My teaching approach
What is the best method for teaching English? Acquiring language is a natural ability we all posses. I believe the student and teacher should coincide in the view of the journey they will tread together, sharing opinion on goals and objectives that the student will aspire to conquer. If they are well interpreted the relationship will grow as well as the students trust and with this you can push the boundaries of learning!
A positive learning experience motivates you to want to learn more and when the teacher and student work as team methods and techniques will become adventures! So where are your limits? Only each individual can define that line.
My experience tells me speaking the language is where most students would like to see improvement and fast! So focusing on the language skill is one of my key objectives when instructing.
Analyzing the student’s needs is of utmost importance. Student’s characteristics are different and in need to be examined and valued. Influence, motivation, and needs are in constant evolution. If it is not the case, it is my job as a teacher to make it so. My intention my objective, is for the student to progress towards accomplishing their goals.
So what is a student’s reason for learning? No one person is the same. That is why I aim to learn all that I can about each individual person. A teacher must figure out student’s individual and emotional learning needs or “affective factors”. A teacher should somewhat empathize what the student is feeling and what the student is contemplating to better understand how his mind works and to conduct all those thoughts processed through positive reinforcement to the right conducts.
The tasks we endeavor with our students is to develop the process by which they learn a second language. The magic of it all is to try and build a balanced formula based on the different usage of macro skills emphasizing where need be. For example for someone who is starting out you may want to focus on speech, intonation, and rhythm, using micro skills such as vocabulary, pronunciation, and basic grammar. When the student becomes more proficient you can introduce the macro skills reading, writing, and listening. Always keeping in mind the symmetry or consistency between teaching concepts and skills.
The structure of the course is well defined in the beginning with a structure-based syllabus with room for adaptation, expansion, and transformation. Tenses and grammar are taught inductively. Using graded language and CLT pre – communicative induced formats. In the later stages we can work with a more intuitive function-based syllabus where students learn to use the target language to express their own ideas and to use the language in real life situations. Functions, vocabulary, and topics can help the student’s needs to be met as the language grows and allowing students to progress. These forms can be practiced through oral or written communication. The key is to set a good foundation they can rely on and go back to.
The classroom lesson structure would be based on CLT communicative activities for a smaller intermediate class that could start with a round of quick questions to get the students engaged in the activity. Then spend a few minutes with a quick reminder over the grammar tense we may be using that day. Grammar is taught deductively. Next we could jump into a structure activity. Ex. (Second Conditional). Learn, analyze, and review how to use these sentence structures by using the same structure in our own words with our own examples. Then we can go over any new vocabulary words we have heard or work on meaning and pronunciation. Taking special attention to fluency and accuracy. Using STT centered lessons for better concentration and speaking skills. TL words are reviewed for pronunciation mistakes and if we are left with time we can play charades or act out a situation based scenario-using Realia if possible. Ex. At the airport, post office, or amusement park.
The most important thing I believe I have learned has to deal with importance of motivation, With motivation you can overcome any obstacle and without it even the most simple of tasks can seem unattainable. As a teacher my role can very well influence on my students adaptation, progress, and even concentration. Errors are just an opportunity to make a better effort. This is also why being a reflective teacher is important. This means being someone that can ask guidance to other peers for their thoughts and assessment. All my efforts will go into being a motivator and giving continuous positive reinforcement to my students.
I believe that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity “ Being prepared for a class is decisive between having an exceptional class and dreadful one. Being prepared is imperative as a teacher I need to prepare not only the class but also to be prepared for the students. Taking in account my teaching approach would be such as a needs analyst, focusing on my students individual needs. Guiding, being someone that helps point you towards your objectives and goals. And a psychologist when interpreting students needs and concerns.
Students can adopt a number of roles in a class I expect students to be communicators engaged to learn simply by trying to by communicate. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory states that there are nine different types of intelligence I think this is very interesting and I believe it to be true we are all so different in so many ways we are all born with special abilities whether your gifted using numbers effectively as in logical or mathematical intelligence or Visual intelligence with a keen eye for shapes, sizes, and color. Musical intelligence recognizing tonal patterns. Kinesthetic intelligence using the body to express or play sports. Interpersonal intelligence whom understand others or intrapersonal which is understanding yourself or Verbal intelligence with the ability to use language effectively and creatively. Each one should be nurtured and we should never be branded into just one intelligence or another but be empowered by this theory rather than being restricted by it.
Students can be affected by numerous factors such as motivation, willingness to ask questions, and acceptance to correction. This is not a problem because our focus well be on achieving goals and objectives by participating and creating a positive environment.
The vehicular language of the classroom must be the only language students are using in class other languages should be avoided. I understand they create a type of safety net and cold make students careless in the sense that they can rely on their mother tongue. This way we can expect to see an increase in fluency and avoid tricky mental translations and interlanguage.
The assessment of learning outcomes of students helps me to see how they are adapting on a smaller scale after each class with quick verbal reviews. Than again on a larger scale with a quick exam once a week or so. This can all help to contrast prior knowledge and how much they have advanced. This helps to form an opinion to see what methods work better for the students.
When teaching beginners you have to be flexible and better managers of time you have to grade your language. Teach a word content that will be useful for them with a simplified vocabulary and cognates. The more we are focused on explaining and giving instructions the easier it is for students to follow our guidance. It is crucial to give short and clear instructions. When teaching advanced students you have to make the classes dynamic so that the students aren’t bored they have to feel like they are advancing a rapid pace you can do things like watch movies, have them read longer texts, or even teach them humor. I consider that the learner’s progress at this stage has slowed down so you have to find ways to keep things interesting.
When it comes to the contrasting age groups there is a sizable difference in the materials you can use you have to find a balanced point or come up with equal amount of material for one age group and the other to keep everyone in the classroom interested.
With what I am constantly learning at Oxbridge and what I am learning with my colleagues and with my own research and personal experience my methodology is in constant evolution. I want for my students to be in a cheerful multi-sensory environment. I will encourage my students to give 100% and to never give up. I want to pass on to the students the eagerness for knowledge and curiosity it takes for learning a new language. I want to encourage the use of English in their daily life wherever they can. So investigate, search, explore, and question you abilities. Happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it’s something to be experienced. Lets experience English in the same way!