Teach English in Yandong Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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Teaching skills is a huge part of teaching along with other knowledges like student psychology, which makes it essential to master for being a good teacher. Although having been a teacher for 10 years, I practice them everyday, yet don’t know how to train new teachers with it. That’s what brought me to choosing this topic. When talking about teaching, there are so many things to consider. Why people teach, since when people started to teach, how have people been teaching and what are the effects of different ways of people’s teaching methods and skills. Teaching skills and methods are to help to achieve teaching goals and can also be guided by teaching theories in most cases. That means before learning teaching skills, one should be really clear on what the teaching aims are. And in our case, it is to help our students to master the English language as a second language. And how do we do that? Grammar – translation method tells us to translate your target language into the students’ mother tongue. It is the oldest way of teaching a language and still is used by so many teachers due to its easiness to conduct without the need of much equipment. With above being said, it has a major drawback which is that it seems to prevent the students from getting the kind of natural language input that will really help them acquire the language. Audio – Linguicism focuses more on the language input which basically suggests that much learning is as a result of habit formation through condition. This method went out of fashion because most linguists believed that language learning consisted of more than merely forming habits and that speakers of a language are able to process language more effectively from the knowledge they have acquired. Task-Based Learning and Communicative Language Teaching moves the attention from the language more to the tasks. It helps the teachers to give more credit to the functions of the language than accuracy of it but be careful to go from an extreme to the other. Some linguisticians moved their attention one step more from the task to the learners then formed methods that are more humane like Presentation-Practice and Production, Community Language Learning, the silent way, and the Suggestopaedia. Among them, the PPP is teachers-centered while the others are students-centered. So which of them is the best way for our goal? It’s really hard to decide which is the most efficient way, or if there’s even a best solution in that matter. There are so much diversity in reality like the teacher’s personality, the culture and needs of the students, and they all play important roles when deciding which methods to use and which theory to trust. Fortunately, according to Unit3 of the Tesol course and I agree that we can still draw some basic conclusion like following: 1. Students need as much exposure to language as possible 2. Students need a certain amount of input from the teacher 3. Communicative tasks offer real learning possibilities but are not enough on their own. 4. Anxiety and stress need to be low for effective language learning. 5. Where possible students should be encouraged to discover language for themselves. With above being said, the successful approach of The English Teaching in any kind of classroom or teaching environment would be a well organized combination of all the elements. The Tesol and YL courses has introduced us some of the efficient methods to accomplish that which I find are of real help. With my older students (aged 9-12), the ESA method by Jeremy Harmer is extremely useful while EP method (as the course calls it) is mostly effective with students aged 4-6. As for the students aged 6-8, PPP method is of good value. With the help of a good teaching method, teaching content is important too. A great extent of diversity is needed especially for younger kids. And the older ones need more input of academic knowledges. In conclusion, knowing the students and their need, knowing the personality of yourself and learn to use the efficient ways of teaching and fill them up with a great deal of different activities for practicing the four basic language skills. Becoming a good teacher is not something impossible for even a brand new teacher.