Implications for American Teachers of British Children

  • Give British children a lot of experience writing. If British children expect to come back into the UK system at some stage they need to have good experience in writing stories, reports, descriptions. By 14 or 15 they also need to be able to write a good essay answer in an exam without working through several drafts.
  • Help British students decide which country’s spelling to use. British and American spelling and style are different. Many children enjoy comparing them and easily learn both. It helps if teachers are also aware of the differences and are tolerant of them. However, teachers do need to help their students make a choice about which spelling to use and be consistent in their usage, especially when they are due to take British public exams. A candidate may state at the beginning of an exam paper whether they are going to use British or American English spelling and they will be marked on that basis.
  • Help students get practical experience in using math. Primary Maths in Britain is much less formal (book related) and more practical. In the early primary years parents can help children by giving lots of maths experience at home in weighing, measuring, sorting, estimating and recording results. American Maths teachers’ manuals usually include many suggestions for practical experience. Fuller use of these suggestions would help British children.
  • Make sure students get another language, whether it be on the field or on home leave. The National Curriculum requires all children between the ages of 9 and 16 to learn a modern foreign language. If children are likely to be in a British school during home leave and the American school cannot provide modern foreign language tuition, we advise the family to use a correspondence course for this one subject.
  • Connect with another British family who have already made the transition into an American school to find out what their experience was like. This can help inform and support you as a teacher.
  • Connect with another American teacher who has experience of teaching British children, they will be able to share top tips and useful information.

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