My teaching approach
CHIDINMA IRENE EZIKE
Learning English could be interesting and as well challenging. This depends on how the teacher of any English class structures his claases and aims at giving successful classes. As an English teacher my aim is to use a direct method of approach to make my classes interesting and most beneficial for my students.
First, I will identify each students reason for learning English. Some students learn English because they need it for their jobs, some for productive purposes,still others for useful or productive purposes, while others for socialising , watching some English movies and traveling to English countries etc. These are the goals/objectives the students want to achieve in this language learning. The goals and needs of any learner is also influenced by the age though not directlydetermined by it. I have to put into consideration the different age groups of any class I am teaching. As a teacher of English therefore, one of my most useful tools is a well structured syllabus. That is, what my students know and what they don't know ( identifying their needs to determine what they have to learn). My syllabus must at least contain --- learning goals and objectives of the course; ...... content distrbution per session; ----- And distribution of classes within a period of time.
Students' motivation to learn this language is a very important factor I will consider, since it helps them in achieving their goals. There are two types of motivation that I consider,; Intrinsic motivation ( that is when the stimuli comes from within and that is when the learner has something important , like his job requirement as a result of learning English. Extrinsic motivation on the other hand is when my student is expecting a rewarding goal e.g - passimg a standard exam. It is therefore my job as a teacher to maintain or even increase motivation.
Students can learn through three different styles. As a teacher , I put this into consideration to build up my class. for example ----- we have visual learners , who can conceptualise better when I attach pictures, visual aids, diagrams, handouts etc.as my material. Auditory learners are motivated when the class is more of ( listening to lectures, discussions, tapes etc) and Kinesthic - like the kids and young learners who may prefer moving , touching and doing. This again depends on the students age and needs. As a teacher, I make sure I prepare my activities and adopt the learning style that will be interesting to my students. With the syllabus , I can structure my activities to include ...... Topic; ----- Issues; ----- Sub issues ( Oxbridge system of Inductive teaching ).
Example of my structured activity. -------------------------- Level : P4 : Language : English . Age : Adult . Structure : Speculate about hypothetical situations / Describe wishes , dreams, hopes and ambitions . Wishes with present forms. I hope to see you again. I wish you good luck. This will be structured into .--- Title; ---- Summary; ---Development of Activity 1, 2, 3 ; ---Wrap up ; ---- and Target language.
I cannot plan my activities without considering the four language skills or macro skills for my students. They are --Listening , Speaking ; Reading , and Writing. I may not focus on students' fluency for instance but i would still want them to speak accurately, therefore while planning the activities, I need to develope enough communicative skills to give them confidence while speaking. It is important also for students to develope their vocabulary to avoid some noticeable and distracting errors while speaking. I can here expressions like " I lived in Spain since three years ago " or " I went on a travel last summer " So I may choose some reading activities to indirectly broaden their vocabulary and expose them to the correct usage of structures. They also need to practice specific areas of the target language grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling ( the micro skills ).
Grammar activity is important for the students. Grammar concentrates on the structure and use of the language forms , their morphology, ( For example -- It is correct to say I'm not but not I amn't ) the syntax of phrases, clauses and sentences can help the students know the rules of questions formation for instance or the construction of indirect speech.
Vocabulary activities can help me teach the meaning of words to the students , their lexical grammar ( e.g the fact that prefer can be followed by either an --- ing verb form or an infinitive , but enjoying can only take the ---- ing one ). Collocation rules is also necessary ( eg -- we say do exercise and not make exercise ).
Pronunciation is often neglected aspect of English teaching but can be easily integrated into the language learners' experience. Some major areas of pronunciation I will include in my activities are word stress, vowel sounds, Dipthongs, weak forms and sentence stress.
Teaching pronunciation activities are affected by some factors like native language (L1 ) , age and motivation. The native language of my students is an important factor that influence the leaening of the target language (TL). It is necessary for me to identify the peculiarities of the sounds in their first language to enable me understand their difficulty with the second (L2). When it comes to age , adults in general will have a strong influence from their native accent more than children. As a teacher, I have to know that this is not necessarily a disadvantage of the older learner. A 52 year old can be successful like a fifhteen year old if all other factors are equal.
Learner' motivation is also important factor that affect their pronunciation, If necessary , I guide the learner to realise the importance of pronunciation as part of learning,
Spelling Activity: ------- The inclusion of spelling activities in teaching, just as with any other types of activity, has a specific purpose. Knowing how to spell is part of what is known as orthographic competence. (The skill of perception and production of the symbol of which wrtten texts are composed ) . I will help the students to gain orthographic competence,, that is learn proper spelling of words including recognised contracted forms.
While preparing my ativities for class, i choose Oxbridge Model to categorize activities for my teaching.
1. Structure Activity
3. Topic Activity
Levels of the students also determines the content of the teaching activities..
Level PO------ Kids / young learners. Teaching is more of beginners simple sentences. I make use of many attachnents that includes visual , Audio visual and Kenesthic materials.
S1........... This level knows very little English therfore I prepare my activities to include basic English concepts with colourful attachments.
P2-------This is progressive level and forming basic sentences shuold be encouraged.
·P3-------Intermediate--- Building up progressive activities.
P4------- Advanced level --- Here we can introduce high level activities.
P5------- Proficiency level ---- Activities at this level is built on more difficult conversations, meanings, proverbs and idiomatic expressions.
Learning depends on both the students and the teacher. Teaching depends solely on the teacher but learning depends on both the students and the teacher. I have to be strategic to acheive this teaching ---- learning situation. My role as a teacher is to motivate the students in the following ways ---- Be positive, have realistic expectations, have fun and engaging classes, build rapport, I should make sure students are comfortable to learn in their own way. for example--- creating visual aids for visual learners, audio aid for auditory leaners.
Students play interactive role in learning English. Important thing to note is that interference occur when students are learning another language.. These are grouped as follow:----- Target language---A language especially a foreign laguage,that one is in the process of learning. learner tend to transfer some features of his L1 to the new language. Interlanguage--------- The linguistic system characterizing the output of a non native speaker at any stage prior to full acquisition of the target language. There is always over generalisation based on analogy of the new languge from mother tongue. Mother tongue ------- The language first learned by a peron, native language. Mother tongue no doubt influences the target language.
My job as a teacher therefore will not be complete without proper assessment of my students at the end of a certain period. Assessment is documenting of knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs in some measurable way .After designing an activity to suit students needs and achieve their goals and objectives ; providing my materials and teaching a fun and engaging class ; it is necessary for me to know if my materials worked out. I can assess my students' knowledge through written or oral tests which are carefully planned according to how their knowledge should have been affected. This can be continous or summative assessment. The result of this assessment can help me to plan and improve my activities for future classes. It will also help me to grade my language and keep it very clear and simple for any level of students i am teaching.