Course: Teaching of English (519)
Semester: Spring, 2017
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
Q.1 What is second language learning? Being a teacher, how you tackle the psychological problems faced by the students during the learning of second language? How you will contribute to raise the standard of English?
Second language acquisition, or sequential language acquisition, is learning a second language after a first language is already established. Many times this happens when a child who speaks a language other than English goes to school for the first time. Children have an easier time learning a second language, but anyone can do it at any age. It takes a lot of practice!
What is the best way to teach a second language?
There are many different things that factor into the decision about how to teach a person a second language, including the following:
- language spoken in the home
- amount of opportunity to practice the second language
- internal motivation of the learner
- reason that the second language is needed (e.g., to learn at school, to talk to a friend, or for work)
There are different ways that to introduce the second language:
- by setting (e.g., English is spoken only in the school, and Urdu is spoken only in the home)
- by topic (e.g., French is spoken only during meal time, and Spanish is spoken during school/work activities)
- by speaker (e.g., Mom will speak only in German, and Dad speaks Russian only)
The ability of a person to use a second language will depend on his or her family’s ability to speak more than one language. It is important for parents/caregivers to provide a strong language model. If you cannot use the language well, you should not be teaching it.
How can a speech-language pathologist help?
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can provide elective services for individuals who are learning English as a second language. These services are not covered by insurance.
Being a teacher, how you tackle the psychological problems faced by the students during the learning of second language
Teaching English as a foreign language is a challenging, yet rewarding career choice. As an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, you must learn to constantly adapt to your students’ needs. Many times, this means dealing with a variety of problems in the classroom, many of which are all too common occurrences. A good ESL teacher must be able to recognize these common problems, and work to find solutions. Even a small tweak in your teaching methods can help to create a more productive and casual environment for both you and your students. The following will outline 10 of the most common classroom problems faced when teaching English as a foreign language, and just how to solve them.
Common Classroom Problems
1. Students become overly dependent on the teacher.
Many times, students will automatically look to the teacher for correct answers instead of trying themselves. If the teacher obliges them with the answer each time, it can become a detrimental problem. Instead, focus on giving positive encouragement. This will help to make students more comfortable and more willing to answer (even if incorrectly).
2. Persistent use of first-language
When teaching English as a foreign language, this is possibly the most common problem. As an ESL teacher, it’s important to encourage students to use English, and only English. However, if students begin conversing in their first language, move closer. Ask them direct questions like “do you have a question?” Another idea is to establish a set of class rules and develop a penalty system for when they use their first language. For example: if someone is caught using their first-language three times, have them recite a poem in front of the class (in English). Remember, for the 1-2 hours they are in English class, it must be English only.
3. Student is defiant, rowdy, or distracting of others.
This will happen, no matter what, in every classroom. If the entire class is acting up, it may be the fault of the teacher, i.e. boring material or poor classroom management. If it is one particular student, you should react swiftly to show dominance. In order to resolve the issue, an ESL teacher must be strict and institute discipline if needed. If it continues to happen, further disciplinary action through the school’s director could be pursued.
4. Students “hijack lesson”—The lesson doesn’t go where you want it to.
When teaching English as a foreign language, you can always count on students hijacking a lesson. To some extent, this can be a good thing. It shows that students interest, and as long as they are participating and conversing in English, it is a productive experience. However, if the lesson strays too far off topic, in a direction you don’t want it to go, it’s important to correct the problem by diverting the conversation.
5. Personalities clash.
Not everyone in an ESL classroom will become the best of friends. If drama arises between certain students, the easiest solution is to separate them from one another. If the tension persists, switching a student to another classroom may be your only option.
6. Students unclear what to do, or do the wrong thing.
This happens far too often when teaching English as a foreign language. The fact is, it’s often the fault of the teacher. If your instructions to an assignment yield looks of confusion and soft whispers among students, don’t worry: there is a solution. In order to avoid this problem, it’s important to make sure your instruction are clear. Use gestures, mime, and short concise sentences. Speak clear and strong. Most importantly, use models and examples of the activity. You can use pictures, miming, gestures etc. to model the entire activity exactly how you want the students to do it.
7. Students are bored, inattentive, or unmotivated.
Many times, it is the teacher’s fault that class is boring. Fortunately, with proper planning, this problem can be solved. Choose a juicy theme to the lesson; one that the students can relate to and one you know they will enjoy. This will automatically give them some motivation and interest. Get to know your pupils and identify their interests and needs, then design your course accordingly.
8. Strong student dominance
As an ESL teacher, you will encounter learners with different capabilities and language skills. While it is good to have some students who excel in the classroom, it is important that they don’t take away from others. If certain students begin to constantly “steal the show,” take care. Focus on calling on weaker students in the class to answer questions. Encourage, but gently deflect some answers from the strong students and give production time to other not-so-strong members of the class.
9. Students are unprepared.
The last thing you want as an ESL teacher is for learners to drop out simply because they felt lost and/or unprepared. Concentrate on a more shared learning experience. Make sure students are all on the same page before moving onto a new topic by concept checking multiple times, and encouraging individual participation.
Even I have a hard time arriving places on time. But the truth is, tardiness is not only rude, it can be distracting and disruptive to other students. If tardiness becomes a problem for members of your class, make sure they are disciplined. Set rules about tardiness and penalties for breaking them.
The Goal of Teaching: Staying awake and interested in class can be difficult. But what’s even more difficult is being responsible for keeping students awake and interested. This is the job of an ESL teacher first and foremost. In order to be a great ESL teacher, one must not only teach, but inspire and empower. The goal is to excite the students about learning, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending English. Keep the advice in this article as a tool to be used often, and you will be one step closer to that goal.
