My teaching approach
The Interaction and Immersion Methodology
Essay By Katie Jayne Lee
The general Teachers objective is to teach
and guide the students in a coherent manner, that they learn the language and are able to speak
grammatically correct. This is not as easy as it sounds, there are many factors
that make some methodologies successful or unsuccessful. I will explain my methodology
backing my methodology up with research. Showing you that if this method was
used in classrooms it would work, not only by engaging the student but getting
the student to store and retain the information using the use of visuals and colour. My target age is to
focus on children from the age of five
to the age of twelve, however my Methodology could be adapted to an adults
I believe that the only way that you truly learn a second
language fluently is being immersed in the language. The students become forced
into a situation where they can only communicate in English, rather than learn
the grammatical rules of the language but never speak the language. There are
many schools that speak in the learners native language, which almost makes the
target language your trying to teach out of context or artificial and
theoretical rather than practical.
Immersion techniques have proven to be the
most successful ways to teach children a
second language. Most language schools use this approach to teaching. Why?
By fully immersing yourself into another
language the process comes from within the learner, by the teacher playing a
passive role in this process the guide to the language. Previous methods such
as grammar translation method may have tackled grammar, however translating
meaning from one language to another becomes confusing and non productive. By
using your native language to translate the second language you loose the
context and the meaning. In the immersion process not only do you learn the Target Language you learn the reason
behind it and the context, this is something that is not always acquired by
By the immersion process not only do you
grasp the structure of the language, you improve your understanding of the pronunciation
of the words.
“It is important to acknowledge that
early studies carried out in one-way total immersion programs, where English
may not be introduced until grades 2–5, show evidence of a temporary lag in
specific English language skills such as spelling, capitalization, punctuation,
word knowledge, and word discrimination. That said, these studies also find
that within a year or two after instruction in English language arts begins,
the lag disappears. There were no long-term negative repercussions to English
language or literacy development.” (Tara Williams fortune, report; what
research tells us about immersion) So although the submersion process does not
concentrate on written activities or written learning, it does not cause major
effects to the learners capabilities in the long-term. The brain naturally
detects patterns and discards any irrelevant information, this is a cognitive response by developing cognitive processes and
English language skills simultaneous. If we adopt Lakoffs view on motivation,
we can assume that language learners that are exposed to the language understand
more of the meanings and the language in context.“What are Lakoff and Johnson
saying that there is not one central
interpretation? Use different turns of speech — as we do naturally in our
everyday lives”(Metaphor Theories-http://www.textetc.com/theory/metaphor.html)
Most studies say that children retain more
information learning English than adults do. By introducing English at a young
age the students reach fluency and their articulation is far better than a
student that is older. My methodology the Interaction immersion
methodology will be suited for children from five up to the age of
twelve. However we have to take into consideration that children have a shorter
will I approach the transfer of information to memory?
By visual aids, the students being children are captivated by
colours and images . I will break the lesson into four phases on hourly based
classes which means fifteen minutes per a phase. The first fifteen minutes is
the introduction of the Target Language.
Introducing Colour patterns like the methodology from the company
English Experience, I think the use of colour patterns especially when
learning grammar rules or tense systems are a great way for the student to
distinguish the tenses by visual colours. Repetition method like songs, poems
and rhymes are good ways to get the student to learn and memorize the TL. I am
Using parts of the cognitive code method and adapting it which has an
emphasises in language learning
involving an active mental process, and the presence of meaningful practice.
Rules were introduced after examples were given. The main problem with this
methodology according to the British Council was that it lacked examples from
authentic material. The methodology used
P.P.P, Presentation Practice and Production.
In my methodology I have adapted this
process. I believe in order to get the student to transfer the information to
memory (The learning process) it is necessary to captivate and engage the
student. The presentation Process is adapted and becomes the visual audial
phase. At this stage the student will focus on images and audio, the images
and audio(given by the teacher) will be the TL. Each lesson will contain a
vocabulary activity, a listening activity, a topic activity and a structure
activity. The first phrase will always be the listening activity. This is the
most important part that the teacher plays as it is vital that the teacher
captures the students attention. The student does not communicate in this phase
they just take in the input. I think it is important to stick to a routine in
the learning process and by inputting the target language by visual tools is
the first step in the process. The images will always be in colour because
colour this is part of my methodology as I feel it helps to engage the student.
So the first phrase is to communicate to the student in a clear way the TL, and
by giving examples of how it is used in
The second phrase will be similar to the
process stage where the students have to practice the TL in context, the
structure and vocab will be used in the second phase. Using repetition methods and
activities to transfer the information to memory, like memory games or using flash cards and activities that
Familiarize themselves with the TL. The Teachers will not focus on writing the words for low levels such as L1 as this may
cause difficulties such as mispronunciation. The drills and repetition
techniques used in my methodology are repetitional activities and games. The
important factor is making the learning process fun and engaging the students.
The games will be used to practice the TL in its appropriate context. The
activities will be short and snappy, as it is important that the student does
not get bored.
In the third phrase I will incorporate the
Production Process. The topic will always be the third phase where the teacher
introduces the topic with the TL. The games and activities will be fun role
plays, discussions. During the phases it is vital that the teacher does correct
the students as errors can become grammatical bad habits.
The final part of the class is to conclude
the class and the best way of doing that is a mini recap of the whole-class.
The main function of this is to trigger the information that was stored and to
make sure they remember it. This will be quick questions and bullet points to
the students about the TL that was covered during that class.
Not only does the syllabus and the teacher
play roles in the overall process of a class but the surroundings and the
quantity of students are effective factor as well. The table plan will be a
semicircle, with the teacher in the middle allowing eye contact with the
students at all times.
Course books will be used as rough guide
however during the class the teachers will not teach with them directly. The
syllabus will be revised using the guidebooks and act as skeleton structure for
the teaching base. The classes will be hourly based with no more than 5
children per a class, in order to have effective teaching.
How will I motivate the children?
Through researching different styles of
motivating and engaging children, I have seen the influence of the reward
system which plays a role in teaching systems throughout the world . The
children are given rewards/goals for each class, for example the teachers say
to the students “We will play a game, at the end of the class or we will get
new pens for the class if we fulfil the objective/goal”. So the classes are
based on a reward system. For children I think this system is really good at
motivating the children towards a goal, but still making it fun. This reward
system is also good to stop disruptions during the class, like misbehaved
students,and to keep the children enthusiastic and focussed.
So the Interaction and Immersion
Methodology has an interactive process which teaches grammar in a indirect
approach. The Interaction Immersion method is based on four phases, the method
is specialized to engage children. The phases consist of fifteen minute
blocks,which stop the children getting bored or frustrated.
The use of repetitional activities and
memorizing activities is vital in my approach, to make sure the information is
transferred to memory. By creating colourful images and using songs in the
first phase I engage the students, which is incredible important to captivate
the attention of the children.
What makes my methodology different to
other methods are the concepts using colourful visual images and incorporating
songs as way of getting the children to memorize the TL in a fun engaging way.
The children also become motivated and engaged by the reward system and want to
learn, why? because they are having fun.
Thinking In English: A New Perspective on
Teaching ESL. By John B. Muciacca
Strategy and Process-Based Instruction in EFL
Classrooms-Paper presented at the 6th Asia TEFL
International Conference. August 1-3, 2008. Unpublished Paper