Do they learn in your classes?
Sep 21, 2008 Learning Methodology 2394 Views
A funny topic? No! It is very serious. As an English teacher, do you make your students learn what they need to know? There are courses all over the world that promise a Himalayan change in every learner. I don’t think the learners have got what they want in most occasions.
Institutions stick to the text books that are readily available in the market that make the job very easy for the teachers. I am not blaming the authors. They have done an amazing job of teaching the language in various methods. Dear ESL teachers! Are you really satisfied with just using the text book in your class - going in and coming out like the robots that can’t do anything except the work they have been programmed to do? Asking the students to open page no.4 or 14, doing the exercises and then coming out of the classes victoriously with sense of great accomplishment that your Head of the department will surely think about your career prospects seriously – your job is not over here, buddy.
If you can’t do anything beyond your text books and curriculum, you miss something seriously as a teacher. Most of the institutions are more worried about the curriculum design that can’t be understood by teachers than the results they are going to achieve. Classroom teaching methodology – many a time, by breaking the tradition – needs more attention.
Institutions must have a system that really finds out the improvement of the learners – not just the feedback the students give about their teachers and not just the exams asking the students to fill in the blanks. If we offer 100 hours of English to a group of students, the development of the learners must be effectively monitored both by the teacher and the supervisor.
You must realize that
• Each leaner is unique
• Each learner’s need is different
• Each group is different.
And there is no single course book in the whole world that will meet the needs of your students. Each book is different and unique with its pros and cons.
I have heard many students complaining about paying a lot of money to develop their English but have not got what they really want. Teachers (not all) find the text books the easy way to teach but fail to see the output.
It is time for you to think seriously about your teaching methodology.
Break the boundary of text book and break into the world of creativity.
English supervisors and heads must have open discussions with their faculty members to analyse the ways of improving the system. Each faculty can offer you some suggestion that can really fuel your teaching methodologies. Don’t force your curriculum that was designed ‘once upon a time’. Keep changing your methodologies to make the language learning process more exciting.
Give more freedom to your faculty to design creative worksheets and activities. If particular teacher is more admired by the learners, find out the secrets and incorporate them in your curriculum. One teacher may have adapted an easier method to explain a concept with which another one struggles. Gather up materials that have been more effective so that they can help the new teachers joining your department.
Keep your teachers updated about the new techniques and methodologies. Arrange for language seminars and encourage your team to participate effectively. Help those teachers who struggle to find their way out.
In each ‘discussion forum’, analyse the following questions.
1. How effective was your teaching last week?
2. What were the problems you faced in your class?
3. In which specific area do your students need more attention?
4. What is the feedback the supervisor has got from the students?
5. What are the possible steps to be taken to solve a specific problem?
6. Are there any new worksheets and methodologies used by the teacher this week?
7. Are there suggestions from the teachers regarding a particular topic for further improvement?
8. Is there any new article, book or website the teachers have found to be useful?
9. Is there any new testing method adapted by the teachers?
10. Can we improve the question paper model?
Keep adding to these questions according to your requirements. You will witness wonders soon.
Don’t just teach. Authenticate that they learn.