Our pedagogic practice has always been an important concern in our daily professional activity. We are constantly analysing methods and approaches, evaluating their nature, strenghts and weaknesses. We make our own judgments and decisions at teaching time.
Some inevitable questions arise from our reflections such as :
-What are our students expected to achieve?
What processes do English Language learners use in mastering the language?
-What should the role of the native language be?
-What method/ approach is the most effective for our group?
-What teaching techniques and activities work best in our teaching contexts?
-What contents do we have to select according to our students ´previous knowledge?
-What is more important accuracy or fluency?
-What is the place of authentic material in our teaching?
-What should the role of culture in the classroom be?
-What should the role of technology in the classroom be?
Two years ago I began to do some action research. I started to keep a diary trying to put my experience in words in order to analize my pedagogic practice. It is not easy to do so because you have to evaluate your own practice critically as if you were an outsider. But it is incredibly useful, doing this I revise my daily work to improve my teaching practice and it is really beneficial since, you start using what you did and worked , making the necessary changes.
As a far as I know I cannot reach definitive conclusions, I am constantly learning and revising my work to be a better teacher.
I would like to share some ideas
-The golden method/ approach does not exist. We have to combine, create, take of each one what is more convenient for our groups.
Each group is completely different from the rest, even in the same school. each group is unique.
There are not infallible resources. We have to adapt them.
We have to select the contents to teach taking into account our students´previous knowledge, their language experience, interests, expectations so that we can scaffold our students´learning.
Language and Culture are inseparable. We have to teach a foreign language from an intercultural perspective, respecting diversity. We have to teach other people´s culture in relation to our own one, making comparisons, finding similarities and differences. The process of learning about another culture entails a reflection on our own culture as well as those of other people.
Authentic language is the language that we can authenticate as a user.
The appropriate use of language is more important than correctness.
It is important to create a reality for the learners, associating the target language with the mother tongue. We can use translation when necessary.
It is vital to integrate and link English with topics in other subjects of the curriculum. The learner has to know everyday vocabulary , enter the world in English, not just language lessons. The world is not subtitled.
Each learner is unique, he/she responds and reacts in many differents ways. Be symphathetic and develop emphathy for others can be very useful to establish good interpersonal relantionships.
I am still researching, observing, writing, deducting etc. I would say that this task is endless , but it is very rewarding.
-What is your opinion?