Paloma Perez Lizarriturri

My teaching approach

Teaching Skills Assignment

When it comes to teaching and learning a second language, the teacher`s role changes depending on the approach or method followed in the classroom. The way a teacher performs in the classroom is a direct correlation with the method they have chosen. There are no bad methods or bad students, but wrong approaches to learning depending on the student´s needs. As teachers, we are always looking for different alternatives that could improve and facilitate the learning process.

After studying and revising the different methods and approaches to teaching languages, I believe that many methods fail to fulfill their communicative purpose. For example, when using the Silent Method we cannot expect students to be able to change and correct what they are doing unless the right way has been provided for them. That is why learning is the progress shown after teaching, if we remain silent and we do not correct the errors of our students, and play a passive role in the classroom, we cannot channel their knowledge in a good direction. This does not mean that they will not learn how to use the language. However, it is a harder and longer process compared to others. Depending on the approach, the goals are different and the purpose of learning changes. For instance, it is not the same teaching a beginner than preparing someone for a specific examination, such as the First Certificate.

On the other hand, if we use the Berlitz Method, which is one of the most commonly used nowadays, we give more emphasis to the language itself and the native language of the student is not used. Oral communication is the basis of this method. Therefore, if we use this method, we will see a continuous progress class by class in the understanding of the student. If we compare this method with the Grammar Translation Method, in which communication is not the main purpose, but writing and reading, it is evident that now the importance lies in the grammar structures. In my opinion, a good teaching method should involve a good communicative approach since our need of communication is part of our human nature and it motivates us when learning a new language. All languages have been developed and created through communication. Since grammar is like the user guide that comes with any appliance, it is basic in the process of learning because it is completely different in every language. In conclusion, grammar plays a very important but secondary role in the process of learning and should be acquired by the exposure of a communicative scenario.

In regards to the syllabus, there are multiple methods, such as the Direct Method, where the syllabus is based on situations, while the Grammar Translation Method is only based on written texts. Other methods do not even use a syllabus. In my opinion, preparation is the most important factor in order to succeed at teaching, thus it is essential that we are well-organized and precise in what we are teaching. This is reflected on our performance. The more prepared we are, and the more we know our student’s needs, and as a consequence, the more opportunities we have to fulfill their educational needs. For this reason, it is very important that we prepare and structure a syllabus directly related to our student needs in order to track the learning pace and accomplish our goals. We need to exceed our student’s expectations and make them have an enjoyable and fun lesson.

In conclusion, there is no best way of teaching a language since language teaching should be based depending on the student´s needs. Being able to reach a good communicative level should be the goal of any teaching method. The student should feel comfortable and self-confident in order to be able to break the prejudices and fears and start learning using the best of his or her abilities. Attitude is essential and motivation is key to success, coupled with the need to communicate. Most of the English students want to learn in order to break the language barrier. Above all, we need to design a customized course that fits our students’ needs by speaking English in every single class and in every single activity so we can strengthen their motivation and accustom the student to not only hearing the language but also responding in it. It is very important that teachers share their concerns and the difficulties that they have to face every day with others who understand what they are going through In brief, the opportunity that Oxbridge gives teachers by sharing all their materials and ideas is exceptional in order to improve and develop a better teaching method. 

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