Q.2 Discuss the different types of sentences and also use them by creating the learning environment of the class. Who is effective teacher and how he/she can create the effective learning environment for their students?
When students learn to write, they begin by learning about the four types of sentences and the role punctuation plays in determining and creating those different sentence types.
The four types of sentences in the English language include:
- Declarative sentence
- Imperative sentence
- Interrogative sentence
- Exclamatory sentence
And there are only three punctuation marks with which to end a sentence:
- Question mark
- Exclamation point
Using different types of sentences and punctuation, students can vary the tone of their writing assignments and express a variety of thoughts and emotions.
A declarative sentence simply makes a statement or expresses an opinion. In other words, it makes a declaration. This kind of sentence ends with a period.
Examples of this sentence type:
“I want to be a good writer.” (makes a statement)
“My friend is a really good writer.” (expresses an opinion)
An imperative sentence gives a command or makes a request. It usually ends with a period but can, under certain circumstances, end with an exclamation point.
Examples of this sentence type:
“Please sit down.”
“I need you to sit down now!”
An interrogative sentence asks a question. This type of sentence often begins with who, what, where, when, why, how, or do, and it ends with a question mark.
Examples of this sentence type:
“When are you going to turn in your writing assignment?”
“Do you know what the weather will be tomorrow?”
An exclamatory sentence is a sentence that expresses great emotion such as excitement, surprise, happiness and anger, and ends with an exclamation point.
Examples of this sentence type:
“It is too dangerous to climb that mountain!”
“I got an A on my book report!”
Learning about the different types of sentences and punctuation will help students become better writers by enabling them to convey various types of information and emotion in their writing.
Who is effective teacher and how he/she can create the effective learning environment for their students:
Physical and socio-cultural environments affect students’ learning for better or worse. It is in the hands of an effective teacher to turn environmental disadvantages into advantages. However adverse the physical, social and cultural environment may be, teachers can make a substantial difference in creating a conducive learning environment in the classroom for all children.
Every school and classroom environment consists of two aspects – physical and socio-cultural. Often not equipped with adequate physical environment, schools in the country, except may be those corporate schools targeting the super-rich, find themselves in the lurch when teachers also fail in creating a conducive atmosphere for learning in classrooms. To enhance the learning of students, improve the quality of education and produce vibrant minds of high-level proficiency, what we need today are dedicated and motivated teachers who can change the course of traditional classroom setup and promote conducive environments of learning.
While teachers cannot exercise any control over certain aspects of the physical environment of a classroom, there are ample characteristics that impact the learning climate, which they can control and create.
Accessibility to resources:
Given that there are only limited resource materials needed for instruction in a classroom, teachers must ensure that chalks, charts, models, equipment for demonstration etc are made available to students in every session. How these resource materials are accessible and used in instruction will determine whether a classroom environment is facilitative or not. All along, ensuring the accessibility of resource materials teachers must also ensure that teaching-learning activities conducted in the classroom is visible and audible to all. The spatial arrangement of the classroom must be taken care of in order to achieve the goals of accessibility, audibility and visibility.
Researches show that teachers can create a positive difference in the lives of those students who are socio-culturally disadvantaged. Students who like their classrooms and perform well in their studies are those who experience their teachers to be caring and supportive. Several times, teachers prejudge their students on the basis of their socio-cultural background and fail to communicate the message that cultural difference is not cultural deficit. It would be a good idea for teachers to make an analysis about their socio-cultural biases and make a conscious effort to guard against them.
Disability is never a deficiency, it becomes so when society fails to create a favourable environment for them to learn and progress. Teachers must never put up an attitude of deficiency before the students, particularly to the disabled. They must rather create an inclusive environment in the classroom in which all students feel at home, gather in self-confidence and be able to develop on their innate talents. Teachers must nurture the students’ talents to bloom rather than diminish their enthusiasm in the initial stages.
Teachers should use adequate instructional techniques in line with the socio-cultural characteristics of learners, which in turn will influence their learning. Instructional strategies that favour the learning needs of children should be acquired and implemented as part of the curriculum to boost their academic performance. Different instructional methods like cooperative learning, peer tutoring, mastery learning etc. can be included as per the learning requirements of students. Depending on the need and temperament of each student, teachers must be flexible with their instructional tactics so as to set all the students equally on the path of learning.
Knowledge of sociolinguistics:
Creating a conducive ambience for learning in classrooms necessarily demands a proper know-how of the sociolinguistics of students by the teacher. Lack of such an understanding may give way for misunderstanding and lack of communication. Unless a teacher understands properly the sociolinguistics of his/her students, s/he will not be able to assess why a student responds or reacts in a particular way. A proper exchange of words can take place between a teacher and student only when the teacher understands his/her student from within the sociolinguistic background of that particular student.
Numerous research studies sustain the fact that an affectionate, caring and empathetic approach from teachers impels the students to be serious about their lessons, cooperate wholeheartedly with their mentors in accomplishing the targets and work hard in achieving expectations. A personal, one-to-one, direct relationship with one’s students and rendering them the confidence that their teacher is someone whom they can count on, will go a long way in establishing a positive classroom environment. All along, teachers need to take an extra effort in making the students feel comfortable to ask questions and never entertain labelling students, either by themselves or others.
It is also important that teachers, having known their students and established a positive one-to-one relationship, share their expectations with them on a regular basis and stick to those. Sharing one’s expectations as to his/her ward’s expected academic performance, routine conduct and overall discipline will play a vital role in setting a positive ambience in the classrooms.