In this text I will go through the main approaches I intend on using as an English teacher. I will also go through different methods and techniques which are amongst my essential building block for creating a good teaching environment.
Nowadays students have various difficulties when it comes to learning English. When I lived in USA for one year as a teenager, I had many difficulties with speaking with local Americans, with words such as; antsy (impatient), sloshed (smashed) or amped (excited) - all of which were words which are so-called slang words, of highly practical use in USA.
This doesn’t apply only in USA, but everywhere in the world, when businesses have meetings, there might evolve misunderstandings because of words and sentences which are misspelled, or too many homophones which are incorrect.
In many situations throughout the day people have attained complications because of poor English language skills. Because of this people have further motivation and goals set for learning the language. I want to enhance the student’s proficiency in the comprehension of the English language.
When I step into the classroom I will immediately change my focus, I will look at the students as people who will reach their potentials as English speakers.
The students are the focus of the class and should be taken care of wisely. Different personalities, skills and intelligence will be taken into considerations when structuring and developing the classrooms environment. When students are on different levels with speaking, the teacher’s role would be adapting the strategies based on the individual student’s needs. A methods such as TPR (total physical response) is useful for students who are struggling a lot with speaking the language, and in this case the student would progress excessively if I would be more creative and think of new techniques in the classroom – using visual aids, sentences in a more intuitive and simple fashion, or by using different sounds, can all be very helpful for low level students. This also applies if the students have different personalities. Quiet students who speak less are vulnerable of being left behind, and here I will step in and balance the workload in a way which makes the learning value equal between all the students.
When teaching a class there are always problems at hand, and from the examples mentioned above there might sometimes be factors which are lagging and making the class more difficult to teach, but in this case it is always important to remember that we are all human beings, and by approaching the difficulties in a wise and calm manner, one can always turn it around to something much better!
The best method in my point of view is the direct method. This is method is focusing on the target language when teaching, no translations or shortcuts. This is sometimes recalled as the most natural method when learning English. From day one it creates a habit for the students to only focus on one language throughout the whole class, and this is very effective. In the classroom there is constant progressive work - through speaking and listening the students will attain the fundamental skills to have a proper conversation in the target language. And this will further cause a domino-effect to later improve the writing skills as well. Through classroom debates, role-plays and other good classroom activities the students will be engaged and in constant action when learning the language. The classes will not only be fun and interesting, they will also be of high value and of an accelerated learning curve. I will guide the classes in a direction which comes in the student’s best interest, when in big groups the students will have good conversations in between. And when there are only a few people, the class will be modified based on the student’s needs.
Evaluation on the students is of utmost importance, when I am listening and interacting with students in the classroom, I always make sure that I get a full report from them. I will act as a playmaker and follow up on everything the students are struggling -and progressing with. I am happy once every stone is turned and the students have reached their potential.
Macroskills such as listening and speaking are amongst the most important skills in my classroom. When I am teaching I will because of this have a focus towards communicative language teaching (CLT) – through different exercises such as Quick questions, role-plays or group exercises the class stays interesting and fun. Constant interaction with the target language and more STT (student talking time) the students will become more confident with the language.
I want students to make errors, this is a healthy habit which is key when learning a second language. Second language acquisition is meant to be a messy conquest, through mistakes and repetition the students are able to evolve and become more reflected when speaking in public situations.
When teaching the class, the essential priority is to focus on PPP (present, practice, produce). These three words are the essential pillar blocks for having a successful learning process. Presenting the syllabus in a structured manner, practicing the content with every student and then letting the students produce the rest of the work. This is how a class always should look like.
Motivation in a classroom is amongst my topmost priorities. I always make sure that the students are kept motivated throughout the whole class; through good discussions about daily subjects such as the weather, news and personal life. Or by being creative with fun games and activities in a dynamic manner, by always changing classroom strategies and activities every day to keep the student environment lively and healthy.
Persistence and patience are intertwined when I teach students. It is important to keep the progressive work in the classroom by pushing students and giving challenges now and then. But in the meantime, I will stay patient with the students and make sure that all the necessary syllabus has been absorbed by the students.
Preparation is a must when entering a class. The presentations are always prepared and evaluated beforehand, and the student’s needs are always kept in mind before every class.
It is very important to drill and to memorize important subjects in the syllabus. Good quote from Bruce Lee: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10’000 kicks once. But I fear the man who has practices one kick 10’000 times.” And this applies every time I sense that the students need repetition.
Interlanguage; students who tend to be mixing words from their native tounge. Is an understandable problem when approaching a second language, and I always make sure to pick up on students who are struggling with problems on simplification or overgeneralization (extending rules to items; go-ed, or I ride-d). And help them to develop a more nurtured vocabulary without these hiccups.
Age differences in a classroom is never a problem when teaching a class, I only see opportunities when given a variety of ages – from 3 to 80 years old, it still makes no difference. Everyone can learn a language regardless of the age.
The only thing stopping the student is inner-motivation, why learn English? Get a promotion in their company? To apply for a prestigious University? Or just to improve the daily speaking skills? It is always important as a student to set a goal when learning a new language, this will not only create a clear path, it will also accelerate the learning curve during the language acquisition.
In today’s world the technology is thriving. The number of online courses and online teaching have never been at this amount – and the mountain is still rising.
People are nowadays more and more busy, and don’t have time for group sessions or real-life classes any more, people are demanding more online based education. And because of this the teachers have moved away from the original way of teaching, and instead adapted a new way of teaching. And that’s where I come in, including all other new teachers in this world, believe it or not, the way of teaching as we know it has progressed into something new and way more effective!