The official website of educator & arts patron Jack C Richards

Teaching absolute beginners

Question:

Submitted by N. Kazemi, Iran

How should we start teaching English to absolute beginners who neither know even a single word in English nor have any literacy skills even in terms of recognizing the English alphabet?

Professor Richards Responds:

It will be necessary to start with vocabulary recognition, phonics, and then to build up a core recognition and productive vocabulary, using pictures and translation.  Production should be very limited initially until these core requirements have been met.