laura vives wolton

laura vives wolton TEFL certificate laura  vives wolton TEFL certificate


PROFILE


Communication-oriented, passionate for languages and intercultural relations. I have excellent verbal, listening and written communication skills in English and Spanish which would enable me to manage a class of multicultural pupils. Above all, I possess good organization abilities, and I am enthusiastic and committed towards my work and responsibilities.


PROJECTS



Along with my Tefl Certificate, I also have studies in Marketing and Business administration. My key strengths include: • Ability to plan a program of study that meets the individual student’s needs, interests, and abilities • Ability to guide the learning process toward the achievement of curriculum goals • Highly skilled in establishing clear objectives for all lessons, units, projects, and other activities • Encouraging, modeling and enforcing motivation in students



I have broad experience in office management, PR, as a personal assistant and in customer service. All my jobs have involved high level of English, Spanish and Catalan.


My teaching approach

“Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime”

 

Over the years there have been many streams and approaches to how to learn and teach languages.  The Chinese proverb quoted above illustrates perfectly the way I understand teaching an L2: show students how to build language skills by making them actively speak the language, using different tools and resources that they unconsciously take on board.

 

 

As a young child I was exposed to three languages at the same time in a natural communicative way and I have never had any problems of language acquisition or adaptation neither then nor now. As I went to a Spanish school I was able to see for myself how unsuccessful traditional methods of teaching were. Too much emphasis was placed on the written word and repetitive teacher-centred exercises which left no room for the pupils to express themselves. As a result, the pupils very soon lost any interest in the classes, and only those who were attending child-oriented English classes outside school hours were making any progress or were enjoying the experience of learning an L2. Their communication skills were far more developed than those of the pupils who solely attended English lessons at school.

 

From my limited experience, it is clear that children have intuitive skills and an innate ability to assimilate structures through games and dynamic activities. Communication is not an understanding of a language word by word but a holistic interpretation of what is being said in a specific context. There are multiple resources like mimicry, ball games, picture matching that help activate both interest and engagement. 

 

As this is proven to work with children there is no reason why it shouldn’t also work with teenagers or adults.  However, not all adult students are used to learning  or are willing to learn in such a way, in part due to the fact that this is so different from more traditional methods they have been exposed to.  This is where the teacher has a very important role to play in enabling the students to learn by doing instead of relying on the written word, grammatical structures and teacher -induced sentences. As always, it is also a matter of assessing the adaptability of each student or group to the communicative approach and fine-tuning it, when necessary, to their needs. If students find the communicative methodology incomplete, a few minutes could be spent at the end of each activity running over main structures and new vocabulary. Once the student has assimilated the new vocabulary or structures, they should have no problem in actively using it.

 

It is important to bear in mind that there is a difference between implicit and explicit acquisition. For L1 acquisition, rules are assimilated from experience of usage rather than from explicit teaching and therefore do not require extense explanation. Nevertheless, adult acquisition of a second language is a completely different matter:  implicit learning is far more limited and adult attainment of L2 accuracy will probably require additional resources of explicit learning, such as target language, concept check questions, and the use of a functional approach.

 

When planning the syllabus and the materials to be used, It is crucial to appraise the needs and wishes of the learner i.e. whether it’s for business purposes, social interaction, affective factors or academic requirements. The material would vary in each case as it is pointless exposing a student to unrealistic situations which they are unable to identify with.  This does not mean that students should not be pushed to broaden their knowledge, especially at higher levels when they are far more receptive to such a challenge.  Material used should be carefully gauged to the student profile in order to foster empathy and fluent interaction. Authentic tasks which replicate real life English are far more effective than grammar based gap-filling exercises.

 

“If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns” Rita Dunn

 

The above mentioned quote by Rita Dunn, after a life-long dedication to second language teaching, is totally applicable to any age or level of student. The learner has to master a series of linguistic competences and it is the teacher’s role to facilitate their language development.

 

Finding a balance between receptive, or passive, skills and productive, or active, skills is not an easy task. Learners will often have a preference for hearing the language (auditory learners), seeing it written or illustrated (visual learners) whereas others are happy to experience language in a more holistic way (which in my opinion is the best approach).

