My teaching approach
The ability and the capacity to communicate is one of our best skills to understand the world and to share people’s different perspectives and opinions . Therefore, one of the best ways to teach students is to offer them the possibility to be creative and to use new skills to communicate and to express their feelings and their thoughts.
One of the best ways for me to teach young or older students, without a previous knowledge of the English language, is to provide them a basic yet complete knowledge with clear and precise examples in order to make the acquired knowledge useful and therefore entertaining. Grammar rules will be introduced in a smooth and light way as the learning process progresses.
The syllabus is organized on a situation and dialogue based system, that will allow students to share impressions and exchange ideas that will lead them to increase their vocabulary and to better expression, this is to say, the communication would be the first and main goal. To have the ability to use the vocabulary and structures that they learn in a meaningful context reinforces what they have learned and increases their motivation. The situations will always include characters, intentions, descriptions and situations.
In the event of older students without a previous knowledge of the English language I would apply the same method, adjusted to their personal features, age and instruction level. It’s not the same to teach a bus driver than to teach a biologist. This is to say, the syllabus has to be carefully planned taking into account the different personal features and the use that they will give to the knowledge that they need. Groups of students should be created taking into account all these points.
If students happen to be people with some knowledge of the English language and interested in professional fields, I think that the use of professional texts and vocabulary pertaining to these fields would be a fundamental piece to improve their knowledge, after having assessed carefully their English level. The use of texts, compositions and a dialogue based system would allow us to strengthen their ability to communicate and I also recommend the use of grammar exercises to reinforce the correct use of the language.
The use of the language will be always adjusted to the student’s needs, according to their age, level of knowledge of the language and the foreseen use of the language in the case of professionals. Grammar knowledge would be always something that would be added in the course of the learning process. In the case of case teenagers and professionals with English knowledge, you may propose a schedule and ask for students’ opinions to reach the proposed goals. Exercises are also very useful to check their new skills and to let them be aware that they have reached the proposed objectives, having always in mind their ages and goals.
The teacher’s role should be the role of a person who engages the students communicate new elements, and to adapt the concepts that will be useful to learn and use and to make communication easier. The system of exercises will be designed in such a way that will allow students to be aware of the correct use of the language.
Oral communication should be the teacher’s main concern and also the students’ goal. To achieve this purpose, we can use online material, authentic material, self-created material or other systems, that provide to the students confidence to use and to create their own language universe, leading them to the possibility to communicate, feel and express themselves in the real world, according to their needs.
We must teach students to use language in a wide sense, giving them the possibility to learn how to use it in a multiple way to express differences, meanings, feelings or situations. The teacher must encourage students to use the language as their own tool, taking into account the class dynamics and personalities of the students.
There are a lot of English teaching methods, some of them are:
Grammatical Approach: this method can only work if the instructor speaks the mother language of the students in addition to English, because much of it is based on the teacher’s ability to translate. Students practice proper structure and syntax through the use of examples and quizzes. This approach is best for students who natively speak a language with a dramatically different set of grammar rules from English.
Aural Approach: this method focuses on the on the most natural way to learn a language: hearing it. This method is strictly audio-based and the students do not focus on the reading or writing until the students can grasp the language on a speaking level. The aural English teaching method is an approach best used for younger students, as it most closely relates to the way they’ve been used to learning language.
English-Only Approach: All instruction is done in English language. As the student builds vocabulary the teacher can introduce abstract words and elements of the language but without explaining the actual grammatical structure. The complexities of the language will be learned inherently through practice and application only. This method works best for situations where the instructor does not speak the native language of the students he’s instructing.
Translative-approach: The translative approach is a bit like the grammatical approach, only with a wider focus on the English language’s structure in comparison to the native language of the students. This approach must be taught by an instructor who speaks the same language as their students.
The method here proposed is a method and combines some elements of the Aural Approach and English-only Approach, giving also a particular importance to the grammar structure in advanced levels, but with a special and particular emphasis on the students’ capacity to communicate ideas, feelings, experiences and thoughts, in the measure that this is possible according to their knowledge. This is to say, the capacity and the ability to project ourselves to the others and to the world, making that the use of the language becomes a powerful tool to communicate and feel the world around us, thus becoming a part of ourselves and not considering it only like a way of earning more money or a way to get a new job, integrating it in our mind and in our particular world.
The student is a learner but the student is also an actor who will acquire the possibility to become a user of new elements and new ways to express his thoughts and feelings. The emotional component of the language will play a main role in this way of teaching, because students will be able to describe emotions to the others and see how the others feel them. This main idea perhaps is only possible with advanced students, but it´s also possible to use it with beginners, because this idea will be on the basis of the way of teaching, as the teacher will supply a lot of skills and tools to make it possible, trying that the class time does not become only a time devoted to hear experiences from other people or reading what is described on the textbooks, but also a time and a space where students can expose their daily experiences and the situations that they live, in the measure that they want to explain or to expose them. Emotions are the mainstream that guide our lives and if we are able to combine emotions and language to become a unique and inseparable unit, the capacity to learn and to remember will for sure increase and we will enjoy it.
This criteria will also enrich the teachers as they will be play an important role in the life of the students, sharing their time and experiences. The collaboration between teachers will be also very useful in this sense, as we will share not only ways of teaching, but also feedbacks received from the students that will contribute in a very large way to improve our approaches and our proposals, taking into account the results and the reactions of the students to this approach, assessing together the different approaches that we can build taking the “emotional way” as the basis of this combined way of teaching English.