Teach English in Dalaihubu Zhen - Alashan Meng — Alxa

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Have you ever experienced trying to learn a foreign language? When you face a new language for the first time, you have no idea what a single word of the language means. However, if you study that language, or are exposed to that language more, gradually you will understand and learn about the language. This learning process allows you to experience a variety of feelings, different stages of the language level, moments of enlightenment, and cultural encounters. Through this, you adopt a learner’s perspective, and you can have a better approach to your students who are learning English as their foreign language (EFL). Experience of learning a foreign language helps you teach EFL students in some ways. We will look at three aspects of foreign language experience and how that helps teaching EFL. First, it is good to have empathy for your students. Empathy can help you build better rapport with your students. When you are trying to communicate in a foreign language, you understand multifarious feelings from different situations. You could simply be nervous of speaking or embarrassed for making a mistake. You face the challenge of following proper grammar, structure, and pronunciation of words. Also, you have difficulties expressing your thoughts clearly. But on the other hand, you may also gain satisfaction or joy when you achieve a certain skill of that language and can communicate successfully. These experiences help you to see the same challenges and triumphs of your students when learning English. Then you have an idea of how to communicate with or respond to your students about what they are going through. Furthermore, you can encourage them to solve their difficulties and cheer for their success. Your personal experience helps you understand your students better and establishes a safe atmosphere for everyone to interact with each other. Second, you can obtain useful tips and teaching skills for your EFL lessons through your own learning process. You may use some techniques to remember terms and vocabulary or how to make full sentences when you are practicing a foreign language. There are many activities you can find and try for your learning. While you are trying an activity as a learning method, you can tell if that is actually helping you to improve your speaking, listening, reading or writing skill. If you are taking a lesson from a language teacher, you can observe and learn his/her teaching techniques or strategy. Your job is to discern what kinds of activities are working well or not. You may consider the effectiveness, the degree of difficulty, and if it is interesting enough to your students. You can then adopt and improve these ideas to bring into your own EFL teaching. Lastly, you become more sensitive to your students’ culture. And this leads you to have appropriate cultural manner in your classroom and discuss cultural topics that your students would care about. Language is deeply intertwined with culture. When you experience a foreign language, you are not learning only a language but also the culture of the people who speak that language. This enlightens you about cultural diversity and helps you be aware of your students’ culture. Because you are approaching your students with English, which has a different culture from theirs, you have an opportunity to learn general customs, interests, or even sensitive issues of your students such as religion, gender, manners, traditions, etc. Learning about your students’ culture and their society can give you better ideas about how you can approach your students effectively without offending them. You can apply topics that your students would know well or want to talk about. When the learning content matters to the students, they are more engaged in activities and encouraged to speak their thoughts about it. Your foreign language experience is valuable when you teach your students English as a foreign language. You have gone through many of the same feelings that come from countless mistakes or gradual success. You have tried several learning activities which can be applied as a teacher. And your eyes will have been opened to see cultural connections to the language. When you can have relevant knowledge of learners of a foreign language, it gives you a more helpful attitude and can increase the effectiveness of your teaching.