Toe Save wrote:For Adults: Get them talking and listening. Fergit grammar, test prep, and all the other neat little packages they sell to their customers. Build confidence and help them understand that rote learning is not the way to become proficient with a language.
I can back this up. I'll add to it:
* Teach them to respond to the way people actually talk, rather than just textbook speak.
* Try to help them out of their fossilized errors, pay attention to what they say, take note of what sounds weird, and try to help them sound more natural.
* Take into consideration their actual learning goals- they're taking a test soon? Teach to that. They'll be travelling in the future? Teach to that. They will be using English at work? Teach to that. They work in the service industry? Teach to that. They're retired, bored, looking for a warm and inviting environment to make friends and pass the time? Play the hospitable host, make em smile, ask for their advice, enjoy their company.
I'll maintain that a HUGE part of being a good teacher is taking care of the emotional needs of the students while they're in your classroom. If someone is uncomfortable, scared or angry at you, they won't learn anything until they get over it.
Try to sincerely care about them, try to improve their lives, and enjoy their company - if you're doing those three things, it'll make up for a whole slew of mistakes.
As far as kids... I couldn't figure out how to teach in a way that I felt was improving their lives. Felt the time would be better spent with Mom and Dad, doing something they enjoy, developing their talents- basically doing anything BUT sitting in a buxiban classroom after having been at school all day. So I got out of the kid teaching business here.