Maria Moore





My teaching approach

How would you approach teaching English.

As the purpose of language learning is being able to communicate after examining the various teaching methodologies I have come to the conclusion that the Oxbridge way of teaching is by far the best, the easiest and the fastest way to learn a language.

The Oxbridge way of teaching  is very motivating for the students as from lesson one they are able to communicate themselves ,  they learn without realizing they are learning, just like children, learning by repetition and imitation, no complicated grammar structures  involved what so ever,  I have spoken English all my life and only three weeks ago I was learning the grammar, which I found a bit hard because it was a lot of information in a very short period of time, but very useful as now when I help my friends with their essays I can explain the sentences to them, instead of saying “ this goes here because the other way doesn’t sound correct.” So I can say I learned the Oxbridge way.

I would approach the teaching process in the Oxbridge way of teaching.

I think it is very interesting the way teaching a language has evolved  during the years and for obvious reasons it needed a change

In Spain, English was taught mainly by giving  grammar structures to the students and non ending lists of vocabulary and the result was that after 8 years of studying English at school they were incapable of speaking the language.

Most students now a days learn a language because they want to or because they  need it  to communicate in English at work or because they want to travel,  the difficulties they can find in learning a second language can be  in the way they make the structure of the sentence as they can change the grammar as in their L1 .

The meaning of things being communicated is more important for L2 acquisition than their form, so teaching students this way helps them not to produce grammatical  errors.  The learner must be given the opportunity to use the language for communicate purposes

Affective factors are also very important, if the students like you and the way you teach, if you make the lesson interesting,  if they enjoy it they will learn more and faster than if they were learning with a text book.

I would plan my syllabus just like Oxbridge´s there is no need for me to do one as I really do think this is the most interesting and encouraging way of teaching/ learning a language, it is the easiest way, it is the way I teach my children and I find it fascinating that it wasn’t my invention, it was already invented.

The teacher must interact with the students and guide them through the lesson, giving clear instructions, helping the students understand the meaning of the TL by giving them several examples or as many as they need until its clear for them. The teacher must create a warm classroom atmosphere where students feel comfortable and will not be as afraid to speak in L2. Creating rapport is fundamental. Praising and encouraging students is very important as this increases students sellf-esteem and also helps them lose fear of speaking. 

Eye contact is essential, this way we get to know if the student understands us, you can read them . Correcting students  is also very important, always doing it in a nice way so they keep trying. One of the things I like the most is  “ get out from behind the desk  become an actor” it is just the perfect way to teach because there are no gaps between the students and the teacher.

Authentic materials, pictures, body language, opinion cards, games, songs, tongue twisters, adverts,  short stories, nursery rhymes and things like these is what I would use to teach my students, I would never use text books as such nor fill in the gap activities which I find unproductive, non challenging and tedious, and really this way you don’t learn much or nothing at all.

Teaching beginners is a challenge as they have no knowledge of English, we must remember that we are the model and resource of the students, as I said before we learn by repetition, so whatever we want to say we must say it first , we have to build productive and receptive skills We must establish the most common learning patterns,  we must talk slowly so they can imitate the sounds we reproduce, we must be clear in our instructions. We must use meaningful gestures to complement the communication also using visual material, we must be kind, gentle and patient but we must not patronize. We must teach one concept at a time and we should use cognates so it makes understanding easier for the student.

When teaching advanced students such as P4 we can introduce more complicated skills teaching them phrasal verbs, cockney rhyming slang, tongue twisters,  proverbs, idioms. We can teach them according to themes, or by discussing their literal meaning. Always checking they understand what they are reading and their meanings, looking for synonyms such as “to look after”= to take care of and always correcting or praising their pronunciation. Advanced students do more topic activities it encourages them to debate and speak

Never translate to their L1, make them explain the word they are trying to say, help the students use the language then you can tell them the word they are looking for, but this way they will always remember and if they want to know a word never write it down spell it out for them.



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