TEFL Henderson North Carolina

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As previously reported in unit 3 of this course, the ESA teaching methodology is commonly thought of as the most effective in a tefl environment. However, this paper aims to demonstrate that merely applying an ESA methodology does not automatically create a good teacher, or effective learning environment. For instance, although an ESA plan may include an engage warm up activity, a study phase in which the students are presented with knowledge and able to practice it in a structured way and topped off with an activate activity encouraging experimentation, this is all only in theory. Thus, this where teaching styles come in to play. This theory can only become a reality if the teacher performs their duties correctly and adapts the plan to suit the needs and the levels of the students. There are a number of teaching styles known to almost every individual who has been in education. I am sure each person that has been through the education system has encountered teachers who stand at the front and just talk, then ask you to do exercises alone in silence, those who get everybody up and the class turns to chaos with lots of different projects going on, and those who encourage class discussion and like student input in a regulated environment. So we are left with the question as to which of these teaching styles is best suited. According to Chambers (2008), no one of these is best suited. In fact she stipulates that the best teaching method is a self developed method, which demonstrates the teacher's personality as is flexible enough to adjust to the students needs. Thinking about this, it makes logical sense. If a teacher utilises a teaching method that does not reveal or suit their personality, the teacher may have a difficult time producing interesting and flexible classes and thus build only a weak teacher – student rapport. The notion of developing your own teaching style is further reinforced by Buie (2008) who argues that a pick and mix of teaching styles is the best way to engage and teach students. Chambers (2008) and Buie (2008) both go on to discuss that the personalised or mixture of teaching styles needs to fulfil some particular criteria. They argue that the teaching method needs to match the aims of the class, the needs of the students as well as allow student choice, and use a variety of activities and styles to produce a flexible dynamic classroom for the students to use the language. As referred to in unit 1 of this course a good teacher should inspire motivation, encourage student contributions and give the students enough time and opportunities to practice the language points that they are learning. Relating this debate to a more specific variation, consider the divide between adult and younger learners. It is unreasonable to assume that one teaching style or method could be used to teach the same language point to these two different groups of students. Each group of students has different characteristics which will effect their learning process in different was, such as motivation, attention spam and speed of learning. As a result it is fundamental that the teaching method, along with activities used to teach are tailor more specifically that placed in to categories of teaching styles that are considered effective or not. In conclusion this paper has presented the notion that ESA lesson structures are only effective if coupled with a teacher who can utilise effective teaching styles. More importantly, this paper has presented the argument that no one teaching style should be used, but instead a variety of styles should be used to match the needs of the class, language point and the students. It is important to note that this paper is not questioning the value of ESA structured lessons, but is in fact merely using the ESA format to highlight the importance of a flexible and dynamic teaching method. Simply put, this paper is a testament to my understanding of how teaching styles should adjust to suit the classroom, students and language points being taught and if done effectively, teaching and learning can be fun and effective for both the teacher and students. References Chambers, R. (2008). Developing your teaching style. Available from: http://www.radcliffe-oxford.com/books/samplechapter/8587/09-YourTeaching-Ch9-859d870rdz.pdf Buie, E. (2008) Pick and mix your teaching styles. Available from: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=2142701