My teaching approach
Teaching can be only understood within a particular context. The way a person teaches reflects his or her cultural background and personal history. Not all cultures can learn a second language the same way, or using the same methodoly.
I am not an English native speaker and I believe it is not necessary to have a native like command of a language in order to teach it properly. High language proficiency of a second language should be accompanied by several skills related to a more complex aim, in which a variety of methods could be used.
Usually the aim of learning a second language is to be able to speak or at least communicate. Therefore, in my opinion, a teacher has no need, to go deep diving into the second language grammar, but rather understand what the learners need in order to design - or adapt - different activities and methods in order to diagnose the learners problems and be able to solve them. He should be willing to set aside the established methods and try to use his own solutions and even improvise, reshaping the activity or the lesson based on the learners feedback.
A variety of approaches have been proposed to address the second language teaching. In my opinion, all of them have advantages and disadvantages, but the ones that are more likely to succeed are the ones meant to make the learners talk, take a chance and practice as much as possible, rather than only learn by studying. A rookie can not become a soccer player, only listening to his coach advices, looking at them at the blackboard and watching him play, he must go to the soccer field and play again and again. So, the learners of a second language must be kept trying to talk as much as they can. It should be a priority for the teacher to establish a good combination of the proper distribution of classes, during a period of time in which the content is well distributed according to the sessions and having a clear learning goal for each level, that can keep the students motivated throughout the process.
The fact of having experienced the learning of a second language allows me to understand the issues a learner can face.
Most of them are based on the tendency to link the mother tongue to the new language. This is why I consider some methods, as the “Translation Method” poorly efficient, because it does not help the learners to separate one language from the other and the result is the lack of fluency, as well as the “Audio Lingual Method”, in wich the learners are not lead to formulate a process that helps them to sort out the new language information in their own individual minds.
In my opinion, the teacher should be a performer. He should find his way trough a lesson, developing techniques and routines that keep the learners motivated and talking. He must use appropriate classroom language, avoiding unnecessary colloquialisms, proposing good language models and examples, giving correct feedback on learners language, providing input at an appropriate level and focusing on maintaining the use of the target language during the class. It should be always well prepared . It should be separated in four units. At first the vocabulary would be proposed using a short story. In the second, the vocabulary would be analized and used in a different context, in the third, one or two grammatical structures would be proposed using the vocabulary and in the last unit a communication activity would be done according to the learners level and interests fun using on the use of the target languag. And I would probably end up the class with a proverb, so that learners would have something interesting or funny to memorize and learn about other cultures.
The acquiring of the largest amount of vocabulary as can be possible is, in my opinion, the key to be able to communicate. The teacher should encourage the learners to read, should tell them tales and stories, asking them to participate during the whole class, noticing what they have understood and what they have not in order to monitor their speech focusing on maintaining the target language. He - or she - must be well prepared for each one of the classes, having understood very clearly the difference between, teaching children and adults.
On one hand, children want to learn a second language if they know it can be fun and entertaining, for which the teacher must have a very positive attitude in order to keep the children following the activities and participating with enthusiasm, remembering that, unlike an adult, learning a second language does not represent for a child any duty or responsibility, so it is the system or the method that should fit the child needs. The child must have both, visual and auditory stimulation throughout the activity, incorporating interactives games, drawings, songs, etc, that are enjoyable, pleasant and fun, to the acquisition of the second language can be performed naturally and spontaneously.
On the other hand, adults, however, need more understanding of the language itself and it's structure. Teaching adults should be therefore done in a more conscious way, as phonological discrimination is reduced to the sounds of the mother tongue and tolerance to errors is much smaller than it is to children. When teaching an adult, should be taken on account the preferences and strategies developped during other apprenticeships or learning activities, because adults know they should be adopted as strategic base to their current and future career; so teachers should focus their approach on the learners needs, according to their level of proficiency and skills, understanding what their personal goals are.