The process of learning is really complex, and a lot of variables should be analyzed in other to find the best teaching method. Learners need to develop all features, Not all students are alike, there are as many learnersâ needs and motivations behind the decision of learning a second language as individuals
Teaching is a very delicate process, so is learning. Learning English as a foreign language can be a long but rewarding and delightful journey. As a teacher, it is essential to take into consideration a wide range of aspects, such as level, age, purpose,etc.
During my tefl course I have learnt about different methodologies with different approaches to teaching English, from my point of view some of them have weaknesses, therefore the best choice should be a combination of them, thus an enhancement in each branch would be possible.
As an English student, as far back as I remember, teachers primarily focused on grammar,reading, writing and translations from L2 into L1 , with very little or no room for both communication (speaking) and listening ( Grammar-translation method), teachers used to pay more careful attention to grammar accuracy ( mistakes) than any other competence. As far as i'm concerned learning grammar and reading is important but in combination with other skills (speaking, pronunciation, listening...) otherwise students get bored, uninterested and even worst frustrated and fearful.
As a teacher-to-be i believe a good and vocational teacher should be eclectic, not only sticking to one methodology but combining them and creating his/her own method, in which the student will develop a great deal of competences. A good teacher has to be capable of anticipating, structuring and managing whatever situation, conflict, problem might happen in the classroom, as well as being an observer, a model to the students and never the main character.
In this course I have learnt different methods of teaching such as:
On the one hand, the Grammar-translation Method (as of now GTM) which focuses on written texts, grammar, the teacher is the authority and the students learn what the teacher knows as he or she wants. In my book, this system doesn't work, it has some weaknesses, for instance, abusing of the L1, translating everything, absence of scenarios or relia, and putting the stress on grammar accuracy (mistakes), I strongly believe that making mistakes is positive, in order that the student according to his/her own experiences improves, evolves and raises awareness.I have to say that Iwould never apply this method in my classroom.
On the other hand, other methodologies have become known to me and i strongly believe they are far better than the above mentioned. I would like to start with the Berlitz method.
This method focuses on vocabulary, demonstrations with real objects, scenarios, which is very positive for the learning process, by dint of real situations students develop their communicative skills,The learner is not allowed to use his or her mother tongue, grammar rules are avoided and there is emphasis on good pronunciation. Above all what most students yearn for is to be able to communicate in English regardless of the difficulties they might encounter. The syllabus put the stress on real situations and topics, writing derives from what they have practiced previously
The Silent way is based on the teacher being passive, an observer. Theoretically, this fosters autonomy, group cooperation and an âinner criteriaâ for correctness in the students. Any interference from the teacher, such as praise or cooperation interferes with the development of their own criteria.
A good teacher is always watchful and knows when to intervene, distinguishes a slip from an error, provides students the space and opportunity to self-correct and understands how to use praise positively. How come? Students can't assimilate the correct pronunciation, intonation, stress patterns, as they do not receive the good example from their teacher. How does this method work with beginners?
Suggestopedia was based on the power of suggestion in learning, the notion being that positive suggestion would make the learner more receptive and, in turn, stimulate learning. Lozanov holds that a relaxed but focused state is the optimum state for learning. In order to create this relaxed state in the learner and to promote positive suggestion, suggestopedia makes use of music, a comfortable and relaxing environment, and a relationship between the teacher and the student that is akin to the parent-child relationship. Music, in particular, is central to the approach. Unlike other methods and approaches, there is no apparent theory of language in suggestopedia and no obvious order in which items of language are presented.
The original form of suggestopedia presented by Lozanov consisted of the use of extended dialogues, often several pages in length, accompanied by vocabulary lists and observations on grammatical points. Typically these dialogues would be read aloud to the students to the accompaniment of music. The most formal of these readings, known as the "concert reading", would typically employ a memorable piece of classical music such as a Beethoven symphony. This would not be in the form of background music but would be the main focus of the reading, with the teacherâs voice acting as a counterpoint to the music. Thus the "concert reading" could be seen as a kind of pleasurable event, with the learners free to focus on the music, the text or a combination of the two. The rhythm and intonation of the reading would be exaggerated in order to fit in with the rhythm of the music.
