In today’s world, it is important to acknowledge the fact that English is an international language. However, as a citizen of Saudi Arabia, Arabic was the main language used for communication. English was foreign and I had little knowledge on how to communicate in the English language. It is with this profound reason that I got enrolled in an English language class where I commenced my journey on exploring and learning a wide array of English skills. However, learning English in an Arabic speaking nation was never a piece of cake. My teachers’ efforts bore little fruits due to the fact that they had only focused on grammar as opposed to the basic language skills such as speaking, listening, writing and reading aspects of learning the English language. The exercises on our books did not do much in assisting us to grasp the important rules of English grammar. Our teacher’s main direct technique of teaching us the English language proved to be futile in assisting us to be more proficient. Even though I had not become as proficient as had expected to be, I managed to successfully complete both my primary and high school studies. My problem began once I had enrolled in the University where all the lectures were being conducted in the English language. Although I had previously attended English language classes while I was 13 years old, I had not fully grasped the Basic English practical skills. It is with this profound reason that writing, listening, reading and speaking became both a hurdle and a hindrance in fully comprehending what the University lecturers had been teaching. Luckily enough, I got enrolled in a TESOL program where my key objective was to be conversant with the English language. In addition to studying TESOL program at Murray Kentucky, I saw it convenient to impact my knowledge by teaching EFL students who have difficulties in communicating in English. In essence, I strongly believe that tutors should put equal focus on both the English grammar and English practical skills. On the other hand, a student should exhibit his/her desires of learning the English language by actively participating in class. In teaching the EFL students, I will utilize the technique of constant communication with the intent of encouraging students to learn and practice more English skills on their own.
Self-learning is one of the main techniques that I will employ in assisting the EFL students to master both grammar and Basic English skills. Through self-education, I will teach my EFL students on how to effectively do research in a bid to find the most appropriate solutions to any academic question. In essence, these students will learn on how effectively they can use the knowledge derived from different academic resources in coming up with the most suitable answers for an academic or situational query. In addition, these students will be exposed to different digital academic resources inclusive of online books, journals and Google search engine that have proved to be efficient for research. Reading, analyzing and researching are some of the key practices that my EFL students will use to further develop their own cognitive skills. Aside from using books as the primary academic resource, I will motivate my students to adapt to reading other different academic sources such as journals, articles among others. It is also vital to acknowledge the fact that technology is advancing at a fast-paced rate. It is for this reason that I am currently taking a Technology course so as to eventually incorporate technology as part of teaching my EFL class. In order to put more emphasis on a given topic in a speaking class, I plan to utilize digital sources such as YouTube where my students would be able to watch and discuss on the displayed videos. To break the normal monotony in speaking class, I will display YouTube videos which will captivate the students to concentrate more on the content of the video by paying attention to the produced images and sound.
I will also use real-life scenarios during teaching so as to ensure that my students relate what they learn with the reality of life. I am certain that most of my EFL students will be able to comprehend and master both the English grammar rules and language skills when I incorporate real life situations as part of my teaching. In order to put more emphasis on communication and interaction between me and my EFL students in class, I plan to adapt to the CLT method. This is because CLT method is able to provide me with an array of materials which I could use in teaching English grammar. In addition, the teacher-student interaction in grammar class would help me in assessing the progress of my EFL students with regards to their performance in English language. I plan to monitor my student’s progress by assessing their competence in specific areas such as linguistic, social, discourse and strategy. There are two main ways by which I will be able to measure my students’ progress. First and foremost, I will measure the performance of my students using a practical scenario where students would either imitate an interview or a working scenario. Secondly, I will assess my student’s performance by observing and judging on how they would act and respond during a given simulation task. Assessing my student’s performance would assist me in analyzing whether my techniques of teaching are bearing valuable results or not.
In order to be effective in my teaching, I plan to be friends with all my students. Building a robust relationship with my EFL students would enable me to motivate them and help them pass through any academic difficulties that they would face during their study period. In addition, I seek to develop an ample academic environment where my students would have the freedom to choose their most preferred subjects. Aside from ensuring that all my EFL students excel in the English language, I also seek to help them improve on their confidence and self-esteem. To be effective as a teacher, I will adopt stellar strategies that would motivate my students to learn and develop proficiency in the English language.
One of the courses that have been regarded as vital in teaching a foreign language is referred to as Practicum. Teachers have been able to analyze both their teaching techniques and the EFL and ESL student’s performance by utilizing the knowledge gained from having studied Practicum. It is with this profound reason that professional teachers seek to develop their own teaching techniques in a bid to improving the students’ performance. Teaching techniques do not only include the standard aspects of ES/FL pedagogy but also the different aspects of human interpersonal skills that are vital in facilitating complex communication (Crook, 2003, p.6). During practical teaching, another teacher may be able to analyze and critic his fellow teacher by using an array of skills garnered from Practicum course. This process is important in enlightening the assessed teacher on what skill she/he needs to hone in order to provide effective teaching. Furthermore, an assessed teacher is able to discover some of his own teaching problems after which he will need to seek solutions for them. To ensure that all the ESL and EFL students fully concentrate on the class lessons, then they need to be in an ample and most conducive environment. By observing and analyzing an EST class, I was able to effectively develop my teaching philosophy by effectively learning on the most appropriate teaching aspects.
Having observed and analyzed both reading and grammar classes, I have learned valuable lessons that I will incorporate in my future teaching practices. First, I have learned that it is important to emphasize to the students on the specific objectives of a given lesson before beginning to teach on the topic. The aspect of student mastering a lesson’s objectives can only be possible if the teacher utilizes the most suitable method and techniques of teaching. It is also inevitable for ESL teachers to encounter a class that is characterized by diversity. Nevertheless, a teacher ought to acknowledge diversity by actively engaging the ESL students in practical activities that would help the students interact with one another in spite of their cultural differences. For instance, a teacher may change the rules of teaching in a reading class by allowing students to interact and know each other’s culture inclusive of the culture similarities and differences.
As I was observing the teacher teaching an ESL class, I wondered on what she ought to do in a situation where herteaching techniques and academic materials would not be effective to her students. As I observed the grammar classes, I realized that the teacher had an alternative plan which she saw would be more effective in teaching her students. The teacher also used the professional technique of teaching her students grammar as she used real-life situation stories as examples. This technique proved to be effective as students would quickly comprehend the different grammar rules and how they could effectively use them while speaking. I plan to adopt this technique as I believe it is the most effective and rewarding way of teaching grammar.
I have also learnt on the importance of feedback and assessment technique of teaching students in a reading class. For instance, in a reading class, I noticed that the teacher would give weekly quizzes to her students. In the next classes, I observed that the teacher would give exercises to her students even though many had found the questions to be very difficult. In another class, I observed the students having difficulties with ‘Restatement and Inference’. During the next class, the teacher would test the ability of her students by giving the more exercises on ‘Restatement and Inference’. In these two classes, I got to understand that the teacher’s emphasis on constantly giving her students exercises was to provide indirect feedback to the students. Thus, through the feedback and assessment technique, a student gets skilled onways of researching and identifying appropriate answers to the academic questions.