Carola Sáez

Carola Sáez TEFL certificate Carola Sáez TEFL certificate


PROFILE


Born in Mexico, raised in beautiful Bali. I've been living in Madrid for almost three years but I'm ready for my next adventure. I am very open minded and optimistic. I like to surround myself with people who are constantly coming up with creative ideas and I love getting lost in new cities. My dream is to see the world in a caravan and surf to the sunset's magic in little deserted beaches.


PROJECTS


Conversational Indonesian Want to learn French this year!


Taught English to kids at an academy in Aluche, Madrid.




My teaching approach

The Saez Approach

 

Many conventional teaching programmes chose to focus on certain aspects of the learning methodologies, leaving out those who may not feel successful at learning through grammar and repetition, causing people to feel helpless and like they’re ought to re-think their decision of learning a new language. My methodology in teaching English would be to approach the students with the idea of acquiring new speaking abilities in the most natural way possible. My course would be focused on students who have another language as their mother tongue and are over eighteen years of age. Learning a new language is about opening the bridge to a whole new culture, connecting with people from other places and developing an understanding of one of the most important human interactions, communication. My personal approach to teaching English would take into consideration all different ways of learning with a strong focus on visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The students would find themselves in a comfortable environment where they are continuously encouraged to succeed through an inductive methodology.

 

When trying to create a syllabus that effectively teaches English to people of different backgrounds, age groups and previous language learning skills, it is important to take into consideration the different affective factors of the students. Human beings are rational creatures that thrive in environments where they feel safe and are being encouraged to have confidence in themselves. The introduction to my approach would be to understand and develop the incentive to why the students have chosen to learn a new language. Often times people find themselves wanting to learn English with extrinsic motivations; because they want to get a better job, they want to impress other people or simply because their boss has instructed them to do so. This leaves them feeling like the whole procedure will be one that’s tedious and done out of obligation. It is essential to combine these motivations with intrinsic ones that convince the students of the countless limitations that are overcome when you acquire a new way to communicate with people from all around the world. The insight to different cultures and thought patterns that will occur once a student has effectively obtained the fluency they desire in English. After understanding the motivational factor comes the importance of the roles and collaborations between the teachers and the students. The student must be open and receptive to the possible challenges faced when learning a new language, they must have the drive and the discipline needed for learning. They must release the fear of being judged or punished for making mistakes and the self doubt that comes with it. My approach would be one where mistakes are encouraged, because they allow for reflection to take place and the development in one’s understanding of how the language works. If a student failed to meet with themselves in these necessities, it would be the teacher’s role to maintain a positive outlook and act in an encouraging way to set up the student for success. The teachers need to have an understanding of the different ways in which people learn and retain new information. An essential factor is to look at the prior knowledge that a learner has to a given subject. It is not the teacher’s role to simply hand answers to the students as this will only achieve a short-term understanding of concepts. By encouraging the students to access their prior knowledge and everyday experiences, they will associate to the concept in an emotional level, allowing them to store the information into their long-term memory. This can be achieved with visual aids, physical activities and the aural strategies. It is essential that the environment in which the students are learning is one that provides comfort and relaxation, the learning space would be one with aesthetic attributes such as art and informational posters on the walls. I would also incorporate the idea of playing some relaxing music in the background to persuade the students that the language learning journey is an enjoyable one where people cooperate in each other’s improvements. If the students see the teacher as a positive role model, who provides them with interesting material and an understanding of their personal inhibition in class, they will feel much more motivated to overcome their own learning challenges. A key factor is for the teacher to be flexible in their lessons, they must be adaptable in their teaching styles to enable learners to reach their maximum potential.

 

Taking into consideration the different learner profiles, my approach to teaching English would include all of the language skills and language areas. The predominant focus would be on speaking, listening, vocabulary and pronunciation. Reason being because as I have mentioned before, it would be a programme in which the language is acquired in the most natural way possible. The classes would be led in a complete immersion manner in which the learner’s second language (L2), in this case English, is the medium of classroom instructions. Using English exclusively ensures that they overcome challenges and become creative in their language development. The aim of this method is to become functionally proficient in English while mastering subject content through the language in the way we learnt our very first language. Babies learn their first language through listening and speaking, by enriching their vocabulary and imitating the pronunciation of others. Through the use of visual aids and kinesthetic activities, the process becomes interesting, thus making the students feel more confident and allowing them to make the connections between words and their functions. Reading and writing are important for those who are visual learners, and writing could be of great help to the more introverted since they are expressing their understanding of the language through paper. Speaking is important because it places you in a situation where you are not given much time to overanalyze your responses but writing may give place for the creative and poetic expressions to come to life.

