My teaching approach
My method is designed to have the students learn natural and complete understanding of the TL and to also produce and understand the TL with focus being on oral production. These are the basic and fundamental principles of my method, however students must state their objectives and why they ultimately want to learn the TL; these objectives are then analysed and broken down to understand exactly what is needed, and the steps required to to achieve these objective.
The teacher will lead by example with a ‘positive attitude’ making for the best learning environment and enhancing the relationship between teacher and student/s, as well as between the students themselves.
Students will be motivated with positive reinforcement throughout lessons every time they show improvement and each time they demonstrate good understanding.
Lessons will be fun and dynamic aiming to engage and build a rapport with students.
The teacher will constantly be aware of ‘emotional reactions’ of the students and respond accordingly; emotional / body language is as informative as spoken language and the teacher will be sensitive to both, if the negative negative emotional / body language is apparent the teacher would address this in an attempt to lift the emotions of the classroom to more so positive place. The teacher will inspire students through praise, it is important learning material of the correct level of difficulty is assigned to the students, in order to allow students to participate, succeed, and feel challenged. The teacher is responsible for sourcing learning material to achieve these three things, or to amend learning material in a way to allow for this. Generally speaking.
The role of the teacher is to engage the student by presenting learning material in an interesting fashion, students will be exposed to L2 language that is slightly above their current level as this gives them the opportunity to expand their knowledge, this will motivate students and make for a healthy learning environment however, the learning material must not be too difficult.
Classes will be adapted according to the dynamic of the classroom; for example classes for children will be fun, dynamic, fast paced and engaging - this will service the typically short attention span of children. Classroom management will be paramount, a specific focus on attention will be paid to individual children with the aim of personal connections being established.
With teenagers their needs will be elicited to understand them and in order to direct their motivation towards learning, and the same goes for adults. All students will be encouraged to communicate with other students.
The language skills and areas which are given the most importance are Micro skills, there is a strong focus on the following:
Natural and complete understanding of theTL
Oral production of the TL
The teacher will have a strong focus on inductive teaching whereby the student is encouraged to ‘notice’ the use of a given concept as opposed to explaining the use of rules. For example, the teacher would first present many examples showing how a concept is used, without explicitly stating the rule; as students see how the concept is used, it is then intended they will notice how to use the concept, at this point the class will contextualise that which has been taught, at this stage the class will then negotiate meaning among themselves until understanding is agreed and demonstrated. Key concepts will be revisited at spaced intervals, a focus will be made on material where understanding is not completely demonstrated and will be revisited periodically until this is satisfactorily achieved.
With the focus of the teacher being on structures, vocabulary, and pronunciation a Structure-based syllabus will be used, along with a combination of a Situations-based syllabus and Skill-Based syllabus.The combination of these Syllabi would perfectly aid the teaching of a natural and complete understanding of the TL as well as oral production of the TL and will have the teacher be best placed in achieving objectives of the method.
The teacher will produce activities via the presentation of structures, functions or vocabulary, this will then be practiced, once this has been practiced the teacher will encourage free practice, having the students take steps towards fluency.
The presentation of the structure, vocab, or function will be a dynamic presentation which will engage the student, practice will initially be controlled practice to aid mastery, once a strong understanding has been developed, free practice will then be used to achieve fluency.
The structure of lessons follow the principles of Jeremy Harmer’s Engage Study Activate model. The teacher will first ask questions about a structure, vocabulary, or function; for example the teacher may ask the students if they have ever regretted anything before and ask for possible ways you could express regret, or how you could possibly express suggestion, or the teacher could ask a question using the structure to be taught in order to activate the students interest and prepare them for what is to come. Once the idea has been introduced focus is then paid to the specific parts of language and how it is constructed; a combination of teacher and student explanations and student to student explanations to negotiating understanding. Once an understanding is achieved the teacher will then begin an activity with the purpose of having the students use the language learned as freely as possible with the objective being for the students to use the TL accurately in the discussion.
All lessons will begin with questions to engage students by prompting practice inversions. An example of how a class would be structures is as follows:
1. Questions prompting inversion
2. communicative activities - the type of these will depend on the level of the students
A2 - Vocabulary, structure, topic, / structure
B2 - Vocabulary, structure, speaking topic, vocabulary / structure
3. Review - a review of the class is made with a focus being made on points of which students struggled.
Accurate oral production is a primary objective, the teacher will pay attention to repeated inaccuracy, especially those which stem from the use of interlanguage, the teacher understands that the use of interlanguage is generally apparent until the student is proficient in L2 and in order to have the student reach proficiency efficiently corrections to inaccurate use of grammar will be made with a focus being paid to influences of structures from the students mother tongue; also a focus will be made on overgeneralisation and simplification.
Errors of verb tenses, preposition use; grammatical faults in general will be corrected. Vocabulary faults such as incorrect collocations, idiomatic phrase usage - all errors of this nature will be corrected. And pronunciation faults, mistakes in basic pronunciation, in word stressing in sentences, mistakes in rhythm and pitch, intonation will also be corrected.
The assessment systems used will be Formative assessment system as the belief is that information relating to a language is gathered and is an ongoing process relative to the strengths and weaknesses of a student. Formative tests are designed to help the teacher plan a program in the future. After administering the test, the teacher will know exactly which areas to concentrate on and will be able to target students' weak points. Formative tests can also be used to show whether a student has achieved the necessary degree of proficiency to successfully complete a new course of study, or perhaps to start a new job. Continuous assessment will also be used to assess class performance, pieces of work and projects throughout the course; this will allow for a final grade that reflects the entire course.
The teachers role is considered to be that of a ‘needs analyst’ whereby the teacher determines students needs and this information obtained will be used for the planning of the course and development of the student. As well as this, the teacher will also play the role of a ‘guide’ whereby the teacher will guide and direct dynamic classes, guiding students to learn and communicate effectively in the TL. the teacher will always know where to take their students, where their students are going and what they want to achieve. Lastly, the teacher will play the role of a ‘playmaker’ whereby the teacher will lead the class but understand that his or her role is to guide the students but it is the students who will ultimately ‘score the goals’.
The student’ role is to be actively engaged in negotiating meaning trying to make themselves understood. The aim is for the students to learn to communicating by communicating. The students will generally always be active and do most of the speaking in the classroom.
The teacher will grade the language used according to the level of the students, it is important students are engaged in activity at all times, whilst it is important to have the lessons be challenging in order to have the students learn, understand, and demonstrate understanding, attention must be paid to the language being used.
Innovative and authentic material can be expected of the teacher, also known as, realia. A strong focus will be made to contextualisation in an attempt to reach comprehension, and it is understood that examples of authentic materials such as: movies, videos, receipts, official letters and forms from businesses or governments, instructions, newspapers and advertisements etc.
This method takes elements from the VAK model and the communicative approach. Whilst controlled practice is practiced initially this method is very different to the Callan method as the intention is ultimately for the student to demonstrate free practice effectively. There are similarities between this method and both the audio-lingual method, the trait of using only the TL is shared, however the drilling activities will be dissimilar to the others as dynamic lessons are promoted by the teacher as memorisation is by dynamic usage. In addition to this, unlike the audio-lingual method a focus is made on vocabulary. This method bears very little resemblance to the Callan method due to the focus of a dynamic lesson engaging students.