Task 1 – List 5 qualities that a ‘good’ teacher should have and give reasons for your choices. Which of these qualities do you consider to be more important, and why?
a)Motivator: In my opinion being able to motivate the students into studying is the most important aspect of teaching. Doing that induces a higher level of attention and absorption during classes and also stimulates students to look deeper in the subject.
b)Knowledgeable: A teacher who is corrected by his student’s losses an attention that is hard to recover. I am not talking about basic mistakes, made while being in a hurry, but having structural or basic common sense lacks in the mastery of the subject.
c)Love his job: As I detailed in the e-mail I sent, I worked 8 years in a high school (primary to high-school students, more than 1300 students) and I saw all types of teachers. The only ones with above average results were the one who, even after years of teaching, loved what they we’re doing. Also, the students feel you when you are in front of them, and, as most humans, respond with appreciation for someone who is true to his beliefs (which results in higher awareness during classes). Teaching is a vocational track, you must have a penchant for this, just as Art, Music or Dance require.
d)Interaction: The teacher must be able to sync with his students in order to take them where he wants them. Especially with young learners, you must get to know each one to be able to interact and lead them in a way they accept, and learn from it. Also, each class may require a certain type of interaction / teaching / playing, and knowing how to approach them means success or failure.
e)Involve: This is the trickiest skill, and, in my opinion, the hardest to master. But a teacher will work with hundreds of students every year, and each one must get a sip from the “cup” a teacher and a course is. It is very hard to find the thin line, and truly equally involvement I don’t think exists, because teachers are humans, and so are students. Teacher’s develop sympathies, same do students (for teachers, courses etc.). But even the most uninvolved student must get the chance to show what he knows / he can do, in a non-degrading environment. Also, a class is judged by averages, not by extremes. Task 2 – State what you consider to be the five most important roles of a teacher. Describe each role and say why you think it is important.
a)Facilitator/Resource: As a facilitator / resource the teacher’s role to give at the start of a activity all the “tools” students need to participate and complete tasks by themselves undisturbed. Also he exists there to give a helpful advice, or a different angle on the problem, without solving it. It may be just my point of view, based on my experience until now, but what you understand by yourself is harder to forget than what you have been taught by others, and also, knowledge transforms in skills and competences.
b)Organizer: In this role, the teacher will design the activity, making sure the students understand the activity, their roles in it, and, at the end, helps them why they had to go through that activity (feedback and debriefing) As students under certain ages don’t have all the skills or the interest necessary for following the rules of an activity, the teacher’s role is crucial in keeping a strong direction in which the activity goes. Except adults (but even in their case the attention and focus diminishes greatly after 45 minutes of focus), every age has its own issues when it comes to following a scripted play.
c)Prompter: In this case the teacher has more of a support role, being the person who encourages the student to continue, to look for other ways of solving a problem, or just reminding them the end of their last sentence. Compared to the other roles (except participant) this one puts the teacher in a very friendly and non-authoritative position. In my opinion its potential for influence may have the greatest impact of them all. I also think the best teachers have this attribute, which is empowered by a high emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate effectively with the students.
d)Participant: In this role, the teacher becomes a simple participant in the activity. Either as a partner for someone who works alone in a pair’s situation, or part of a group. I think the strength in doing this comes from the fact the teacher demonstrates the ability to commit to the same rules as all the other students, demonstrating that he is at the same level as everyone. Doing this allows him to interact in more ways with the students, different from the authoritative position he has in their eyes.
e)Manager: Traditionally, the role of the manager is one of controller and enforcer. The manager is the one who stands in front of the “personnel”, supported by rules and regulations, and his words are “the law”. I consider that a manager with “Motivator” should be the basic level from which an educator starts. A teacher in this position has the role and duty of delivering the basic information in a strict frame, ensuring the receiving of the message, and partially being able to make sure of them understanding of the message.
Task 3 – List 5 qualities you would expect to find in a ‘good’ learner. Which of these qualities do you consider to be more important, and why?
a)The desire to learn
b)The desire to experiment
e)Acceptance of correction
In my opinion the most important traits a good learner has are the desire to learn and to experiment. The first one I place it in top of my list for the crucial role it has in the onset of the learning track. The desire to learn will push the student to reach his goals and after reaching one, to go deeper, thus making him a “lifelong learner”, no matter the field he is in. The desire to experiment will put the learner in frequent situations of using the knowledge he accumulated, “cementing” and further developing the knowledge and the desire to learn. These two attributes of a learner work together, each one empowering the other one.
Task 4 – What are some of the major differences you would expect to find between adult and young learners?
The major differences between the two categories of learners start with age (talking about age from a psychosomatic point of view – with age the ability to absorb information and the flexibility of the synaptic connections in the brain declines), and continue with motivation (adult learners usually have a stronger motivation for learning - being motivated by a higher salary, social status or just self-respect - than young learners), experience (I think this is self-explanatory), behaviour (usually adults come willingly to courses, compared to young learners. Still, adults can cause more problems in a class than most young learners, who still have a degree of respect for the teacher’s authority), willingness to experiment and demonstrate (usually adults have a fear of looking like fools, or “losing face (especially powerful in Asian cultures)”, while the young learners accept it as a game, and accept “failures”) and, the last, but not the least, educational resources used in delivering the course (with different degrees according to the age of learners, but in young education games play a more important part than in adult education. Also the willingness to participate is higher in younger learners).
Task 5 – List the levels of language ability that learners are often grouped into and give a brief summation of each level: Beginner (A1): able to use every day expressions and interact at a basic level with other speakers; very low fluency Elementary (A2): able to use basic sentences and familiar terms; communicate on simple topics; low fluency Pre-intermediate (B1): increased vocabulary and ability to communicate in more life situations. Able to describe events, feelings etc. but with errors in communication. Medium-low fluency Intermediate (B2): Able to understand complex text and a wider range of topics; communicate without putting a high strain on the interlocutor. Medium fluency Upper intermediate (C1): Able to understand a wide range of topics. Able to use different types of language, according to the situation (social, academic, technical). Proficiency (C2): Can use the language in every occurring situation. The speaker is able to summarise, synthetize and reconstruct. Understands the subtleties of the language used. High fluency
Task 6 – Give as many reasons as possible why students are motivated to study English. The reasons that you give do not have to be in the unit reading material.
The reasons people start to study a foreign language vary from area to area and from personality type to personality type. The most common are: ·Career opportunities
·Move to a English speaking country (temporarily or definitive) ·Interest in languages
·Interest in foreign colleagues / friends / partners
·Travel (lower incidence)
·Work visa / residence
·Increase in revenue (for example in Thailand English speaking police officers get a higher salary) ·Passion for a foreign culture