The idea of how to teach a foreign language affects not just teaching development, but also its outcomes. There are many circumstances and factors which determine or modify the teaching process, but a good theoretical body is fundamental in order to moderate every factor and to achieve the general goal. We should analyse our own beliefs on how to teach the FL and adapt them, if it is the case, to more rigorous and contrasted assumptions.
This essay Sums up my approach to teaching students, from diverse age groups, and educational backgrounds, to form and communicate with well structured sentences, all the way from the simplest ones, to the most complex.
Students will have different reasons for wanting to take an English class; and the latter have to do with their goals. This could be for career purposes, academic or merely for the sake of it. Thus, depending on those reasons, they will have different motivations, needs and expectations. However, as a teacher, I also need to set the teaching goals and find a way to make both teacher’s and students’ goals on the same wave length; therefore, what I want students to learn will be influenced, specially, by their needs, motivations and goals taking into consideration learners’ age.
A teacher’s job is not only to pass information to their students. We must as well maintain the students’ willpower as this may fade away over time. Some ways to do that could be by constantly praising them, having realistic expectations , keeping classes rather engaging and fun , building good rapport with students, and another vital element is to always be positive.
As a result of positive encouragement and motivation, students will be inclined to focus more. So, the learning outcome will be of better quality. As a teacher, I do my best to keep students motivated through putting a lot of energy into activities and giving positive reinforcements. It is also important, to have realistic expectations, nothing demotivates a student more than a lack of progress. When I plan a class, I am aware of what students can achieve by the end of the class. Otherwise, I may risk frustrating students. To make students have fun I feel it important, to engage with them on a personal level, making jokes, listening to them, building rapport without losing respect and relating topics to each individual interests, for example: Teaching engineering-related jargon for civil engineers and so on.
When acquiring a language,it is crucial to concider Language Skills. I trust that Listening and Speaking are the most essential skills to teach and the most beneficial for students.
Listening and Speaking are vital for any student to express ideas and ask for information and comprehend and understand the information they are receiving. Simple words and clear speaking is needed for beginners, such as similar words to their mother language and short questions and commands. On another level, Reading and Writing are also important, since, Reading helps to build new vocabulary, which in turn will improve Listening and Speaking skills. Writing is needed to take notes, writing essays or articles, emails, etc.
Areas of language A.K.A Micro Skills are skills that constitute and support language skills and help to improve the accuracy in language.
The way I would teach Grammar to students is by using the inductive teaching, i.e. let the student decode the patterns instead of feeding them the rules. Simple and useful sentences would be used to show beginners how to do to express the concept in question while complex and subordinated sentences would be used to teach structures and its functionality to high-level students.
Vocabulary is very fun to teach as students love to discover new words and enrich their vocabulary bank. I would teach that by relating vocabulary to their domains and backgrounds, also how to create new words by using suffixes and prefixes... Etc. Brainstorming family words and specific jargons such as professions, sports, body parts etc.
Pronunciation is another element that students must work on from from the very beginning to gain the clarity of being understood. At the advanced level learners would then be encouraged to focus on aspects such as intonation and stress patterns used to express more complex features of the language like sarcasm.
Spelling errors tend to come from phonology of English being that for Spanish speakers words sounds as they are spelled and they are spelled as they sound.
The syllabus is Similar to programme, it contains what is to be taught with a clear reference to selection and grading of content., I would organize the syllabus through the distribution of the following categories: Topics, vocabulary, structure and functions. These categories can be practiced and taught through oral communication or written communication, depending on the student’s needs and goals. Of course, when making a syllabus, I would take into consideration the students’ level, educational background, age, needs, timing etc.
My role as a teacher can also have a powerful influence on the learner’s development. For that reason, it is important to be well prepared before a class. Taking into account my approach, my role would be such as a guide, a playmaker and a conversationalist. I would drive the lesson to achieve the learning and teaching goals. As I mentioned before oral communication is priority so, the students would take more speaking time than I, as a teacher. I would also interpret learner’s reactions and responses in order to adapt and, if it is necessary change, the class. As a teacher, I also need to manage the students’ errors. As a rule, I would let students’ correct themselves, creating awareness, except in some cases such as pronunciation mistakes.
Students, on the other hand, are expected to have the required motivation to learn and merely be a communicator and a self-manager. As a teacher, I must know how to deal with all of them in order to ensure that they are learning and achieving the goals. I must make sure that all the students participate in the class and keep or even increase the motivation of every one.
The vehicular language of the classroom must be the language that students are learning. Therefore, the mother tongue must be left at the classroom’s door. If they want to learn a new language they must practice the language in question and avoid mental translations to increase fluency. Furthermore, students tend to use and build sentences in the same way as their mother tongue. As a teacher, it’s necessary to explain when a message is conveyed inaccurately (interlanguage).
The assessment system will depend on the purpose of the course. There are many formal ways to assess the learning of a student such as tests, checklists, etc. Assessment is also needed after every class in order to revise what students have been learnt to ensure their understanding and assess effectiveness of the teaching, and the way this is conducted in Oxbridge is via the Wrap up at the end of the class.
To put it in a nutshell, I trust that my method of teaching is somewhat of a mixture of different methods that would make both teachers and students comfortable. And after all, the real aim here is to help people learn English in the best and easiest way possible.