CAMBRIDGE                   SCHOOL OF LANGUAGES            Memories from an English TeacherFinal Paper presented as a requ...
CONTENTSACKNOWLEDGEMENTINTRODUCTION .........................................................................................
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would like to express my greatest gratitude to the people who have helped andsupported me throughout my F...
INTRODUCTION   When we are in our childhood and our parents or relatives ask us this question:What are you going to be whe...
that have been used with my groups of students, they come from my personalexperience.                                    C...
When I was coursing the second year I was offered a job in a primary school asan English teacher. My answer was no, becaus...
ASPECTS I HAD TO DEAL WITHNERVIOUSISM OF THE FIRST DAY   It was my first day and I had to meet my students, the night befo...
If a teacher is not sure of his/ her knowledge the students will notice this, and ifyou lose the respect of the pupils you...
Classroom management has a big influence in the scholars, when the class is acomplete chaos, there is a lack of learning i...
The aim of the language is being understood, a person can have a greatknowledge of grammatical rules, this is known as lin...
We have to understand, exactly what a technique is and Dhand, H. (2008) state:“Techniques of teaching are the day to day a...
5. As an important fact you have to keep the discipline a way for doing this is let      talk the student that raises his/...
3. Repeat this activity, but this time show the flashcard and let the students to       pronounce the word.   4. If you wa...
How to use repetition   Repeating words for many times could be boring the following are steps that haveworked with differ...
2. Students have to set the cards upside down.   3. They have to turn the cards and look for the pair.   4. When they have...
EXPERIMENTING IN THE CLASSROOM   Searching ideas, new trends and ways for teaching are now available in a click ofdistance...
2. Set routines. - It is a good idea to set routines when you are working in   groups or playing a game, routines save tim...
REFERENCESBaker, J. and Westrup, H. (2003) Essential Speaking Skills. London, Great Britain:VSO/Dandi PalmerBenati, A. (20...
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Cambridge final paper

  1. 1. CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL OF LANGUAGES Memories from an English TeacherFinal Paper presented as a requirement in order to obtain the Diploma of Sufficiency in English Written by: Rommel Patricio Maigua Sigcha March, 2012
  2. 2. CONTENTSACKNOWLEDGEMENTINTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 1CHAPTER 1AT THE UNIVERSITY ................................................................................................ 2CHAPTER 2FIRST STEPS AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER .............................................................. 3ASPECTS I HAD TO DEAL WITH ............................................................................. 4NERVIOUSISM OF THE FIRST DAY ........................................................................ 4ENGLISH PROFICIENCY LACK OF CONFIDENCE ................................................. 4CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT .................................................................................. 5TEACHING METHODOLOGY ................................................................................... 6TEACHING TECHNIQUES ........................................................................................ 7BRAIN STORM .......................................................................................................... 8DIAGRAMS ................................................................................................................ 9FLASH CARDS .......................................................................................................... 9DICTATION .............................................................................................................. 10ORAL REPETITION ................................................................................................. 10ROLE PLAY ............................................................................................................. 11MEMORY GAME...................................................................................................... 11CHAPTER 3GROWING IN SELF CONFIDENCE ........................................................................ 12EXPERIMENTING IN THE CLASSROOM ............................................................... 13CHAPTER 44 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE .................................................................................... 13ADVICE FOR NEW TEACHERS.............................................................................. 13TO CONCLUDE ....................................................................................................... 14REFERENCES ......................................................................................................... 15 i
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would like to express my greatest gratitude to the people who have helped andsupported me throughout my Final Paper. I am grateful to Cambridge School ofLanguage for its continuous support for this written work, from initial advice andcontacts in the early stages of conceptual inception and through ongoing advice andencouragement to this day.I wish to thank my mother for her support and interest who inspired me andencouraged me to go my own way, without her I would be unable to complete myFinal Paper. At last but not the least I want to thank my friends who appreciated mefor my work and motivated me and finally to God who made all the things possible ii
