My teaching approach
MY TEACHING APPROACH
Methods of teaching English have developed rapidly especially in previous 40 years.As a language teacher, training manager or leaner it is important to understand the various methods and techniques so that he can be able to make educated choices and boost the enjoyment of teaching and learning. In my personal opinion i would say that it s rather narrow minded for contempoary language teachers to stick to a particular method to teach language.some of them are too absolute just like the Grammar translation method where much importance is given to grammatical perfection rather than their functional use in a wider context and the suggestopedia method which is too liberal though the aim is to reduce or remove any psychological barrier to learning which is very essential but too much comfortability cannot stimulate intellectual development as students are too relaxed.
Recent researches show that there is no one single best method for everyone in all context.Students'goals are different, there those who are learning to study and pass accademic examinations ,others are learning second languge because of job or vocational purpouses,others are learning to improve themselves and communicate very well in the natural context in case the travel to English speaking countries yet others learn to help their kids with their home work.It is the job of a well grounded teacher to be aware of these needs and and goals and understand the various methods and technqiues so that they are able to navigate andd make educated choices to boost teaching and learning so that each student at the end of the programme can express themselves in a functional way and also pass their examinations.
The MOTIVATION of a learner has a great impact on hte out come of the learning process.At the school level students should be motivated by using COGNITIVE ELEMENTS which focus on inner nental activity,thinking,memory knowing and problem solving.This theory states that we learn by observing others who are more skilled by participating in significant tasks and also listening to language in use.Students who are highly motivated and apply themselves in class and engage with their own learning process achieve better results thsn those who do not.Students who are learning to communicate in English to improve themselves or for vocational or job purposes should be motivated based on CONSTRUCTIVISIM.Prior knowledge,skills,beliefs concepts and experiences of the learners are socal and cultural factors that influence what they learn and interprete things.The teacher should pay attention to incomplete undrestandings, false belifs and naive intrepretation of concepts that learners bring to class and try to correct them for example English is too difficult to learn or am too old to learn.Interactions with people who speak the language and cognitve tools example books are used .The social enviroment offers suppourt for learning which are gradually withdrawn as they become internalised.Students are encouraged to take care of their own learning proccess and recognise when they understand and need information.
Learners should be motivated using both the humanistic and traditonal approches.First of all good learning enviroment should be provided,when students are relaxed and confident,they will not need to try hard to learn the languge.According to Caleb Gettengo and Georgi lozanov''The reason for our ineffiency in learning language is that we set up psychological barriers to learning''.
The learning enviroment is also a very crucial factor when we take into considerations the AFFECTIVE FACTORS.A situation that encourages learners to produce without inhibitions is said to be very beneficial and also the personality of each individual learner should be considered.Introversion,low self esteem and anxiety present obstacles to learning English but students who are keen to communicate and open to language learning process progress rapidly. A teacher shuold be aware of these factors as they can sometimes act as barrier to learning and also try to adapt classes,teaching styles and activities to to enable each student reach their potential.
LANGUAGE SKILLS are very important tools to achieve both teaching and learning goals.Personaly i will use the natural order of acquiring these skills and apply them in teaching English language.
Students Listen to what the teacher says or read
Speak by repeating what the teacher said.
students are taught how to read
finally reproduce what they have heard and read in writing
These are the four macro skills or in learning languages listening ,speaking and writing.The micro skills which are vocabulary ,pronounciation grammar and spelling should be applied as follows>
students should be taught vocabulary
shown how to pronounce
then teach them how to spell the word
finally how to use it in a sentence with grammar taught in a functinal way.
SYLLABUS should be organised using the functional and task based method
sample Activity for P2 Adults:
|Type of Activity
||Brief Description of Activity
||To get students to think in L2 and adapt to the class ahead.
||Asking few questions that require short answers.
|To get students to learn how to use simple present tense
Introduce SS to simple past verbs using examples.
Make SS form simple sentences using action verb picture attachments, so as to get them to freely use it on their own.
Ask SS to give a brief account of what they do everyday using simple presentj tense
(asking and giving directions)
To ensure that students learn to pronounce and practice the target languages.
Can you tell me the way to the nearest bus stop?
How do i get to the post office?
take the next turning or,street on the left
Go straight ahead
Go straight on
Introduce different ways of asking and giving directions
TT to check SS undrstanding and use of prepositions.SS to make examples talking about where their school or company is located,TT to check for accuracy
TT to assign anumber and destination to SS and they will ask each other for directions
|Types of transportation
||To enable students know the different transport systems using the target language.
Introduce brief text (To be read)
Explain the different types to SS
Describe a type of transport system and ask them to name the type.
Ask SS to tell which ones they use daily (ie getting them to inductively practice and produce sentences using the TL).
|Wrap up Questions
||Helps to check for comprehension of all target languages.
