I am a native English speaker from the north of England and I believe myself to be a really outgoing people person. I insist on enjoying life and I get a lot out of doing things for people or helping them. As I get a lot out of helping people being a teacher is the perfect job for me, as I believe it to be one of the most reward jobs out there! I am a very patient person which also helps with students that may be struggling, one of my motos is “Rome wasn’t built in a day”!
I left school at a young age and went straight into working in sales.From working in sales for 3 years I built a great account base for my company and earned them a lot of money for them. With this experience I have learnt teaching isn’t all about someone stood at the front of a classroom talking at you for 1 hour at a time whilst you take notes, there are many different ways of learning! Getting my students involved in the tasks just as much as the teacher is key for me, and showing ability to learn whilst doing fun tasks! Learning whilst on the job is the most effective way of teaching for me, I would never want to bore my students, they need to be involved just as much as the teacher, as this will lead to them getting much more out of it. This is something I have learned in comparison from school life to work life.
The process of transformation from short term memory to long term memory and how information is stored and embedded into your brain is very interesting to me. When many students are told something, it will go into their head and then after a little while it is more than likely to leave their brain and ultimately be forgotten. It is so important to transfer short term memory to long term memory or there is really no point in teaching it in the first place! Students need to truly remember things, and it all comes down to how effective your teaching really is.
An example of how this would work with teaching is if you asked a student to look at some lyrics of a song, memorise them and read them back to you. The student is likely to remember very little of the lyrics the next day as it is only in the short term memory. However, if you listen to the song and get the student to sing along with the song over and over until it Is drilled in, the student will remember all the words and it will become stored in their long term memory. After doing this get the student to sing the song in acapella without any music, see how much they can remember. This method works very effectively and drills information into the brain and is transferred from short term memory to long term memory. This is how I would teach.
My teaching style relates heavily to the direct method. The goal of the direct method is to learn how to use a foreign language to communicate with others. No translation is used in the direct method; the message is conveyed through use of demonstration and visual aids WITHOUT the use of the students native language. The teacher doesn’t do any translating but uses action and demonstration instead. Concepts and vocabulary are taught through pantomiming, real life objects and other visual materials. Concrete vocabulary – is taught through demonstration, objects and pictures. Abstract vocabulary- is taught by association of ideas.
In association with the direct method I teach grammar using an inductive approach (I.e having learners find out rules through the presentation of adequate linguistic forms in the target language!) This can prove more difficult with beginners, so I may change this approach if it is needed.
Oral transmition – New teaching points are introduced orally. Oral communication skills are built up in a carefully graded progression organised around question and answer exchanges between students and teachers in small classes. Vocabulary - Basic vocabulary is given first and it is always taught through a demonstration. Everyday vocabulary and sentences are taught and can be depicted through miming, pictures or realia! Learning through self correction is also valid as both speech and listening comprehension are taught. The teacher by asking students to make a choice, gets them to correct their own mistakes. Grammar is always taught inductively and never through explicit grammar rules. However, correct grammar and pronunciation are emphasised.
When it comes to teaching beginners (A1/A2) patience is key, and at the end of a task I would never ask them if they understand it? I would always use a different method of seeing if they understand. For example; asking them for a synonym or to give me a sentence. I would always use pictures when teaching a beginner, vocabulary is key to start with. I would show them a picture of a cat, verbally saying this is a cat (then pronounce it slowly to them) then I would do this a few times and show the picture with and without the text, to see if they get it right. This is a good method and also helps drill the information into the students head.
Teaching intermediate is different (P2/P3) they have a lot more words in their vocabulary and have the ability to hold conversations with people and more or less get by when they are speaking with someone. An example of a great task for me is to use functions, get the students to interact with each other and express their likes and dislikes. Or I would also create a task using pictures and videos to help, to discuss between themselves the advantages and disadvantages of something. It is important to monitor the students though, and put them in larger groups rather than in smaller groups, as it can be very easy for them to slip into speaking their own native language. The less teacher talking time the better. I would also do a similar task for advanced students (P4/P5) but make the task and the subject a little more complex, but always still use photos and videos.
The main difference for me between online teaching and in person teaching is the interaction. Instead of interacting over a computer with a webcam. With in person teaching you have the opportunity to physically be there and this can be more beneficial for you as a student and you as a teacher because you have the ability to interact more. However a big advantage to online teaching for the students is comfort. All lectures and needed materials are provided via online platforms, so you’ll easily access them from the comfort of your home. You will not take public transport to get to campus, you won’t have to spend money on gas for your car, you won’t have to get up early to get dressed for class… the list of conveniences goes on and on.
In regards to group work and individual work both can be very effective in their own way. Group work it is important to prepare the lesson thoroughly. Group work is effective as students can listen and respect other students’ ideas. Also sharing knowledge is occurring all the time, which going back to the cognitive method helps students transfer short term memory to long term memory more. With individual work students can be more free and independent and think things through on their own, with the teacher. Confidence can also be improved more with individual teaching for the students that are more shy and timid than others, and not they may not always have the courage to speak up!
There are many differences between student classes and adult classes. For teaching children different material is often used, something more child like and appropriate. A benefit for children teaching is that at a younger age your mind is like a sponge, and they have the ability to take information in more. Teaching adults is often for a motivation, they want to learn for a reason, maybe work? Or family? For example I read that an 80 Year old Spanish grandmother began learning English because her grandchildren were being brought up in England and they didn’t speak any Spanish!
Teaching has changed a lot over the years due to technology growing rapidly and changes in lifestyle. Back in the 80s it was a typical blackboard and chalk and the class sat in rows whilst the teaching did all the talking at the front. For example now schools have fancy technology, ipads interactive screens, the list goes on! This has changed the interaction in learning over the years. I see my teaching career growing with technology in the future. Technology is everything in today’s generation, and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger!