My Approach to teaching
Students learn what we want them to learn, the object of our teaching. For that to happen we need to specify what we want them to learn. Teaching and learning goals are also referred to as learning outcomes, and these are statements of what a learner will be able to do after a learning experience, such as a class or course.
Each individual will will have a different reason for wanting to take an English class. Learning English may be necessary for academic or work reasons, for travel purposes or just a hobby. Students individual reasons will be their goals, and from their individual goals they will have different motivations, needs and expectations. It is important to bear in mind that students needs will often fluctuate, with emotional factors like shyness and self consciousness to be taken into account. Teachers must be able to adapt to the varying emotional needs of students.
Understanding the different learning styles of students can be very useful, for example the VAK model, and also determining students individual styles, perhaps using Howard Gardners multiple intelligence theory. There are other factors that influence the learning experience in positive and negative ways and we refer to these as affective factors. Someone who is shy and self conscious is less likely to succeed in language learning than an outgoing person. While personality and personal problems are out of the teachers hands, it is still the teachers job of or try to tackle these problems and learn how to make shy students, for example, feel comfortable in class and forget their worries. Motivation is the desire to do something, it is what keeps students going to class, it is important for teachers to....
*Have realistic expectations
*Have fun and be engaging
English language has identified four macro skills that are of great importance for students to acquire a language. These are reading, writing, listening and speaking. When learning a second language (L2) the natural order of acquisition is as follows:
Areas of language , also called micro skills:
I would give importance to Speaking, Listening , Pronunciation and vocabulary in my approach.
A syllabus is an integral part of a planned course. It establishes objectives for students for students to acquire at certain stages through different categories i.e. Vocabulary, structures, topics - listening, speaking, writing etc.
My personal preference is to use a task based syllabus.
from the research I have done so far on how to structure a class, my favourite has to be the Oxbridge approach!!!! Using quick questions to start the lesson and get the students warmed up, the move into a topic of discussion with an aim to practice the target language I would have set out for that lesson, using perhaps a relevant quotation or saying from a type of media given as a handout to the students with pictures to support the target words to help the students visually as we practice and have conversations together.
There are many factors that influence how teachers approach their work and which strategies they employ to achieve their goals. In some institutions teachers are left to their own devices and are free to make decisions concerning the course. In other situations, a director makes the decisions and the teachers carries out their wishes. The teacher can assume very different roles within their own classroom for many different reasons.
A teachers role should include;
*A needs analyst - determining students individual needs
*A guide - teacher guides and directs class dynamics, guiding students on how to learn and communicate in English. Knows where they are taking their students, where they are going and what they are trying to achieve
*A playmaker- understanding the enormity of their role, having to to talk discretely. Knows how to organise the class so everybody participates
It is important to be well prepared for class and for a teacher to be patient and understanding. Teachers should give enough attention to students, adapt to learners needs and goals, be flexible. Be able to manage the classroom, manage time well, and keep good pace to the class.
Students can assume a number of different roles depending on the method being taught and beliefs of the student/teacher alike.
Other factors include - motivation to learn, ability to take risks, willingness, ability to think, acceptance of correction.
Examples of students roles
*imitator - follows teachers direction and responds
*communicator- actively engaged in negotiating meaning and trying to understand.
self manager- learner uses imitative and takes responsibility for learning.
How to correct students English mistakes is a crucial issue for any teacher. What and when to correct is something that the teacher will decide in each situation, but there should always be a conscious approach. The main type of mistakes to be corrected in a class are:
*grammatical faults *vocabulary faults *pronunciation faults *written faults
During oral practice the main issue is whether or not to correct students as they say something wrong. Use selective correction depending on the objectives of the lesson and depending on the level of students English speaking ability.
The vehicular language of the class would be English, as this is the target language being taught. So as much practice and directions in this language would always be encouraged.
Interlanguage is the language used by a learner who is not yet proficient in second language usage, and it's somehow always present until the person becomes fully bilingual. Some learners tend to be constantly influenced by the structure of their mother tongue - first language.
These are 3 different processes that influence the creation of Interlanguage.
1, Language transfer - learners fall back on their mother tongue to help create their language system
2, Overgeneralisation - learners use rules from the second language in a way that native speakers would not.
3, simplification - learners use a highly simplified form of language, similar to speech by children.
What students have learnt is important, and documenting of knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs is know as assessment. Here are the types of assessment generally used.
*Formative assessment - a ongoing process of gathering information on how much a student has *learned and their strengths/weaknesses.
*Summative assessment - sums up attainment at the end of a course with a grade.
*Continuous assessment - assessment of class performance throughout the course.
*Fixed point assessment - when grades are awarded on the basis of an examination on a particular day/time.
Inside the classroom we should be more focused on giving instructions and explanations when teaching beginners and these have to be very easy. At low levels, the more we repeat, the easier the students follow. Never forget your manners and mind your tone of voice, it has to be kind and respectful. You have to be sensitive towards problems and issues the students may have. Learning at adult age can be as successful as at young age but the process is different.
Graded language is classroom language and materials that are adapted to the level of the learner in some way, often simplified. Graded language aids with students comprehension and allows them to progress and gradually increase their level.