My teaching approach
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” These famous words of Benjamin Franklin conveys the basis of my ideology for teaching the English Language. I believe that students should not be spoon fed information but given the opportunity to be involved in their learning. My approach is that students become active participants in their learning. This is in sync with the behavioural and cognitive theories that both believe 'practice is the key ingredient of language acquisition' . As speaking is the most difficult skill to achieve I believe that it should be the skill that is most focused on. My objective is that every student is able to communicate fluently in English. The syllabus will be set by an exam board but like the silent way method it will be recycled and reviewed in accordance to the students' needs, errors and struggles. Their issues will be identified through the use of classroom assessments (homework tasks, projects etc) but mostly by diaries that will be kept by the teachers. Teacher diaries will be used to document students individually and as a whole . It will identify the progress each student makes in lesson and the general growth of the class as a whole. Errors that are common among students will be highlighted. Individual errors will only be documented if repeated several times in one session, even after correction by the teacher. The recycling of the syllabus will help teachers set realistic targets for students reducing affective filters such as discouragement and frustration, whilst keeping them positive. The syllabus will be both structure and function based so that information given in the classroom is understood in its rightful context and it will hold some functional purpose in the lives of students, in which they can reference to in their lesuire time. This holds multiple benefits, for instance if a student learns how to introduce themselves in English in one session and are able to successfully demonstrate it in their lesuire time it will motivate them for the next session. Aspects of the classroom structure will resemble that of the communicative approach with activities that will be; tasked based(such as problem solving and role plays) and social interactions (such as debates) centered around target language. In a typical hour session the layout of the class will be as follows: Five minutes will be spent at the beginning of the session engaging the students in oral/listening activities that will be based on target language from the previous session. A method of recall influenced by research from Hermann Ebbinghaus, which states that learners benefit from a review of information in regular spaced intervals. Such activities will include quick questions and complete grammar exercises. These activities will not only test how much a student can recall but will also help them with their accuracy. This period will be where teachers identify and address student errors. However the teacher will give students the opportunity to self correct before they themselves make a correction, as practiced in the silent way method. Younger students and beginners will have the same activities at the start of the session. However teachers will be a little bit more lenient with the errors of the beginners. Younger students' activities will only differ in the fact that more interactive/playful materials will be used. For example the use of a colour wheel for quick questions. Ten minutes of the session will be spent in a reading/writing activity where students are introduced to the target language for the session. Teachers will use this time to give examples of use of target language through realia such as advertisments, pictures, newspaper articles etc. Here is where students will be introduced to a series of vocabulary/structures used in various differ context. So that they can deduce the meaning of the words and concepts. Younger students and beginners will be given a lot more aid to help them deduce meanings and concepts. They will be given more visual aids and will be coached more by the teacher. Thirty minutes of the session will be used for students to engage in speaking/listening activities such as; role play, problem solving, debates etc, centered around the target language. These activities encourage fluency in students as well as giving them the opportunity to use the target language in context. This period of the session will be really informal and so students will feel comfortable to open up and use English unhindered. This period is where self and peer corrections will mostly be observed. Younger learners will not engage in problem solving or debate activities but mostly teacher led games. Beginner activities will develop over time. For instance their first session activity will consist of printed dialogues, where students will read and orally present conversations. Then the next session they will move on to open dialogue, where the teacher has set questions or parts of a conversation and students will have to answer with their own understanding. Finally they will end with role plays and debates which completely eliminates the help of the teacher. Students will have to use their own knowledge of the language to interact with other students. The last five minutes of the session will be a wrap up where students will share what they have learnt about the target language. This is a concept check for teachers. In the class speaking is prioritised over all macroskills; though all will be taught at the initial stage, speaking will be more emphasised. Fluency will also be preferred over accuracy so students will be encouraged to learn through trail and error. Though native language is seen as the foundation knowledge in which the students enter the classroom with there will be little to no use of native language in class so that students are focused on speaking English. Grammar will be taught in an inductive way to increase students' independence in learning and understanding of the English language as they have to deduce concepts for themselves. Authentic material such as audio conversations, movies, videos, advertisements etc will be shown in class to give students real world experience of the target language as well as exposure to varying types of English language (e.g. American English) and accents. The outcome of every class is that students take home new words that they are able to use in their correct context fluently. I believe that the sessions will favour various types of learners described by Neil Flemming's VAK model. Learners such as the visual, logic and intrapersonal learners will be engaged in our sessions. Homework will be given as form of continuous assessment, this will consist of oral presentations, projects and attending compulsory sessions held by the school, where students will be given the opportunity to practice English. Teachers´ roles will be that of a playmaker, conversationalist and assessor who will guide students to interactions and self learning but will constantly be assessing them through teacher diaries and homework tasks. The students´ role will be more hands on with them being communicators and self managers. They will be responsible for their own learning which will make it more relatable for to them and their goals, which will keep them motivated. The oral input distribution in classes will be two third from the students and a third from the teachers. So students are expected to be more vocal in sessions than teachers. Teachers will initiate topics of discussion and debates, which should allow students to express their opinions and views. However this will differ in a beginner classes where teachers will have two thirds of the oral input to help lay a foundation of students' knowledge. Assessments will be formative and continuous in the form of tests, projects, homework tasks, teacher diaries and self assessments. The self assessments, homework tasks and teacher diaries are to identify the needs of the introvert learner who may be overshadowed by the extroverts in such an active class. This form of assessment has been chosen to monitor student progress throughout the term and after a quaterly meeting examiners will have with teachers the syllabus may be changed accordingly.