Peadar Morrissy

Peadar Morrissy TEFL certificate Peadar Morrissy TEFL certificate

PROFILE


Dynamic & engaging individual with strong communication skills.


PROJECTS


Friendly Personality, Sense of humour, Hard Working, Work Well with Others. Likes to see people suceed. Determination activities including running, swimming, cycling, climbing. Brain activities such as Chess Language Travel Photography


TEFL Course Madrid October 2013



Project Management with focus on Administration, Team Leadership, and Customer Care. Strong People Skills, Excellence Personal Communication skills. Adaptability. Tolerant and flexible to different situations.


My teaching approach

This essay is going to show you how to teach different levels and ages, structures, lesson plans and the range of different teaching methods. I will also discuss teacher practice and importantly, teachers skills, attitudes and outlooks. I will also talk about my role as teacher and what tools can be brought to my teaching skills.


Acquiring  a second language, known as second language acquisition (SLA), is a technique where  students acquire a new language, in this case English, as well as their own language. In my case Spanish students, who it must be said have grasped the English grammar but not so much the ability to put it all together and create strong communication levels. Different students can have different difficulties and problems in learning English. They can make different mistakes in English pronunciation, grammar, orthography and vocabulary usage.There is a connection between the native language of a learner and particular difficulties in learning and using English and the kind of mistakes a learner typically makes in English pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary as there is native language interference in learning and using English.


One of the many great and useful tools provided to us by Oxbridge is that all our classes are prepared according the students needs, levels and progression so as such we follow quite a balance class structure. Although we are trained on how to put a lesson plan and class together, having these tools lets us get on with the job of teaching. This is our syllabus which outlines a summary of the topics to be covered by a specific class and sets out objectives to be completed by end of class. Starting from S1 which is beginners level to L5 the syllabus shapes, guides, teaches, and directs both students and teachers through the process of gaining the final result, english. Of course I will not be able to rely on Oxbridge when I set up on my own, with my own private classes, and in this case I will need to gauge my own students needs. Luckily a syllabus can be based on many different criteria so I must consider again the students final needs. Be it reading and listening which is known as receptive skills or maybe its for speaking and writing which is known as productive skills. All in all its the needs of the students that come first.


Beginners classes would be a very simple activity based class, introducing new grammar in a slow, simple and concise fashion as having any type of discussion at this stage would be impossible. Pronunciation would be focused on as fluency develops.  Slowly, through the introduction of structure, vocabulary and topics, the beginner students begin to feel a sense of confidence and delight as their abilities grow and strengthened. Assessing this development is important as it is the base from which the student is growing.  As skills increase more topical discussions help students put their hard work and skills into action. As a teacher we are not just providing information but we are also correcting as we go along and constantly assessing our students, errors have to be corrected as they happen.



Setting goals for the development of all learning skills is essential. In the earlier stages of SLA errors must be corrected immediately but as confidence grows and students are discussing more and more in class at this stage its good to talk corrections after. Better for fluency at this stage. Obviously when correcting, it should be done in the nicest way possible but students also need to know the correct way and will appreciate it more. I for one have learnt that making mistakes whilst learning is actually best practise, how else does one understand? Understanding the outcomes and the learning abilities of your students is essential. For a students to learn you need to see an almost organic growth in their development and as teachers we need to nurture that growth. If a student is becoming redundant then it is up to us as teachers to ensure the best possible growth. Encouraging that student in as many ways as is possible without pressuring them is important. At this stage you can ask yourself are they totally immersing themselves in the language? You can suggest books, programmes, movie, comics basically anything with English content that they would be interested in. There are many ways to start the student performing again, being a great teacher, I should be able to quickly cop on to any negative pattern and turn it into a positive.


Lets talk about creating a lesson plan. The lesson plan is based on the idea that having students support opinions that are not necessarily their own during debates, which, can help improve students fluency. In this manner, students pragmatically focus on correct production skills in conversation. When creating lessons plans it is important to ensure that the level of difficulties should increase depending on the level of the students. L4 lessons plans need to be more difficult in all aspects, grammar, vocab with interesting relevant activities.Whilst a simpler agenda is applied to lower levels.  The goal of a good lesson plan is to Engage, Study and then Activate what has been learnt.


The 1 Hour Lesson Plan should be broken into parts as per the Oxbridge system, which is the system I would apply when teaching.


5 min Quick Question - great for a warm up at any student level.


15 min Structure Activity - These provide learners with the required grammar patterns for learning the English language and using it correctly.


15 min Vocab Activity - These are targeted at improving students’ pronunciation and providing students with the necessary lexicon for the purposes of full communication.


