When it comes to languages, I have always really enjoyed the process of learning them. I am British but from quite a young age I have lived in Spain. My parents decided that at home we would speak in English so we didn't lose our mother tongue. I speak English and Spanish fluently, I also have a high level in French and a very basic level of Chinese. When learning these languages I had some great teachers but also some not so good ones which made me want to learn how to teach people in a way that apart from making learning easy I can also make it interesting, easy going and useful.
So first of all it is important to know about different methods that exist when teaching languages. Some different methods that exist are:
All of the different types of methodologies have their own pros and cons so there isn't a correct and incorrect one that we should use. Each method served the purpose in the time when it was considered the best one available. We should not deny the fact that there are learners of English, who learnt the language through each of the methods that there have been and they could master the language. The different approaches contrast in the level of teacher and student participation. I personally like to use a combination of a few of the methodologies that exist. I prefer an enthusiastic way of teaching where students find English fun, interesting and useful. I believe that when learning if we don’t find it has any of these mentioned characteristics we don’t learn half as much as we could. I also find humor an important way of reaching to the students. When we find something funny we are more likely to remember it then when not. I teach through functions as I think that if we do not know how to use something then even if we know the theory we probably won’t use it. My approach will consist on mostly communicative forms, in which speaking and listening will be the most used. Although if for example I have a student who needs English for contacting through letter, e-mails etc I will focus on their reading and writing. Also I will focus on understanding, but without the use of their mother tongue unless completely necessary, as if a student doesn’t understand what and why they are learning something they will disconnect immediately. There will be no use of the mother tongue unless it is completely necessary for the student to learn.
When it comes to the syllabus, I choose the possibility to adapt it to each group or individual, as if I repeat the same syllabi with all students it most likely will prove to be inadequate for many of them. For adapting the syllabi I will take into account the needs, motivations, type of intelligence, likes, etc of the students. My syllabus will target real life situations, needs and uses. It will be compound by topics, structures and vocabulary. It will be centered on topics that stimulate and engage students, and will help them understand different content and situations they could find. The structure will grow from simple to complex, it will be taught depending on the level. The vocabulary will be taught always through content never randomly and according to the level and target language of the students. Although the order of the class will be to start with quick questions which will make them mentally be prepared to realize that they are in the English class and switch into thinking in the language (this is the label mark of Oxbridge and I really agree with it), then there will be a vocabulary activity followed by a structure then topic activities. The class will end with a quick wrap up which will let teachers check that students learnt what they were taught and also gives the students the chance to realize that they really have learnt in class. The syllabus will be based on communicative skills, specially speaking and listening, employing many visual aids. Students will debate and discuss, complete role plays, and also games. The role the teacher will present is the role of a playmaker/guide and also maybe even a colleague. They will prompt as much student’s participation as possible, as I believe that is more important for the students to practice and use the language themselves than listen to a teacher lecture them. Such student as teachers will have a goal for each class as well as for each course or term, this way they will be motivated and feel that they are learning for something.
As to assessment, students will self asses themselves when it is possible for them, the teacher assesses them through the activities and also with the wrap up as it is a way of checking that they really did learn what they taught in class. Also the use of structures, words, or target language learnt in earlier classes will help the teacher find out if the students remember what they learned and it is a way for the students to practice sometimes without even realizing. When correcting I will focus on correcting immediately if possible the main and most relevant mistakes and errors and depending on the student, the error, the level, etc I will correct other ones. I also believe that it is important to let students auto-correct as it is a great way of learning too!
So, to summarize I have my own method which uses parts of different approaches. It is based on communication being considerably aware of their needs, motivation, skills, and objectives of each student. Classes are desirably easy going, fun, engaging, stimulating and give much importance to student’s participation and their awareness of their learning progressions.