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Teaching English to Absolute Beginners

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Undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges that English teachers will face in their careers is being asked to teach students who have zero English knowledge or ability. In an ideal world, these students would be placed into classes with teachers who are bilingual and can use the students 1st language to help in acquiring the 2nd language...the problem though, is this isn't an ideal world, and many teachers, who can only speak English, are regularly asked to teach students who cannot speak a word of English.

So where should you begin? What are the best approaches to teaching absolute beginners? What part of the language should you focus on first? How do you overcome the huge language barrier that separates your from your students? In this blog entry, I want to provide some popular strategies that English teachers will use in these situations, and also give you some of my own personal insight into teaching beginner English language learners.

Change your mindset
First and foremost, t…