Teach English in TaozhuAng Zhen - Taizhou Shi

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English teachers often have a difficult time when they’re needed to help fix student’s verbal and grammatical mistakes in the EFL classroom. Their teaching approaches, response to learners’ errors, and their inadvertent creation of stressful situations in class have been shown to induce second/foreign language anxiety (Tanveer, 2007). Students often believe that the shameful, reprimanding tone teachers may sometimes project may have a negative impact on their learning and desire to participate in lessons. Language teachers should acknowledge possible feelings of stress and anxiety students may develop and form swift, useful tactics to assist them along their language journey. Communication is essential when teaching students whose English speaking skills are not proficient. Teachers must try to soothe any preconceived notions or anxieties students may have when they’re learning to speak a new language with words of encouragement and patience. By adopting an amiable, relaxed and encouraging atmosphere within the classroom, students can be able to freely participate and interact with the teacher (Tanveer). Starting class with a simple but engaging activity that elicits and introduces the topic of the day’s English lesson can boost students’ confidence and motivation to use the language (Hashemi, 2011). During this stage there should not be any correction since the goal is to encourage students to try to be comfortable speaking the language and not focus on any grammarly details. Teacher student relationships are important to form feelings of respect and understanding in class. Having knowledge of the cultural upbringing as well as an awareness of the language history of the students can help teachers form a better connection with them. It also will increase their ability to sense any stressful responses some learners develop (Tanveer). Opening yourself up and relating your own struggles is a great way to bond with students. A study done in a Korean University foreign language classroom found that “students feel more relaxed with lecturers who are willing to share personal experiences, especially stories about a lecturer’s own difficulties of learning a foreign language” (Barnes & Lock, 2010). Teachers must also be aware of each student’s competency level and their individual study techniques. Special preferential treatment should not be given to those with higher language proficiency. For sensitive students who might respond with caution, it is best to base the correction methods on directive principles according to Horwitz et al. For example, attention should be directed to developmental evaluation and review instead of just an overview of their learning. Teachers should not make students feel intimidated when practicing their language skills. Student self-esteem should be handled with care and “corrections should be made sparingly and, wherever possible, countered by positive feedback” (Barnes & Lock). Taking a few courses on general psychology is another thing teachers can do to further understand learning behaviors of each student (Hashemi). Differing opinions about the type of error correction must be understood between teachers and students especially “in contexts like Korea, where high degrees of error correction are expected” (Barnes & Lock). One study revealed how learners prefer to receive prompt, straightforward corrections. Students feel assured and optimistic when they’re given exact error corrections and a chance to amend their mistakes (Amador, 2013). This is also the case for peer review sessions where students would rather be judged by the teacher since they feel the teacher knows the targeted language the best. A study done in a Turkish university found that EFL teachers tend to correct in order to improve students’ diction as well as oral and grammatical skills. Furthermore, English teachers believe that error correction may develop into good study routines such as “self-correction among students, pragmatic and appropriate use of the target language, learners’ accuracy and fluency” (Değirmenci & Aydin, 2017). Depending on the role the teacher uses, they need to ensure that their corrections align with their many roles such as “controller, assessor, organizer, prompter, participant, resource, tutor, and investigator” (Değirmenci & Aydin). However, some researchers feel that constant error correction can hinder their ability to converse since they’ll only concentrate on technical details (Loewen, 2007). There are others who subscribe to the idea that students who form studying methods like self-analysis and review will make them become successful independent learners (Sullivan and Lingren, 2002). In terms of reading and writing skills, Wen Tong suggests that EFL teachers should clearly demonstrate how to revise and edit their classmates’ papers since most students don’t have the proper knowledge to do so (Tong 53). It’s more effective to have them read aloud the writing since it will allow them to hear whether the sentences sound natural or not. The teacher can also ask students to join smaller sentences into complex ones. Since learners choose familiar words due to their limited vocabulary, in order to expand their word library Tong advises the use of thesaurus where learners can search for better word choices when speaking and writing (Tong 54). Little academic research has been devoted to the impact of error correction on language learner’s linguistic performance and the best approach EFL teachers should take to improve students’ language proficiency. Choosing when, how or what to correct has been debated about amongst teachers. What is shown to be effective is that developing a genuine relationship with students, understanding their individual learning habits, knowing what role to communicate best in, and teaching independent revision are just some steps EFL teachers could take to help learners gain language fluency. References Abarca Amador, Y. (2013). Learner attitudes toward error correction in a beginners English class. Communication Magazine , 17 (1), 18-28. https://doi.org/10.18845/rc.v17i1.903 (https://revistas.tec.ac.cr/index.php/comunicacion/article/view/903) Barnes, B. D., & Lock, G. (2010). The Attributes of Effective Lecturers of English as a Foreign Language as Perceived by Students in a Korean University. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2010v35n1.2 Değirmenci Uysal, N., & Aydin, S. (2017). Foreign Language Teachers’ Perceptions of Error Correction in Speaking Classes: A Qualitative Study. The Qualitative Report, 22(1), 123-135. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol22/iss1/7 Hashemi, Masoud. (2011). Language Stress And Anxiety Among The English Language Learners. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 30. 1811-1816. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.349. Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. A. (1986) „Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety‟, The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 70 (2), pp. 125-132 Loewen, S., Li, S., Fei, F., Thompson, A., Nakatsukasa, K., Ahn, S. & Chen, X. (2009). Second language learners' beliefs about grammar instruction and error correction. The Modern Language Journal, 93, 91–104. Sullivan Kirk & Eva Lindgren. 2002. Self-assessment in autonomous computer-aided second language writing. ELT Journal 56. (3). Tanveer , Muhammad .( 2007) „ Investigation of the factors that cause language anxiety for ESL/EFL learners in learning speaking skills and the influence it casts on communication in the target language‟. Unpublished Thesis, Faculty of Education, university of Glasgow. Tong, Wen. "Teach Writing as an Ongoing Process: Tips for EFL Learners on Reviewing EFL composition." US-China Foreign Language 5.11 (2007): 53-56. Print.