Teach English in Jingpeng Zhen - Chifeng Shi

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As teachers travel abroad to teach English, they will encounter students from a variety of different nationalities; they may speak a common tongue or have no common language except English. I had the opportunity to reside in Germany this past year to learn German; within my studies, the students changed from class to class. There was a class in particular where my class partner did not speak English, thus we were motivated to practice and learn our german at a faster rate. Although we made many errors when we spoke, our teacher often encouraged us to help one another by fixing the mistakes that the other made. There more we practiced and became comfortable with the language, the more we were able to express our thoughts and ideas during the lessons. Whether students share a common tongue or not, it is essential to encourage students to use English as the language of communication. My german teacher, although she spoke English, early on decided not to let her students know. She communicated with the classroom solely in German. This allowed us to learn how to hear the language naturally without relying on a word by word translation. It was only after she had repeated a phrase several times, mimicked the meaning, and had seen that no other student could give the class the meaning in german, would she utilize English; even though not everyone in the class knew English. Monolingual classes have the possibility of speaking with their classmates in their common language. Students having a shared language gives the teacher the ability to see that their difficulties with English are comparable. For example, instead of focusing several lessons on phonics, where the teacher sees it is not as necessary, she can place more emphasis on other lessons. On the other hand, it will become disadvantageous when the students begin to rely on their common language and not be encouraged to practice their English. Within that german class, some students did speak English with one another. Some mentioned that they did so because they feared to make a mistake in front of the classroom. Others did not want to leave so easily the comfort that English gave them. Teachers can do several things to reduce such stress and discomfort. For instance, teaching the essential vocabulary, grammar, and expressions that will be in a lesson at the beginning. Also by doing group or pair work, where the teacher can move around the classroom monitoring their progress. Teachers can also boost the students' confidence by not correcting harshly but by using phrases such as "You are close". Similarly in multi-lingual classes, students can be regularly paired with a different student. They will each have their strengths and weakness and can thus help each other out where needed. Because they don't speak the same language, they are pushed to speak English to communicate. Teachers will not always travel to countries where they know the mother tongue, or even control whether they teach a multilingual or monolingual class. Having experienced a little bit of both as a student, I can see where a multi-lingual class has an advantage. The important thing to remember in both as a teacher is to create an environment where students are encouraged to learn and practice their English comfortably and effectively.