Essay week 2
Jon van Hoften
· What you
want them to learn
Firstly I would like my students to learn English. Every lesson should be a
stepping stone towards a higher level of English. Next to that i'd like my
students to have fun during the lessons. Through conversation and games
-expecially when students have higher levels and/or are underage students- i
would like my students to improve their skills in a playfull and effective
manner. The material used should stick. In my experience, this is done best by
having a great time.
· How you
would consider students’ needs, students’ reasons for learning, motivations and
Very important. Even more so when teaching children.
Like I stated in the previous paragraph, pleasant classes make motivated
and absorbing students. Thus I try to make class a great time for every
student, taking in account their backgrood, mood and sense of humor. So next to
the lesson and structure of the class (as found in the timetable on the
intranet of oxbridge), I try to prepare myself as best as I can to the students
individual or personal needs in terms of learning English and sitting in a
classroom. For example I try to put more emphesis on certain topics when the
company i'm teaching at is more in line with them. This depends also on the
level of the students.
Science teaches us intrensic motivated students learn better than extrensic
motivated students thus I try to make the lesson as comfortable as possible for
the students.Some students are shy anxious or self-consious. As a teacher it is
important to make the student feel comfortable and come out of their shell or
let the stressed student relax and forget about their worries when arriving to
class. In my opinion it is important to built up a report with the students.
Taking genuine interest in what the students are saying, even when it is
unrelated to class.
When dealing with shy or self-conscious students, the teacher should not
put too much pressure on them. Neither should they be ignored. A way to deal
with the situation is to give them a question you know they will be able to
answer and give them praise for it. Demanding students could be challenged more
than regular students.
(source: Oxbridge TEFL course material)
· Language skills
and language areas you would give more importance to
This depends on the
level of the students I think.
Whenever you are teaching a lower level student, the teacher has to put
more emphasises on vocabulairy. The pronunciation and grammer are more left out
and won't be corrected as much to keep the students motivated. When dealing
with higher levels of English the emphasises should be more on the grammar.
In terms of macro language skills i'd do the following:
Low: Writing Reading,
listening and speaking
and reading Writing and speaking
In my opinion the micro language
skills (pronunciation, grammar, spelling) -except for vocabulary- will become
more important when dealing with a higher level class.
· How you
would structure a course (i.e. organize the syllabus)
Again depending on the level of the students. Also I wouldn't teach two
topics, grammar or structures one after the other. To keep motivation and
flexibility in the students learning process there should be a different part
in between topics, grammarsections or structures.
· An example
of a how a class would be structured:
Ideally i'd structure
the class as following:
1. Starting with some attantiongrasping question such as asking about a
relevant newsstory or item suited to the student or its company.
2. Deepen into the English language with some grammar or structure.
3. Taking a step back with some vocabulary.
4. Deepen into the English language again with some grammar or structure.
5. Ending lightly with a topic
Wrapping up the lesson with recuperating onto the students weak points or
aspects in a positive manner.
The sequence stated above depends on the time and level of the students.
When dealing with lower levels the emphesis would be more on the vocabulary and
less on the grammar and in some cases on the structure.
· Which would
be the vehicular language of the classroom and why (interaction and conditions)?
This would be English. I, as a teacher however would not immediately cut
off native conversations between the students, especially when the topic would be
the language taught in the classroom.
Only if the student really only just started to learn English, rarely there
could be some native language of the students spoken by the teacher. This would
be to keep the time well spended and after the student been given time to come
up with the right words or the possibility for fellow students to help out.
In my opinion this should be done this way to to keep the emphasises on the
language taught in class(English). Only when the students (as a whole) really
aren't able to come up with a reference, should the teacher intervene.
· How you
would assess learning outcomes and why (interaction and conditions)?
As stated earlier different students have different needs, so the teacher
should adapt his/her lessonplan.I'd assess learning outcomes through estimates
of the students ways of learning (Kinestetic, visual, auditory) and the
students capabilities in English. By adapting the lessons to the students
needs, the students will gain the most.
· How your
approach would change considering:
Brief description of activities you would do and objectives
Well i'd probably just follow the lesson structure as stated earlier.Also I
might add in a few games, such as the word-family game, where the teacher start
with a word and the students would come up with words related to them. For
example: Dinner, cutlery, knife, fork etc.This game builds up a report between
the student and the teacher. Also it's a lot of fun.
Materials you would use, including why you’d
Depending on the way the student prefers to learn i'd put more emphasise on
either the kenetic, visual or auditory part of the syllabus.
How practice of TL would be carried out
Mainly one on one where I would pick another student every couple of
minutes. Other students can listen and possibly help out. If I would notice one
student to be way better than the rest i'd put more emphasise on him or her,
just to make a positive example. Afterwards I'd like him/her to help out others
when I'm dealing with lesser students.
the teacher’s attitude towards errors
This again depends on the level. When dealing with higher levels i'd be
more strict. Lower levels would be approached by me in a more lenient matter.
Also when dealing with a piece of writing readed out by the students,
pronounciation errors would be written down on a piece of paper. Only after the
reading, -to keep motivation- i'd ask for the student to read them once more. This
way the weak words will be strengthened. Obviousy this recuperation is always
done in a positive manner.
the teacher’s roles
Depending on the student his or hers level and
personality I could be an analyst,
guide, controller / organizer, resource, facilitator, playmaker, psychologist,
authority, conversationalist or an assessor.In general I think a good teacher
should be an approachable teacher.
Good teacher have in my
opinion the following characteraspects:
3) Sense of humor
(source: Oxbridge TEFL
the students’ roles
Depending on the students level and personality there are four roles to
The imitator which generally has a
low level of English.
The passive learner/receiver which generally has
a low level of English or has little knowledge or feeling with the subject or
The communicator which generally has a high level
of English but just has some holes in its vocabulary and grammar.
The self-manager which is generally very
motivated and has a high level of english and
-just as the communicator- could have some holes
in its vocabulary and grammar.
differences between teaching beginners and advanced
Other then the previous examples made between teaching beginners and
advanced students is that students whom are beginners usually needs more
references and usually learn best through visual or audiative ways. The more
advanced has more vocabulary thus they can improve their English through the
different age groups
In general, children soak
up new knowledge easier than adults. Thus when teaching adults as a teacher you
should be more patient. Adolesants are in between, but can be less focussed and
less motivated. As a teacher try to involve them into the languagelearning by
for instance relating it to their way of living.