First off... only speak to them in English. This won't be a problem if English is the only language you know, but lets say the person's native tongue is Spanish, and you are fluent in Spanish. Refrain from speaking to that person in their language, no matter how tempted you are. It is harder to teach a person English if you are translating to them. Make them have to speak in English-- they learn by using it. If they speak to you in their native language, pretend you don't understand them (if you do).
Second, have the person complete whole sentences. For example, You say, "How was your weekend?" Make them reply, "My weekend was very busy"... instead of just saying "It was busy." This gives the person more practice since they are saying more.
Third, try to avoid using contractions in front of them until they have mastered the orginal words. For example, when they have learned "do not", then go on and teach them "don't".
Fourth, give them homework. Print out some easy worksheets for them to complete. Pronouns are the hardest to get down... so concentrate those... and don't forget tense. Also teach common words that appear in almost every sentence such as where/from, have/has/had, is/are, was/were, etc.
Some early things to teach...
1. Names and Greetings (ex: MY name is... YOUR name is... Nice to meet you. Hello and Goodbye)
2. City, State and Country (ex: Where are you from? He is American. He lives in America. She is Mexican. She is from Mexico. They come from Germany. They are German. We went to Mississippi. Our friends live in Tucson, Arizona.)
3. Numbers, Letters and Colors (ex: How MUCH? How MANY? How much ice cream is in the bowl? A lot? A little? How many letters are in the alphabet?)
4. Telephone and Addresses (telephone, street, road, signs, etc... My telephone number is... I live at 123, 4th street north... Go and Stop)
5. Descriptions: Big, Small, Tall, Short, etc. (ex: My sister has red hair. My brother is young. My mother is pretty. My father is short.)
6. Day, Night, What time is it? (It is morning... it is afternoon... I get off of work at 4:00pm. Now and Later... Now I am at work. I will go home later.)
7. Days of the Week, Months and Holidays (ex: My favorite holiday is? Why? Why not? I work on Monday. Today, Tomorrow and next week, month and year.)
8. Clothing and Shopping (ex: This shirt costs $3.00. I LIKE this skirt. I LOVE these pants.)
9. Food and Drink and How to Order Them (ex: I would like to HAVE... please. Thank you. He HAD the fish. HAS he ordered yet?)
10. Home, Apartment and Furniture (The book in ON the table. The garbage can in UNDER the desk. The bed is IN the bedroom. The pillow fell OFF the couch. I live in a house. We live in an apartment. I am going home.)
Practice, Practice, Practice. Pick a sentence to ask them every morning. "Hello, my name is Theo." Then have them say "Hello, my name is Jack." When they have gotten this down, increase the amount of words... "Hello, my name is Theo. It is a pleasure to meet you." and "Hello, my name is Jack. It is a pleasure to meet you, too." etc. You can add name, age, where you are from, and so on until you you are having a common generic conversation.
And remember, they should be doing more talking then you. They need the practice, you don't. So ask them a lot of questions! Use pictures to help you...
Tips... There are only so many times you can correct someone before they get discourage. So don't over do it. Twice is enough. If they don't say it correctly after the second try, move on and come back to the problem area at another time. And go heavy on the praise when they get it right... a "good job" will go far in keeping your student motivated. Try not to say negative things... when it is wrong, "good try", "your almost there", etc. is all you need to say.
Teaching a second language is never easy. It requires a lot of patience on your part. So try not to get frustrated or be too hard on yourself (or your student) if they doesn't catch on right away. And never let your student see that frustration should it happen.
Best Wishes and Good Luck!!!
Answered By: Theophania - 10/4/2006