Randa Abdul-Dayem





My teaching approach

Teaching English as a second language

Learning a new language is a complicated process that takes time and a lot of practice. Throughout history we can find different schools with different methods to help students acquire the new language or English in this case. Continues research concerning this subject will never stop and new schools will continue to present new methods for teaching English as a second language.

As a TEFL student I got the chance to practice the most effective approaches in teaching English which is the communicative approach, where I saw students acquiring the language through practicing the actual language not just concentrating on the grammar and rules of English.

Before I can talk about my preferred teaching methodology there are a lot of aspects that must be taken into consideration. First, the students motives and needs. If the student needs to practice and speak the language then the teacher must concentrate on listening and speaking skills rather than writing and reading which will be a necessity for students.

Communicative approaches like the one we practiced during the TEFL course aim to help learners to develop communicative competence; it gives the students the ability to use the language effectively for communication. Strong communicative approach relies on providing learners with experience of using language as the main means of learning to use the language. The ability to use the language effectively for communication involves acquiring both sociolinguistic and linguistic knowledge which means the student will be able to use the language accurately, appropriately, and effectively. The communicative approach is concerned with the needs of students to communicate outside the classroom;  emphasis on role play, pair and group work, among others, it also concentrates on placing the target language in a realistic setting, so as to be meaningful to the student. It is very important to notice the order, in which language items are taught, language should be introduced in steps or stages according to students levels which we call grading the language.

One of the most important competent in any teaching method is the input we are presenting for our students, because it serves as the data which the learner must use to determine the rules of the target language. Before deciding which is the best input for each student one must take into consideration different factors; the most important factor would be the level of the student and his/her needs, as well as the learning style which is preferred by the student; some students are auditory learners in such case teacher should concentrate on reading and speaking to the student that will learn more though hearing the language, where as other students are visual learners, teacher needs to use more pictures and show the texts to the students to help them acquire the language. Other students are analytic learners who can easily be discouraged if the teacher didn’t take his needs into consideration.

For that teacher must be very careful  to  students’ needs and levels before deciding what kind of input it will be used in teaching the language, and the strategies that will be used in the learning process. In communicative approach it is always preferable to use a lot of role play and asking students to work in groups or pairs, because it present a good opportunities for the students to communicate and use the target language in context.

Teachers should always make sure that the material they are giving is suitable for the students. As I said earlier each student has his/her own needs and level and different ways for learning style, for that if the teacher feels that the material presented to the student needs adaptation or any changes, he/ she should hesitate making changes to materials in order to improve them or to make them more suitable for a particular type of learner. Adaptation can include reducing, adding, omitting, modifying and supplementing.

Sometimes teachers need to use nonverbal communication to help students understand new concept or a word which include linguistic behaviors include gestures, facial expressions, and body language, among others.

Another essential factor in learning a new language is the level of the student. Teaching beginners is very different from teaching more advanced students for many reasons that is why it is of extreme importance to identify levels in order to grade your language and gauge the right approach when preparing your classes.

Acquiring a second language differ from acquiring first language in so many ways, most clear different is that it is extremely difficult for an adult learning a new language to reach  the same competence as native speakers of that language. That’s is why teachers should anticipate errors that second language learners make in their speech originate in their first language.

Another concept teacher of a second language should understand and take into consideration is Interlanguage, or the language used by a learner who is not yet proficient in the second language, because it helps the teacher to predict and anticipate errors. Learners tend to be constantly influenced by the structure of their mother tongue.

There are three different processes that influence the creation of interlanguages; first is language transfer, where students fall back on their mother tongue to help create their language system. The second process is Overgeneralization, where Learners use rules from the second language in a way that native speakers would not. The last process is Simplification which refers to learners using a highly simplified form of language, similar to speech by children or in pidgins.

We need to talk also about the age factor in language acquisition, or what is the best age to start learning a new language. Research shows that you can start learning a new language at any age; however, for children it is more natural as they don’t question grammar rules and don’t try to apply the structure of their own language to second language. They are also not so tempted to try to translate literally. Their flexibility and lack of fear of speaking make them excellent learners.

