Hi all,
I'm American and have been teaching English in Rome, Italy for the past year. It's the only experience I have, so I sometimes feel at a loss when coming up with new ideas on my own. I recently found a family that wants me to teach their children English privately at their home, and I agreed. There will be 3 or 4 of them and they are 6 & 7 years old. They are just learning to read and write in Italian, so the parents don't want much reading/writing in English. My idea was to teach them as much vocabulary as possible through games & songs and the alphabet, as well. We will meet for one hour a week, so I thought that each vocab topic (i.e. animals, school objects, etc.) could last 2 weeks or so, depending on how well they've understood things. My question, I guess, is does this sound ok? I always feel like following a book is best because it gives some form of structure to your lesson. I have ordered a book by Oxford called TreeTops level 1, for elementary students.


Thank you,


Please do not take this the wrong way, but one hour a week is not enough to learn anything. You will be frustrated, the parents will be frustrated, and the kids will be frustrated. It is not a win-win situation. The only time I heard of someone making a dent with children at that age and frequency was when a very professional language teacher friend of ours was engaged to come and read bedtime stories to four French children. The books she used were fairly elementary but full of pictures (The Lion King was one) so she could visually drill vocabulary and retain interest - but the results were mediocre at best.

Negotiate more time with the children from the parents and then try your approach. Honestly, one hour a week? Unless they are getting English classes at school, it's an uphill battle.

Hi John,

Thank you for your response, though I have to disagree. I primarily teach to children at an English school and the youngest age they start them out at is a preschool level. Last year, I taught to 5 and 6 year old children, and we met once a week for an hour. I taught them different vocabulary through games and songs and they remembered nearly all of the words and were able to respond if I asked them very simple questions. I'm not saying that they could form sentences or anything like that, but children are very quick to pick up new words and phrases that they hear around them. Thanks for your input, though. Emotion: smile

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Oh Ashley, I'm sorry. I misread.

I didn't undertand that you primarily teach to children at an English school. I thought your new pupils would be comig from a 100% Italian environment and that you would only be giving them one hour of exposure to English every seven days.

Your approach sounds great and I wish you the best of luck.