Do’s and don’ts for teach­ing English stu­dents

Panay News - - BUSINESS -  By Remie B. Vil­lanueva, Pres. Roxas, Capiz ( Paid ar­ti­cle)

ENGLISH is con­sid­ered as one of the ma­jor sub­jects in school. As teach­ers wel­come these stu­dents in their class, here are a few ba­sic best prac­tices that might help teach­ers go about their lessons for the whole aca­demic year. It was re­searched and rveal­ized that con­sis­tently us­ing these prac­tices makes English teach­ing more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive. It was also dis­cov­ered that it is im­por­tant to in­clude a few “worst” prac­tices in the hope that they will not be re­peated.

First prac­tice is mod­el­ing. What should be done? Do model for stu­dents what they are ex­pected to do or pro­duce, es­pe­cially for new skills or ac­tiv­i­ties, by ex­plain­ing and demon­strat­ing the learn­ing ac­tions, shar­ing teacher’s think­ing pro­cesses aloud, and show­ing good teacher and stu­dent work sam­ples. Mod­el­ing pro­motes learn­ing and mo­ti­va­tion, as well as in­creas­ing stu­dent self-con­fi­dence – they will have a stronger be­lief that they can ac­com­plish the learn­ing task if they fol­low steps that were demon­strated. What should not be done? Don’t just tell stu­dents what to do and ex­pect them to do it.

Sec­ond prac­tice is on the rate of speech and wait time. What should be done? Do speak slowly and clearly, and pro­vide stu­dents with enough time to for­mu­late their re­sponses, whether in speak­ing or in writ­ing. Af­ter ask­ing a ques­tion, wait for a few sec­onds be­fore call­ing on some­one to re­spond. This “wait time” pro­vides all stu­dents with an op­por­tu­nity to think and process, and gives them a needed pe­riod to for­mu­late a re­sponse. What should not be done? Don’t speak too fast, and if a stu­dent tells the teacher they didn’t un­der­stand what they said, never, ever re­peat the same thing in a louder voice.

Third prac­tice is in giv­ing in­struc­tions. What should be done? Do give ver­bal and writ­ten in­struc­tions – this prac­tice can help all learn­ers. In ad­di­tion, it is far eas­ier for a teacher to point to the board in re­sponse to the in­evitable re­peated ques­tion, “What are we sup­posed to do?” What should not be done? Don’t act sur­prised if stu­dents are lost when the teacher haven’t clearly writ­ten and ex­plained step-by-step di­rec­tions.

Last prac­tice i s to check for un­der­stand­ing. What should be done? Do reg­u­larly check that stu­dents un­der­stand the l es­son. Af­ter an ex­pla­na­tion or les­son, a teacher could say, “Please put thumbs up, thumbs down, or side­ways to let me know if this is clear, and it’s per­fectly fine if you don’t un­der­stand or are un­sure – I just need to know.” This last phrase is es­sen­tial if teacher want stu­dents to re­spond hon­estly. Teach­ers can also have stu­dents quickly an­swer on a Post-it note that they place on their desks. The teacher can then quickly cir­cu­late to check re­sponses. When teach­ers reg­u­larly check for un­der­stand­ing in the class­room, stu­dents be­come in­creas­ingly aware of mon­i­tor­ing their own un­der­stand­ing, which serves as a model of good study skills. It also helps en­sure that stu­dents are learn­ing, think­ing, un­der­stand­ing, com­pre­hend­ing, and pro­cess­ing at high lev­els. What should not be done? Don’t sim­ply ask, “Are there any ques­tions?” This is not an ef­fec­tive way to gauge what all stu­dents are think­ing. Wait­ing un­til the end of class to see what peo­ple write in their learn­ing log is not go­ing to pro­vide timely feed­back. Also, don’t as­sume that stu­dents un­der­stand be­cause they are smil­ing and nod­ding their heads – some­times they’re just be­ing po­lite.

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