Teach English in ZhAxia Zhen - Suqian Shi

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Teaching styles in their most basic form exist because people have various styles in which they prefer or feel most comfortable learning through. Teaching Styles are primarily focused on the student, although, demographics, teacher preferences and subject matter all come into play when teaching. Often teachers need to be mindful of overteaching with their preferred style(s). To implement only one style is a natural tendency because teachers subconsciously operate on the misconception that the style they are most comfortable with is the most effective for everyone. Grasha (1996) suggested that teachers have various roles in the classroom and through these styles are able to achieve the most effective results. Knowledge of these styles could help teachers better understand teaching, make more informed choices among alternative ways to teach and help identify the parts of their teaching that are either helpful or problematic. Grasha (1994, p.142) describes styles as being multidimensional and often effect various students in the classroom. He says: “Style also was multidimensional and affected how people presented information, interacted with students, managed, classroom tasks, supervised coursework, socialised students to the field and mentored students.” As afor mentioned, teachers have prefered teaching styles, however, the quality of the learning encounter demands that a teacher effectively and fluently adopt a variety of styles to correctly accomodate the student(s) needs. Grasha (1994) through extensive study with university teachers, workshop partakers and seminars, proposed five set teaching styles. The expert style, formal authority style, personal model style, facilitator style and the delegator style. Through his research he found it nigh impossible to designate a single style to a teacher and thus prompted the styles to be used interchangeably. He says that: “Although it might be tempting to place teachers into one of “five boxes,” my initial observations suggested that such attempts at parsimony were premature. Instead, it became apparent that all teachers possessed each of the qualities described in table 1, to varying degrees. In effect, each individual style was like a different color on an artist’s palette. Like those colors, they could be blended together.” Since the style’s genesis they have undergone significant remodelling and adoption through social, cultural and technological progression to fit our modern day teaching styles and classroom. Now referred to as, the Authority Style, the Delegator Style, the Facilitator Style, the Demonstrator Style and the Hybrid Style. The Hybrid style, also known as the blended style was introduced in the early 2000’s for web-based online approaches, media and tools (e.g. textbooks) and in e-learning environments (Kilmova, Kacetl, 2014). Teaching styles, since their implentation have played a key role in a teacher's repitore. However; teaching styles can be utilised for more than just the cotempory classroom. They can be applied to various forms of academic teaching, for examaple, tutoring, Game-based learning, Kinesthetic etc...With tutoring, the style utilised is primarily dependent on the individual student. Grasha (2002) describes teaching one-on-one as that of a dance. That it is the job of the teacher to lead (i.e., employ a particular style) and of the student to either follow or resist. It is through this ‘dance’ of styles that eventually produces an equilibrium point where both partners are able to function effectively. Unlike tutoring, the contemporary classroom is full of different students and therefore a great number of various learning styles. It is virtually impossible for the teacher to match all of the students and therefore must implement one style based off of environment and subject matter. Using one style is problematic, but the most optimal in this circumstance. As the teacher grows in their ability to manage close and professional encounters with their students, they will learn more about what guides and directs their actions Grasha (2002). With any form of teaching, environment and atmosphere are crucial to teacher-student interactions. For example, seats bolted to the floor in a traditional classroom may discourage small group discussions. In much the same manner, as humid or cold environments. Lack of privacy for discussion, frequent interruptions, uncomfortable seating and other adverse environmental factors affect the quality of teacher-student interactions Grasha(2002). In turn, this impacts certain styles and often renders them difficult to use. A quiet, well sustained environment is a necessity for classroom teaching. The student's learning style directly affects and molds the style which the teacher should use. If the student(s) fail to comprehend the content taught, then their learning requirements have not been met and thus falls on the teacher to adapt their style correctly to support the learning processes. Through this 'dance' of styles an equilibrium between teacher and student(s) is met producing the most effective learning experience. References Grasha. A. F. (1994)A Matter of Style: The Teacher as Expert Formal Authority, Personal Mode, Facilitator and Delegator. College Teaching, Vol 42, No.4 (Fall, 1994) pp.142-149. Heldref Publications. Grasha A. F. (1996) Teaching With Style, A Practical Guide to Enhancing Learning by Understanding Teaching and Learning Styles. University of Cincinnati, San Bernardino, California. Alliance Publishers 1996, 2002. Grasha A. F. (2002) The Dynamics of One-on-One Teaching. EBSCO Publishing 2002. Klimova. B. F. & Kacetl. J. (2014) Hybrid Learning and its Current Role in the Teaching of Foreign Languages, pp. 477-481.University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Elsevier Ltd 2015. Citations Grasha. A. F. (1994)A Matter of Style: The Teacher as Expert Formal Authority, Personal Mode, Facilitator and Delegator. College Teaching, Vol 42, No.4 (Fall, 1994) pp.142-149. Heldref Publications.