As for suggestopedia, from my point of view, it may be effective with beginners,( lower levels) since they start from scratch and interferences with L1 are unlikely.
Total physical Respone is is interactive, appealing employs more than one learning style simultaneously. It is commonly associated with ,however it is potentially appropiate for learners of all ages depending on the objectives It is essentia, to check that all students are using the target language, though.
When you then receive a new pupil who speaks very little or no English it is always a challenge to give that student the support which they need without it being detrimental to the progress of the rest of the group.
The Communicative approach is based on the integration of the four skills for language proficiency: productive (speaking and writing) and receptive (listening and reading). It is characterized by the use of authentic materials, real scenarios, target language and discrete grammar teaching from a functional perspective. Errors are a natural part of the communicative approach, should we correct them? is it positive for the students? what to do with beginners? what kind of material should we use in the lower levels?
My own approach
I believe that the main goal of language is communication more than any other . I also believe that second language learning is far more effective and suited to their interest when the language is acquired rather than learnt because the acquisition of language is the natural way. Babies are a case in point, the spent several months in the womb listening to his/her motherâs voice and not only the words of the language, but the rhythm and intonation. People talk directly to babies from the moment they are born, until at around six weeks old the baby begins to âtalkâ back. Several months later the baby speaks his/her first ârecognizableâ words. The process of listening and speaking continues up for a number of years more. When it is time to learn to read and write most children acquire these new skills with enjoyment and relative ease.
when you then receive a new pupil who speaks very little or no English it is always a challenge to give that student the support which they need without it being detrimental to the progress of the rest of the group.
therefore I stand up for a speaking and listening approach, especially in the early stages of second language learning, reading and writing once they have acquired these abilities , with much more ease,
In planning a syllabus my overriding forethought would be:
What are the students motivations? what are the students goals and purposes.
Horse sense tells me that my students will need vocabulary , and those words will be more meaningful if related words, (or word families), are taught together. They will also need to put those words together into coherent units of meaning in order to communicate effectively, (functions). Logically, the most basic functions and vocabulary would be taught earlier, with functions involving more complex grammatical structures and more obscure vocabulary being reserved for higher levels.
grammar does matter! Bear in mind the following statements;
I stopped to have a coffe!
I stopped having a coffe
What a difference grammar can make!
I believe that I would be doing my students an ill-service if I did not include grammar teaching in the syllabus but as the subheading suggestsalways from the function, to the form and eventually the STUDENTS will find out the rule themselves.
The proper classroom climate
|POSITIVE CLIMATE SKILLS
What a teacher does in the first few class classes sets the tone for the rest of the course. We know from research on teaching that students learn best in student-centered classrooms where they are actively involved not only with the subject matter (English learning) but also with their classmates and their teachers. Teacher-centered courses, which emphasize formal lectures and note taking, questions held until the end of class, and little student participation in learning activities, do not seem to promote as much learning as classrooms in which students have a voice. Although students may be reluctant at first to take part in learning activities, most of them report that they remember material best when they engage with it during class, not just during private study time. What can teachers do to create an environment in which students are willing to be active participants?
BE SENSITIVE TO INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES. One essential characteristic of effective teaching is that it be responsive to the individual needs of students. There are simply too many differences among students for a teacher to be able to teach all of them the same thing at the same time. However, quality teaching entails being sensitive to individual differences in preferred learning styles by varying the rate, amount, nature or content of the instruction given. Teachers who alter instruction to accommodate individual differences send the message that they want to reach all of their students all of the time. Students are much more likely to participate actively in learning activities when they know that their teacher has carefully considered their needs.
Important factors to take into consideration;
Motivation Age of student
concerns backgrounds and experience with the language
Teaching is rewarding but an arduous responsibility., I would like to conclude with this message;