But still that does not mean that you cannot learn English at any age no matter how old you are. What should be taken into consideration in this matter is the motivation of the learner, and the exposure to English that they have; their reasons for learning the language; and, above all, what approach they take to do it.

It is important for an EFL teacher to understand the learning process and the mechanisms that operate when people acquire a new language.

The primary factor affecting language acquisition appears to be the input that the learner receives; comprehensible input is all that is necessary for second language acquisition.

Researches shows that not only input is greatly important for language acquisition but output has an important role, and among other things, can help provide learners with feedback, make them concentrate on the form of what they are saying, and help them to automatize their language knowledge

As I mentioned earlier practicing the language plays a great rule in acquiring this language and the time needed to learn the new language. That is what researchers have pointed to when talking about interaction in the second language as being important for acquisition.

The modifications to speech arising from interaction can help make input more comprehensible and provide feedback to the learner and push learners to modify their speech.

The best type of syllabus is the one that teaches the language in a context, giving the students the opportunities and space to learn and practice English in situations from their everyday life, this can help the students relate to the language and the use of the target language they are learning and at the same time they can learn the right structure of the language. In method like the one I practiced in Oxbridge the individual variations of the students can be taken into consideration and the teacher will change the pace and level of the material according to each student needs and ability, something you don’t find in traditional schools where all students are following the same plan and curriculum.

One more very important point that we as teachers should look at other than the syllable itself is the strategies the learners use in learning a new language.    Strategies have been found to be of critical importance, so much so that strategic competence has been suggested as a major component of communicative competence.

The learner’s attitude to the learning process is another important factor in the language acquisition Anxiety in language-learning situations has been almost unanimously shown to be detrimental to successful learning. A related factor, personality, has also received attention, with studies showing that extroverts are better language learners than introverts. That is why it is important for the teacher to work on building a good relationship with his students because a good rapport can make the learning process more effective and more fun at the same time. The ability to build good rapport with you students is one of the many traits that make a good teacher. A good teacher should have social skills, experience, empathy, patience, kindness and understanding, another important part of being a good teacher is being well prepared before any class. Reparation does not only mean reading your material but preparing the way you will present it and anticipating the problems that you may face and how you can avoid them and deal with them.

Now to talk about my own mythology for teaching English there are a lot of different aspects I want to talk about. But most important part for me is making learning a fun process.  As I said before learning a new language is a hard complicated process and traditional old ways in teaching English will making it a boring and long process for the students and will eventually push them away.

When planning for a lesson I believe teacher should always think outside the box. Come up with new interesting ways to help students practice the language in context from their own environment. This way the concept will be easier to be understood and harder to be forgotten. Including a lot of role-play that will offer the student situations to use the target language and use their imagination and social skills at the same time. There should be a lot of communicative games such as describing pictures or making up stories. That way the students will enjoy the learning and at the same time use the language in the lesson which will offer them good feedback and motivation to improve their weaknesses and skills.

Another very important part in teaching English is preparing good teachers. Teachers that own the right knowledge and experience which I practiced during the TEFL course where we were given the knowledge and practicing at the same time which is very important I believe to practice what you are learning.

Excellent preparation before going to your class is another major factor in teaching English. Teacher should know exactly what they will be doing throughout their class. A good teacher should be to anticipate the problems and difficulties that might happen during the lesson and work on avoiding them and prepare different strategies to how to deal with them.

A very important point for me is considering the students levels and abilities when preparing for a class. Law level student needs simple direct activities with a lot of repeating where a high level student needs something challenging and mind teasing.

But at all times as I’m a believer of the communicative approach I believe that the TTT should be less STT. Students should be given the space to practice the language during the lesson time.

In conclusion for me a good English teacher is the teacher who can transmit positive interpersonal skills and who can really react with students and make them love the language they are learning.

