Melody James

My teaching approach

After analysing the different teaching approaches, I feel the Direct methodthe Oxbridge and the Suggestopedia are the most appropriate. The Direct Method also known as the Berlitz Method is based on verbal practice. I fully agree with it and would follow this mode. When making corrections I believe the teacher should not translate or directly give the answer to the student. It seems to me that the teacher must demonstrate the rules instead of translating in order to let the student think by him-self and discover his/her mistakes. This process of auto-correction is advocated by the Silent Waymethod. Moreover a teacher should use body language to signal a mistake. If necessary I would choose cognates (especially when teaching to complete beginners). I believe the most efficient methods are examples in context, so as to let the student learn through acquisition. The grammar is taught in an inductive way, this is less formal and more natural. I have observed this approach in class and find it very positive because it is easier for understanding and learning. A large input is rapidly changed in production and the students get more autonomous. I believe praise of students is vital for creating a relaxed environment. Encouragement is essential as it fuels students' confidence. I mostly observed the Oxbridge methodology and can compare it to the way I learnt English my-self. This recent approach from 2002 is based on listening and speaking. The traditional Grammar-Translation Method is the one I learnt. I realised after going through all those schemes of learning that this the GTM is not adapted to many situations. First of all it does not gives priority to communication, it's focuses more on reading and writing, this approach, I feel, is out of date. Today students will have the opportunity to do more than explore English language through literature. They will be connected to the world thanks to English, for this reason they will need to express themselves. As a future teacher I am determined to have a modern approach that ill helps students use English to further their lives and careers. Today, knowledge of English is an indispensable tool. It is required at work, for business and in universities. It is also the most widely spoken language while travelling. The teacher has to adapt the lessons to the student's goal. By conversing with people who speaks other languages students can begin to understand the connections between different speech and the evolution from ancient languages such as latin and greek. Interlanguage issues are difficult to solve but they turn out to be enlightening about our own language, when they highlight transparencies, “good-friends” and common roots. The priority for the opening of the class is to get the student's ears re-aquainted with English. Interlanguage makes students make many mistakes. As a teacher I would guide them with audio exercises. Students hear words being said, record and repeat with a good pronunciation, one of the most efficient way to learn is from input to production. I believe this is a good approach to learn English. A Communicative approach uses tools like radio or TV listening. Suggestopedia was invented by Georgi Lozanov, a Bulgarian educator and psychiatrist. I totally agree with his process which consists of cancelling the psychological barriers, reducing fear of oral performance and boosting students' confidence. I support this form of teaching because learning without pressure is the key. I would use it to help the students stop being scared of speaking out loud in a foreign language. The lesson would become a conversation in a relaxed environment. I am against any hierarchy in the classroom. To be respected a teacher should be organised and punctual. The teacher's personality will affect students and therefor should be attentive, patient and motivated. For example, teacher can use self-deprecation to put students at ease.


I would encourage students to talk as much as they can and give them more opportunities to develop their points of view by asking “why”. Music can be useful for freeing the speech muscles, from items chosen by the students. In my opinion it is a pleasant and simple activity for the students to choose songs and work on them for vocabulary and pronunciation exercises. It seems meaningful and useful for the students when English is explained in context. The speech is more fluent if the students talk about an interesting subject. The lesson time has also to be a leisure time. We learn how to say something when we want to say it. The Suggestopedia approach also works with Fine Art, it has been proven to have positive influence on language learning. I don't think books and blackboard are necessary. A lesson should be about listening and speaking. The role of the teacher is to help the students by giving them the keys to make them be understood from an active speaking. After those weeks of observation I notice that the student's mood can be the guides of the lesson. It will show you for instance how to grade and adjust your language, the rhythm of the activities and their levels limits. All those factors will make you change to an other activity or adapt it for better results.

I think the best method to converse about interesting topics. Students have more things to say in a natural context. As a content based I would invite the students to talk in English. A lesson could be all made from the students's point of view: we could start bye talking about the actualities the way they are seen by the students. Like if we were at a dinner conversing. This method allows students to express themselves when they need it. Then from that start a first activity about structure, to continue on the vocabulary they need and finish with a topic. This process is unconsciously what people always do when they talk, but in class we also go through what is unclear as a grammar rule or vocabulary to be able to express themselves. The motivations of a student can be affected by the way he is been taught. It can have good or bad consequences on student's reception and production of English. A stimulating teacher makes the difference after a hard day of work. A welcoming and competent teacher makes you stay instead of having a longer lunch break. 
Be prepared and even over-prepared is a substitute for experience, as having lesson without gaps and with logical links between each activity. The lesson must be in English only and it is very important to guide the students to this purpose. In the last class I had, we were learning a structure, the student was still in his work context and I encouraged him to make a sentence with the most eccentric example he could invent. He had much more fun and remembered easier the structure. That was a demonstration that entertainment is key to understanding and learning, as a dynamic an interaction. There is nothing more gratifying for a teacher than making the class so enjoyable that the students will not see the hour passed.

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