 

“Integrating receptive and productive skills in one lesson has attracted language teachers for years. Yet, there is no absolute format for the integrated lesson lessons. The underlying principles being that language is used to learn as well as to communicate and that it is the subject matter which determines the language that students need to learn. It should also attempt to follow the 4Cs curriculum in that it includes content, communication, cognition and culture, and includes elements of all four language skills. Furthermore, in the integrated lesson, learning is improved through increased motivation and the study of natural language seen in context. When learners are interested in a topic they are motivated to acquire language to communicate. In this case, fluency is more important than accuracy and errors are a natural part of language learning. So, learners develop fluency in English by using English to communicate for a variety of purposes.” (Darn, 2006)

 

Once again, materials have to be suitable for the student in question and the teacher adaptable to multiple scenarios.  Teachers will no doubt find that their own skills relate better to a certain profile of student or age group.

 

Whenever one acquires a second or another language, one develops a so called interlanguage, which is acquired as a system of rules and applications that can either bear:

 

                -properties and rules of L1

                -properties and rules of both L1 and L2

                or

                -not possess features of neither L1 nor L2

 

An example of this is students borrowing patterns from their native language, using false friends, etc. The teacher would need to assess how important it is to correct this at each stage of the students’ language acquisition.

 

The relation between accuracy and fluency has always been an endless topic in foreign language teaching. The balance between the two depends on the amount of error correction. In language teaching, linguistic mistakes are unavoidable, and how to deal with these mistakes is the first issue for a teacher to face. Traditional English teaching paid special attention to linguistic accuracy: whenever a mistake was discovered, it would be corrected immediately. However, in my opinion, correcting so intensively can lead to students losing opportunities or willingness to communicate. It is a mistake to restrain students’ creativeness for the sake of accuracy at all times.

 

Learning a second language is fundamentally different both from child language development and from the study of other academic disciplines.  One reason is that the study of a second language involves the emotions or affective factors and identity in a way other subjects do not. This will have a direct impact on a student’s motivation and requires the teacher’s optimal attention to be able to identify affective factors which may hinder or foster a student’s progress.  Failure to take these into account could lead to an unsuccessful, inhibited communication.  Affective factors include inhibition, risk-taking, anxiety, self-esteem, introversion/extroversion, and empathy.

 

As already mentioned, I believe in a holistic communicative approach to teaching, therefore the syllabus would be function and communication based, engaging the students as far as possible and stressing productive skills.  As regards material, I would use as far as possible all types of dynamic resources e.g.  authentic listening and reading material, visual aids to reinforce vocabulary acquisition and any other prompts which would encourage students’ interaction.  The material chosen would be carefully selected and, where necessary,  adapted to the student profile.

 

To sum up, I believe that the most important skill a teacher should have is the ability to inspire and motivate the student to push his or her own boundaries.

 

I would like to finish off by quoting Horace Mann (1796-1859) “a teacher who is attempting to teach, without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on a cold iron.”

“Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime”

 

Over the years there have been many streams and approaches to how to learn and teach languages.  The Chinese proverb quoted above illustrates perfectly the way I understand teaching an L2: show students how to build language skills by making them actively speak the language, using different tools and resources that they unconsciously take on board.

 

 

As a young child I was exposed to three languages at the same time in a natural communicative way and I have never had any problems of language acquisition or adaptation neither then nor now. As I went to a Spanish schoo,l I was able to see for myself how unsuccessful traditional methods of teaching were. Too much emphasis was placed on the written word and repetitive teacher-centred exercises which left no room for the pupils to express themselves. As a result, the pupils very soon lost any interest in the classes, and only those who were attending child-oriented English classes outside school hours were making any progress or were enjoying the experience of learning an L2. Their communication skills were far more developed than those of the pupils who solely attended English lessons at school.

 

From my limited experience, it is clear that children have intuitive skills and an innate ability to assimilate structures through games and dynamic activities. Communication is not an understanding of a language word by word but a holistic interpretation of what is being said in a specific context. There are multiple resources like mimicry, ball games, picture matching that help activate both interest and engagement. 

 

As this is proven to work with children there is no reason why it shouldn’t also work with teenagers or adults.  However, not all adult students are used to learning  or are willing to learn in such a way, in part due to the fact that this is so different from more traditional methods they have been exposed to.  This is where the teacher has a very important role to play in enabling the students to learn by doing instead of relying on the written word, grammatical structures and teacher -induced sentences. As always, it is also a matter of assessing the adaptability of each student or group to the communicative approach and fine-tuning it, when necessary, to their needs. If students find the the communicative methodology incomplete, a few minutes could be spent at the end of each activity running over main structures and new vocabulary. Once the student has assimilated the new vocabulary or structures, they should have no problem in actively using it.

