Svjetlana Radakovic

Svjetlana Radakovic TEFL certificate Svjetlana Radakovic TEFL certificate


PROFILE


Strong communication and interpersonal skills gained through working directly with clients and in multicultural environments. Proactive with client oriented and results-focused approach. Ethical and committed.


PROJECTS


Spanish (advanced), German (intermediate), Croatian, Serbian, MS Office, Google Analytics, SEO, e-marketing, Google Adwords.


Oxbridge TEFL course, Barcelona, Spain



Sales, tourism, hospitality


MA in Business (Leisure & tourism management)

My teaching approach

My teaching approach

Introduction

Since I come from a business background, one of the bases for my approach will be the “experience design” while combining the elements of a Berlitz method, Communicative approach and Suggestopedia. My methodology is also based on my experiences in learning foreign languages and the experiences of my friends and their children. The “sweet spot communicative method” is going to address the needs of the L2 learners in order to make the learning process effective yet enjoyable.

In a business world when designing experiences, the needs of the customers play a central role and the company focuses on how to best fulfill those needs. What are the needs of the second language learners? Besides acquiring the knowledge of the language, they have to overcome the self-esteem issues, be comfortable speaking the language and be motivated to learn. My methodology will help students develop communicative competence, motivate them through fun and engaging activities and boost their confidence by making them feel comfortable to use the language in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

According to the “Experience Economy” authors, Pine and Gilmor, there are four elements of an experience: entertainment, education, estheticism and escapism. When it comes to the entertainment and education, people can participate actively or passively and absorb what is going on around them whereas in the realms of esthetics and escapism they can immerse themselves in the environment. Richest experiences encompass aspects of all four elements and my methodology will focus on bringing all those four aspects to the L2 learners in order to make their learning experiences most productive and rewarding. In other words, the classes will center around the so-called "sweet spot" which incorporates the elements of entertainment, education, escapism and esthetics.

As mentioned earlier, another base for my methodology are my own experiences and those of my friends and their children. I learned a second language when I moved to the country where the language was spoken and was forced to speak the language. I was immersed in the environment and the focus was on communication. I was also relaxed and wasn’t afraid of speaking because at the beginning I was mostly speaking with other foreigners that were on the similar proficiency level. This worked out perfectly well and in a few months I was speaking fluently. Watching television in the native language has definitely helped me to pick up and understand the language much better and to learn how to correctly pronounce words. As for my friend’s kids, they have learned a second language just by watching kid’s TV shows. My friend wasn’t even aware of that until one day she took them to the playground and her daughters started speaking English with other American children.

 

The “sweet spot communicative method”

My method is based on including all four elements of an experience in a language class: education (communicative approach with audio, visual and kinesthetic elements), entertainment (engaging activities), esthetism (design of classrooms) and escapism (immersion in activities inside and outside the classroom). My methodology is a combination of a Berlitz method, Communicative approach and Suggestopedia. Only authentic language would be used in a class where vocabulary would be emphasized over grammar. Learning would be facilitated in a cheerful environment. If students are relaxed and confident, they will not need to try hard to learn the language. Fine arts (music, art, drama) would be used to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

The goal of the method would be to develop the communicative competence of the learners, for example, talk to learn rather than learn to talk. The target language would be a vehicle for classroom communication. Games are important because they have certain features in common with real communication events and are maximizing the amount of communicative practice. Errors would be tolerated and seen as natural outcome of the development of communication skills. It would cover all four macro skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Esthetic part of the classes is related to design of the classrooms where some aspects of Suggestopedia would be applied. I agree that the best state of mind for learning languages is relaxed but focused and if I may add motivated. Design would be comfortable, warm and cheerful with snacks and refreshments provided. At the end of the course students would have a graduation party and a guided excursion. This would be included in the course price.

 

Syllabus and lesson plan

It would be a 2 month general English course for an Elementary, Intermediate and Upper Intermediate level students (P2-P4) that would come to learn the language in a country where it is spoken. The classes would have a faster pace and would not be suitable for beginners. Maximum number of students would be 12. No official assessment would be required for students. The website would contain a description of the students for which the course is designed. Proficiency tests would only be provided on requests. The syllabus would include videos, songs, discussions, games, role plays and arts & crafts activities. Each lesson or session would be 2 hours long and would have the following structure:

 

Monday 10-12h

Tuesday 10-12

Wednesday

Thursday 10-12

Friday 10-12

- Quick questions

- Watch videos

- Speaking practice, role play or games

- Topic discussion

 

- Quick questions

- Watch videos

- Speaking practice, role play or games

- Arts & crafts class

- Discussion & vocabulary

- Outside of classroom activities

- Immerse in local culture

- Write about the experience

- Quick questions

- Watch videos

- Speaking practice, role play or games

- Read each other’s essays to practice reading skills

 

- Quick questions

- Music listening

- Discussion & vocabulary

- Watch videos

- Speaking practice, role play or games

 

 

- Every class would begin with some Quick Questions. 

- Students would watch videos in authentic language and then would be engaged in the speaking activity or do a role play to remember the vocabulary and practice pronunciation.

- This would be followed by discussion on certain useful topics through which some structure appropriate to their level would be introduced. Topics would be related to everyday activities and daily life, culture of the host country or other areas appropriate for this level of students and their interests. Students would be asked about the topics they would like to work on and these would be taken into consideration.

- Additionally, on certain days students would be involved in fun activities such as arts & crafts. These activities would give them a chance to communicate to each other freely in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. This is very important since the lower level students often lack self-esteem and these activities are good because they would loosen them up and force them to speak with other students in an relaxed and friendly environment. After these activities, students would be asked to write down the new words they have learned during these activities or those that they still don’t understand and then to share them with everyone or write them on a board. The teacher would then practice the use of those words with students.

- On Wednesdays and Thursdays students would have a chance to practice their writing and reading skills. They would be required to go to the city and immerse in an environment and write about their experiences and new words they have learned. Then, on the next day in class they would read each other’s essays in order to practice reading and then discuss their experiences.

- Classes would end with the Wrap Up questions in order to make sure that the students learned and understood the target language.

Teacher and students’ roles  

The teacher would be a Playmaker, which is similar to the Oxbridge approach. The teacher would not lecture too much but instead would guide students, propose activities and organize the class game so that everybody participates and learns under his or her guidance. The teacher would also be an Assessor who would give advices and clear doubts related to the English language and its usage in different contexts and registers. In this role, the teacher would gently correct students without disturbing the activity. In certain parts of the class the teacher would also assume a role of a Conversationalist who would motivate students to talk because nothing is more effective and motivating in class than a good topic for conversation. Teacher would be responsible for creating a warm and friendly atmosphere in the classroom.

Since the classroom would be a learner-centered environment, the students would be active participants immersed in different activities where they would have a chance to interact with each other. Students would participate in speaking practices, role plays, games and artistic activities. They could propose topics they want to work on.

Conclusion

Since the second language acquisition largely depends on the motivation of the learner, as oppose to the fist language acquisition, it’s important to use the methodology that will motivate learners and associate the studying of languages with positive and fun experiences while releasing the feelings of fear and self-esteem issues that learners might have. This is where the “sweet spot communicative method” comes into play since it combines more than one approach and actively focuses on the needs of the L2 learners.

 

 

 

 



Barcelona

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