LUSINE SAHAKYAN

LUSINE SAHAKYAN TEFL certificate LUSINE SAHAKYAN TEFL certificate


PROFILE


My teaching style depends on the level and age of each student. Each lesson usually consists of use of grammar through topic activities, speaking and listening then grammar rules explanation, gap-fill exercises. Everyday vocabulary checking, pronunciation correction and listening.


PROJECTS


Spanish, English, Russian. Microsoft Office, Outlook, power point.


Since 2008 private and group lessons (children, teenagers, students, preparation for CAE Certificates.



Bilingual translations of official documents(Spanish-Englsih)


Degree in Philology(English & Spanish), Master in EU Law (bilingual)

My teaching approach

The teacher should clearly distinguish the learners´ needs: students who want to learn, students who need to learn and students who are forced to learn. Teaching goals depend on the age and level of the learners.  As for me, I have appropriate objective with each target group.  One of the important goals of learning language is the ability to use it correctly and communicate competently. Students engage in conversations, exchange opinions, concpets and ideas in the Second Language.

The receptive and productive skills may vary depending on the level of the learners. For example, for P2 students it is more useful to begin with receptive skills and step by step to develop productive skills. Listening and reading activities help the students to learn the second language structure and vocabulary in a natural way and use them correctly from the beginning. However, it is important to develop speaking and writing skills, especially if the students need the Second Language for business communication (correspondence, phone conversations, seminars and presentations). As to the children, it is worth to use watching activities (pictures, cartoons) that will help them to develop speaking skills rather quickly.

Regarding the language areas, firstly I would give importance to the vocabulary and grammar, and after the students are able to use the Second Language correctly I would pay more attention to the pronunciation. Nevertheless, if the learners´ level is high, the emphasis evidently is put on vocabulary and pronunciation and the accuracy of the students’ language.

It´s very important for me to have syllabus because I feel self-confident knowing concrete goals and content of each activity. In this way I can anticipate learners´ possible difficulties and problems and be well prepared to clarify their doubts. The syllabus helps me to have main idea about the teaching process and outcomes. I prefer to make mixed syllabus based on structure, situation and vocabulary. The idea is to show the students the usage of structure and vocabulary in a context and help them to communicate easily. For example, a lesson plan for P3 would be in the following way:

1.     Aims (comprehension of some grammar rule in a context)

2.     Raise awareness of the target language

3.     Develop communication skills (students make dialogue using the new structure and vocabulary)

4.     Summarizing (conclusion of the given lesson trough questions and the students´ own examples)

Having some experience in teaching area, I would say the teacher has rather decisive role in class transmitting his/her positive or negative energy and motivation to the learners. It´s really obvious when a teacher is passionate or not, and the students, respectively, are encouraged or less motivated with these factors. Most of the times the students get bored quickly seeing teacher’s boring face expression.  I think the students should be the protagonists of the lessons and feel free in communicating with each other. The teacher guides and helps them to understand the Second Language, then to apply it through the communication.

The teacher must create kind of friendly atmosphere in the class and use the modeling system for explaining the things, while the students must be participants. The more they communicate the better for their productive skills improvement.

The teacher´s attitude in the classroom could vary depending on the level. In lower level sessions the immediate correction of mistakes is essential to avoid further difficulties. In upper levels I would use a wrapping up system and hand in at the end of the class, so that they can visualize and fix the correct version of expressions or structures. Anyway, it depends on the situation also; for example, the students are talking about something with enthusiasm, trying to express their opinion on some topic, and if the teacher interrupts them every now and then, the students may lose their self-confidence and be blocked. In this particular case, the teacher should intervene when there are repetitive serious mistakes (especially in structure).

As to the teaching materials, I like to use more on-line, authentic materials. It´s true that current news topics attract the students’ attention. They start to develop productive skills expressing their opinions, discussing ideas in the Second Language and while talking they use the target language more correctly. Games and picture activities also are effective. A new structure is easy to explain through the examples but they also are quite memorable when you use pictures. For instance , I use on-line video materials for the kids. The experience shows that with the help of videos they start to use structures correctly from the beginning.