15 min Topic - The Topic is the Activation of the information that has been taught in the 2 prior activities and its a chance for the students to debate, engage, discuss the what they have just learnt. This is a chance for Teacher to monitor, take notes as the debate evolves.


10 min Wrap Up - the wrap up is question directed to cover the information that has been given to students and for them to use it in answering your specific questions. The perfect opportunity to see who has learnt what and make final corrections if need be



There are many different teaching methods that have been used to help students with SLA . As a young student myself in Ireland it was compulsory for us to learn Irish/Gaelic. The teaching method involved was The Grammar Translation Method (GTM), very little importance was given to the spoken word, but instead high importance given to heavy amounts of grammar rule repetition, translation, sentence structure, all within the confines of our mother tongue, English. The teacher is obviously following a strict syllabus but as the class is in English with little or no communicative interaction, it is very difficult for the information to stick.


Total Physical Response, I think is one of my favourite ways to teach younger learners. Free from the confines of texts and books, students are a lot more physical in their responses and its a very organic way for students to grasp the target language. The teacher uses physical actions which the students mirror and incorporate through a step by step syllabus. It could limit the students thought process but for younger students its a fun and healthy approach. For adults to, mirroring in this way can be beneficially and even though they may not be as free spirited as children it’s a method that could be used start of classes to get the creative juices flowing.  


The Direct Method or The Berlitz Method teaches students development through listening and speaking and not through reading and writing. Whilst students do not need to know the grammatical structures, students use the language through real world vocabulary, objects, visual materials and using only the target language. Students will understand and know through use of the imputed language when to use grammatical structures.


The Callan Method is a good method for new students, as its completely model teaching. Its a structure based method that gives president to pronunciation and intonation. Quick fire questions and answers help the students remember the target language. It drills the students and although they do learn, creativity is completely discouraged and it is almost exclusively speaking based learning.


The Silent Way Method is a concept where the teacher in native tongue at start of class explains the structure then remains completely silent. Students are encouraged to have an active role in learning the language. Pronunciation is seen as fundamental, beginning students start their study with pronunciation, and much time is spent practising it each lesson. It is used to focus students' attention, to elicit student responses, and to encourage them to correct their own errors.


Suggestopedia is a method that has a very relaxed approach to teaching. As many of us may have had horrific learning experiences in our childhood, Suggestopedia creates a very safe, harmonious, stress free, relaxing environment to teaching students. Its basis is to enhance learning by tapping into the power of suggestion. Music, songs and games are also used in the method.


The Audio Lingual Method uses grammar patterns over vocab. Students listen, speak, read and write with perfect pronunciation. It is a method that is structure based where the teacher is the model of the target language. Minimal Pairing is used with strong repetition. Like the direct method, the audio-lingual method advised that students be taught a language directly, without using the students' native language to explain new words or grammar in the target language. However, unlike the direct method, the audio-lingual method didn’t focus on teaching vocabulary.


Keeping the best till last next is the Communicative Approach Method (CAM), which is now probably the most common and favorable approach. It has solid factors that make students learn a new language in a more conventional relaxed obvious way. Students learn in an almost holistic way as this method takes the best points from every other approach and merge them. The communicative approach is based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.


Over the last weeks I have noticed that like the Communicative Approach, different aspects and models of teaching come into play whilst working with Oxbridge students. A little bit of the Silent Way, a dash of Suggestopedia, a bit of everything really. But the most important element is the teachers function in class. Gone are the days of the traditional class rows with un-interested students, a class now has to be dynamic, full of energy, with the emphasis on learning and the students. That is way the Communicate Approach sits well with me above the rest and why I use it as part of my own mythology. It’s an interactive class that gets everyone involved, everyone talking, thinking and learning.  


 

A good teacher creates curiosity, enthusiasm has great patience and is able to guide and nurture students. Having students that want to be in your class, want to learn, want to achieve, would be my main goal first and foremost.


In regards to the lessons themselves, my approach again would be a little of everything that ‘works’. In context I would use flashcards, video, text, pictures and topis exercises in my classes.


Visual stimuli I think is a fantastic tool, students pick up faster when its images that they can really relate too.  Video’s can be used to show short clips related to news topics which can get the students talking and using the target language for that class. Flashcards can be used to create vocab exercises students gaining new words and putting them into practise. Topics are the final tool I would use, aside from have the students talk, it also shows what they have learnt in the given class. Its the activation of the whole class.


Teaching what interests, guiding continuously using the model approach, would be my approach. I would advice and clear doubts related to the English language and its usage in different contexts and registers through constant assessment.




A Coruna

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