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All the materials in barebones are working teaching documents 
subject to review, alteration or abandonment in classroom practice.
Anyone is welcome to use this stuff, but copyright remains with
Thor May. Feedback, positive or negative, is very welcome.

ESL materials & ideas developed in Korea

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Numeracy - Teaching Notes

1. Numeracy as an employment skill: Basic numeracy is amongst the most important of all employment related skills, even for relatively low-level jobs

2. Aural (listening) recognition: Numeracy in a second language must include the aural recognition of numbers delivered at natural speed. This is essential.

3. Context: Numbers are best presented within a realistic context. For example, for trainee hotel service staff, the context may include various kinds of bills, and messages delivered by telephone.

4. Taking messages: Note that hotel service staff (who are a focus in this material) may be required to take messages internationally from businessmen. Numbers incorrectly passed on can cause serious trouble to a businessman, and might cost service staff their job.

5. Arithmetic skills: Experience has shown that many trainee service staff are not only unable to accurately record numbers they hear, but also have great trouble with simple arithmetic (for example, adding up a bill). There should be an opportunity in class to practice these skills as a realistic role play related to employment. (Typically such students have been unable to focus on numbers in lower schools, where material may be presented abstractly, as a theoretical exercise).

6.Realistic scanarios: Before presenting something like a hotel bill orally, it is a good idea for the teacher to create a scenario. For example,

" Mr Connors, the American guest in room 518, has just collected his bill from the reception desk. He takes it back to his room to study, and finds some errors. Of course he is annoyed. He calls YOU, the reception clerk, on the house phone and reads the numbers back. You will need to write the numbers down. Be careful not to make any mistakes this
time !!"

"Numeracy - Teaching Notes" copyrighted to Thor May 2001; all rights reserved

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