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TEFL to help students in classroom situations

Guest brinn

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Guest brinn


I am a secondary English teacher who occasionally has a class with a non-English speaking student in it. The students do get some individual support in the odd lessons from a former LEA department which now operates as a bought-in agency, but are still left at the back of my classroom unsupported for several lessons a week.

My problem is that with the best will in the world I simply have no time to create specialist resources (nor the training) and the Dept will not buy any resources in as they see it as a whole school issue. The school does nothing as they see it as the responsibility of the outside agency. The agency does nothing as they have to be paid for what they do do, and anyway it is against their principles which is that the students have to do what the class is doing in some form or other.

All very well except the student then sits at the back for three a lesson a week with whatever I can pull together quickly, or some other subject has given them - and it isn't enough.

Some students have dictionaries and I have bought adult elementary teaching books from my own pocket so I can set simple exercises for some students. Otherwise they sit there until their understanding has grown enough for me to set simple tasks they can do occasionally with the other students - but even then they cannot participate in all lessons, obviously, without more input than I have time for.

Without getting distracted by exclaiming about what my school should be doing (it won't), is there anyone out there who has experience and can help me help these students by recommending (hopefully free) internet resources (like ebooks)? I have a computer in my room that students can use during lessons. I know that is not at all ideal - but practically I cannot do anything else - and at least I want to do something!

Are there also cheapish resources I could buy? I might pay for them myself, or if they are obviously useful, I think I might be able to persuade my HoD to buy some.

I want things for older students - 13-16. I seem to find many Primary age sites out there which are imaginative and creative but too babyish, and my search for sites for older students only seems to find rather limited ones which focus on grammar and not reading for pleasure or information, or encouraging their own writing.

Sorry for being long winded.

Edited by brinn
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Andrew Moore

Hi, Brinn,

Have a look at:



That's not much of a solution, I realize. What you really need is differentiated resources - perhaps covering the same broad assessment objectives as the other students, but pitched at the language abilities of the second-language speaker.

The computer could make a huge difference - but one needs to know more about the learner's language culture and other interests, to find some initial points of contact, or ideas to develop in English.

It seems that the support service is failing miserably, and not exploiting the power of the technology that could make a difference - probably because they don't understand how to do so...

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