Teach English in Xishui Jingji KAifAqu - Huanggang Shi

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Brittany Leverich ITTT Summative Task Throughout my experiences in classroom settings I have observed and acquired many innovative concepts and methodologies about teaching that will be essential to my future career in teaching English as a foreign language. Amongst the numerous aspects that are crucial to a foreign language teacher’s skill set in helping their students to succeed, I would argue that understanding the methodologies and teaching techniques used to educate a group of young learners on a specific topic; verses understanding the differences in how methodologies and techniques are applied to educating a group of adult learners (on the same material) to be one of the most significant skills to possess. Only by understanding how different age groups of learners comprehend lesson materials and information can a teacher properly assess and help to guide their students to succeed in understanding lesson materials completely. Despite the fact that there are many diverse categories of learning individuals and groups, I feel that fully grasping and understanding the contrasts within educating varying age groups of learners to be of the utmost importance in understanding your class of students. To begin understanding your class I feel that a teacher needs to understand the age of the group of learners they will be teaching; groups of young learners or groups of adults? Primarily, young learners can be broken down into three specific age ranking groups: very young learners (age seven and below), pre-puberty learners (age ranges between eight and twelve), and the post-puberty or early teenage learner (ages thirteen and up). Each of these groups of young learners have different attributes that can affect the way in which a teacher presents a lesson. When teaching groups of young learners, I feel that it is most important to keep in mind that these students most likely do not have their own personal motivations to study a foreign language yet are happy to participate without worry of “losing face” in front of others. Furthermore, I believe that by creating fun-filled lesson plans with games and interactive activities it can grab a young learner’s attention. And by making a lesson fun it gives young learners the motivation and drive to actively participate in each phase of a teacher’s lesson plan. During my time as an Early Education Student I was obligated to complete over one hundred hours observing young learners in the classroom, and what I have learned from observing students in these classrooms is that most students on the young learner spectrum tend to have shorter attention spans. Therefore, by creating brightly colored interactive materials, games, and songs to supplement your lesson plans I feel that it is the best way to get, not only young learners in native language settings, but also young foreign language learners to engage, remember, and comprehend the lesson material fully. If you create a fun learning environment for your students, they are more likely to feel comfortable and confident and thus more apt to participate in the lesson and gain a sense of motivation to learn. I feel that the same can be said when teaching a group of adult learners (ages eighteen and up). While the methods, approaches, and techniques of teaching may be different, I feel that by making a fun and comfortable environment for your students to learn in grants the students the confidence and drive to participate in lessons. When teaching a group of adult learners, there are visible differences to that of learners on the younger spectrum. For example, when teaching younger learners their shorter attention spans can pose a problem if the teacher does not create a lesson plan that accommodates that aspect. However, when teaching a group of adult learners, they tend to have longer attention spans and come prepared to learn due to having their own personal motivations to attain better understanding of the course material. I feel that when teaching a group of adult learners, it is important to realize that many of them can be apprehensive about participating in class due to fears of seeming foolish or answering incorrectly. By creating an encouraging environment through fun and innovative teaching methods and materials a teacher can lessen the anxiety adult learners can experience in a classroom. In my experience from studying a foreign language in a foreign country as an adult learner I noted different techniques that my teachers would use to spark interest and participation from the students in class. Such as gently encouraging each student to come back to the lesson material when they seemed to go off track from the lesson, nurturing good rapport with each student in class so as to asses each student’s qualities to help them succeed, and using specific references to things or events to help link the foreign language a student was learning back to something from their own native language. While there were many other techniques and methods used, I feel that these were amongst the most important to aiding adult learners in achieving understanding. Understanding the differences in methods of learning between young learners and adult learners is arguably the most important when it comes to a teacher properly assessing and helping to guide their students to succeed. Without understanding the way in which each age group understands lesson material a teacher can not effectively teach a class. For instance, teaching a group of young learners below the age of seven the English Alphabet is completely different from teaching the same material to a group of adult learners eighteen years of age and older. While the material you teach may be the same, the comprehensive level of the students is not, and thus it is imperative that the teaching techniques and methodologies applied to each age group must be understood fully to help each student succeed.