Teach English in Maoxishuikuguanlisuo - Zhangjiajie Shi

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After completing the ITTT’s Teaching English as a Foreign Language, I am called to think back on my previous experience and my intuition as an English teacher. Having lived in Mexico as well as Bolivia, I am familiar with non native speakers of English wanting to learn or practice. When I was living in Bolivia, I had the opportunity to be a volunteer teacher for different levels of English learners. However, there was not much direction or material to teach, so I quickly became overwhelmed. The classes where small groups, and often times I didn’t know how to manage the class. As well as that experience with small groups, I also taught one to one a young learner. With this person, I had more success. As far as the number of people goes, I have had experiences with both groups and one on one, and as both the teacher and the student. Therefore, is it more efficient to teach and learn in a group environment or one on one? It is important to consider the comfortability of the students while learning, the ability for the teacher to teach efficiently, and the situations presented. Teaching and learning one to one is more personalized, focused and navigable. My first experience with a one to one language environment, I was learning Quechua in Bolivia. I was able to move at my own pace, focus on the things I needed to and get to know my professor in a more personal way. I was able to catch on to pronunciations, meanings and reading Quechua much quicker than if I were in a group setting. However, I only had my professors with who I could practice. I believe that, if I would have been with more people, I would have had more speaking opportunities. Coming away from this learning experience, I achieved excellence in reading and writing, but I need more work with the speaking. When I taught English one to one with a young learner, I believe the outcome was the same. We were able to focus on things she needed more practice with and move forward at her own pace. However, in the same way, I was the only one who she practiced English with. If I were teaching more than one person, she would have been able to broaden her speaking practice. Learning from this, one thing that could be added onto the traditional one to one teaching or learning settings, is bringing the student into more situations to expand their speaking practice. Group learning, whether small or large, is quite different from one to one. In school, I was in a Mandarin Chinese class. I, along with about twenty other students, were taught the language by one teacher. The teacher was a good teacher, if we put the effort into the class, we were sure to come away with knowledge of Chinese and ability to hold a small conversation. I learned how to speak, read and write to an intermediate level, however, because I was in a class with fellow students, I could not pass or move forward until the majority of the class was ready. This caused me to have some doubts about certain areas of the language, and become bored, waiting to move forward in other areas. In teaching small groups, of about three students, I have discovered that sometimes there will be one student who lags behind and is too embarrassed to ask questions. This becomes another concern that has to do with teaching groups. One way to avoid this, is to check in with each student throughout the semester or year, or allow students to come to you at selected times. There could also be a way, depending on how the class is structured, to allow students to move ahead at certain moments. Overall, which is best? There are positive and negative aspects to both ways of teaching and learning. One to one gives focus, but lacks extra practice. Contrary, groups give extra practice, but lack the necessary focus. In my personal opinion, with experiences in teaching and learning in multiple types of environments, there needs to be a balance. It is important to meet somewhere in the middle. The ideal environment would be a small group, where there is time for group learning, but there is also an opportunity for one to one review. This way, the students will be able to practice with several people, and will get to attention in certain areas if needed.