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION When we are in our childhood and our parents or relatives ask us this question:What are you going to be when you grow up? Many answers come to our mind,ideas like being a doctor, engineer or even an astronaut. I remember I wanted to be a lawyer and every time I heard that question, I usedto answer proudly: “I’m going to be a lawyer”. As the time goes on and our mind has many changes, the reality makes us openour eyes, and then in the high school we realized that our objectives differ too muchfrom the ones we had had in our childhood. When I was in the high school my first idea was to be a doctor, but by economicalstuff it was just a dream. After graduating from school my first job was as a salesperson. Then as I liked to interact with people I studied Marketing in the InstitutoTecnológico Benito Juárez. I worked as a sales person for 4 years but in a point in my life I realized it was notfor me so I looked for another job. I looked for a career to study at the college. Beinga doctor impossible no money and the class schedule did not fix with my needs. A chemical engineer y did not like chemistry at school so it was not a good idea, adentist the only problem was the schedule and I needed a job during the morning. Ido not remember exactly how I went to Facultad de Filosofía in the UniversidadCentral but I do remember is the first day when I was in class Miguel Agreda, aSpanish Linguistics professor told us as a joke: “you are not here in order to bemodels or flight attendants; you are here in order to be teachers” Those words are always in my mind, and the ones that marked the beginning ofmy new path. This work has been made in order to share some of my experiences in thebeginnings of my career, some of the obstacles I had to go through, and thedevelopment as a teacher. The techniques presented in this document are the ones 1
  5. 5. that have been used with my groups of students, they come from my personalexperience. CHAPTER 1 AT THE UNIVERSITY With no knowledge of English language I came into the university, I rememberhaving a placement test and the required grade was eight, in order to start thestudies from the first year otherwise the student that did not get the grade had totake an updating level of three months and at the end of this course we had to takeother test. Once we had reached the grade, we were in that time students of the UniversidadCentral del Ecuador. With a limited knowledge of English I started learning little bylittle, paying attention in every class, at that time all the structures, vocabulary andsounds were new and strange. Grammar was no difficult, learning vocabulary it wasnot a problem. The hard issues in learning English were listening and speaking. To understandthe words of my teacher or a recording it was really hard. In this point I want to make reference to Gosher, S. and Gosher, B. (2009) theysay: “You can practice your listening skills by listening carefully to a recorder TVnews broadcast or an interview on the radio” (pg. 2)The following are words about how to improve the listening skills from Gear, J. andGear, R. (2006) they say: The more you practice listening, the better listener you will become. There are many ways in which you can practice your listening skills. If you don´t have the opportunity to listen to native English speakers in person, you can hear English spoken in movies, on TV, on the radio, or on the Internet. (pg. 250) 2
  6. 6. When I was coursing the second year I was offered a job in a primary school asan English teacher. My answer was no, because I felt I did not have enoughproficiency at my language skills. That year I studied hard, reading books, practicinggrammar, listening to music in English and watching videos captioned in English. On the other hand, when I had to give a speech in front of the whole class, I usedto hesitate and being nervous. Speaking is a vital part especially if you are a teacher;the following are words by Baker, J. and Westrup, H. (2003) about the reasons forpracticing speaking and state: “speaking activities can reinforce the learning of newvocabulary, grammar or functional language. Speaking give students the chance touse the language they are learning.” (pg. 6) My confidence grew; I started to talk in English by myself, when I was travellingby bus I used to name the objects as the bus was going down the street, when I waswatching a movie I repeated the characters dialogues or short phrases. By the next year my knowledge of English had increased a lot. That year I wasoffered a job again and that time I accepted. CHAPTER 2 FIRST STEPS AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER When I went for first time to my new job, I bought a brand new suit; it was graymy favorite color, it fixed with a sky blue shirt and with a tie with both colors. I justknew my classmate that was working there too. The first class day had come and I had to introduce myself to my pupils,motivated and with fresh ideas for teaching in my mind but without teachingexperience before of that, I began working with them. Non - experienced but full of spirit a day came after the other, and the problemsbegan. 3
