Teaching English Easy Yeah Not!

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    Sep 07, 2012
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Teaching English, so easy!? Yeah? Not!

There are nine areas or domains in the teaching of any language and the teaching skills required are very difficult to find and or obtain; sometimes taking years to find or build. Learning a language as with any learning takes confidence not only in the learner but also in the teacher, if your teacher is not confident than you as a learner will lose your confidence, no matter how much you brought to the table.

In the years I have been teaching English I have seen many methods some worth looking at and some by my standards worth nothing specially time, especially those not willing to grow with time.

I was unfortunate at one time to join up with a group that was teaching phonetics and when it came to the letter ‘Q’ they were saying its sound only as ‘Ku’ and not even entertaining that fact that the ‘q’ sound could also be an alternative for  ‘Kh’ as in Qatar the country for just one example. As you can imagine the company closed but not before doing its damage to young minds; of which I was responsible for as a young teacher of E.S.L..

Getting back to the 9 domains of teaching language (Lingua Franca); lingua Franca big word that simple means a language used for communication; wah, I can hear you saying a spoken language, not only so! Please remember some people write in-order-to communicate.

We have the standard 4, you know them as ‘reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, okay now add Grammar in writing to the list and also Grammar in the spoken word also because they are very important. I can almost hear you saying “Yeah, he’s right” because we often say “can’t” in the contracted form but technically we cannot write it; (ergo) therefore two forms of grammar.

Now we have 6 domains in teaching any language the next 3 are the hardest to find and the most difficult to learn, as we need time and energy as well as dedication to develop in a teacher and as any personality it can be nurtured or butchered by the employer.

1. Delivery confidence.

Delivery confidence is all about the strength of the teacher, not being allowed to alter perspective because one or two students don’t grasp the learning experience, not everyone can learn in the classroom.

2. Content personality.

Content personality is the ability to bring the written word to life to create a world were sight becomes sound so the student, no matter what age gets the meaning or understanding of the content either fully or in part,

3. Symbiosis.

Symbiosis is the ability to work with the learner as nothing more than a teaching-learning-teaching pact, the student teachers you what he needs to learn and you teach it by understanding need.

Now I can hear you say “that sounds so easy to do.”, “I only need to listen.”  Yes you are right, but I put to you this ‘Listen to what?’ so many young learning teachers of any discipline forget that sometimes it’s themselves, they need to listen too! Not everyone is perfect; in fact no one is, so we all make mistakes the difference is how we handle those mistakes we make.

Author's Profile

I am the Head of the English Language Department at the Murni International College out at Nilai in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

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