Teachers' Maxims in Language Teaching

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Teachers' Maxims in Language Teaching

  1. 1. Presented by Emily Strite and Julie Howell
  2. 2. <ul><li>Personal principles that are developed which inform the teacher’s approach to teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teacher’s maxims appear to reflect cultural factors, belief systems, experience, and training, and the understanding of which maxims teachers give priority to and how they influence teachers’ practices is an important goal in teacher development” (Richards, p.281). </li></ul><ul><li>Maxims determine motivations for teachers’ decisions and guide their actions during teaching. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>PRESENTATION OF CONTENT </li></ul><ul><li>PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING </li></ul><ul><li>Content presented in an effective and coherent way. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher shows this through presentation of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Curricular goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesson plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Richards, p.284) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal perspective is a powerful influence on how you choose to teach. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers philosophies depend on their view of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Themselves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their role in the classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Richards, p.284) </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Maxims stem from the teachers’ belief systems. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teachers’ belief systems are founded on the goals, values, and beliefs teachers hold in relation to the content and process of teaching and their understanding of the systems in which they work and their roles within it. These beliefs and values serve as background to much of the teachers’ decision making and action” (Richards, p.284). </li></ul><ul><li>Maxims guide the teacher’s actions. (p.286) </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Follow the learners’ interests to maintain student involvement” (Richards, p.287). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A readiness to go wherever the student leads (p.288) </li></ul><ul><li>Improvising lessons based on student response. </li></ul><ul><li>Would you, the teacher, be flexible to change your plans dependent upon student response? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The beliefs you hold concerning the role of the teacher and role of the student will determine your thoughts on the maxim of involvement. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Do you plan your teaching and try to follow your plan or do you adjust your plan according to your students’ interests? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The maxim of planning influences a teacher’s decision making during a lesson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A teacher’s underlying beliefs about planning can be student-centered or teacher-centered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One implicit maxim is not superior or inferior to the other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A student-centered maxim focuses upon what the learners are interested in learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A teacher-centered maxim is concerned with implementing the preplanned curriculum and lesson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(P.288) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>THE MAXIM OF ORDER </li></ul><ul><li>THE MAXIM OF ENCOURAGEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing upon maintaining order and discipline throughout a lesson, demonstrates a maxim of order that is formal and more teacher-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Just like all maxims, a teacher’s maxim of order is largely influenced by his/her personal, cultural, and educational background (p.289) </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting more informal relationships amongst the teacher and students can create confident and outspoken learners (p.290) </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher’s orientations towards teaching and personal beliefs lead them to create specific conditions in their classrooms (p. 291) </li></ul>“ The working principals or maxims which teachers develop reflect their personal and individual understanding of the “best” or “right” way to teach…” (p. 291)
  8. 8. <ul><li>Teachers use multiple maxims for many of their preactive and interactive decisions in the classroom (examples listed on p. 291) </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers choose maxims that help to create successful lessons, but classroom constraints frequently limit which maxims can be used (p.291) </li></ul><ul><li>Maxims are working principals based upon personal values and philosophies as well as individual educational and teaching experiences (p.293) </li></ul><ul><li>The development of maxims is a goal in teacher development; the emergence of “principals of practice” is growth from acting upon “rules of practice” (p.293) </li></ul><ul><li>Recognizing maxims of teaching is an important aspect of teacher development that can be achieved through numerous reflective actions (p.294) </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Question 1: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can you become mindful of the maxims that guide your teaching practices? State the type of reflection in which you can engage to help you evaluate how your maxims are working in your classroom. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Question 2: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and describe an instance in which you have used one of the described maxims while teaching. What personal principles do you hold that influenced your decisions in this instance? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Richards, J. (1996, Summer). Teachers’ maxims in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly 30(2), 281-296. </li></ul>

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