Teach English in TaohuAchong Linchang - Huanggang Shi

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Teaching Styles: Have you ever thought about how each classroom teaches things differently? Teaching styles, also called teaching methods, are the general educational strategies for classroom learning. A large amount of research is being conducted about different learning methods. Once we understand that each learner or individual have different ways of learning, it makes more sense that there should also be different styles of teaching. Why do have different teaching styles? Everyone learns things differently and at different speeds. Some people can have things told to them and retain the information, others have to repeat the information a few times or even have hands-on experience before we are 100 percent confident with new information. Different teaching styles are needed for students to understand different ways teachers are teaching. Things that can influence the teaching styles can depend on classroom demographics, the teacher’s educational philosophy and the subject areas. There are five main types of teaching styles. The first one is called the Authority or Lecture style Method. This involves sitting and listening to the teacher or lecturer, while remembering or noting the information. This style is usually used for large groups, but unfortunately not very effective in meeting each learner’s individual needs. It also doesn’t allow for much student participation. The second one is called the Demonstrator Method or also known as the coaching style. It is usually used for subjects like music, art and physical education. This style is very similar to the Authority method, but includes making use of presentations, class activities and demonstrations. It is good to demonstrate part of the lessons, nut also still lacks student participation and difficult for the teacher to see to all the needs of the students. The Facilitator style (or also called the activity or action method) helps the student with self-learning or peer-to-teacher learning. This method is fondly used in smaller classrooms. The students discover the subject for themselves and also apply their own problem-solving skills. The plus -side to this method of teaching is that there are more individual teacher-student interaction. The fourth method is called the Delegator Style, or also called the group method. It is very widely used at schools that needs group-work. It also makes use of peer-feedback. The teacher encourages group work and prompt learner-to-learner studying. It is very popular in many classrooms. This method does tend to get a bit noisy in the classroom, as you are removing the authority position from the teacher. Last, but not least, the Hybrid method, also known as blended learning, is an integrated teaching style that incorporates personal preferences, individual personalities, and specific interests into their teaching. It’s popular in English, science, and religion classes because it’s easy to incorporate extra-curricular knowledge into a developed, deeper knowledge of a particular topic. Some argue that this style weakens the learning process because the teacher tries to be all things to all students. Teaching styles can also be organized into four different categories namely: a teacher-centered approach, a student-centered approach, high-tech material use and low-tech material use. When making use of the student-centered approach, the teacher maintains authority of the classroom, but students and learners share the focus during interaction. Group work is encouraged in these lessons and communication is encouraged. The classroom may be more difficult to manage and become more noisy. If the teacher is a supportive figure rather than completely authoritative, it becomes inquiry based learning where the student undergo the learning process together with the teacher. The teacher acts as the guide and mentor to help enable students to learn by observation and copying of the teacher’s actions. The teacher is able to answer questions and is there to provide a sense of freedom and independence for the student. In teacher-centered approach, the students put their attention on the teacher, and works alone, preventiong collaboration. The students pay attention while making individual decisions. This method is sometimes uninteresting, and learners might not be comfortable to ask questions. Many schools and classes are taking advantage of the recent advancements in technology which has enabled us to develop a high-tech approach to learning. The flipped classroom is a high-tech idea developed in 2007 by two teachers who began to pre-record their lectures which allow students to learn from home by completing assignments to go along with the lectures. This is great if students want to work at their own pace, but if there’s a slow internet connection it’s near impossible to use this method. Some schools or teachers may not enjoy or have the money for high-tech learning and instead, they opt for a low-tech approach to teaching by using a technique called kinesthetic learning. Kinesthetic learning is a teacher-centered approach that uses the concept of multiple intelligences, the idea that everyone has a strong suit in certain intelligences than in others (i.e. better with words than math). Instead of lectures, students use physical activities to learn. For example, drawing, role-playing, and building. This isn’t as common of a teaching style one might think. However, this teaching style rarely uses technology by putting a stronger emphasis on movement and creativity. Because of this, it’s a cheap and screen-free teaching style. As a teacher, it’s difficult to cater to each student’s needs. Every person will bring with them cultural factors and past experiences to the table. Thus, any mental representation is made personal and individual. It’s important to keep this idea in mind when choosing a teaching style. Some students might learn better with being an empty vessel and having information lectured to them. Proven to be the most effective in a number of ways, an active learning style is best suited for interactive classrooms. That is to say, both the teacher and the student are engaged in the teaching style and learning process which helps the student gain knowledge. The best method of teaching will be in careful observation of the learners and in collaborating all of the above methods, so that each learner is attended to.