  7. 7. ASPECTS I HAD TO DEAL WITHNERVIOUSISM OF THE FIRST DAY It was my first day and I had to meet my students, the night before I had beengetting some ideas, for activities in order to deal with them, games such as Simonsays and hangman were the ones that were in my repertoire. I started the class saying hello and they had to repeat their names in a kind ofchain, this activity took some minutes and at the end of the class we all were happyand I realized that I did not have reasons for being worried. The following classes the students wanted to play games only, they asked forhangman and other kind of games I looked for, there was just a problem they hadfun but the content I expected them achieve they simply did not have. I mean the games were not related with the structure we were studying. Aboutlanguage games Miller, C. (2008) says: “using a language game in the classroomcan be difficult. One reason why educators don’t use them is because it is hard tofocus learning in a game […] Games are considered the desert, not the main meal inthe classroom.” (pg. 230) Games in the classroom are good ways to get the students alive and interested inthe topic. Trying to adapt them with the content that is been studied could befantastic, and sometimes there would be contents adaptable and in other situationssimply there would not be that opportunity.ENGLISH PROFICIENCY LACK OF CONFIDENCE In my first year as a teacher I learned a thing; I learned that English teachersmust be sure of themselves. As a teacher is very important to be self confident andlearn that the fact we are teachers we do not have to know everything and everyword, because we are not walking dictionaries. 4
  8. 8. If a teacher is not sure of his/ her knowledge the students will notice this, and ifyou lose the respect of the pupils you are done. Jagla, V. (2012) related toconfidence say: “Confidence is a significant issue related to the teacher’s use ofimagination and intuition in daily classroom activities” (pg. 77) This point of view reflects my idea of lack of confidence, because self confidenceis a base for a good instructional program. When you think you are doing thingsbadly, actually you are doing things badly, because in your mind you arepredisposed for getting these results. Being a teacher means have a plenty of ideas, for being a teacher you must haveimagination and put in practice the ideas that come to your mind. As a teacher a well knowledge of grammar and pronunciation is vital, when youwork with children and you pronunciation is not the correct, your pupils willpronounce badly. In order to get confidence in your language skills practice with them, think inEnglish and if you do not know how a specifically word is pronounce do not beworried about it just look for the pronunciation in the dictionary and your problem issolved.CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT An important aspect is the teacher´s language knowledge, but another importantaspect is the motivation, the discipline and the respect that a teacher reflects throughhimself by the students. Marzano, R. (2003) says: Effective teaching and learning cannot take place in a poorly managed classroom. If students are disorderly and disrespectful, and no apparent rules and procedures give behavior, chaos becomes the norm. In these situations, both teachers and students suffer. Teachers struggle to teach, and students most likely learn much less than they should. (pg. 1) 5
  9. 9. Classroom management has a big influence in the scholars, when the class is acomplete chaos, there is a lack of learning in the pupils, but if there is control duringthe lesson students learn better. To get the pupils engaged and motivated by learning the language is importantbecause when a person likes and enjoys learning, it becomes easier and funnier. Away for getting our students engaged is through games. After a lesson they seem tobe bored a game is the right option in order to get the alive. Playing a game is funny and as teachers and the classrooms gets noisy. Thediscipline is an important aspect when everybody is playing. At the beginning youcan speak aloud and make them stop little by little, but at the end shouting them forpaying attention to you is a waste of time. It is a good idea to set games routines it could be about the time that you allowyour students the game. Counting from one to ten could mean the game is over.Clapping when you want they go back to their seats. Respect to everyone, listening their ideas and save every idea from each one,respect their differences and being worried about their problems could save manyheadaches when you are teaching a lesson.TEACHING METHODOLOGY Many ways for teaching English are shared, different points of view and ways tomake easier the language for our learners, but we have to have clear what is amethod for Larsen, D. (2000) referring to a method says: “A method is a coherent setof such links in the sense that there should be some theoretical or philosophicalcompatibility among the links” (pg. 3). A Teaching method is the group of ideas that rule a way of teaching, it leads ourpractice in the classroom, and set the aims we want the scholars achieve. Thefollowing is the method with great popularity nowadays. It is called thecommunicative approach. 6
  10. 10. The aim of the language is being understood, a person can have a greatknowledge of grammatical rules, this is known as linguistic competence, but in acommunicative context the student must have the ability of transmit a message indifferent situations, such as promising, inviting and declining invitations. If students learn sentence structure or tenses only they are able to producesentences orally or written correctly, but depending on the context a sentence couldhave different meanings and it could be misunderstood by the one that receives theinformation. In a communicative situation the most efficient communicator is not the one thatknows all the structures, is the one that code and decode proficiently a message. Itmeans that communicative competence grows up through interaction, this impliesthat learners should be encouraged to interact using the language.TEACHING TECHNIQUES During the time of learning in the university, there are many things a collegestudent learns, but teaching techniques are not in the curriculum, at the time you arecoursing the third year teaching practice is common, you learn how to do a classplan; following the instructions of a mentor you are assigned. In the practice iscommon to follow the instructions from the teacher´s guide, and the techniques thatare immersed in that teaching program. I learned some of those techniques by practicing them. But an amateur teacherhas to have in mind that those techniques could work well with a group and could bewrong with other group of students. It lays on the facilitator’s necessity of knowing about the social characteristics ofthe group of learners, it means to have the knowledge about the school, communityand the materials available. In addition teachers have to know themselves, strengthsand weaknesses. 7