Thank you

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Teaching English as a second language

Learning a new language is a complicated process that takes time and a lot of practice. Throughout history we can find different schools with different methods to help students acquire the new language or English in this case. Continues research concerning this subject will never stop and new schools will continue to present new methods for teaching English as a second language.

As a TEFFEL student I got the chance to practice the most effective approaches in teaching English which is the communicative approach, where I saw students acquiring the language through practicing the actual language not just concentrating on the grammar and rules of English.

Before I can talk about my preferred teaching methodology there are a lot of aspects that must be taken into consideration. First, the students motives and needs. If the student needs to practice and speak the language then the teacher must concentrate on listening and speaking skills rather than writing and reading which will be a necessity for students.

Communicative approaches like the one we practiced during the TEEFEL course aim to help learners to develop communicative competence; it gives the students the ability to use the language effectively for communication. Strong communicative approach relies on providing learners with experience of using language as the main means of learning to use the language. The ability to use the language effectively for communication involves acquiring both sociolinguistic and linguistic knowledge which means the student will be able to use the language accurately, appropriately, and effectively. The communicative approach is concerned with the needs of students to communicate outside the classroom;  emphasis on role play, pair and group work, among others, it also concentrate on placing the target language in a realistic setting, so as to be meaningful to the student. It is very important to notice the order, in which language items are taught, language should be introduced in steps or stages according to students levels which we call grading the language.

One of the most important competent in any teaching method is the input we are presenting for our students, because it serves as the data which the learner must use to determine the rules of the target language. Before deciding which is the best input for each student one must take into consideration different factors; the most important factor would be the level of the student and his/her needs, as well as the learning style which is preferred by the student; some students are auditory learners in such case teacher should concentrate on reading and speaking to the student that will learn more though hearing the language, where as other students are visual learners, teacher needs to use more pictures and show the texts to the students to help them acquire the language. Other students are analytic learners who can easily be discouraged if the teacher didn’t take his needs into consideration.

For that teacher must be very careful  to  students’ needs and levels before deciding what kind of input it will be used in teaching the language, and the strategies that will be used in the learning process. In communicative approach it is always preferable to use a lot of role play and asking students to work in groups or pairs, because it present a good opportunities for the students to communicate and use the target language in context.

Teachers should always make sure that the material they are giving is suitable for the students. As I said earlier each student has his/her own needs and level and different ways for learning style, for that if the teacher feels that the material presented to the student needs adaptation or any changes, he/ she should hesitate making changes to materials in order to improve them or to make them more suitable for a particular type of learner. Adaptation can include reducing, adding, omitting, modifying and supplementing.

Sometimes teachers need to use nonverbal communication to help students understand new concept or a word which include linguistic behaviors include gestures, facial expressions, and body language, among others.

Another essential factor in learning a new language is the level of the student. Teaching beginners is very different from teaching more advanced students for many reasons that is why it is of extreme importance to identify levels in order to grade your language and gauge the right approach when preparing your classes.

Acquiring a second language differ from acquiring first language in so many ways, most clear different is that it is extremely difficult for an adult learning a new language to reach  the same competence as native speakers of that language. That’s is why teachers should anticipate errors that second language learners make in their speech originate in their first language.

Another concept teacher of a second language should understand and take into consideration is Inter-language, or the language used by a learner who is not yet proficient in the second language, because it helps the teacher to predict and anticipate errors. Learners tend to be constantly influenced by the structure of their mother tongue.

There are three different processes that influence the creation of inter-languages; first is Language transfer, where students fall back on their mother tongue to help create their language system. The second process is Overgeneralization, where Learners use rules from the second language in a way that native speakers would not. The last process is Simplification which refers to learners using a highly simplified form of language, similar to speech by children or in pidgins.

We need to talk also about the age factor in language acquisition, or what is the best age to start learning a new language. Research shows that you can start learning a new language at any age; however, for children it is more natural as they don’t question grammar rules and don’t try to apply the structure of their own language to L2. They are also not so tempted to try to translate literally. Their flexibility and lack of fear of speaking make them excellent learners.

