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A Brief Talk about My Method of Teaching

来源:基础教育 作者:刘星雨

     

    西南大学外国语学院 刘星雨
    Have the experience in UCR and internship at high school, I would like to form a method that fits me as well as general high schools in China. The method should be practical and easy to carry for a new teacher.
    I strongly believe in Communicative Language Teaching, especially the strong version of CLT, Task-based Language Teaching. Multiple intelligence and Zone of Proximal Development are significant elements are significant in my method which aims at teaching with functions.
    Task-based Language Teaching, short for TBLT, focuses on learning language during task completing process, that is, “students acquire the language when they need it in order to accomplish the task that has been set before them.” (Larsen-Freeman & Anderson, 2011) Teachers are the input provider and supporter in this process while students are expected to work together and to finish a meaningful task. Task, is an activity or a meaningful problem that relates to real-world activities (Skehan, 1998). Tasks with multiple intelligences means the task should not only includes linguistic items, but also practices other intelligences. The more types of intelligences are involved in teaching, the more students will get engaged in it.
    Another important element, Zone of Proximal Development, first proposed by Vygotsky, “is the gap between what a learner has already mastered and what he can achieve when provided with educational support.” (Coffey) It indicates that teachers should pay attention to every student’s ZPD and provide appropriate help such as “scaffolding” to pull them forward.
    To apply my teaching method into real classes, I would put forward a task at the beginning of the class, letting students know the objectives for this class, which would create a secure atmosphere for them to learn language defenselessly. In addition, various forms and content of tasks activate students’ interest in learning the topic which grows their concentration and multiple intelligences. For example, a task involves kinesthetic intelligence requires students to move around, which increases the learning enthusiasm in most situations.
    During the process of completing the task, I would still pay much attention to linguistic items and combine them with different task steps. For example, once I teach a grammar point, I would ask students to use it to finish a small meaningful task right away, which will make them feel learning is useful and has practical functions. These small steps also play as the “scaffolding” that leads to less pressure. “Scaffolding” can be also used in other ways. Before the task, pre-teach the vocabulary and tap to prior knowledge help activate interest. While doing the task, giving time and opportunities for students to talk and think, providing necessary help, using visual aids are all good ways for “scaffolding”. (Swenddal) After the task, guided-presentation also lowers the level of anxiety.
    Overall, I chose to combine the factors of Task-based Language Teaching, Multiple Intelligences and Zone of Proximal Development. I believe it can be a method that benefits me as well as my students in the future.
    Reference
    Coffey, H. (n.d.). Zone of Proximal Development.
    Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2011). Teaching&Principles in Language Teaching. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Swenddal, H. (n.d.). Teaching Tips, TESOL 101.
     
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