Approach to Teaching English
In this article, an approach to teaching English as a second language will be reviewed in accordance to the TEFL course through OXBRIDGE. It is important to recognize that this essay is based on opinion and solely represents the point of view of the author.
The comprehensive goal will be for the student to improve his/her language skill in the areas of verbal understanding including listening and speaking fluency as well as written understanding including reading and writing. The main goal will be for the student to be able to carry a conversation in their non-native tongue. The secondary goal will be to improve their micro skills, which include pronunciation, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Active communication and comprehension will also be included in both the primary and secondary goals. At the beginning of each course, the student will be recommended to meet with the teacher to develop a syllabus for their lesson. This will help decide the direction of the class.
The students’ needs and reasons for learning are the foundation for the class structure and the basis of their learning progression.
By consistently monitoring and updating the students’ improvements, the teacher can keep the class relevant to the student and maintain development in the learning environment. In this way the teacher will be able to influence the overall goal of the class and provide a more personalized learning experience for the student. Instead of focusing on trying to motivate the student to learn, the focus should be directed towards forming habits in the classroom and building off the determination of the student. By setting up a regular time and schedule that the student can commit to, the teacher can offer a consistent class experience that the student can rely on.
The students’ needs and reasons for learning are the basis of their learning process, it pushes their progress and it is important to develop the class around these factors. Consistently monitoring and updating the students’ progress and goals is a good way to involve all aforementioned factors. Beginning a lesson by going over the objectives and difficulties of the student makes the progress of learning a second language a fluid process.
Classes will be set up in monthly terms and follow the profile of the participating student. If/when a student becomes inactive, their profile will be kept on record so that they may return at any time. This schools primary focus is on the student reaching his/her primary goals. With this in mind, it is of the utmost importance that all students be encouraged to continue with their classes. To guarantee the improvement promised to a new student, it is a good idea to set up a minimum of three lessons a week for periods of four weeks. After confirming availability of the student, fixed days will be chosen where both teacher and student will commit to these dates for the four weeks to come. The lesson plan will be based on the personal goals of the student and their current level, which will then be put into the weekly schedule. The first lesson of the week will be an introduction, the second lesson will focus on the expansion of language skills and the last one will be a review.
In the review lesson the students’ progress will be assessed through conversation. In a dynamic matter, the material that was visited throughout the week will be involved in the conversation. When revisiting these subjects, comprehension can be checked by how well the information is understood and which topics might need more attention. The lesson plan for the following week will partially be based on this assessment as well. In this way if any material from a previous lesson was missed, in can be included into the following week. Based on the retention level of the student, the overall schedule might be manipulated in order to fit their personal needs.
As mentioned before, a general lesson will start with an assessment of personal progress and objectives followed by a set of questions to decide the knowledge that the student has about the topic of the lesson. Lesson organization in this way will make it easier for the student and the teacher to incorporate relative learning material. This material includes pictures and written text in the target language. To encourage speech from the student these materials will be presented in combination with a set of questions, creating an environment that promotes practical use of the language. The student will not be permitted to use their mother tongue in order to prevent unnecessary translating, this will also promote the improvisational skills and eventually the fluency of the desired language.
Consideration of the student has a large impact on how corrections are dealt with during any given class. During the first class preferences can be estimated. However, behavior can be modified once a rapport has been developed with the student. If there is a significant age difference between student and teacher, different teaching methods can be applied in order to help the class along. For instance, with younger students the teacher might be more of an authority figure and modify the class as such. Whereas with older students, learning might come more willingly and can be approached more casually.
It is also important to keep in mind, that no matter how comfortable the class is, the teacher is still in charge of the lesson.
While it does help the learning environment for the teacher to be friendly, it is important to make the distinction between being a positive influence and being a negative influence. It is imperative for the teacher and the student to know their roles in these types of situations. In this case the teacher will be a facilitator and a guide for the student in the process of learning the target language. The student in this circumstance, should be receptive and adaptive.
It is important to stay professional, so that the student receives the best education possible. With this is in mind, the teacher should make corrections instantly but refrain from judging the student. Mistakes in speech shouldn't be allowed without immediate repetition of the correct way in order to prevent consistently reappearing errors.
At the start of learning a new language it is very common to just learn vocabulary and grammar by heart. The student can start with a list of words focused around a topic and repeat the words until they know them. After mastery of the allotted vocab set or grammar point, a new list can be provided in order to build a knowledge base of the target language. In the beginning it might seem unfruitful, but after the student gains some vocabulary they will start to notice that their ability of expression in the new language is improving. At this point the grammar will be introduced as well, and the constructing of sentences can start.
According to some teachers met through observation, students with an A1 or below that have more vocabulary, have a great advantage over new speakers that don't. Their structural use of English and grammar might be at a beginner-level, but their understanding when they read or listen is usually a lot better. This can be very motivating for a student, and make a big difference in class participation as well as time spent studying outside of class.
A method that is useful for students with a higher level of English, is learning by practice. Once they build up enough vocabulary, and their level of English improves, they can start implementing it in their daily lives. When they start reading and listening more, they will be able to understand previously unknown vocabulary simply because of its context. Coming across new words repeatedly will also help them remember the words better, which in turn could improve their conversation skills in the target language. As a teacher it is key to recognize how important the use of new vocabulary is. When teaching student new words, give examples of how the new words can be used. Let the student construct sentences using these words by themselves.
In conclusion, by focusing the lesson around the students’ needs and goals, the ability of the student as a non-native speaker will be provided with all of the necessary requirements to learn the target language. By monitoring the affective factors within the class the teacher can provide the best learning environment for the student to learn and by following through with the lessons the student will soon be able to converse without the help of their mother tongue.
Quick questions: - 5 MIN
3 Vocab based questions
3 Structure based questions
3 Topic based questions
1 Extra question from one of the three groups
Vocab: - 16 MIN
Issue: Food and Drink
Sub-Issue: Basic Products
Type of Activity: Vocab
Objective: Learn and memorize vocab associated with food and drink.
Description: Identify different photos of food and drink.
Structure: - 16 MIN
Issue: Expressing Quantity
Sub-Issue: Asking and Telling Age
Type of Activity: Structure
Objective: Student will practice asking and telling age associated question.
Description: Conversation about age associated with food and drink used in vocab activity
Topic: - 16 MIN
Issue: Expressing Past Actions
Sub-Issue: Present Perfect Vs Simple Past, and about time expressions.
Type of Activity: Topic
Objective: Student will practice expressing past actions.
Description: Student will talk about what they did the day before.
Wrap-Up: - 5 MIN
Quick questions about class activities and comprehension of new material. Ex.