Reading the information from this module, I realized that learning is a continuous process. Great material!
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Reading the information from this module, I realized that learning is a continuous process. Great material!
As usual great education lessons love it
Great steps and easy to follow and apply .
I have worked in immigration and resettlement and assist many students from other countries with their college writing. This first course has helped me to understand some of the barriers I have encountered and how to address them to the benefit of both my students and my ability to instruct them. thank you.
Published on TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC (http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk) Home > Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice Submitted by admin on 15 June, 2011 - 12:10 Reflective teaching means looking at what you do in the classroom, thinking about why you do it, and thinking about if it works - a process of self-observation and self-evaluation. By collecting information about what goes on in our classroom, and by analysing and evaluating this information, we identify and explore our own practices and underlying beliefs. This may then lead to changes and improvements in our teaching. Reflective teaching is therefore a means of professional development which begins in our classroom. • Why it is important • Beginning the process of reflection o Teacher diary o Peer observation o Recording lessons o Student feedback • What to do next o Think o Talk o Read o Ask • Conclusion Why it is important Many teachers already think about their teaching and talk to colleagues about it too. You might think or tell someone that "My lesson went well" or "My students didn't seem to understand" or "My students were so badly behaved today." However, without more time spent focussing on or discussing what has happened, we may tend to jump to conclusions about why things are happening. We may only notice reactions of the louder students. Reflective teaching therefore implies a more systematic process of collecting, recording and analysing our thoughts and observations, as well as those of our students, and then going on to making changes. • If a lesson went well we can describe it and think about why it was successful. • If the students didn't understand a language point we introduced we need to think about what we did and why it may have been unclear. • If students are misbehaving - what were they doing, when and why? Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice 2 Beginning the process of reflection You may begin a process of reflection in response to a particular problem that has arisen with one or your classes, or simply as a way of finding out more about your teaching. You may decide to focus on a particular class of students, or to look at a feature of your teaching - for example how you deal with incidents of misbehaviour or how you can encourage your students to speak more English in class. The first step is to gather information about what happens in the class. Here are some different ways of doing this. Teacher diary This is the easiest way to begin a process of reflection since it is purely personal. After each lesson you write in a notebook about what happened. You may also describe your own reactions and feelings and those you observed on the part of the students. You are likely to begin to pose questions about what you have observed. Diary writing does require a certain discipline in taking the time to do it on a regular basis. Here are some suggestions for areas to focus on to help you start your diary. Download diary suggestions 51k Peer observation Invite a colleague to come into your class to collect information about your lesson. This may be with a simple observation task or through note taking. This will relate back to the area you have identified to reflect upon. For example, you might ask your colleague to focus on which students contribute most in the lesson, what different patterns of interaction occur or how you deal with errors. Recording lessons Video or audio recordings of lessons can provide very useful information for reflection. You may do things in class you are not aware of or there may be things happening in the class that as the teacher you do not normally see. • Audio recordings can be useful for considering aspects of teacher talk. o How much do you talk? o What about? o Are instructions and explanations clear? o How much time do you allocate to student talk? o How do you respond to student talk? • Video recordings can be useful in showing you aspects of your own behaviour. o Where do you stand? o Who do you speak to? o How do you come across to the students? Student feedback You can also ask your students what they think about what goes on in the classroom. Their Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice 3 opinions and perceptions can add a different and valuable perspective. This can be done with simple questionnaires or learning diaries for example. What to do next Once you have some information recorded about what goes on in your classroom, what do you do? • Think You may have noticed patterns occurring in your teaching through your observation. You may also have noticed things that you were previously unaware of. You may have been surprised by some of your students' feedback. You may already have ideas for changes to implement. • Talk Just by talking about what you have discovered - to a supportive colleague or even a friend - you may be able to come up with some ideas for how to do things differently. o If you have colleagues who also wish to develop their teaching using reflection as a tool, you can meet to discuss issues. Discussion can be based around scenarios from your own classes. o Using a list of statements about teaching beliefs (for example, pairwork is a valuable activity in the language class or lexis is more important than grammar) you can discuss which ones you agree or disagree with, and which ones are reflected in your own teaching giving evidence from your self-observation. • Read You may decide that you need to find out more about a certain area. There are plenty of websites for teachers of English now where you can find useful teaching ideas, or more academic articles. There are also magazines for teachers where you can find articles on a wide range of topics. Or if you have access to a library or bookshop, there are plenty of books for English language teachers. • Ask Pose questions to websites or magazines to get ideas from other teachers. Or if you have a local teachers' association or other opportunities for in-service training, ask for a session on an area that interests you. Conclusion Reflective teaching is a cyclical process, because once you start to implement changes, then the reflective and evaluative cycle begins again. • What are you doing? • Why are you doing it? • How effective is it? • How are the students responding? • How can you do it better? Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice 4
Destroying the Teacher: The Need for Learner-Centered Teaching BY ALAN C. McLEAN This article was first published in Volume 18, No. 3 (1980). “He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher.” —Walt Whitman “Most children in school are scared most of the time.” —John Holt “Much of what we say and do in school only makes children feel that they do not know things that, in fact, they knew perfectly well before we began to talk about them.’’ —John Holt “If the culture of the teacher is to become part of the conscious- ness of the child, then the culture of the child must first be in the consciousness of the teacher.’’ —Basil Bernstein “Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly succession; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets.” —Ivan lllich “Who needs the most practice talking in school? Who gets the most?” —John Holt “In the average classroom someone is talking for two-thirds of the time, two-thirds of the talk is teacher-talk, and two-thirds of the teacher-talk is direct influence.’’ —N.A. Flanders “Language complexity increases when the child writes or speaks about events in which the child has participated in a goal-seek- ing process.” —J.S. Bruner “Information is rarely, if ever, stored in the human nervous sys- tem without affective coding.’’ —Earl W. Stevick “We must not fool ourselves...into thinking that guiding children to answers by carefully chosen leading questions is in any im- portant respect different from just telling them the answers in the first place....The only answer that really sticks in a child’s mind is the answer to a question that he asked or might ask of himself.’’ —John Holt “True knowledge, Plato argues, must be within us all, and learning consists solely of discovering what we already know.” —Colin Blakemore “If a teacher is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.’’ —Kahlil Gibran The title of this article comes from a poem by Walt Whit man: “He most honors my style who learns under it to de stroy the teacher.” I chose this epigraph because I wish to plead for a less dominant classroom role for the lan- guage teacher, in accord with the importance of classroom interac tion in the language-learning process. First, I would like to encourage a lessening of attention to the linguistic content of language teaching, and suggest that such content, and the theoretical basis on which we choose it, are not as crucial for language learning as are aspects of classroom behavior. Too often, in discussing the teaching of English, we behave as if language were the most impor tant factor in the classroom. I think this is seldom the case. We need to see English as essentially an educative sub- ject, linked to the cognitive development of learners, rather than as something isolated from the rest of the curriculum. Unfortunately, in many classrooms throughout the world, little true education takes place. Instead, there is rote learn- ing of material irrelevant to the learners’ interests. We need to be aware of the educational potential of English in such circumstances. To fully realize this potential we need to look outside the confines of English language teaching itself. There is now a considerable body of work that focuses on the con- ditions under which children learn most effectively. This work re lates both to the internal processes involved in ap- prehending and storing information and to the most favor- able condi tions for the operation of these processes. I would like to consider here the relevance of this work to the teach- ing of English. I will deal with it under five main headings:
Is it best to get learners to read first, then listen after this speaking and writing?
English as a Second Language (ESL) is the term used to describe English language instruction for non-native speakers of English in an English-speaking country.
EFL stands for \"English as a Foreign Language\" and means \"learning English in a non-English speaking country.\"
Learning English involves four basic skills:
English language learners differ in the following characteristics:
Length of time in the country
The native language they speak
Their personal experiences
Their socio-economic status
The strategies that support language development in adult learners are:
Learn about your learners and their needs
Use lots of visual aids in the classroom
Model tasks before asking learners to do them
Bring authentic materials to the classroom
The amount of time it takes an adult to learn English varies from person to person and is dependent upon a number of factors.
ESL learners will have varying levels of literacy.
The 4 key reading skills ESL learners need to develop are:
It is important for ESL instructors to spend a lot of time developing students’ oral vocabulary before teaching them to read and write.