Teach English in Yankou Zhen - Loudi Shi

Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified and teach in Yankou Zhen? Are you interested in teaching English in Loudi Shi? Check out ITTT’s online and in-class courses, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English ONLINE or abroad! ITTT offers a wide variety of Online TEFL Courses and a great number of opportunities for English Teachers and for Teachers of English as a Second Language.

The English Language is globally profound more than it has been many years ago. It has become the international language of the world with most people speaking and understanding. It is taught in schools in different countries all around the world to people whose native language is not the English Language. However, are these teachings effective? Does teaching skills in the classroom have a huge impact on student learning and interest in the language? Each school or classroom has a mission and that mission is to enhance student learning through teaching instruction. This requires skill and a vision of students developing understanding through participation in their environment. Yes, it is very important that teachers organize content students are supposed to learn, design coherent instruction, plan, demonstrate knowledge of content and pedagogy, knowledge of resources, instructional goals, objectives, learning outcomes and design assessments. However, practice is different from theory. Having the perfect lesson plan is great but demonstrating these skills should take precedence. Perfecting these skills does take time but we must also assess our teaching and learning skills as we do our students. My first year as a teacher I was so engrossed in creating the perfect lesson lesson plan, and that subtracted from the focus of manifesting that plan. I had to self assess my strengths and weaknesses because I knew I was struggling in impacting my students interest and learning. I reflected on my teaching skills in the classroom and they were unsatisfactory. I asked for advice from my mentor who was a tenured special education teacher a year from retirement. She is also a native of the Philippines, thus, was able to give me a trio perspective. When I expressed my concerns she advised me to complete an online assessment on teaching skills. I scored proficient sometimes distinguished in areas such as planning and preparation, classroom environment, professional responsibilities. Consequently, basic in instruction and teaching skills. My fear was validated and I knew immediately I had to make a change to be efficient and effective in my students’ learning process. I wanted to accomplish so much in my lessons that I was rigid. I was a lecturer full of knowledge instead of communicating with my students and using discussion. This assessment helped me find some tools to enhance my teaching skills and I am very happy I took the challenge. I had to master the art of teaching and put my theories into practice. Before in my communication with students, I gave instructions and explained the procedure, leaving my students guessing. Non-verbal language does play an important role in teacher student interactions. In fact, a teacher’s communication skills involve both written and oral language, especially for language learners. My expectations for learning had to be clear and expressive so that my students understood what and why without being dull, scripted and focus on completing my lesson or unit of study on time every given moment. I began linking my lessons to broader learning, and purposeful to their interest. Being clear in expectations for learning, what and why they were learning allow students to realize the purpose. I used a board configuration where I wrote the aim and objectives visibly on the board, along with task and would have a student read aloud the aim of the day’s lesson. I used surveys to get to know their interests more deeply and incorporated them into my lesson planning. I even had take home surveys for parents to also be involved. An important key was getting the students involved and have a mindful eye for students who seemed unclear about what to do. So, I adapted the language, providing an index card for English Language Learners with simpler directions or sometimes pair/share. Before the task begun, I would ask a clarifying question about the directions. These changes and efforts created an environment where my students gradually took responsibility for their learning because they were no longer reluctant and I became flexible and less rigid resulting in a fun learning environment where I didn’t mind being silly at times. Not only did I use vivid language but gestures, metaphors and whatever it took to connect my explanation, their prior knowledge, interest and lives beyond the classroom. It is important to use real world application to create that connection. I had become a facilitator rather than the sole performer. The change felt amazing. My classroom became an environment where my students actively engaged and participated rather than nodding their heads in agreement with my sage remarks. This is because my teaching skills involved them, with a range of choices that accommodated them as learners, and in some task, giving them choice to demonstrate their learning. For language learners as well as many students, the best model of accurate syntax and vocabulary in most cases is their teachers’ language. Modeling language helps students imitate and be expressive. So, I used vocabulary by adjusting and including focus involving visuals. Starting with a TPS of a picture and a word of the day which was used or referred to throughout the lesson. I try to find opportunities to expand students’ vocabulary like roleplay, debates and games. Teaching skills does influence learners because my classroom began to blossom with the changes that I had made and I became less stressed in my focus on teaching. The students were comfortable and interested in the content so my questioning was no longer over their heads but challenged their cognitive level because now they were engage deeply with the content and could make sense of it. These changes also led to discussion that advanced their thoughts and learning, including assuming responsibility by making contributions and initiating questions and queries. Moreover, they were engaged due to the activities, assignments, task, grouping, resources and reflection time after assignments. This also allowed me to consistently and constantly assess them by classroom performance during instruction and not only test. Being able to monitor my students’ learning continuously as the lessons progressed allowed me to adjust my instruction if necessary. In addition, my frequent post it note feedback individualized their errors and offered instruction to help them correct errors, advancing their learning. I also incorporated peer feedback as well. In concluding, classrooms are like businesses where important work happens. They can be fun, blissful also productive and business like. Teachers of English as a second language should enjoy the teaching as well as the learning and be confident in the process. Here in Japan, many teachers of English often say they can't speak English very well and they also utilize the native language more in the classroom. They are fearful of making mistakes. If the students see that we are vested and excited about what they are teaching, the students become invested. Teaching skills in the classroom are imperative and conducive to motivating and inspiring learners. It does make a difference in students’ learning experience. They involve many components, but Rome wasn’t built in a day so its important that we as educators reflect on our teaching skills if our goal is to become a distinguished teacher who effectively and efficiently makes a difference or contributes to the learning experience of our students by creating a love of learning.