  11. 11. We have to understand, exactly what a technique is and Dhand, H. (2008) state:“Techniques of teaching are the day to day activities which the teacher may designfor a particular lesson. They may include group discussions, projects, the use of atextbook or field tripping” (pg. xiv) In order to choose the right technique, teachers must have the objectives of thelesson clear; they have to know the procedures for applying a technique. The following are some useful techniques I have learned during this time as anEnglish teacher.BRAIN STORM Brain storm generates the participation from the students, is a way to gettingthem active and engaged. I use this technique in order to activate previousknowledge of a topic; it is also useful to save time, because if the students know thevocabulary it is not necessary to spend time on teaching these words. Dhand, H. (2008) related to brainstorming declare: “Brainstorming is a superiortechnique for generating ideas. This technique is used for generating any and allpossible solutions to a problem” (pg. 13) Brainstorming is also useful in order to accomplish a listening activity, I use this inthe classroom for making predictions from the title of the listening and the possiblethings they could hear in the recording.How to use brainstorming 1. Select a topic, it could be vocabulary such as fruit, sports, parts of the body, with a superior level get the summary from a reading, the options are endless. 2. Write the topic you have chosen on the middle of the board in a circle or other shape you like. 3. Draw lines as connectors from the topic word. 4. Ask students give their ideas. 8
  12. 12. 5. As an important fact you have to keep the discipline a way for doing this is let talk the student that raises his/ her hand.DIAGRAMSUsing diagrams in order to show the differences in use of a grammatical structure,an example this graphs is the Venn diagram, which presents the differences andsimilarities between objects of study. The use of this technique makes pupils torecognize clearly the structures in example, differences between simple present andpresent progressive.The advantage from this technique is represents visually an important information.How to use diagrams 1. Teachers have to have the objective for using a diagram. 2. Practice drawing diagrams with students for making them related to this kind of technique. 3. Let students some minutes for analyzing the information presented on the diagram. 4. Let them tell you the things they understood from the diagram. 5. Correct their answers and explain once more or the times you consider necessary.FLASH CARDS Using flash cards in the classroom is a very popular technique; it could be usedwhen teaching vocabulary and pronunciation, you can make your students play withthe cards. Assign them making their own flashcards is a good way to save time.How to use flashcards 1. Show the flashcard to the group of pupils. 2. Repeat the word and at the same time show the flash card, it permits the student relate the pronunciation with the object. 9
  13. 13. 3. Repeat this activity, but this time show the flashcard and let the students to pronounce the word. 4. If you want to use this as a game, past the picture faster. 5. In order to students practice writing you can use puzzles or other kid of technique for connecting the word with the spelling.DICTATION This technique is used in order to develop listening and writing skills. Dictationseems to be boring. In fact listening to the teacher or a recording could make thescholars bored. On the other hand if the teacher sets this technique lively an active,students will be exited with this kind of activity.How to use dictation 1. You can use this with a listening or writing task you have developed in previous lessons. 2. For listening you could let students hear a short dialogue, may be an interview, conversation or other recorded material according to the level of the students. 3. After the usual listening activities, ask the students to construct their own dialogues, check their working and help with vocabulary and the corrections they could need. 4. Now they have to work in pairs, students have to read each other the dialogue. 5. They have to recall what his/ her partner said. Permit them to repeat as many times as they want. 6. At the end they have to compare if their written work is similar to the original.ORAL REPETITION Oral repetition is also a very popular technique, let the student repeat out loudallows them to practice the pronunciation and the development of listening skills. 10
