Ifeyinwa Stella Okekeze

Ifeyinwa Stella Okekeze TEFL certificate Ifeyinwa Stella Okekeze TEFL certificate


PROFILE


-Ability to prepare course work and monitor students´performances -Enthusiastic and inspiring. -Ability to project a positive and creative learning environment for all students. -Excellent classroom and behaviour management skills. -Passionate about improving learning for students and getting involved in areas of the schools´community.


PROJECTS


-Have IT skills (Microsoft word and excel, internet and e-mail) -Excellent English & Upper-intermediate Level Spanish, Ibo & Yoruba(Nigerian languages).


-TEFL course & 2 weeks´teacher-training in Oxbridge School, Madrid(Jan. 2014). -Open School of Languages, Madrid(From Oct. 2013-till date). -Private classes (From 2002-till date). -Kings´College International Summer School Workshop (Drama & Storytelling) -St. Catherine´s Nursery and Primary School, Lagos Nigeria(March 1997-August 1999) -Bishop Howell´s Nursery and Primary School, Lagos Nigeria(Jan. 1996-Feb. 1997)



-Telemarketing (Trafford Consulting SL. Madrid-Spain) (March 2007-Jan. 2014) -Marketing Officer (Techno-Logic Nigeria Ltd.) (From July 1999-Sept. 2000)


- Saint Mary´s Day Nursery & Primary School, Lagos, Nigeria-(09/1974-06/1982) - New Era Girls´Secondary School, Lagos, Nigeria. (WASC/GCE)-(09/1982-06/1987) -Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria. (Bsc. Hons. Sociology)-(10/1990-06/1995) -The Open Univerity UK (Introduction To Health And Social Care)(09/2011-06/2012) -The Open University UK (Working with Children and Young People)(09/2012-06/2013)

My teaching approach

This essay is about how i would approach teaching English, using a personal touch and explaining why it would be the most beneficial for my students. Teaching English as a profession is such that requires one being able to handle all levels such as Beginners, elementary, intermediate, upper intermediate and high level. According to Oxbridge scale of leveling, they are S1, P2, P3, P4 and P5. So, in order to do this successfully, one has to consider a lot of factors and also apply different approaches.

 

The first method is the grammar- translation method. This method actually focuses more on writing and not speaking, the goal is not to develop the students on how to communicate but develops them on lexicon-grammar such as verb conjugations, tenses, lists of verbs, prepositions, etc. Attention is also paid more on reading comprehension passages, answering questions, making inferences based on understanding of the passage, and little or no attention is paid on pronunciation. Organization of the syllabus focuses more on lexicon grammatical and task based syllabus. There is no interaction between teacher and student, students memorize Target Language vocabulary and words. The Oxbridge system is completely different, their method entails using different activities to explain things to students such as Structure, Vocabulary and Topic activities. Their goal is to develop students´ ability to interact without using their mother tongue (L1), more of students talking time (STT) than Teachers´ Talking Time (TTT), vocabulary and grammar are initiated by giving examples to students and allowing them to make a free use of them as much as they want until the teacher is convinced that every student understands the usage of these words. They also emphasize on students speaking rather than writing, teachers are seen as models while students are like communicators. Students are made to understand the definition and usage of vocabulary and grammar, and not to memorize them for examination purposes. There is also a good rapport between students and teachers, and this relaxes the students and motivates them to learn, also translation is discouraged. Fluency is also a key factor rather than knowing the theoretical aspect of grammar and building productive and receptive skills in learners. In my opinion, I would like to adopt a little of the grammar- translation approach as a last option in terms of doing a little translation for the beginners level (S1), but I would also follow more of the Oxbridge method in terms of fluency and flow of language. For other levels, I would adopt the system of conducting examination and evaluating the students´ level of understanding. An example is the use of gap-fills, another example for grammar -translation is when trying to explain the verb` to eat´ to children in the Beginners class, I could explain this by making a sentence like `I eat breakfast´ accompanying with a picture of cereal. `I would name this method, grammar-trans Oxbridge language method.

 

Another method of teaching is the Direct (Berlet) Method, this is completely against translation. Objects like realia, pictures and pantomime are used to make students understand explanation of words and their usage. This method emphasizes on demonstration and not translation and explanation, communication by learners is highly encouraged by making students use language in its right context, pronunciation is introduced from the beginning of the course and then grammar. The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writer are developed by students. Specific language used at different situations like banks, shopping, geography, money or weather, this method is very similar to that of Oxbridge in terms of developing different skills in students like using skills such as English for Specific purpose (ESP). For example teaching medical, business, law English etc.  Oxbridge method is different from Berlitz  method in terms of discouraging the students from writing, students do not do much reading, pronunciation is not done frequently only when  it has to do with grammatical errors. As for wrong pronunciation of words, Oxbridge tries not to interrupt students because it could lead to frustration or discouragement of students. For example, a beginners level student who has no vocabulary, or an elementary level student might not know how to pronounce some words, once they experience this pronunciation of words several times, they could say things like`this language is too difficult, i´m getting frustrated´, they say this using their mother tongue. I would approach the student by saying `don´t be frustrated, it´s a gradual process, when you practice, it will be easier´. I´ll recommend things like watching of English subtitled movies, listening to audio cds, reading and explaining target language, especially for the elementary  level, making the students practice how to use these target language, practice dictation sometimes and also practice vocabulary using the vocabulary activity, but will give examples first before they use them. If they have to listen to audio cds, I would make them act or demonstrate the roles or words, pronunciation will be a key issue, for the grammar, I would make them use the affirmative and negative use of verbs like `to have´, `I have a pen´ or I don´t have a pen´ could be demonstrated by picking up and dropping of a pen. I could call this method the electronic-language method.

