My Personal Teaching Experience With Young Non-English Speaking Learners
I have always felt that I have got a message to deliver to the people around me. I thought and realized that spreading knowledge of books, society, and value to the community is one important way to circulate background and civilization. Education is for life and a fundamental pillar in our lives for it arms us with a passport that enables us to grow, improve, and succeed socially and professionally.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Rima C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Positive Learning Environment
Throughout my career, I realized that creating and maintaining a positive learning environment has a tremendous impact on my teaching skills, pupils’ learning, and most importantly pupils’ self-confidence. In addition to that, it helps develop the pupils’ English language skills. I believe education is very essential at a young age because it assists in developing the child as a ‘whole’, instilling a love for exploration, and building leadership skills while empowering them with great communication skills.
Working in Saudi Arabia
I am currently teaching early learners in a British school in Saudi Arabia where most of the pupils’ mother tongue is not English. Being part of the teaching community, I believe that we are educators, mentors, facilitators, as well as, inspirers whose purpose is to guide our children to a better and safer generation. We are one source of knowledge that nourishes them cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically. However, every classroom has got its confrontations. The challenges I usually face as an early year teacher are quite significant as my classroom is a mix of different nationalities whose English language is mostly minimal. Therefore, through creating a fortified and constructive ambiance and teacher-students and student-student rapport that build the children’s personalities, abilities, manners, then I believe I have established my goals in providing every child with competence, resilience, capability confidence and assurance.
Why do Students Need to Come to a Classroom?
Having said this, a classroom is a place to provide a curriculum that helps pupils achieve their academic and social goals happily. Classrooms and teachers should set objectives that support different abilities and make them grow and develop. Instructions and activities should be differentiated to meet all the students’ needs (DoE, 2017). In my opinion and from personal experience, differentiated instruction is a very successful approach to learning as it tailors the lesson content and process of learning to meet the pupils’ readiness, interests, and profile. It encourages the low and middle ability pupils to improve and develop their skills whereas it challenges the high ability ones to excel. This is carried out when pupils are surrounded by a motivating educational environment created by contributions to discussions, competence among them, interactions between them, and by being in well-managed, encouraging, and interesting classrooms.
In terms of communication, pupils need to know that they can express their ideas to their peers freely. This will let them feel secure and will increase their respect for themselves, their teachers, and peers when they take turns, raise their hands, and listen carefully to each other. Most importantly, it will increase the use of the English language in class as they will feel it is necessary to use it during school hours, especially when they know they belong to an international school that follows an English-based curriculum, and English is the language used at all times.
Working on Important Skills
In regards to enhancing the pupils’ skills, I believe I need to work on their self-discovery skills through hands-on activities, group, and pair work, and role-play to strengthen and build up the material and topics explained in class. This way, pupils will learn more using their motor skills which will arouse curiosity and encourage their reasoning development, as well as, will develop a love for speaking, reading, writing, and listening, especially if English is not their first language. Moreover, it will help me in collecting data to assess my methods of teaching, pupils’ comprehension and knowledge of the content of the lesson as well as assessing the learning objective itself.
As educators support pupils’ growth and development, pupils themselves need to be completely involved in the learning process. Their role as learners is to learn from experience, to show responsibility and respect as they grow academically, socially and emotionally, and most importantly to be happy and show understanding of the content explained through applying their knowledge in class. I would like for them to learn in different styles using different methods that fit their abilities. This is where multiple intelligence plays a role in supporting the learning and assessment process.
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Lessons According to a Plan
The activities planned, especially during language demonstration and free flow play, are planned to ensure all the pupils understand the learning objective(s) in various types of learning such as visual/spatial, verbal/linguistic, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal. Eventually, such theory not only describes the different ways pupils learn and acquire information, but also helps teachers understand which type of intelligence every pupil may possess so they can adjust learning styles, choose assessment techniques, and suggest certain career paths for them, (Armstrong, 2019).
To sum up, I truly consider teaching as a humanitarian act that plays on two sides: teaching and learning. It is the joy to learn, grow, and spread knowledge, happiness, and the desire to gain an understanding of school skills and life for both pupils and myself. Furthermore, teaching develops raw children into mature ones. It is such ecstasy to give information about all subjects and listen to inexperienced characters and personalities to help them engage in a life filled with challenges, especially using a language that is mostly not their mother tongue. Then, sit back and watch these children achieve what they fight for and lead the way, knowing that, I, as one of their teachers, took part in developing them as a 'Whole'.
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“Success is when you achieve for yourself. Significance is when you achieve for others” (Maxwell, 1993), and this is what I always aim for when teaching as I suppose that the outcome of my teaching should be reflected in my students’ knowledge and classroom environment.
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