Learning and the Learner
As I mentioned here I wish to evaluate my teaching with the help of Cambridge English Teaching Framework. Today time for Learning an the Learner,
I have a quite good understanding of many language learning concepts. Moreover, I do frequently demonstrate this understanding when planning and teaching. Especially teaching. Not so much planning. If I only did more of that, I would surely benefit, as my students.
Although I do like theories and being a psychologist I admire a well-structured theorem, the longer I teach the more dubious I am about them. Aren’t they fads only, they come and go, this season it is Multiple Intelligences and another it is about the NLP. Of course, knowing many concepts provides you with tools galore. But then, don’t you seem silly to all of your students, chasing the trends – not focusing on the needs. It is so easy to fall in such a trap. On the other hand, when I learn a new technique or test a new approach I usually overdo. I mean, I bombard my students with the thing. I keep using it in the classroom as long as I begin to feel comfortable with it or as long as they still enjoy it, whichever comes first:-).
Although I mainly use the communicative approach, surely you can find me exploiting grammar translation as well. The concept of methodology, which especially needs my attention, is elicitation; I seem to prolong the stage too much, which spoils the pace of a lesson.
When it comes to understanding a learner semester students’ surveys prove that I have a quite good grasp of their needs and learning styles. However, some of them do claim that my lessons are at times chaotic. I admit that I am at ease in my school, since I teach mostly homogenous groups of Upper intermediate up to Advanced students. Such learners are more language-aware, but on the other are more demanding as far as organization of instruction is concerned.