Teaching English Abroad in Buenos Aires: When considering Teaching English Abroad, Buenos Aries is one of the most captivating cities in Latin America. From its resemblance to the cities of Europe to its multicultural diversity, Buenos Aries is a wonderful city and an experience that shouldn’t be missed. As the 5th largest consumer of wine in the world, Argentina is overflowing with excellent wine available at current reasonable prices.

Teaching English Abroad in Buenos Aires, Teaching English Levels

When teaching English, eight levels are commonly used to categorize language ability:

  1. Absolute/False Beginner
  2. Beginner
  3. High-Beginner
  4. Low-Intermediate
  5. Intermediate
  6. High-Intermediate
  7. Advanced
  8. High-Advanced

Beginner Students:

Beginners are often too shy to speak. As a result, teachers should be sure to build a rapport with the students so that they feel the confidence to begin speaking. Try to encourage students as much as possible, even if they make many mistakes. Always give constructive criticism with positive reinforcement. Lesson plans for beginners should be made interesting, diverse, and visual. Set a schedule that is flexible in case the student is quicker or slower than expected. Additionally, communication may be solely through body language if the teacher does not speak the student’s language. Try to have an English dictionary on hand in addition to planning “absolute beginner” activities. DO NOT treat adult beginners like children.

Intermediate Students:

Like beginner students, intermediate students may feel shy when speaking the target language. Be sure to work just as hard at building a rapport with such students. Knowing more of the language, intermediate students respond well to learning personal information about the teacher. Always commend intermediate students for a job well done. Lesson plans for intermediate students can be more difficult, but also more fun and creative. Intermediate learners are often more up to a challenge. They also respond well to visuals, literature, audio, and writing assignments. Get students involved as the topics will be more difficult. Give adult learners topics they can relate to. DO NOT treat adult intermediates like children.

Advanced Students:

Adult learners are the easiest to get to know as they are no longer shy about speaking. As a result, it is easier to build a rapport with such students. They have the ability to speak generally on most topics as they have a strong grasp of the language. There should be a lot of review using written and spoken language. Objective should be more flexible and one should take note that advanced students will move through material more quickly. Many advanced students are interested in learning about a specific field. As such, they can be taught specific courses in English. There is a freedom in planning lessons with advanced students that you would not find in intermediate or advanced lessons. Advanced learners are usually 17 and up.

Teaching Adults—things to consider

  1. Diversity is more likely in the classroom
  2. Adults like knowledgeable, positive, and enthusiastic teachers
  3. Adults need a comfortable and secure environment
  4. Repetition is key
  5. Adults learn with questions and answers
  6. Real life context—adults prefer real-life situations

Teaching Children—things to consider

  1. Short attention span
  2. Using objects for application of knowledge
  3. Playfulness
  4. Phonetics (children are able to mimic sounds more easily than adults)

Teaching Abroad in Buenos Aires, Sample Lesson Plan

Student Name: Tatianna Herrera (8)

Level: Kids 2

Objective: To review “family member” vocabulary that she should have already touched upon. Additionally, Tatianna is a quiet student so I hoped get her speaking more this class. By the end of the class, I wanted her to confidently use this vocabulary.

The Class: To introduce the topic of family to Tatianna, I gave her to option of using colored pencils or Play-doh—she chose the Play-doh. I then instructed her to use the Play-doh to make her family. While she was doing so, I would ask “Who is this?” She would answer, “my mom/dad/brother/sister” in English. I made my own family out of Play-doh as well so that she did not feel as though I was watching her every move. We then worked on a worksheet in which she had to label members of an extended family tree. I gave her a filled-out family tree worksheet to use if she got confused. She asked to keep the worksheets at the end of the lesson because she found it helpful. It also helped her learn how to read a family tree. This took up the rest of the hour.

Resources needed: Play-doh or colored pencils, worksheets (or the ability to draw a family tree), and a cheat-sheet of the family tree if the vocabulary is new to students and they need practice learning to read family trees.

How is this activity appropriate for a Kids 2 student?

Tatianna got practice saying sentences such as “This is my mom” and “This is me” without having to delve into complicated grammar. She also was able to practice reading a family tree and utilizing new vocab. The Play-doh was a hands-on activity that would keep an 8-year-old content for the amount of time it was used. I made sure to play with the Play-doh too, or look busy while she was working on the worksheet so she did not get shy again. Much positive reinforcement was utilized.

Improvements: If time is short, use colored pencils instead of Play-doh as it takes children a while to make their family using it.

What does this tell us about teaching family vocabulary?

When teaching family vocabulary—especially to children—its best to reference their own family members. This gives them something to focus on, as well an interest in the subject as it pertains to them.