Karan Sikand

Karan Sikand TEFL certificate Karan Sikand TEFL certificate


PROFILE


I am a native English speaker from the United States who has recently graduated with a Bachelors of Science in political science from Indiana University. What sets me apart from other teachers is my modern vision in teaching language which is inspired by my various travels around the world and the experiences I have had in learning other languages. My personal touch in teaching is influenced by empathy and respect for the student, values I highly cherish and maintain.


PROJECTS


Having recently studied law and public policy, my aim is to enter law school within a year. My passions are traveling and photography which I apply in running my travel blog and art photography business. In addition to an intermediate level of Spanish, I can also read, write and speak Hindi at an intermediate level.


TEFL Certificate- Barcelona, Spain Informatics Course- Bloomington, Indiana (Indiana University)



Bloomberg LP- Regional Head and Campus Ambassador Market-TING Branding Services- Junior Operations Manager Indianapolis Parks and Recreation- Marketing Intern


Bachelors of Science in Public Policy- Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana) Hazards Management Course- King's College (London, UK) EU Government Policy Course- Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain)

My teaching approach

Having spent time in various other countries with different languages, I can strongly attest to the profound benefits of having a dominantly immersive experience in a new language in order to learn it properly and well. Additionally, having spent the last two weeks observing TEFL courses, it is amazing to see total immersion within the classroom setting, if only for 60 minutes, work to keep students in an English-medium mindset. To explain how my personal approach would to teaching English would be carried out, I would combine various elements from my personal experiences as well as TEFL standard teaching requirements to ensure that each student leaves the classroom knowing more and being able to confidently utilize his/her newly acquired skills. To fully understand my personal approach, I will explain what I believe the motivations of a language student are, classroom structure including interaction conditions and the vehicular language, activities that facilitate learning,

 

Firstly, I believe that those who desire to learn a new language have a personal interest in expanding their scope for any reason ranging from employment opportunities to increased interactions with people from around the world. A great deal of care must be put into the learner/student as in the teacher/pupil relationship, the student is the vulnerable and less dominant element of the relationship. If something is taught incorrectly or confusingly pushed onto the student, this could result in a barrier being formed between not just the student and teacher but between the student and the subject. Those students whom I have been observing over the past two weeks have a personal stake in developing their English skills for the sake of either retaining their jobs or furthering their career trajectories. For this reason, they are already interested in learning the language. It is of no use to negate their experiences and overtly confuse and discourage students with rote memorizing grammar rules that can otherwise be taught through creative activities.

 

My class structure therefore would be immersive, but not strictly so. My objective is for the student to gain confidence in speaking and writing and as such, the role of the teacher is to guide the student in speaking and writing more. The vehicular language would undoubtedly be in English, however, if a student has to ask his/her peer to a question in his native language, that would be permitted. This, again, is conducive to an immersive experience in which one is encouraged to begin to think in the new language as opposed think in the native language. It is important to not discourage discourse between other students in the native language as a strict environment is simply not natural as often in traveling, one will have a friend or know someone who can speak their native language. Additionally, as I have observed in the Oxbridge classes, students tend to speak the native language among themselves in order for the group to self-correct itself. This group effort provides a greater impetus to learning as the individual can release the burden of having to understand everything by his/herself.

 

One particular method I would like to use in the classroom is the silent method. It has lots of potential for self-motivating and educating the classroom in a pace that works for the students. In order to engage in the activity, multi-colored sticks are handed to students with different colors symbolizing different words. The method works best in differentiation, for instance in differentiating homonyms and commonly misconceived prepositions. The instructor prepares sentences for the words and students raise sticks that appropriately correspond to the sentences. By using repetition, this method adequately clarifies the distinction between different closely-related words.

 

While one cannot place prominence on only one of the core skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing, it is fair to say that conversational skills are what many students of English are hoping to achieve master over. To be as balanced as possible and yet cater to the demand for spoken English skills, a typical weekly syllabus will look like the following:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

First 20 minutes:

TL Vocab introduction

 

 

Next 30 minutes:

Grammar lesson

 

10 minutes: cultural activity  

First 20 minutes:

Vocab activity with partner

 

Next 30 minutes:

Review grammar lesson and apply in written activity

 

10 minutes: cultural activity  

First 20 minutes:

Vocab activity with partner

 

Next 30 minutes:

Review grammar lesson and apply in conversation with a partner

 

10 minutes: cultural activity  

First 20 minutes:

Vocab activity with partner

 

Next 30 minutes:

Oral activity with pronunciation critiques

 

10 minutes: cultural activity  

First 20 minutes:

Written Vocab quiz

 

Next 30 minutes:

Application of grammar in graded oral project

 

10 minutes: cultural activity  

 

The class is divided into three parts: vocabulary, grammar, and cultural activities. The target language vocabulary is to be about 10-15 new words for the week that will be selected based on proficiency level as well as the cultural theme for the week. On Monday, the vocabulary will be introduced with rote repetition of the word and definition as a drill. Between Tuesday and Thursday, various partner activities using flashcards or finishing each other’s sentences by filling in blanks will be the way to start the class. On Friday, the vocabulary will be tested in a written, graded quiz.

 

Grammar will inhabit a larger role in the class setting regardless of proficiency level. On Monday’s the week’s grammar subject will be introduced. Tuesdays will be a review of the lesson, and an application of the the grammar in written form as a paragraph utilizing the week’s vocabulary words. Wednesdays will be the days to apply the grammar with more complexities and incorporate the subject into conversation with partners and several questions to be answered to the instructor out loud. Thursday will use Tuesday’s written paragraph to read out loud orally in front of the class room. It is at this time that the instructor will correct pronunciation. Fridays will have a rewrite of those paragraphs integrating the week’s vocabulary in a graded, 5-minute language oral presentation.

 

The last segment is that of the cultural activity, which will be used in the last 10 minutes of class to cool down after a high-intensity grammar lesson. This could either be an activity involving translating a popular song or movie scene. Additionally, cooking lessons can be incorporated that includes instructions using the week’s vocabulary. Political debate and newspaper readings can also be utilized as cultural activities. For example,  a discourse on the current US election debates can be a great way to incorporate terminology as well as inspire students to take personally-invested positions. Having to express oneself in a debate inspires the need to speak clearly and with varied grammar elements.

 

Of course, variances in the class room structure would be based on students’ needs and level of proficiency. In a beginner’s classroom, the vocabulary and grammar will be toned down, limited to the present with vocabulary focusing on articles in the home and classroom as well as colors and time. In a medium level classroom, vocabulary will be much more varied with past and future tenses introduced with a primary focus on the verb, “to be.” In an advanced level, conditional statements and idioms will be introduced.

 

Likewise, difference in age groups can affect what can and cannot be learned. If a person has not mastered conditional tenses in the mother language, then it cannot be taught in the second language. Learning a new language is much easier when adapting the native language to the new one is possible.

 

Ultimately, the goal with all of these activities is to have a student to begin to relate to the activities and acquire skills that are beyond the initial comfort zone. I want for the student to begin to think in the new language through necessity as the new language can be the only means of communication with the instructor. The immersive aspect in addition to personal affiliation with cultural activities through song and other media provide a golden link in to excel in a new language. Whether a student is a beginner, an intermediate student, or an advanced conversationalist, following a this pattern should result in greater acquisition. 



Barcelona, Madrid, Beijing, seoul

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