Monday August 15, 2011
I was given two Form 4 classes, a good one and a bad one. Thus, I had to make changes to my lesson plan in order to cater to the different needs of the two classes/students.
My approach was more towards communicative learning, using/integrating songs, music, language games, powerpoint slides, etc, to get the students’ interest.
I took my students to the computer lab during English lesson. I tried to make English as fun as possible.
Unfortunately, my mentor – their regular English teacher – did not like the approach I used, which she described as not suitable for the present day. She said my approach was wrong because students merely looked forward to having fun, not learning English.
I was demotivated on getting such comments from a senior teacher who was supposed to guide and support me, a novice teacher still new to the teaching environment.
However, towards the end of my teaching practice, I asked my students to share their opinion on the way I taught, and what they felt about the English language.
I was touched by some of the responses. Some said they had begun to like English and looked forward to my English class. Some asked me to return to the school to teach English and some said it would be boring to learn English under their regular English teacher (my mentor).
In order to make English fun, a few factors need to be looked at:
> Smaller class size so that teachers can pay more attention to, and accommodate, the various kinds of learners;
> Change the examination oriented approach to the communicative learning approach which is more student centred, engage active student participation and promote two-way communication;
> Adopt the out of classroom setting and hold lessons in computer or language labs; a better and more comfortable environment enhances learning; and,
> Integrate ICT into the English class to make learning the language fun, interactive and less threatening.