When i look back to my days in education and thinking of the teachers who taught me at the time, each one had a different method of teaching to connect with each individual student mainly depending on the abilities of evryone in the class. Most classes were separated into the level of capability determined by an exam you would take to see what group you would be placed in. This was broken down in to 5 different sets numbered 1 to 5, Set 1 being the highest.
My Example of a Good Teacher:
In high school i connected really well with my Maths teach Mrs Bamford. The reason being is that not only was she a really good teacher, but she took the time to connect with everybody on a personal level. Although most people in the class were on the same level of ability some people would understand it better than others due to learning styles. Mrs Bamford understood this and interacted with different pupils using her experience to give pupils a bit more help by adapting to their individual learning abilities.
In my experience i personally think that the best 2 learning styles are Visual and Kinesthetic. Visual is looking at pictures and graphs to get a better understanding of the information being presented to you. Kinesthetic is were you get up and get involved in activities which is more of a physical way of learning. When i first started in Mrs Bamford's class she gave us a test to determine our learning styles and then would give extra help to those who needed based on the results. As the year went on Mrs Bamford would give extra classes to those who were falling behind in lesson. These classes were not mandatory, but they would take place after school meaning she gave up her own time so that her pupils could get the help they needed and improve their results.
My Example of a Bad Teacher:
In my opinion, when being taught English literature and English language in high school by a teacher named Mr Livesley his methods and techniques when in the classroom were ineffective to many students. In ways he used the direct method of teaching, but many of his lessons revolved around him speaking and the students listening. This technique is not for every student and many struggled to process information this way, as was proven when we were asked to do a productive writing pieces throughout the year, there were multiple students who received their work back with negative comments. He would not adapt his teaching methods to help the students with compliance to the subject.
I personally find this way of learning hard, although if I take notes or draw myself pictures, I feel it will help me to learn the subject. Although when in his classes we did not have the time to record every piece of information given because the lessons ran at a rapid pace.
If I had to teach someone like myself, I would see this as a challenge, the ways in which I learn could be difficult for a teacher to comply with, especially if they have another 30 children in the class to work with as well. I would definitely do as Mrs Bamford did, offer help to those who where found to be struggling, to give students extra help to assist in their learning is in my opinion, one of the best ways in which you can ensure that all students are working at the same levels. Even if the teaching method has to change for a couple of them in order to help them along the way.
Translating certain words in order for the student to understand what they are learning in a easier way could be a benefit for them, even though showing them pictures and objects works well alongside the direct method of teaching in certain aspects of learning the students needs always come first, and if translating phrases to Spanish and then repeating them in English whilst asking them to repeat the English words you speak helps them learn the phrase in a easier and complex manner, then I feel that is the type of teacher I desire to be throughout my work.
I feel that working with the direct method and introducing the key aspects of this method to the students learning patterns: SHOW, SAY, TRY, MOULD, REPEAT, gives them the ability to practice and preform the different grammar and vocabulary that they need in their own time, without giving them a deadline on when they are required to know a specific thing. Providing the different techniques of using role play activities, hand gestures, real life objects and pictures helps the students to gather more knowledge and understand about the topics being taught through visual representation. This can also be linked with the suggestopedia method, which uses visual, musical and artistic ways to teach, also providing a comfortable environment for the student in order to assist their learn through a different approach. In order to grasp the attention of the student, they need to feel that what they are learning will benefit them and need reassurance that you have the abilities to teach them using many different methods other than speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Using these methods help me as a person to learn and I feel if I was given a student to teach that has the same learning techniques as I do, it would not only help them in the learning process but would also help me to become a better teacher. I understand that not every student has the same compatibility level with these methods and using other styles of teaching would further my knowledge when teaching more able and complex students, whilst also assisting them in their learning of the topics they require.
Other teaching method that I would like to use when teaching would be the 1st and 2nd language acquisitions. Using Lev Vygotsky’s social development theory to assist the learning of a student by expressing the theory of speaking and writing to adapt the learning in a social environment helping them to express their needs and topics of communication. As a child we learn to speak and communicate with other humans in our mother tongue by learning different words and phrases from our parents and other close family members, so as an ESL teacher you are therefore the students communicative means of learning basic words and phrases. Identifying common words with the mother tongue of the learner and the target language is helpful to both student and teacher, this influence is known as language transfer. Language transfer has been the subject of several studies, and many aspects of it remain unexplained. Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain language transfer, but there is no single widely accepted explanation of why it occurs.
I have always imagined myself to be a person who is willing to help others to learn as best as I can, being an ESL teacher helping others learn to speak the language to further their careers is an amazing opportunity to assist people in many ways. Using the different methods and teaching skills provided gives me infinite ways in which to teach different students at different abilities.