My teaching approach
My teaching approach
I believe that as a teacher you need to be adaptable and dynamic to each and every student. You need to make teaching fun, engaging and interesting to keep the learner motivated. So my teaching approach will be tailored to each individuals learning goal. The students learning goal is the reason why they are wanting to learn English. Whether it be for a job promotion, to pass an exam or just as a hobby. I will use a mix of different methods and approaches, to which I think will be most suited to that specific student. My role as a teacher is to make sure the learners goal is achieved.
There are many different approaches and methods teachers like to use and I will take parts from each depending on the learners goal. The three main teaching theories are behaviourism, the cognitive approach and constructivism. Personally behaviourism is not a favourite theory of mine because it is not communitive in anyway. It treats animals and humans in the same way using a systematic approach. It is primarily concerned with observable behaviour as opposed to internal events such as thinking and emotions. It is also scientifically measured which means it doesn't take into account individual learning needs, which I believe is very important. The main teaching style of behaviourism is the use of reinforcement and repetition. Behaviours are usually shaped by rewards and undesired behaviour is punished. An example class would be chanting key phrases or dialogues and Immediate correction. With this method I would only use when absolutely necessary. For example if I had a student who´s only learning goal was to learn as much English as possible because he is going to work in England for a short period. I would then focus on key phrases he would need to be able to get by and the repetition side of it would help him to remember. The second theory is the cognitive approach, this actually came after behaviourism. It engages more thoughts, feelings and interaction from the learners but still holds a lot of behaviouristic approaches. And lastly the constructivism approach which is my favourite of all three theories. This approach is the most personal for the individual learner and it considers the learners hobbies and interests. This makes learning much more engaging and relatable and I believe this is the best approach for the learner. I also understand that this approach may not work as well in large groups, as you cant incorporate everybody's interests, but it will definitely work for private teaching and small groups.
An existing teaching methodology I will use when teaching my students will be the direct method of teaching, this is also known as the natural method. It is also one of the most common methodologies used when teaching a foreign language. Its main characteristic is that it only uses the target language. I believe this is the best way, as it gets the learner thinking in the desired language and not thinking in their mother tongue which can make it harder for them to learn. It also helps develop oral skills which I think is most important when learning a new language, as the best way to practice is orally through communication with other people. I believe this also improves the learners confidence. The direct method also uses real life objects and visuals when helping the learner, this will help them to get a visual representation and consolidate the memory. So when they hear or see something specific they can relate it back to the visual they saw whilst learning. Another main characteristic of the direct method which I will use in my teaching practice is question and answer patterns. It simulates interaction and natural conversational patterns, such as turn taking. So when the learning is practicing in real life situations they will know how to answer and what to expect. After learners have grasped the oral aspect of the language, grammar, reading and writing are then introduced in the intermediate phase. Punctuation is also always corrected right from the start, this is to ensure learners don’t hang on to old habits as this can be very difficult to correct later on.
Another methodology I will use in my teaching approach is the communitive approach, it puts a huge emphasis for learners to communicate through interaction in the target language and uses activities for them to use outside the classroom. The main desire of the communitive approach is to focus on content not form. So this takes the focus off the grammar aspect of the language and more being able to communicate. Learners will also be exposed to a wide variety of the target language. I think this approach would probably work best for learners who are wanting to learn the language for a hobby or maybe a job that requires a lot of talking over the phone. I wouldn’t recommend this particular method for someone who works in administration or has to write a lot of emails as form will be important for those kind of roles.
One of my main roles as a teacher is to create a syllabus and a classroom plan to achieve each individual learners goal. I will do this by setting clear objectives right from the start by finding out exactly what the student is wanting to learn the language for. This way as I said earlier I can personally tailor it to their needs. I think the best way to create s syllabus is a combination of text book, as it sticks to the curricular, but also adding your own content. This may be if you think the text book is lacking and uninspiring, also text book syllabus do not follow the communitive approach. When creating a syllabus it is also important to track a leaners progress and understanding. I believe the best way to do this is through short tests at the end of each new topic, to check the learners understanding. Also assessments could be done every couple of weeks to see if learners have any reoccurring errors that need to be addressed. The use of self assessments, especially with adults can be very useful also as it gets them to recognise their own errors and self correct, which can speed up the learning process.
In all I as a teacher must continue to be consistent within everything I do as this provides students with confidence and also makes me a better teacher for my students. By being consistent I must follow my chosen approaches, which are the direct method and the communitive approach. But depending on the learners goals and needs this will be tailored and I may adopt from other approaches and methods. When teaching I have to always maintain a fair, open and positive attitude and always be prepared for every class and each student.