Georgina Holt

Georgina Holt TEFL certificate Georgina Holt TEFL certificate


PROFILE


I was born in Kent, England and since moved to Spain with the desire to teach English as a second language. I am extremely patient, and will always strive to achieve my goals. I believe that communication and confidence are they keys to succeeding when acquiring a new language. A good balance between lesson preparation, and understanding your students’ needs, will lead you to triumph every time in the classroom.


PROJECTS


Intermediate Spanish Health and Safety & First Aid training Understanding of music production and recording I play guitar. Painting and sculpture


I completed my TEFL training at Oxbridge which was extremely important for me in terms of acquiring extensive formal teacher training. Additionally, it broadened my understanding of the different teaching approaches there are and gave me the opportunity to form my own. I was able to teach real students in real classes, and was guided by senior teachers and given feedback on each class I conducted.   I also received some training from “i12learn” language school in London, which used the Callan method for teaching English to Brazilian students.   I have successfully taught English various students who were directed to me through friends. Many were Spanish speakers (from South America) as well as different parts of Europe. I would meet up with them on a regular basis and engage in conversation with them, broadening their vocabulary whilst providing corrections explanations to their errors and mistakes.   I taught English to a family of three young children to improve their speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities. I did this for one year and witnessed an astonishing improvement over that period, from little-to-no English skills to near fluency in the eldest (4 years).



2010-2013: Supervisor, District Coffee Master, and Barista trainer, Starbucks Coffee, Surrey, London. Communicating new promotions and standards through training in the twelve stores I was responsible for General training to employees in my District, old and new Organization of community and regional events Running shifts Creating and receiving orders Cash management In charge of the Health and Safety of employees and clients Administer of first aid when needed. 2009-2010: Patisserie Valerie, 1 Market Place, Kingston Upon Thames, London. Creating and receiving orders Client advisor Personalizing and decorating cakes


2009-2012 Kingston University London, Grange Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2QJ. Achieved a Fine Art BA(Hons) Degree.   2008-2009 University for the Creative Arts Maidstone, Oakwood Park, Maidstone, Kent ME16 8AG. I completed a year long BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design and achieved a Merit.   2001-2008 Invicta Grammar School, Huntsman Lane, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5DR. Achieved: - 4 A Levels in Fine Art, Music Technology, Philosophy and Ethics, and English Literature. - 11 GCSEs, including an ‘A*’ in English Language and ‘As’ in English Literature, Fine Art, Graphic Design, and Religious Education.

My teaching approach

There are many conflicting methodologies as to how we should teach and learn languages. These ideas have each taken into account one or some of the difficulties we encounter when faced with the challenge of acquiring a new language, and based their teaching approach on the best way to counteract these difficulties.

 

We can categorise teaching methods into three major themes; firstly, their approach to teaching and learning goals. Knowing which strategy to apply to which student can be the difference between success and failure in achieving one’s goals. The second category is the organisation of the syllabus, which speaks volumes about the focuses of the methodology. Thirdly, the in class attitude and behaviour of the teacher. They are accountable for the impression the students have towards their ability to learn the new language.

 

There are many factors that motivate people to learn English. As it is the universal language, it is increasingly popular to perfect in order to communicate on a global scale, for work, studies, or even just travelling. As unique as the reasons for learning a second language are the individuals who decide to do so. There are different elements that affect the ways in which we learn.

 

The age and level affects how a student learns. Teaching a beginner is much different to teaching someone who has some background knowledge of the target language from which you can illicit information. Nevertheless the outcome can be as successful in an adult as with a child, given the correct approach. Confidence, or lack of in this case, can build barriers when learning a new language. Language interference can obstruct progress. When a learner already speaks two (or more) languages they tend to apply patterns such as structure and pronunciation acquired from other languages that aren’t their native tongue to the new language.

Similarly, learners create what is referred to as an ‘inter-language’, which causes three main issues: Language transfer, over generalization, and over simplification.

 

We acquire languages through our senses. For the purpose of teaching the most used senses are visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic. Visually we can read, be it books in the target language or instructions and signs etc. Through listening we can absorb information through speech, songs, the radio as so on. We can express meaning through gestures and body language; the kinaesthetic style is particularly useful when teaching beginners as body movements can be used to express basic messages.

 

As previously mentioned, there are many conflicting methodologies to teaching. Some of the most renowned are:

 

  • The Grammar-Translation Method; communication in this methodology is not key. In my opinion, this is where the Grammar-Translation method falls short, as I believe that to really learn a new language you must be able to communicate in that language.
  •  The Direct Method; pays particular attention to speech. Vocabulary holds more importance over grammar, and students are encouraged by the teacher to self-correct. What I would change about this approach for my own methodology is the fact that the student and teacher have equal roles in the ‘conversation’. I believe that conversations should feel more natural than in the Direct Method.

 

  • The Audio-Lingual Method; teacher provides a model for the students to follow, and the language gradually increases in difficulty to introduce new structures. The macro-skills in this method are presented to the students in their natural order: Listening, speaking, reading and then writing, and grammar patterns are prioritised over vocabulary. What I would change about this method is the use of drilling as a way of introducing the new language. Firstly, it is possible that the students have perfect timing and pronunciation, but they don’t actually know the meaning of what they are saying. In addition to this, it is quite essential that the teacher’s accent is very clear and understandable, because any errors or mispronunciations can cause the student’s vocabulary to suffer.