Ask SS for meanings of a few TL.
Ask SS to make sentences using TL or using CCQ.
Activity tools: This will depend on students prior knowledge, but the main tools would be to use both auditory tools and visual attachments of pictures depicting locations like a subway,parque, post office,road signs and and vocabulary used in each case. The combination of teachng tools would enhance learning for the different learning styles available in class. Target language practice would be turn using role play activities that would gve the students the opportunity to practice the TL as if they were in the real world ie outside the classroom with the guidance of the teacher sample Activity for P2 Adults
TEACHER'S ROLES are very important in language learning they are expected to build good rapport with students through interaction and build their confidence,engage them with what interests them and also reinforce them which might be positive or negative.Teachers should set realistic goals which are achievable as this helps students to feel of achievement,they should be ASESSED periodically like weekly to help the revise and retain what has been taught for the day or for the week.The teacher should also asses continously based on formative methods.students mistakes are corrected espacially the beginners without letting them feel bad.
A good teacher should be able to control his class without being Authorative he is the authourity figure in the class but and the same time should be communicative,resourceful,knowledgeble,patient and empathetic,he should be able to note down the differnt personalities of students and find a way to adapt to each and every one of them
The respected author and American university professor, Douglas Brown, provides a list of the ‘ten commandments’ for effective language learning, applied to both ESL teachers and learners:
|For EFL Teachers
||For Language Learners
||Believe in yourself
|Develop intrinsic motivation
||Seize the day
|Engage in cooperative learning
||Work with your team
|Use right-brain processes
||Get the BIG picture
|Promote ambiguity tolerance
||Cope with the chaos
||Follow your hunches
|Process error feedback
||Make mistakes work FOR you
|Set personal goals
||Set your own goals
From his book Principles of Language Learning & Teaching (Pearson Longman, 2001)
These recommendations aim to promote learner autonomy and stress the importance of self-motivation.
Through guided discovery, language learners should not expect the teacher to deliver everything to them neatly packaged, wielding some new magic teaching method, but should take charge of their own learning and jump in.
THE COMMUNICATIVE LANGUGE to be used in class should be the English language.The use of mother tongue is not functional and will slow down the language learning process and immersion into the second language.
The Approaches i will use in teaching beginners and leaners will vary.
Beginners should start their classes with vocabularies and also cognate words.They must be drilled from the start with repetition,then i will move up generic words such as THIS and THAT but use it in a fuctional way. Words which depicts objects and places will be contextualised
The language i will use will be very simple but sometimes i will use advanced word so that they can be challenged and ask for the meaning which will be explained to them in a functional way.The learning pace should be slow and repetitive so that they have time to assimilate what they have learnt but it should not be too slow so that they will not be bored and lose interest.Piror knowledge and things they see around them are used to relate and engage students with what is being taught, objects or realia and gestures are very important tools to teach beginners.finally i will always recycle or re use the target languges so that it can stick to their memory.Beginners should be corrected after speaking so that they will nt be inhibited from expressing themselves but basic grammar points and structures are corrected right away.
On the other hand advanced students should be taught diffrently advanced languages are used and authentic texts and materials like newspapers or journals are used,i can always improvise in an advanced class and also let students to choose the topic for discussion if they dont really like what i have prepared.New vocabularies learnt from topics discussed and grammar and structures taught inductively.They should be correct immediately when thy make mistakes especially in pronounciation construction of sentences may be corrected after the student finishes.
Teaching different age groups also involve many other strategies and adjustments.When teaching kids
i will try to be clear and direct in speech using one or two simple word commands like sit up, repeat etc using a firmer tone when needed. The teacher should also incorporate animations and be lively during activities as this tends to keep up the interest of the kids. Use TPR when necessary, short sharp games when necesary, change sitting arrangements from time to time,use gimmicks and also rewards.
Juniors: classes can e a bit frustrating with teens but a teacher should be well planned with clear structured activities, exposing learners to different cultures, using effective classroom management skills, cater for different learning syles,take interests in students live outside classroom, be a positive role model and use of motivation to encourage them in class and beyond class activities.
Teens/Adults: Teach boring stuffs using examples and letting them inductively get the function or purpose, Be a team leader and a role model, make yourself the object of humour as taking yourself too seriously can drive low interest, use grown up gimmicks, research their interests and get them moving when and if possible to drive away boredom or lack of interest.
Today the professional language teacher has a good grounding in the various techniques and new approaches, and they know and understand the history and evolution of teaching methodologies.It is almost impossible to do everything if only one method is used so i will always rely on principled Eclectisim method where students are encouraged to be self reliant and i as a teacher will in fact use varieties of methodologies and approaches, choosing techniques from each method that i and my students consider effective and applying them according to the learning context and objectives.
I will prepare their lessons to facilitate the understanding of the new language being taught and will not rely on one specific ‘best method'