 

An example of how a class would be structured is the following. Taking inspiration from the Suggestopedic and Total Physical Response approaches, teachers would read out a narrative while acting it out and then reading again while the students read it themselves. This narrative would be personally written by the teacher in order to have focus on the target language and the functionality desired. The first reading would be done with a lot of emphasis on the pronunciation of complex words with dramatic pauses and tones to arouse curiosity in the learners and result in better retention of information. The purpose of this activity is to incorporate the language skills of listening and reading as well as language areas of vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling. Following, the teacher would ensure that there is full understanding of the text by asking the students to underline any unfamiliar words. Then the teacher would ask the students to identify sections with specific grammar rules, such as finding nouns and verbs for those with lower levels, or finding dependent clauses and prepositional phrases for the more advanced. After a full understanding of the text has been established, the students would read the narrative while acting it out, allowing the information to enter the long-term memory areas of the brain. Finally the class would conclude with a discussion of the text where students would be asked to come up with at least one question and one opinion of it. This would allow the students to develop their views and encourage them to question the things around them.

 

Another example of a class would be one where the students enter a room with clips of flashing imagery and target language projected on the walls and music playing from a separate source. This type of activity would reinforce why my course would only be for adults because the images would not all be pleasant and the sounds heard may also unveil intense emotions in the students. During the audio-visual experience they would be asked to absorb every side of the sensory experience and write down observations that would later be shared with the rest of the class. The aim would be to try and communicate the experience they have lived with someone who is blind or deaf. I believe that this would be very beneficial to the students because I feel that it is important to connect with ourselves emotions in order to make better cognitive links and achieve a better retention of information.

 

Here is an example of what the syllabus would look like:

 

Unit

Vocabulary

Listening, speaking & phonetics

Reading & writing

Grammar &

expressions

1

Using context to understand words

-Associating words with images

-Getting to know each other

-Listening for specific information

-Pronouncing paired consonants

-Having short conversations describing situations

-Role play

-Applying skimming and scanning images

-Reading & understanding narratives

-Identifying definitions

-Underlining ideas in texts

Greetings

I’d love to

Verb to be

Quantifiers

WH - Questions

Present Simple

Present Continuous

Imperatives

2

Associating words by using mind maps

-Identifying true and false cognates

-Listing adjectives

-Asking for and describing physical appearances

-Using formal and informal questions

-Using punctuation in oral production

-Pronouncing ow sounds

-Understanding information from a video

-Talking about feelings

-Exchanging knowledge about analysed texts

-Transferring information from text to chart

-Using illustrations to understand a text

-Identifying pronouns in a text

Past Simple

Past Continuous

What does he look like?

-Present&past perfect

-Comparatives & superlatives

-Can, be able to, be good at, be afraid of

Tag questions

 

The following guidelines serve to evaluate the success of the students after completing the course:

 

-Students should be able to demonstrate oral competence with suitable accuracy in pronunciation, vocabulary and language fluency

-Students should be able to produce written work that is substantive, organized, and grammatically accurate

-Students should be able to accurately read and translate texts

-Students should be able to fully understand narratives through listening

-Students should be able to understand and discuss abstract ideas and philosophies

-Students should be able to proficiently argue opinions on conceptual topics

 

Students undertaking my approach to learning English would be examined with an oral speaking test and a short written test which would be tailored to their own ways of learning. For example, a student who is predominantly a visual learner would undergo an examination that was heavily spatial. It would similar to the activities that had been practiced throughout the course, except that it would be for their final evaluation. Since there is such a wide variety of ways in which people succeed I don’t think it is effective to ask them all to take the same exam when in reality they may show outstanding results through different procedures. As the very intelligent Albert Einstein once wrote, ‘Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’

 

My personal approach to teaching English is a method that takes into account all the different learning techniques in which different individuals can thrive in. It is done in the most natural way possible considering all the learning skills and areas but focused mostly on visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Placing great importance on speaking, listening, vocabulary and pronunciation. The students will learn in a relaxing environment where they would forget their stress and troubles, a space where they can really feel inspired to develop their knowledge of the language. Teachers will be trained to discover the student’s motivations and encourage them to learn the content through audiovisual experiences that would put all their senses into play. The liberation of learning a new way of communicating with people, of discovering new cultures. Accessing their prior knowledge in a classroom where only English is spoken, they will develop an association to the concept in an emotional level, allowing them to absorb the information into their long-term memory and thus retaining their newly acquired understanding. The innovative activities that are nothing like those in conventional learning methods would be examined in ways that are tailored for the different personalities, making sure of not leaving anyone out.

 

Here is a link to the document for a better view of the table.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_zB6yEWkLHfoNF-TpTWWQRv9i5ifr3ltmsdYmN5MdbQ/edit?usp=sharing

 



Barcelona, Madrid, Tokyo, South America, South East Asia

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