  14. 14. How to use repetition Repeating words for many times could be boring the following are steps that haveworked with different groups of students. 1. Show the content to the pupils, may be isolated words or phrases. 2. Repeat them faster, slowly, or imitate sounds of animals, monsters, etc. 3. If it is a paragraph, students could clap, or follow the rhythm hitting with their feet on the floor. 4. Let them practicing in groups or pairs is a good way to set a climate without stress or fear to making mistakes.ROLE PLAY Role play is a good way to practice speaking; it can be used with writtendialogues, or after watching a movie or story.How to use a role play 1. After the students have watched a movie, listened to a dialogue or read a text, put them into groups. 2. Assign each member of the group a character. 3. Provide them with the script of the dialogue, or part of movie. 4. Students have to memorize the dialogue and act out in front of the class. 5. If there is not enough time, you would prefer doing this as a class project; your pupils could record themselves acting the dialogue or part of the movie.MEMORY GAMEA memory game permits the scholars practice vocabulary they have learned, if youdo not have enough cards for the students, you could send as homework.How to use memory game 1. Make pair or groups. 11
  15. 15. 2. Students have to set the cards upside down. 3. They have to turn the cards and look for the pair. 4. When they have found pairs they have to mime the action or meaning of the card. 5. The winner is the student with the major number of cards. The techniques showed above are the ones that have showed effectiveness inthe moment they were put in practice. Those techniques have been applied, andhave come from my personal experience. The steps detailed have been the ways I have been using them in my dailyactivity as English teacher. CHAPTER 3 GROWING IN SELF CONFIDENCE Through the years of practicing, planning and being with the students a teachergrows in confidence. There is not too much hesitation at the moment of speaking,classroom management is easier, organize the student into groups without wastingtoo much time are some of the aspects that a teacher can manage with no difficultyas during the first year of working. At the moment that a teacher has been in many seminars of methodology,techniques, planning and much more information shared in English, grows inconfidence; due to those seminars give the opportunity of sharing ideas, amongteachers. Group development gives the chance of learning from other people with differentskills in many areas. 12
  16. 16. EXPERIMENTING IN THE CLASSROOM Searching ideas, new trends and ways for teaching are now available in a click ofdistance, surfing the web, looking for groups with the same interests is easier thanother years. Materials, planning, are easier to download from thousands of web pages, puttingin practice those ideas in the classroom and make a register of things that workedand things than need improvement is a way of continuous learning. An example ofweb page with these characteristics is Shaping the Way We Teach English is anexample on this page you can find videos, materials, discussion forums to shareexperiences. CHAPTER 4 4 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE After four years of working with children, there are few things to share, someideas and aspects very important that I wish somebody told me in those days as nonexperienced teacher. Advices related to classroom management, motivation,methodology, techniques, and other personal aspects that I had to learn on the go. The next lines are some of the aspects I think could be helpful for new teachers.Feel free on using the ones you think could work with you and your way of teaching.ADVICE FOR NEW TEACHERS There are some things you have to keep in mind: 1. Set the rules in the first day. - A good way for setting the rules is talking with the students about the rewards and punishment for the actions they do. Practice this rules for a period of time at the beginning, middle of end of the class. Put on the walls posters made by them with pictures, collages or different materials the children are very imaginative. Doing this saves you from bad moments. 13
  17. 17. 2. Set routines. - It is a good idea to set routines when you are working in groups or playing a game, routines save time and permits to use that time on productive activities.3. If you promise something do it.- When you make a promise you have to do it, prizes or punishment you have to make it for real, if you do this pupils will know you are not joking.4. Check their homework and grade it. - Check homework every moment you can do this and grade it, students will know their work is recognized and with a good grade they feel they are doing well.5. Keep contact with their parents.- Communication with their parents is a way to get better results from the students that are limited in the language skills, homework or behavior issues, it is a good way to control disruptive students. TO CONCLUDE1. Teaching English is a profession full of great aspects, working with people and share with them a little about your knowledge is a prize that not all people can have.2. Being new in a profession could be hard, but nowadays we find information and share ideas with colleges from all over the world.3. Put in practice all the resources you find will help you to master in this profession that is the most regarding of the world. 14
  18. 18. REFERENCESBaker, J. and Westrup, H. (2003) Essential Speaking Skills. London, Great Britain:VSO/Dandi PalmerBenati, A. (2009) Japanese Language Teaching. A Communicative Approach. USA,New York: Continuum.Dhand, H. (2008).Techniques of Teaching. Darya Ganj, New Delhi: APH PublishingCorporation.Gear, J. and Gear, R. (2006). Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL test. UnitedStates: Cambridge University Press.Gosher, S. and Gosher, B. (2009).X-kit The definite exam preparation kit. SouthAfrica: PearsonJagla, V. (2012). Teacher’s everyday use of imagination and intuition: In Pursuit ofthe Elusive Imagine. New York, USA: State University of New York Press, AlbanyLarsen, D. (2000). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. (2 ed) USA,New York: OXFORDMarzano, R. (2003). Classroom Management that works. United States: ASCDMiller, C. (2008) Games Purpose and Potential in Education. UnitedStates:Springeer 15

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