 

However, third method is the audio-lingua method, this just drills students in using grammatical sentence patterns. This is based on theoretical learning rather than practical, learners could overcome habits of mother tongue and form habits of target language speakers. Learners are prevented from making mistakes, they are reinforced to develop correct habits. Oral skills receive more development rather than providing explicit grammar rules. The Oxbridge approach is different from this approach because students are encouraged to be active learning than passive. Teachers use activities such as vocabulary, structure and topic activities, audio-lingua approach is never their style. Emphasis is made more on speaking, developing fluency and flow of language, starting from learning simple words to learning difficult ones keeping that rhythm. In my opinion, one would approach this method using it for students in different levels such as Beginners, Elementary, Intermediate, Upper intermediate and High level .This would be useful for the vocabulary activity especially, students can be made to identify the target language, practice how to pronounce, and then if it is a dialogue audio cd on vocabulary, i´ll use realia such as objects around, pictures, drawing and writing on a white board. This will be beneficial to students to get used to sounds of words, this can be played severally, by so doing, students find it difficult to forget this.

 

The fourth method of teaching is silent way method, the teacher is passive and the students develop inner criteria for new correctness. Students are allowed to speak more at length, the silence of a teacher encourages group co-operation, students are not praised or criticized because they will feel less reliant. This method is a little bit similar to what Oxbridge teaches, teachers are taught to have less teachers´talking time(TTT) and more of students´ talking time(STT)  so as to encourage them to speak and develop their fluency. But it also negates what Oxbridge teaches because teachers are taught to praise their students but they are not to overdo it because they could feel flattered and criticism of student is not allowed by Oxbridge because they could feel less confident.  In my opinion, I would adopt this method of teaching because I would want to motivate the students to speak the language without feeling shy. For example, to express this in a class of aged group students in beginners level( S1) , as a teacher, I would explain  `how are you?´ by showing a picture of two people shaking hands, then I´ll make them repeat after me. Things like `where do you live? ´ by showing the picture of a house, and then repeat. At this level, my concentration will be more on pictures and repetition of what they´ve been taught. I wouldn´t use a syllabus or the Oxbridge activities for this group, I would plan the class doing more of salutations and demonstration of words because one needs to be patient and slow with this level making sure there´s interference of the mother- tongue.

 

Furthermore, another approach is suggetopedia whereby students are encouraged to discarding all the barriers that might discourage them from learning, displaying colour posters with pictures as target language. Students work from textbooks containing dialogues, vocabulary is emphasized, and teachers initiate interaction with groups and individuals. Students respond non-verbally and eventually, they respond more appropriately even initiating interactions. There´s also reading and writing by student which opposes what Oxbridge does. There is less reading and no writing, teachers do not write on the board  for instance, not even the students, dialogue is also used to demonstrate activities, grammar practice is quite high, then vocabulary follows but from simple to complex words. Oxbridge does not display pictures on walls because most of the clients are taught in offices and not school. That´s why lessons are planned starting off with quick questions, then structure, vocabulary and topic activities. In my opinion, I think I like this method  of displaying posters with pictures  of because students who are still struggling with words, like the elementary level students can be encouraged, negative feeling of learning could be eliminated by giving` thumbs up´ for a good performance  or `very good´.

 

Lastly, total physical response is another method, it deals with modeling, students’ demonstration, observation   of actions by students, etc.  It is actually fun and less stressful and no language translation. Oxbridge has a similar method which they use a lot for low level learners, for upper intermediate or high level learners. An example is if I wanted to explain a phrasal verb like `sit down´or stand up to a level P2 student, I would explain it by demonstrating it in class, or by playing the game `Simon says´, or by consulting the internet for more ideas.

 

In conclusion, one would say that all the methods are geared towards achieving a common goal which is making learners learn successfully, this should be a very important goal of a teacher. Successful teaching can be approached in several ways be it traditional or modern, what should be the concern of any teacher is using ones teaching skills, and approaching it very well because the end justifies the means´. All I can say is that training with Oxbridge has been an eye opener for me in the teaching profession.



Madrid

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