 

  • The Silent Way; no fixed syllabus, rather, the teacher decides the activities based on the students’ progress. For most of the teacher/student interaction time, the teacher remains silent. The teacher remains passive so that the students develop inner criteria for correctness. What I like about this method is the fact that students are encouraged to self-correct, and learn to communicate through speaking. For my method I would the student : teacher talking time as it is too extreme, and sometimes the teacher needs to model the target language.  

 

  • Suggestopedia; eliminates negative barriers and accelerates the student’s learning by activating the ‘paraconscious’ part of the mind. Positive suggestion is used to help enhance student’s self-confidence. Again, I would pay attention to the focus on building student’s confidence in my method, however I think that this focus is in fact too central and somewhat detracts from the learning.

 

  • Total Physical Response; teacher’s role is to enhance students’ feelings of success, reducing stress and anxiety. Students imitate the teacher’s non-verbal communication and when they feel ready, they speak. What I would use from this is the positivity that helps to build confidence, however I don’t this is it appropriate for all ages, or at least all levels. It is a very child friendly approach, however could work well also with adults who are beginners.

 

  • The Communicative approach; based on three common features: There must be a communication gap, i.e. unknown information must be required through the communication; choice, on what to say and how to say it; and feedback is provided to allow the communicator to gage whether the purpose was met. I would apply more structure to this from the teacher if I were to use the idea in my own method.

 

  • Content-based, Task-based, and Participatory Approaches; teach through communication, not for it. What I would apply to my own method from this is that the language is being taught in a real life situation, and therefore teaches relevant vocabulary and essential for communication in that language.

 

I think that due to the fact that there are such a broad range of motives for learning a new language, no methodology can realistically follow it’s own approach whilst suiting universal needs. For this reason, my approach would be appropriate for students looking to learn how to communicate in a second language, in real life situations, with some prior knowledge to illicit information from during classes. The approach probably wouldn’t suit children, and would be aimed more at teenage to adult ages.

 

  • My Approach

 

Listening

Speaking

Reading

Writing

1st

1st

2nd

3rd

 

According to my approach, the teaching and learning goals, and areas of language and skills emphasized are as follows: the purpose of language learning is communication therefore students must learn to think in the target language.

Self-consciousness and self-doubt is eradicated gradually from the first lesson in order to speed the learning process by giving the students the confidence and self-belief they need to succeed. Students are gradually able to use the target language to discuss real life issues and day-to-day situations. The target language is the only language used within the class. All four macro-skills are worked upon in some way, however speaking and listening are the main focus. Reading and listening skills are acquired as a side affect of the speaking and listening tasks.

Vocabulary and structures are focused on. Pronunciation is important, and corrected from the start.

 

The syllabus is functional, based upon situations (e.g. shopping, going to hospital etc.) and topics. Structures and vocabulary are acquired through discussions of situations and topics. The discussions are graded by vocabulary and structures

 

Teacher and students’ roles and interaction would be that the teacher is the director and initiator of the activities directing exchanges and modelling language, however the aim is for the students to lead the discussions rather than the teacher. The teacher evokes confidence in the student from the first day by providing gentle feedback that assures them that making faults is simply part of the learning process. Both the student and the teacher can initiate interaction, and students can converse between each other. Where appropriate, the teacher encourages students to self-correct. The teacher is an engineer, following a certain lesson plan, however adapting it to suit the needs of the student. They are additionally psychologists in terms of gaging the confidence of the student and how it is affecting their learning. The student is an imitator or the teacher due to the acquired target language modelled by the teacher, and also a communicator, participating in discussions expressing their thoughts. Students are not required to sit exams, but their understanding of class activities provides their level.

 

Characteristics of teaching and leaning process include emphasis on the use of the target language in real life situations by basing classes on discussions of realia, authentic materials. Textbooks are not used as they can become quickly out-dated. All of the classes feature discussions in only the target language.

 

A typical class would look similar to this:

 

Topic: Opening a bank account

5 mins

Introductions/welcomes are made, students are asked relevant questions to the situation they are in and the students e.g. “what did you do today?”, “how is your son?” “Do you have any plans for this weekend?” etc.

5 mins

Students are asked questions by the teacher using a chosen structure. They must answer using that structure, and therefore become more familiar with the structure.

15 mins

Activity 1: Students will be introduced to the target language, and the semantic field relevant to opening a bank account. A dialogue in a bank will be read and explained to them expressing one possible circumstance using the target language.

15 mins

Activity 2: Students will take role-play using the provided vocabulary and structures from the dialogue example.

15 mins

A topic to do with a bank is read to the students. They listen. After their understanding is checked, the start to discuss what they have heard and have opportunities to use the vocabulary they learnt at the beginning of the lesson, as well as from the text.

5 mins

Review. Teacher asked questions to check for understanding of target language acquire throughout the lesson, as well as difficult points that arose as a result of the class.

 

 

As you can clearly see, language teaching systems are constantly adapting with the goal of unearthing the ultimate approach to teaching. In reality, there can never be simply one approach to teaching a language, due to the fact that there will never be just one type of student with just one set of needs. Consistent lesson planning reflects on achieving learning objectives and goals. The future of English teaching will constantly evolve, most likely becoming more enriched as systems select the best teaching practices and form collaborative approaches.



Madrid

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