Having the opportunity to learn is a privilege, but having the opportunity to teach is an honor. An honor to be able to make a difference in someone's life. I can’t think of a better way to make a change in the world than to teach. Teaching comes in many forms and ways but no matter what you are still creating a difference. As an aspiring teacher I want to be able to get through to my students by exposing them to a different learning experience. Not only would this be my method of teaching my students the target language but also to get them to learn things they didn’t know about themselves. I call this method E.I.T.L., which stands for Exposure In Target Language.
As a teacher making learning fun is very easy when it comes to children, but with adults it can get challenging. As an adult you are not amused easily or motivated by a golden star, per say. In this method I have created the average adult will be passively learning the target language at an intermediate level. EITL works best for intermediate students because there will be a lot of conversating taking place from the beginning to the end of the class. The course is designed for adults who want to learn a new language as an interest and not for a specific reason. This is the reason why it is a methodology and not ESP. Class will be taught only in the target language on topics that our relevant to lifestyles, work and leisure. Therefore, EITL would best suite a person who is looking to learn a new language as a hobby more than a necessity.
EITL would take place in my own home. Why my home and not a classroom? Well to simplify my reason, I would want my students to forget they are learning. In a typical classroom setting the student is sitting on a desk, facing a board, listening to a teacher speak where they are constantly reminded that they have to be there. Holding class in my very own home would allow the students to be comfortable and relaxed but also for them to feel at home as well. Home is where we can be ourselves and escape from reality. That is how I want my students to feel when they are learning.
Lessons would take place twice a week for a length of three hours for a total of four months. Class would begin with a table full of home-made snacks and a variety of beverages. We would dedicate 20 minutes to eating, drinking and socializing, giving the students the opportunity to hold conversations but only in the target language. The actual lessons will be held at a large dining-room style table that has twelve to sixteen seats. Sitting at this table would give the students a more personal learning experience. Students will be able to get to know their classmates but also will be able to face each other and focus on each person when they speak. As the teacher, I would sit at the head of the table so that I can observe the students effortlessly. Behind me I would have a white board, making it easier for students to visually comprehend the lessons/ tasks of the class. This type of setup in my home will make the students comfortable, relaxed and willing to learn because of its social atmosphere.
Once the students are sat at the table we will begin with the lesson of the day according to the syllabus. The syllabus will communicate to the students a clear idea of the course content, my approach to teaching it, and what they can expect to do and to learn in completing the course requirements.
As you can tell each day we will be having a different topic to discuss and go over. These topics will cover relevant things that go on in our everyday world, meaning each lesson has a purpose. In every class there will also be group activities and individual activities/assignments. The group activities will have the students interacting with each other and the teacher, but most importantly involved in the lesson of the day. The individual activities/assignments will have the students delegate their own language learning process and have them be able to correct themselves. Assessments will be held on the last class of the month. The assessment will cover everything the student has learned that month and put it into real world scenarios. Each assessment will be outside of the classroom in a relevant environment in order to showcase what situations or scenarios, the knowledge learned that prior month, can be used in.
Ideally, the syllabus is a perfect structure of how the class would go, but there can be minor setbacks due to the affective factors of certain students. EITL would work best for an individual who likes to socialize, isn’t afraid to speak their mind, or voice their opinion but the reality is there are people who are the complete opposite of this. This is where the affective factors would take place in class. Those who are shy and very kept to themselves would have a hard time getting through the class because eighty percent of the class will be conversations/debates/role playing, but as a teacher I would want to be able to challenge my students and push them to do their best. If a student could look me in the eye and tell me they tried their very best on a task, I would be happy with their progress, even if they didn’t pass. Of course, I would still give them feedback on how to improve, and encourage them to seek my assistance before the next lesson/assignment/assessment, but I would also consider altering or scaffolding the next lesson/assignment/assessment to ensure I was testing their knowledge on what they have learned and what they could do, rather than testing them for all the things they didn’t know.
To those students who are categorized as “introverts” I would recommend the option of private tutoring after class. Yes, this would be the last resort because speaking a language takes two, meaning you learn a language to be able to understand someone and respond back to them. During private tutoring the student isn’t exposed to the amount of conversation and interaction that takes place in class. The student will still learn the target language but at a slower pace and most likely will end up falling behind because the individual won’t be in the same level as their classmates. On the other hand, if the student is dedicated and determined then this option can help them overcome that obstacle. In reality the option to take private tutoring classes can go either way depending on the needs or wants of the student.
Over the years, EITL will take time to perfect but along the way and with each class I will learn more from my students than what they will learn from me. This method is a great way to see how an individual reacts in unfamiliar environments but also see what they are capable of when they are put under pressure and have no other option but to get through the situation. Students will be able to network, create new relationships and bond with others who share similar interests as them. Once the course is completed I would hope for the students to recognize within themselves how competent they are to learning the target language and how a great amount of exposure makes a great amount of difference!