(ESL Teachers) Might, Should, Could, Would, May

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Swettenham, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Swettenham

    Swettenham Senior Member

    Hi everybody :)

    In my intermediate ESL class I am trying to teach these auxiliary verbs. Could is easy, because it's basically podría (or podía), and Should is close to Debería, but Would, Might, and May really don't have equivalents in Spanish.

    Have any of you teachers found a good way to help ESL students learn these verbs?

    Gracias de antemano
  2. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Joe: Sorry to sound naive, but doesn't the "school" give you textbooks? :eek:
  3. Honeylhanz

    Honeylhanz Senior Member

    Filipino, Spanish
    hola Swettenham,
    yes you are right :tick: . would, might, and may doesn't really have an equivalent in spanish :confused: . It is in conditional form. The equivalent of this words in spanish will depend on how you used it.
    maybe this links can help you regarding "would".
    hope this will help. :)
  4. Swettenham

    Swettenham Senior Member

    They do, Nicolita, but the textbooks alone don't suffice. They are a helpful way to check understanding, but I'm trying to figure out what more I can do to help the students learn. :) Thanks Honeylhanz, I'll study those links.
  5. astronauta Senior Member

    Spain. Spanish (ES, MX) English (UK, CA, US)
    Sweet, take a TESOL course.

    I have observed that you have plenty of questions regarding your job and most importantly, the drive to improve.

    In such course, they will answer all your questions and they will tell you how to handle ESL speakers' most common problems.

    You owe it to your students ;)
  6. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    While I agree, astronauta, that taking a "TESOL" course may help Swett understand the theories behind ESL, I can speak from my own experience that the theories and erudite musings of oft-pompass intellectuals do not necessarily assist teachers in everyday classroom practicum, which is what Swett is asking for.

    Text books do a sound job providing curriculum and learning structures, but again, often (not always) fail to give teachers practical exercises to help their students achieve understanding in structure beyond rote memorization and sentence-writing.


    This is another place where you can give your students opportunities to learn beyond what the textbook has to tell them. When I applied this structure, I would break my students up into groups of four, and have them write, as a group, a small "play" based upon a real-life scenario, where each student had to play a different character. They would then create their play around the usage of the auxiliary words, using each auxiliary at least two times during the course of the play. Each play was no longer than five-seven minutes.

    After they have "written" their plays, they would then perform them for the group. Usually this was a two-day exercise, with the first day focused on the lesson plan and "writing," the second day focused on "performing" and critiquing the plays (from the other students) based upon the usage.

    I have noticed that your group is all Spanish-speaking, and I know you have found this helpful when there comes a need to "translate" to ease comprehension of certain concepts. I would, however, if at all possible, avoid this, because the students then come to rely upon it in their own experience and don't "cross the bridge" between translation and "thinking in the other language."

    It's sometimes okay for lower-level learners, but for an intermediate or certainly advanced class, I would avoid it all together.

    Hope this helps! Good luck.
  7. astronauta Senior Member

    Spain. Spanish (ES, MX) English (UK, CA, US)
    Gen, at least is a good start, Sweet has mentioned that he had no formation whatsoever before his current post.

    A person may be an passable teacher with no academic formation, but if you want to be a good or otherwise great teacher you have to learn something; and that goes for most jobs. Plus a TESOL course is not only text books, you can certainly ask questions to the teachers; they even go into regional phonetics.

    As my gramma used to say "no one is born knowing how to eat artichokes"....;)
  8. Swettenham

    Swettenham Senior Member

    Don't worry, Astronauta, I'm trying everything. TESOL will be my minor at George Mason University, but I'm working my way up there. The funny thing is that my teaching schedule itself interferes with my school schedule, limiting my ability to take TESOL classes right now (they are not given at the hours when I'm available). I completely understand what you're saying, and I completely agree. But I do have some hard-working students in my charge right now, so I have to worry about them now, and future students a little later... Of course, in the grand scheme of things, you're absolutely right. :)
  9. astronauta Senior Member

    Spain. Spanish (ES, MX) English (UK, CA, US)
    Great Sweet! I am sure you will be a great teacher because I have seen your drive (the most important thing), and you are clearly are interested in your teaching methods.

    Everyone loves (and remembers) a good teacher!!!;)
  10. Honeylhanz

    Honeylhanz Senior Member

    Filipino, Spanish
    your very much welcome Swettenham :)

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