But still that doesn’t mean that you cannot learn English at any age no matter how old you are. What should be taken into consideration in this matter is the motivation of the learner, and the exposure to English that they have; their reasons for learning the language; and, above all, what approach they take to do it.

It is important for an EFL teacher to understand the learning process and the mechanisms that operate when people acquire a new language.

The primary factor affecting language acquisition appears to be the input that the learner receives; comprehensible input is all that is necessary for second language acquisition.

Researches shows that not only input is greatly important for language acquisition but output has an important role, and among other things, can help provide learners with feedback, make them concentrate on the form of what they are saying, and help them to automatize their language knowledge

As I mentioned earlier practicing the language plays a great rule in acquiring this language and the time needed to learn the new language. That is what researchers have pointed to when talking about interaction in the second language as being important for acquisition.

The modifications to speech arising from interaction can help make input more comprehensible and provide feedback to the learner and push learners to modify their speech.

The best type of syllabus is the one that teaches the language in a context, giving the students the opportunities and space to learn and practice English in situations from their everyday life, this can help the students relate to the language and the use of the target language they are learning and at the same time they can learn the right structure of the language. In method like the one I practiced in Oxbridge the individual variations of the students can be taken into consideration and the teacher will change the pace and level of the material according to each student needs and ability, something you don’t find in traditional schools where all students are following the same plan and curriculum.

One more very important point that we as teachers should look at other than the syllable itself is the strategies the learners use in learning a new language.    Strategies have been found to be of critical importance, so much so that strategic competence has been suggested as a major component of communicative competence.

The learner’s attitude to the learning process is another important factor in the language acquisition Anxiety in language-learning situations has been almost unanimously shown to be detrimental to successful learning. A related factor, personality, has also received attention, with studies showing that extroverts are better language learners than introverts. That is why it is important for the teacher to work on building a good relationship with his students because a good rapport can make the learning process more effective and more fun at the same time. The ability to build good rapport with you students is one of the many traits that make a good teacher. A good teacher should have social skills, experience, empathy, patience, kindness and understanding, another important part of being a good teacher is being well prepared before any class. Reparation doesn’t only mean reading your material but preparing the way you will present it and anticipating the problems that you may face and how you can avoid them and deal with them.

Now to talk about my own mythology for teaching English there is a lot of different aspects I want to talk about. But most important part for me is making learning a fun process.  As I said before learning a new language is a hard complicated process and traditional old ways in teaching English will making it a boring and long process for the students and will eventually push them away.

When planning for a lesson I believe teacher should always think outside the box. Come up with new interesting ways to help students practice the language in context from their own environment. This way the concept will be easier to be understood and harder to be forgotten. Including a lot of role-play that will offer the student situations to use the target language and use their imagination and social skills at the same time. There should be a lot of communicative games such as describing pictures or making up stories. That way the students will enjoy the learning and at the same time use the language in the lesson which will offer them good feedback and motivation to improve their weaknesses and skills.

Another very important part in teaching English is preparing good teachers. Teachers that own the right knowledge and experience which I practiced during the TEEFEL course where we were given the knowledge and practicing at the same time which is very important I believe to practice what you are learning.

Excellent preparation before going to your class is another major factor in teaching English. Teacher should know exactly what they will be doing throughout their class. A good teacher should be to anticipate the problems and difficulties that might happen during the lesson and work on avoiding them and prepare different strategies to how to deal with them.

A very important point for me is considering the students levels and abilities when preparing for a class. Law level student needs simple direct activities with a lot of repeating where a high level student needs something challenging and mind teasing.

But at all times as I’m a believer of the communicative approach I believe that the TTT should be less STT. Students should be given the space to practice the language during the lesson time.

In conclusion for me a good English teacher is the teacher who can transmit positive interpersonal skills and who can really react with students and make them love the language they are learning.

Thank you

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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