Among some affective factors like age, personality, emotion, beliefs about learning, attitudes, motivation, etc., firstly I would like to concentrate on the age and personality factors. It´s not so easy for 60 year-old learners to learn a new language as it is for the children. The brain of the children is more capable to capture new information and accept the Second Language without analyzing or comparing with the native language while the adults are tend to translate and compare the structures with the native language and most of the time they get confused. Here the teacher faces to the obstacle of changing the native language thinking to the second language mentality. Another affective factor is the personality; it´s obvious that extroverted students learn more than introverted ones. In this case I would try to keep in balance and not to allow an active student to dominate the lesson. The shy students will feel involved if I give them equal attention. What refers to the students´ reasons for learning, it is really important to understand their needs and attitude.  Then the teacher should assume the responsibility to motivate the learners and awaken interest towards the Second Language. It´s an essential task for each teacher because if the latter doesn´t enjoy teaching the student neither will enjoy learning.

The students´ reasons for learning second language, particularly English, are different. Nowadays English is necessary in all over the world mainly for the following purposes:business and career, work or study abroad, travel, to keep the brain active and healthy, able to communicate with foreigners, enriching knowledge about other cultures, etc. Besides, language improves one´s personal life too, makes you feel more confident and capable that you've achieved a new goal. By being able to speak a language with native speakers, you can better understand their history and traditions.

In my opinion, to asses learning outcomes well, the teacher should carefully prepare the lesson plan for each group having individual approach. If you have your concrete aim at the end of the course you should design an effective syllabus according the students´ need and abilities.  For example : “By the end of this program, P3 students will be able explaining ideas and concepts in English with fluency”, or “P2 students will use the structures correctly in a context and have considerable amount of vocabulary”.

Students´ difficulties are possible to foresee as the teacher can base on the previous experience and similar cases. Some of the common difficulties for Spanish speaking students are; constant comparison between the first and the second languages, phonological differences (mispronunciation of s and u, study [estudi], bus [bus], language thinking, structure particularities  (putting the adjective after the noun, changing the subject position, random order of the syntax), confusion of personal pronouns, genders (he, she), etc.  Another kind of difficulties that the teacher can anticipate is related to a new grammar rule or target language explanations. That´s why it´s necessary to be well prepared for each class and to know by heart the activities, as well as, the definitions of the new words bringing at least two examples in context.  

 

My approach teaching to complete beginners and more advanced students are considerably different. Of course, the goal is the same: students acquire the second language for communication purpose.

Nevertheless, I don´t explain the function and meaning of some new grammar rule to a P2 student in the same way that I do with a P4 one. Undoubtedly, the language of explanation is adapted to each level. I avoid using technical terminologies in any way.  It´s easier for them to have several examples seeing it´s usage in the context so that they visualize, remember and begin to apply in a correct way. Complete beginners are more disoriented in the first stage of learning and if the teacher uses the modeling style it´s efficient for both sides. The advanced level students need the accuracy and fluency, which means, the teacher should be too careful in correcting the mistakes, because the students really need to be corrected in order to reach improvement.

The same happens with the age differences; the children are easily taught a new language trough the interactive activities, songs, videos and games. They have the ability to absorb the information and maintain in their memory better than the adults do. However, it´s also effective to use such activities with P2 adult students providing motivation to achieve their goal.

To conclude, I would say that before this course, my approach was quite different from the Oxbridge style because I used to teach with text books and mainly I was guided with their content (grammar explanation, gap-filling exercises, reading, listening and speaking activities). While learning the Oxbridge second language acquisition theories, also having chance to share practical classes with the teachers, I realized that the Oxbridge style is one of the efficient and best methods I have ever applied, as it gives to me a wide opportunity to be creative and motivated. On the one hand the activities are interesting and individually designed for each target group, on the other hand the students are not obliged to do homework and learn the second language through the communication. Oxbridge teachers manage the session time and are as operative as it is possible.

 

 



Madrid

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