Teach English in Nanhuzhou Zhen - Yueyang Shi

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When teaching a TEFL course, audience is an important factor in both planning and carrying out the devised syllabus. Age and experience pose different difficulties within the classroom setting, from attention span to motivation, the age of each group must be taken into account when planning a lesson. The first thing a that must be done is to define the terms "young learner" and "adult". As stated in unit one, a "young learner" can be broken down into three sub-categories, each with their own difficulties. The first faction is described as "post-puberty early teens". This group is is commonly unmotivated to learn a foreign language. This could be due to the student being placed there not by his/her own will. Also, due to social pressures of peers, these students will be apprehensive to take risks and step outside their comfort zone with regards to participation. To combat these possible difficulties it is important to structure a class lesson around these would-be roadblocks. The counter a lack of motivation, it is important to generate materials and topics that interest the students. In addition, games and reward systems can play a big part in increasing motivation to participate. In addressing the students self-awareness and nervousness to experiment with new content, smaller group work and one-on-one/partner activities can cut through a students' nervousness to speak in front of a larger classroom. Breaking this down even further, worksheets and non-verbal learning can be useful to solidify foreign concepts/vocabulary. The second group of "young learners", is defined as "pre-puberty learner(s)" which range from around ages 8-12. These students seem to not lack the same difficulties as the post-puberty teens but come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. First, they seem to be more open to the introduction of new sounds, words, and structures of foreign languages. They, however, lack a wide verity of life experiences and individual interests. This can lead to a difficulty with creating an interesting varied classroom experience. It can be difficult to include relevant materials or activities that intrigue the students. One of the most important, and most difficult, things that the teacher can do in such circumstances is to create strong rapport with the students. This can be done through learning things about each students through introductory ice-breaker activities, arrange seating in its most optimal arrangement, maintain eye contact, interact and engage all students, and tailor activities to whatever interests the class does have. The last group of "young learner(s)" is the "very young learners" group. This encompasses the ages of seven or less. The benefit of such a group is that they are receptive to participation in games, singing, and other expressive group activities. They appear to lack the nervousness seen in other age groups. The large drawback of such groups is the attention span associated with them. Often times, groups of very young learners get bored, side-tracked, or disinterested in the lesson. These problems can lead to further behavior problems. To address such problems it is important to provide the students with an unpredictable lesson plan that includes many interest activities that require student participation and variation. With regard to behavior problems and discipline act immediately, privately, and justly. It can be helpful to ask peer teachers for advice as they have most likely dealt with similar issues previously. Moving on to adults, this group is all other students over the age of 18. These students require entirely different activities, teaching style, and lesson plans. In order to start with these groups, it is important to figure out their motivation for learning. In younger demographics, it is common that their reason for attending class is simply placement by a parent, guardian, or school system. With older demographics purpose for learning can range from pleasure, to travel, to business, to a multitude of different reasons. To figure this out, within the first meeting the teacher should give the students a needs requirement worksheet. This will provide the teacher with the necessary information to create a lesson plan that will cater to the needs of the students. The teacher can include vocabulary, phrases, and all necessary aspects for the student to thrive in whatever they will use the language for. Another difficulty within this group is having a firm grasp on their native tongue. This can be problematic because it can lead to more difficulties assimilating new sounds, structures, and context. Having a reference point (their native language) is not an effective learning method for learning a new language fluidly. In order to combat this problem, teachers should limit use of native language to a minimum (nonexistent if possible!). This will cause students to starting thinking in the new language. Also, when planning an ESA lesson plan, having multiple study and activate stages can allow the teachers and students to correct possible mistakes. It is important for the teacher to recognize and define their student population in order to acknowledge and address possible difficulties within the classroom. This will allow the teacher to keep students focused, on task, and motivated within the language learning process.