How to Teach English to a Foreigner

By favefive, eHow Member

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Teach English to a Foreigner

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There will come a time that you will either be in a foreign land trying to speak in English to a local or you may be in your own country teaching a visiting foreigner to speak in English. As it is widely known, English is the universal language but not everyone can speak it. Here are some ways you can teach English to a foreigner.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging


Things You'll Need:

·         Dictionary

·         Translation book

·         Objects

·         Pictures

·         Hand signals

·         Body language

1.     Point to objects. You can teach basic English by showing or pointing to objects and saying the words that correspond to the objects. For example, pick an apple at a produce market and say the word "apple" slowly and clearly. Have the foreigner watch your mouth and then have him repeat the word several times. Then try another object, each time having your foreign friend repeat several times until he gets the words correctly. Quiz the foreigner by pointing to each object again and see how much he could remember.


Show pictures. Like pointing to objects, you can point to pictures and then translate them into words slowly but clearly. Have your friend repeat several times until he can speak each word correctly. Quiz your friend by pointing to the pictures and having your friend call out the names.


Use hand gestures. When trying to teach English you can use hand gestures then add words as you do the hand gestures. Have your foreign friend repeat again until he can speak the words clearly and can match your hand gestures correctly.


Use body language. There will be times to demonstrate sentences or phrases in action. Use your whole body and say the words clearly then repeat and have your friend guess the words by your actions.


Give your friend a translation handbook. Invest in an English/foreign language book. Give this to your friend and show him how to use it. Help your friend put together words correctly by teaching the correct verb and adjectives, as well as nouns and pronouns to use.


Make every effort whenever you get the chance. Speak to your friend in English all the time even if you can speak his language. Getting your friend used to the English language will speed up his learning process.


Watch English movies and turn off subtitles. If your friend cannot understand it, have him try to look for the words in his handbook. In due time, he will learn to get used to hearing the words and finding their meanings and translations on his own without using the subtitles.

Tips & Warnings

·         Be patient. It takes time and effort to teach someone another language.

·         Do not laugh at your foreigner friend's mistakes.

·         Do not teach bad language to your friend and then substituting the meaning. He may end up in trouble if you do this even if you did not mean to do so. Having fun at the expense of others is not a good way to make friends. Imagine yourself in the same shoes, you will not like it if people poke fun at you and put you in danger.