Teach English in Caichang Zhen - Chengdu Shi

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Teaching is a very important and interesting job. Teachers play a vital role in the students’ lives, they should have a lot of knowledge and ought to mentor and nurture students. Teachers have to love their job and try to create a wonderful relationship with their students. One of their biggest challenges is dealing with beginners. There are four types of beginners. First of all, a common category is the absolute beginners who don’t know anything about the language that they are going to learn. There are the false beginners who have been exposed to that language some time ago but they haven’t focused on it and they know a little English or some basic structures of that language. The adult beginners decide themselves to learn a new language and they have lots of incentives and goals. On the other hand, the category of young beginners is a category on which children haven’t usually made their own decision to start a new language so their motivation is limited. Last but not least, there is a type of beginners who don’t know the writing system of the language and teachers should focus on reading and writing tasks. The duty of teachers is very important and vital. In the first lessons teachers ought to break the ice and communicate with their students as much as they can. They shouldn’t start with course books right from the first lesson but they have to talk with beginners. As a result, they will create a nice relationship with them. Teachers should learn their students’ interests, needs and goals and at the same time they have to give clear instructions during the lesson and they should have realistic goals for their students so that neither teachers nor pupils not to get disappointed. Teachers should smile and be organized by having a lesson plan and a good board work for each lesson. They have to make students feel comfortable and speak in English. Students have to avoid using their native language from the beginning even if they make mistakes. Teachers should correct but not overcorrect them because students might become disappointed and stop trying. In every lesson teachers have to make their students think and speak in English in the engage phase. In the study phase they have to elicit vocabulary, grammatical phenomena or anything that they want to teach students and then teachers should do some worksheets with them. Last but not least, the activate phase includes role-plays, surveys and discussions so as learners to take advantage of what they have learned from the lesson and teachers check if their pupils understand the theory. Unfortunately, there are some difficulties that teachers face with beginners. Firstly, there are usually both students who seem to be able to cope better with the new language and weaker ones in the classroom. When students realize that they are weaker than the others they feel uncomfortable. Teachers sometimes ignore these types of students and focus only on the stronger students. Furthermore, teachers sometimes are unable to manage their time well due to the mixed ability classes. If there are different levels in classroom, teachers may get confused and not manage the different levels in a balanced way. As a result, they don’t preach to teach what they want and they run out of time. In addition, beginners have difficulties with listening tasks. Therefore, they easily get disappointed and they believe that it’s impossible to succeed. Fortunately there are solutions and useful advice which teachers can take into account. Regarding mixed ability learners being in the same class, teachers should organize tasks that students have to work in groups. Teachers should create groups that have both strong students and weaker ones working together. Cooperation will help weaker students to improve themselves by asking the stronger ones. Students should learn to cooperate and help each other because it’s something very important for their whole lives. Students should feel equal and teachers shouldn’t focus only on stronger students. They ought to help each student and make them gain self confidence in English. Each student is important and teachers should have goals for every student. Focusing only on a strong student is the easy part of teaching but the competent teacher emerges when he succeeds in improving the weak student. Furthermore, if teachers run out of time they can teach what they haven’t anticipated to the next lesson. Teachers have to discover and take their students’ weaknesses seriously from the beginning and prepare an organized lesson plan in order to complete the lesson both successfully and in time. Recognizing students’ difficulties from the beginning will help teachers to make a plan tailored to the students’ abilities and then the teacher will aim to improve all students. Concerning the listening tasks if students don’t understand the listening part at all then teachers have to improve their vocabulary skills and their pronunciation so that their students get used to the ‘difficult’ vocabulary and be able to recognize words and phrases that they haven’t understood previously and manage listening tasks better and better. A good idea would be to encourage the use of new vocabulary in full sentences in order for students to familiarize themselves with connected speech- how words sound when they are part of a sentence. To sum up, teachers have a number of duties. Their job is demanding but it’s also wonderful because when they realize that they help students to learn and communicate in English with comfort and confidence then they feel very proud of themselves. Teaching is not an easy job. It has difficulties, especially when you have to do with beginners. However, if you love what you do then nothing is impossible. As a quote says ‘a good teacher is like a candle- it consumes itself to light the way to others.’