Back then, I never thought I would also aspire to become an English teacher aside from my goals of acting, voice acting, singing and reviewing. Life can be very unpredictable with a lot of twists and turns. However, when I decided to settle here in Berlin, I knew my true calling and my fallback plan. Discovering the Oxbridge TEFL online course was really a stepping stone for me as I learned so much.
It is true that being an English teacher is easier said than done, but thanks to the various lessons from the previous weeks, I am more equipped and determined to make it happen. Throughout the course, we not only learned about grammar but also about behavioural patterns, the different roles for a teacher and a student, methodologies and syllabi. Through these I have found what I have to do as my own teacher of how to make the classroom environment one of teamwork, collaboration, passion and harmony.
There are a lot of things I have to be aware of, on a technical level. Of all the macro skills that the students need, they need to really speak the language which does also affect the way they write and understand the spoken and/or written text. Yes, they also need to learn how to write, but speaking really does play a huge part in communication. Out of all the micro skills, I place high importance on pronunciation and grammar, because these are the basis of syntax, structure and communication in a language, most especially in the fields of the performing arts, music, business, education and international relations. Vocabulary does play a part as well, especially with those fields, but it is grammar and pronunciation, which make or break daily communications. Additionally, if one can compare media in English to other languages, like anime that has been dubbed into English from its original Japanese, there are a lot of expressions, which can be translated into English and some that cannot. For example, the English dub of InuYasha has been criticised by its awkward scripting of trying to be as faithful to the original source material as possible and issues with translation like a yokai not meaning demon but a supernatural being and a miko not meaning priestess but a shrine maiden. So as long as they can express themselves and articulate their thoughts, then that is what is going to be of importance in everyday life.
In terms of the syllabus organisations, I am a huge fan of the topic-based and the situation-based syllabi. Topic-based because this will help students engage in their interests like be involved in anything that is based on music, literature, current events and many things they are passionate about. I plan to implement these via excursions to English-language plays either by American or British playwrights, so that they can even know the difference between American and British English, concerts consisting of composers like Purcell, Britten, Copeland and Glass and English-language operas. With the situation-based syllabus, students will learn how to use their language skills in the real world especially when meeting other people, going to the store, reporting an emergency and just how to survive in general. This will implemented in role plays and loads of oral activities, where students will be in different situations in different places and will be given tasks and objectives of how to achieve their goals and meanings. I would also use inductive grammar and open dialogues. With inductive grammar, the students can understand how words, sentences and phrases are constructed with having the subject first, then the predicate and finally the objective. Open dialogues are for a more advanced level in my opinion but this will also be beneficial for students to start communicating to each other freely while being cognisant of the topics they discuss. This will help them speak directly to others no matter what the time of day it is.
For the material in class, I would love to use authentic and audio and visual material. Authentic material helps students see certain things in complete detail and the usage of Realia does encourage a lot of interaction. This also develops the students senses of touch and hearing when it comes to encountering new things and paraphernalia. This will also help them sharpen their identifying skills as they will spot the specifics of certain objects. With audio and visual material, this will help students with pronunciation and identification. Visual as the students will know and process what those things, people and items actually are. Auditory as they know how it sounds and how it is pronounced.
I see myself more as a conversationalist and psychologist type of teacher as I always prefer hands-on eye-to-eye communication as it is not only great practice but also ensures teamwork and respect for other colleagues. I need my students to be communicators and self-managers. I need them to express their most honest opinions and I need them to think and fight for themselves and for what they believe in. I need them to stand up for themselves and have lots of self-esteem in whatever they do and pursue. We all know that life is tough and very unpredictable, but as long as we are resilient and have a common goal, we can be able to work together.
In conclusion, my goal as an English teacher is to promote self-esteem, a positive attitude for everyday life and give my students confidence and courage so that they are unafraid of using the English language, which is a gateway to the future.