Program TEFL Diploma

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F.A. - U.S.A. said:
LearningTechniquesThe ways that people learn are varied and individual. The world has come to recognize that some people are audio learners, some are visual learners, and some are analytical learners. All these types of learners pass through the classrooms of teachers to whom they owe gratitude, resentment, or indifference for the knowledge that they gained as a student in their class. Knowing this, what have teachers done to try and impart their knowledge on students in ways that are most conducive to each individual student in their class? They have developed teaching methods and learning techniques to ensure that effective learning is achieved. Learning techniques that have been more prevalent include reading and literature usage, where the student learns from texts to understand words and grammar concepts. This method has probably been around the longest and while it can be very effective, the result largely depends on how the teacher uses this technique. As we learned in Unit 3 ?Theories, Methods, and Techniques,? grammar-translation is the most common method for teaching with literature and unless the teacher takes great pains to incorporate active speaking, listening, and writing skills that include natural language usage beyond what the literature provides, this technique can lead to students ?learning about the language rather than learning the language itself? (Unit 3, pg 2). Teachers can also use grammar for the lexical approach in which words and phrases are used to build language knowledge as opposed to working with individual grammatical concepts. A different technique available to teachers, is the presentation, practice, production method, in which the teacher explains and demonstrates the concepts, practices them with the students, and then spends time having students produce their own sentence structures. This method is most effective for lower levels where it is important to push students to be creative with the concepts they?re learning. This method is effective for helping students learn and work with grammar concepts. A method that places more emphasis on learning everyday, real-life language is the communicative language method in which the focus is on conversation between the students and teacher. Proponents of this method believe that it better develops reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills because it prevents students from passively listening to the teacher (Meddings, Thornburry??Teaching Unplugged?). Audio-lingualism and task-based learning methods fall into this category. Community language learning, and suggestopaedia are methods in which the student is given the most focus. The community method forces students to work with one another to determine the topic and direction of the conversation. The teacher only joins in to help with difficulties. The latter method strives to ensure that students are as relaxed and comfortable as possible. The goal is to build on previous lessons and introduce new dialogue in a manner that leaves the student with as little anxiety as possible. Ultimately, the teacher should be open-minded about which technique will be best for each individual class, lesson, and activity. Unless it is a one-to-one lesson, the teacher is going to have students in his, or her, class that learn in different ways. In order to accommodate each students? learning style, the lesson should have a variety of techniques that will cover each learning style. Every class should have a combination of time spent engaging with students in order to loosen them up and help them relax; time spent studying, in which the students learn grammar, dialogue, or literature, and spend some time working with what they?re learning; and time activating the knowledge that they?ve gained through games, activities, and tasks. With all the teaching methods and learning techniques that are available, it is important to remember that the willingness of the student to learn, and the teacher?s determination to teach will ensure that effective learning is achieved.


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