 

It is important to bear in mind that there is a difference between implicit and explicit acquisition. For L1 acquisition, rules are assimilated from experience of usage rather than from explicit teaching and therefore do not require extense explanation. Nevertheless, adult acquisition of a second language is a completely different matter:  implicit learning is far more limited and adult attainment of L2 accuracy will probably require additional resources of explicit learning, such as target language, concept check questions, and the use of a functional approach.

 

When planning the syllabus and the materials to be used, It is crucial to appraise the needs and wishes of the learner i.e. whether it’s for business purposes, social interaction, affective factors or academic requirements. The material would vary in each case as it is pointless exposing a student to unrealistic situations which they are unable to identify with.  This does not mean that students should not be pushed to broaden their knowledge, especially at higher levels when they are far more receptive to such a challenge.  Material used should be carefully gauged to the student profile in order to foster empathy and fluent interaction. Authentic tasks which replicate real life English are far more effective than grammar based gap-filling exercises.

 

“If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns” Rita Dunn

 

The above mentioned quote by Rita Dunn, after a life-long dedication to second language teaching, is totally applicable to any age or level of student. The learner has to master a series of linguistic competences and it is the teacher’s role to facilitate their language development.

 

Finding a balance between receptive, or passive, skills and productive, or active, skills is not an easy task. Learners will often have a preference for hearing the language (auditory learners), seeing it written or illustrated (visual learners) whereas others are happy to experience language in a more holistic way (which in my opinion is the best approach).

 

“Integrating receptive and productive skills in one lesson has attracted language teachers for years. Yet, there is no absolute format for the integrated lesson lessons. The underlying principles being that language is used to learn as well as to communicate and that it is the subject matter which determines the language that students need to learn. It should also attempt to follow the 4Cs curriculum in that it includes content, communication, cognition and culture, and includes elements of all four language skills. Furthermore, in the integrated lesson, learning is improved through increased motivation and the study of natural language seen in context. When learners are interested in a topic they are motivated to acquire language to communicate. In this case, fluency is more important than accuracy and errors are a natural part of language learning. So, learners develop fluency in English by using English to communicate for a variety of purposes.” (Darn, 2006)

 

Once again, materials have to be suitable for the student in question and the teacher adaptable to multiple scenarios.  Teachers will no doubt find that their own skills relate better to a certain profile of student or age group.

 

Whenever one acquires a second or another language, one develops a so called interlanguage, which is acquired as a system of rules and applications that can either bear:

 

                -properties and rules of L1

                -properties and rules of both L1 and L2

                or

                -not possess features of neither L1 nor L2

 

An example of this is students borrowing patterns from their native language, using false friends, etc. The teacher would need to assess how important it is to correct this at each stage of the students’ language acquisition.

 

The relation between accuracy and fluency has always been an endless topic in foreign language teaching. The balance between the two depends on the amount of error correction. In language teaching, linguistic mistakes are unavoidable, and how to deal with these mistakes is the first issue for a teacher to face. Traditional English teaching paid special attention to linguistic accuracy: whenever a mistake was discovered, it would be corrected immediately. However, in my opinion, correcting so intensively can lead to students losing opportunities or willingness to communicate. It is a mistake to restrain students’ creativeness for the sake of accuracy at all times.

 

Learning a second language is fundamentally different both from child language development and from the study of other academic disciplines.  One reason is that the study of a second language involves the emotions or affective factors and identity in a way other subjects do not. This will have a direct impact on a student’s motivation and requires the teacher’s optimal attention to be able to identify affective factors which may hinder or foster a student’s progress.  Failure to take these into account could lead to an unsuccessful, inhibited communication.  Affective factors include inhibition, risk-taking, anxiety, self-esteem, introversion/extroversion, and empathy.

 

As already mentioned, I believe in a holistic communicative approach to teaching, therefore the syllabus would be function and communication based, engaging the students as far as possible and stressing productive skills.  As regards material, I would use as far as possible all types of dynamic resources e.g.  authentic listening and reading material, visual aids to reinforce vocabulary acquisition and any other prompts which would encourage students’ interaction.  The material chosen would be carefully selected and, where necessary,  adapted to the student profile.

 

To sum up, I believe that the most important skill a teacher should have is the ability to inspire and motivate the student to push his or her own boundaries.

 

I would like to finish off by quoting Horace Mann (1796-1859) “a teacher who is attempting to teach, without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on a cold iron.”



Barcelona

  • About:
  • Message:
  • From: