else do you see besides punctuation? I dont speak with bad punctuation and when I need to I dont write it..
don't use this reply as a sample either (nm)ColnagoFE
Dec 17, 2002 8:57 AM
that's scaryDougSloan
Dec 17, 2002 9:09 AM
I might be getting a job teaching adults [E]nglish. I'm sure they already speak it, they just need to get it f[u]rther from [E]bonics and closer to the [Q]ueen's. I'm going in for an interview tomorrow[,] and I want to have some ideas when I go in. I've taught chess to kids in a classroom setting and [E]nglish in a one-on-one setting[,] but [E]nglish to adults[,] I don[']t know. [And] [T]hen[,] if I do get the job[,] do I need a le[s]son plan? [But] [F]irst, how do I get the job? A haircut is all I can think of for sure. [W]hat do I want to wear? [S]ay?[incomplete sentence] [E]verything?[I.S.]

There are some additional usage issues, but I did not list them. (Of course, now I'm paranoid of my own errors. :-)

youve got to be kiddingishmael
Dec 17, 2002 9:39 AM
I already said capitals dont count. I'll except "further" instead of "farther", I think the rule has to do with physical or other types of movement. I think your capitals of "then" and "first" are obviously wrong. And your "English to adults, I don't know." - I dont want a comma there.
FartherEager Beagle
Dec 17, 2002 9:55 AM
and further, in English english, at least, are interchangable. The latter is more common in the context you used, that's all.

Anyway, I think the point Doug is, rightly, making, is that you have to be whiter than white with your english - your pupils will be only too pleased to trip you up at every opportunity.

FWIW - internet english don't count - wot I rite hear is to do wiv speed and not chequing, not wot my Enlish is lik.
Dec 17, 2002 10:20 AM
You'll accept "further" instead of "farther."
no problemDougSloan
Dec 17, 2002 10:46 AM
I was being hyper-technical on purpose. If you can defend your writing, that's fine. The issue with the capitals concerns starting sentences with conjunctions, so after they are deleted, the next word needs to be capitalized. This rule is in flux, though.

Everyone makes mistakes; certainly I do. I type too fast, or just don't think sometimes. However, when I make the mistake, I darn well know it afterwards.

Good luck.

missed a semicolonColnagoFE
Dec 17, 2002 10:23 AM
I'm sure they already speak it[;] they just need to get it f[u]rther from [E]bonics and closer to the [Q]ueen's.

The tenses are also pretty mixed up and there are some rather awkward sentence structures.

(ex. "A haircut is all I can think of for sure.", and "I've taught chess to kids in a classroom setting and [E]nglish in a one-on-one setting[,] but [E]nglish to adults[,] I don[']t know."
why not?mohair_chair
Dec 17, 2002 9:31 AM
It doesn't take much effort to write properly, or at least to attempt it. If you plan on teaching English, you "need" to make it a habit. At a minimum that means capitalizing 5 of 5 uses of "I" and considering using more commas. You don't have to listen to all the nitpicking grammar nazis who confuse rules of grammar with elements of style, but from what I've seen, you have a ways to go before nitpicking kicks in.
go for itDougSloan
Dec 17, 2002 9:17 AM
Don't let me discourage you. I suppose the idea is to teach *better* English to these people, not necessarily perfect English. All I'm suggesting is how to impress the employers.

to all of youzeke
Dec 17, 2002 8:52 PM
Remember the original post was written as a post to this forum. It may have been written in 2 minutes, it may not have been proofread. The original post may reflect the writer's first draft. All of us have had chances to read it 'objectively', thus I think we are being too hard on the original poster, making him self conscious and decreasing confidence in his writing. This is something he does not need now.
He is sincere about teaching. That will take him far, that will allow him, be an incentive for him to improve his writing or whatever topic he is teaching.
Dec 18, 2002 9:51 AM
I think we did encourage him; nonetheless, he asked for our advice, and one piece of advice was not to demonstrate the same sort of English skills used here, regardless of his motivation to use good grammar, spelling, and usage here. To me, that's not necessarily nitpicking his writing, which you'll notice I don't ever do, but rather trying to make a legitimate point.

"Tough love."

Was once.Eager Beagle
Dec 17, 2002 8:27 AM
1) Speak in sentences.
2) Lesson plan is essential.
3) Learn you grammar inside out. They are bound (ought) to ask you the difference between the transitive and intransitives etc.
4) Come up with a few ideas for lessons. E.g. I'll give them a set of facts and get them to write a newspaper artcle in less than 200 words (comprehension & precis in one) etc.
5) What to wear - I can't say - I don't know the US way - if you were here, I'd say "tweed and leather elbow patches" :-) Then again - Dead Poets - you could do worse!

Good luck.
Dec 17, 2002 8:33 AM
"tweed and leather elbow patches"

the English teaching thing is cool - I've known alot of people who do the teaching English thing abroad - it's a good way to travel and really see some parts of the world as more than a tourist - you could do worse than plan on that after graduating for a year or longer
Dec 17, 2002 8:55 AM
So this is a job where you don't need a teaching cert? What kind of experience do you have with teaching English?
Dec 17, 2002 9:40 AM
Nope, it seems no cert is required. I listed my experience above. Teaching chess to kids and english and math also.
non-ebonic speech among blacksStarliner
Dec 17, 2002 11:14 AM
I'd submit that people tend to emulate (in speech pattern) those with whom they live around, and also those with whom they identify - athletes, movie stars, musicians (rock/rap/etc), politicians, etc.

If you want to effectively move your pupils away from ebonics, find some examples of successful, well known and respected people they can can connect with.

Presuming your ebonic students are mainly black, here's a few suggestions for black role models with regard to non-ebonic speech:

For athletes, dreadlocked superstar running back Ricky Williams of the Miami Dolphins may shock you with how clean and clear his speech is - I was when I heard him for the first time; guess that reminded me not to always judge a book by its cover. Tiger Woods could be another good example, but he's a golfer and therefore might look to be from a distant world too far away from the inner city world. In basketball like in football, there's a lot of bad examples, but one that might work would be Grant Hill.

Actors/Actresses: positive examples - Sidney Poitier, Halle Berry

Musicians: ?

Politicians: positive examples - Condelezza Rice, JC Watts, Colin Powell
non-ebonic speech among blackszeke
Dec 17, 2002 8:54 PM
also be aware that students or anyone can be bi-dialectal. everyone speaks different 'registers', ie professionals speak a professional register at the office and differently at home etc.
re: any english teachers herezeke
Dec 17, 2002 8:48 PM
This is a day or so too late but you may be able to use it on future interviews.
Dont mention that you want students to speak an English that is closer to Queen's English. This will be seen as, is, elitist. Recognize that other Englishes exist and are valid and serve their puposes. For example there is such a thing as black English. It is a system has an origin and is predictable.
So, other Englishes exist, just as other cultures exist, are valid, are not errors, are used for certain purposes, etc etc.
As a teacher you must be sensitive to these issues, if not you soon will be or you will stop teaching.
Btw, check some research by R. Dalby, on the origins of black english (rest assured this is NOT related to Ebonics).
Good luck
ofcourse, I was being fa-ce-shusishmael
Dec 18, 2002 9:04 AM
the interview is over and I did awfully. They tested me out one on one with a student to see how I would do teaching colons. I don't know anything about colons and never use them. the interviewer said it was ok they were just seein how I would relate but I cant relate when I dont know what I'm talking about. I wasn't prepared..
read this before next timeDougSloan
Dec 18, 2002 9:56 AM
Assuming you are being serious and want to try again, read this book, "Elements of Style":

It's a quick refresher concerning common mistakes. I keep a copy by my desk.

in factDougSloan
Dec 18, 2002 9:57 AM
Send me your address, and I'll send you a copy.

I'll take you up on that offerishmael
Dec 18, 2002 10:31 AM
It'll probably sit on my desk for along time. Until I know everything in it. Thanks
ofcourse, I was being fa-ce-shuszeke
Dec 20, 2002 1:10 AM
They wanted you to teach 'colons'? Stay away from that place. They seem like types in education who are interested in accountability and are interested only in form not content.