My teaching approach
For centuries, people have attempted to learn second languages through formal education. Learning to teach a foreign language is a lifetime commitment which goes beyond teaching structures or vocabulary. L2 teaching and learning has been in a state of flux in the past decades. We have come a long way from the grammar translation methods and issues like what approach to choose, what is the best way to teach and assess the skills are constant questions in the L2 research community.
Thinking about my past as a learner, the first lesson were a little nerve-wrecking. Now, choosing a teacher career I strongly believe that the first lesson with a new group must be an introductionary one. One of the key challenges a teacher faces at the beginning of a course with new students is to learn and remember their names. In my opinion the teacher has to break the ice and I find the following ideas very helpful to do it usefully: Using name cards, playing name games, using names as much as possible and ask the name again when necessary. This will give him the chance to know the students a little bit. As well students level evaluation and students need analysis are key part of the first lesson. Students must have the opportunity to ask questions about the course, teacher or other aspects of the course. It is important to establish a sense that the teacher is willing to chance things they do not understand. In the last two minutes at the end of the class the students can write their feedback about the first lesson. These should be anonymous and can provide feedback on doubts, or questions that students were afraid to rise.
After the introductionary lesson the aim, I believe, a teacher has to focus on will be to encourage students to speak using the communicative approach. A stimulating topic is usually crucial but far from the only consideration. During the communicative activities the teacher role is to facilitate and then to monitor, with little corrections if necessary, and then to provide feedback on the linguistic performance of the learners in the form of post-activity error correction. The main goal in this approach is for the learner to become communicatively competent. Classroom activities must be varied and must include interactive language games, information sharing activities and the use of authentic materials.
Lately, a very popular way to teach English is using the natural approach. I find this method a very productive way of teaching because has the same aim as the communicative approach but the main goal is to develop immediate communicative competency and gives to students the opportunity to acquire language than forcing them to learn it. With this method the class time is not devoted to grammatical or mechanical exercises. Teaching grammar for the sake of grammar instruction is not effective but, I believe, clarifying it in context does have some value. The natural approach bases language acquisition on the natural order of native language development by following a progression and allowing students to respond in their native language during the silent period.
Thinking of different way of teaching, comes to my mind the grammar-translation method which tended to be referred to in the past tense as it no longer exist and had died out to be replaced world-wide by the fun and motivation of the communicative classroom. The method is very much based on the written words and text often accompanied by a vocabulary list consisting of new lexical items used in the text together with the mother tongue translation. This type of approach can give learners a basic foundation upon which they can then build their communicative skills. This method can be effective if it’s not overused and well combined with the communicative approach. It can be used with advanced students when they need to learn grammar for specific purposes.
Apart of the above methods there are many more approaches used for teaching English. Some of them are listed below:?
The Direct Method: In this method the teaching is done entirely in the target language. The learner is not allowed to use his or her mother tongue. Grammar rules are avoided and there is emphasis on good pronunciation.?????????Audio-lingual: The theory behind this method is that learning a language means acquiring habits. There is much practice of dialogues of every situations. New language is first heard and extensively drilled before being seen in its written form.???????Suggestopedia: The theory underlying this method is that a language can be acquired only when the learner is receptive and has no mental blocks. By various methods it is suggested to the student that the language is easy - and in this way the mental blocks to learning are removed.??Total Physical Response: TPR works by having the learner respond to simple commands such as "Stand up", "Close your book", "Go to the window and open it." The method stresses the importance of aural comprehension.?????????The Silent Way: This is so called because the aim of the teacher is to say as little as possible in order that the learner can be in control of what he wants to say. No use is made of the mother tongue.
?Lesson planning is a vital component of the teaching-learning process. Proper classroom planning will keep teachers organised and on track while teaching, thus allowing them to teach more, help students reach objectives more easily and manage less. The better the teacher is, the more likely he will be able to handle whatever unexpectedly happens in the lesson.??? Choosing the syllabus is part of the lesson planning and most syllabuses have within their designs the goals, objectives, subject matter, learning experiences, and the evaluation approaches. These components can be organized in various ways according to the approaches to syllabus. The design of tire syllabus, however, is not what is important. The importance is that it meets the needs of the students. Syllabus should be tailored to meet the needs of students, rather than expecting students to adjust to the demands of a specific syllabus. It has already been mentioned that realistic syllabus goals should he based on regular assessment of the student’s needs, strengths, and interests, which can only be made by the teacher in a specific classroom. Therefore, it would be difficult to recommend a syllabus formal based on general goals or just on the student’s needs. Therefore, the English syllabus format recommended is a skills-centered, which could be adjusted to achieve specific objectives or goals. This formal addresses the four basic processes students must develop to learn and communicate. These are listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The way in which these skills are introduced will depend on the syllabus planning which, as mentioned earlier is what really matters, and on the teacher.???????? By using the task-based syllabus learners are encouraged to utilize the language communicatively to achieve a purpose as speaking a language is a skill best perfected through interaction and practice. The tasks must be relevant to the real world language need of the learner.
In the classroom affective factors may be more important for successful language learning than ability to learn. I believe choosing activities that are motivating for the age and interests of the learners and including students in deciding aspects of the course will reduce negative factors and develop positive ones. When learners are interested in a topic they are motivated to acquire language to communicate. In this case fluency is more important than accuracy and can be developed by using English to communicate for a variety of purposes. Here, errors are a natural part of language learning.
Some of these natural errors are the consequence of a transfer from the mother tongue into the target language acquisition. In this case I believe that inappropriate error-correction approach would frustrate students’ self-confidence and enthusiasm, especially for students with bad English foundation. Creating a healthy, relaxed and lively classroom atmosphere and forming harmonious relationship between teacher and students will help overcome their feeling of prudency.
As English becomes an international language for nearly all areas (science, communication, interaction etc.) it is not reasonable to go on using old fashioned methods, strategies and approaches to teach English as a foreign language. Like all other sciences and educational activities, FLT also needs to be revised according to the needs of the modern world. As can be seen easily, it is crucial to think of FLT as a whole process along with all components e.g. teacher, teaching style, students and even external ones such as school and materials. Students learn best when they feel confident and find the topic worth learning according to their needs. So the courses should be constructed to include technological settings and media so that students will find it interesting and they will be able to learn the language itself rather than a set of grammar rules and patterns. The teacher also has responsibilities such as being well prepared for the course and equipped enough to be able to use technology and multidimensional teaching techniques. Having only one type of teaching style in mind makes the teacher monotonous. As a result s/he will not be able to control the class and the teaching/learning process.
Thank you very much for reading my essay