Reflective Assignment on Personal Teaching Methodology
Since the advent of language learning as an academic discipline, there have been gradual shifts in language teaching methodology from Grammar Translation, to Audiolingualism, and those applied in more recent and well known Communicative Language Teaching. However, ELT practitioners have put forward an array of opinions, arguments and concerns over the issue that which of the suggested methodologies works best in language teaching. But, a variety of factors, such as official language policies, the role of L2 in a distinct speech community, learners’ need and their linguistic background, cultural and economical state of the institutions, teachers’ background, students’ previous linguistic competence, etc. affect the selection of methodology – this is why a single methodology was not effective enough to quench the thirst of language learning of all the time and circumstances. Consequently, different theorists came up with different schools of thought which influenced the beliefs of language teaching of the time. For me, the most relevant experience is that a method should no longer be a prescription made from a linguist, rather it should be a pattern of activities made by a distinct language teacher in an account of his/her classroom scenario. Moreover, all the methods are best for their corresponding situations, as Prabhu (1990, p.161) states ‘.....different methods are best for different teaching contexts; that all methods are partially true or valid; and that the notion of good and bad methods is itself misguided’. The present assignment will not delve into different methodologies of language teaching but is intended to account for my personal teaching approaches and criteria in implementing methodology (based on my personal teaching and learning experience), Starting from my own learning experience, for me, learning English was merely a subject to pass in the examinations. Emphasizing the different skills and aspects of language, reading for example, meant the teacher rendering the English texts into our L1, and we used to enjoy the literary texts with near comprehension. On the other hand, for writing skill, we were given a set of sentences in L1 and were asked to translate them in English and vice-versa. Sometimes, a topic was given to write on but only a few of us would write, and answers were hardly checked. Furthermore, we were rarely given any chance for speaking or listening; the only opportunity was to listen to the teacher while reading the English texts for us. A further aspect of our learning was being expected to memorize English lexicons, chosen from the reading texts, with their corresponding L1 meanings – in case of failure to learn those words; we were physically punished mostly with bamboo sticks. As a result, this often drove us either to bunk the class or to avoid going to school. Another task was to learn grammatical rules, then recall them without a single word alteration before the class. My main motivation for learning English then was extrinsic- passing the exam and avoiding punishment. In this regard, I felt fear only discourages learning but it can also be a means of motivation that drives more as a negative motivation. In this regard, the teacher could have followed ‘Devine Theory’, as proposed by Hull (1943), as the principle of motivation because the desire for earning money, gaining prestige in society as the speaker of English language, means to communicate globally, etc. would have certainly motivated towards learning English instead of taking it as a mere subject. When I was in my school, I was also interested in reading English stories, and I always learnt a chunk of new language items from the texts. That leads me to believe that had the teacher tried to teach a language item through those literary texts, we would have better learned the meaning of the lexis. Due to this, I always attempt to teach lexis in its context, rather...
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