Member’s Profile: Michael D. Post

 

Principles of teaching

Studying English as a second language involves both the teacher and the student engaging in communication. The type of communication can vary based on the topic of the course, the dynamics of the class,and the motivation of the students. For teachers though, the nature of teaching is continually based upon basic cognitive, socioaffective, and linguistic principles inherent within most types of methodologies. However, for the student, unaware of the methodologies or principles being implemented within the class by the teacher to improve their learning opportunities, effective teaching is based upon relationships within the class, between that of teacher and student and between that of student and student. As a teacher I believe in developing a challenging and rewarding class atmosphere that encourages students to not only talk about themselves and their interests, but to actively engage others by integrating different communication skills to better understand and use English. In order to learn, and have fun while doing it, I have adopted the following approaches to learning:

Theory and application

There are numerous types of methodologies that can serve in laying strong foundations for teaching. However, students are often unaware of a teacher’s approach to learning. Because of this, the teacher must be able to engage students through their relationships with them and others in the class in order to better apply the various theories of language learning. The student, who is often concerned with having fun and making friends in class, is going to judge the relevance of the learning from this point. To facilitate learning that is based upon student needs I believe in following a Communicative Approach to teaching through Cooperative Language Learning and Content-Based Teaching. Through these, the atmosphere of a classroom can better facilitate learning while having fun at the same time with the material being presented or explored for further communication.

Apply knowledge and facilitate understanding

Developing relationships within the classroom is one of the great joys of teaching. The better a teacher knows a student, the better a teacher can gauge which information will be relevant to the students’ learning. Additionally, as a language teacher I am very passionate about language and working with students to see how language can be applied in their lives to learn about others, share about themselves and discover new information about the world. By presenting students with information that they can explore, which is relevant to their lives, I am able to help facilitate their understanding of language not only through functions, but also through meanings. Through these interactions with language, and with others, students not only learn to use English, but also learn about topics related to culture, listening strategies related to understanding stories, how to make connections with different types of lexis,and how to improve their general communication skills.

Promote positive foundations for lifelong learning

While the experience and information presented and explored within the classroom is of daily importance to course lessons, the overall combination of each lesson is also vital in developing foundations for lifelong learning. As a teacher I am always learning new things in and out of the classroom. I hope to develop in my students this same passion for learning that I, and other teachers, enjoy. By focusing on accomplishing short-term goals within the class, students also work towardslong-term goals. To aid students in reaching their goals the following strategies are promoted within each class:

  • Introduce students to new ways of thinking
  • Engage in asking and answering questions
  • Aid students in using language to critically assess the world around them
  • Encourage students to try out new ideas
  • Build relationships through the use of language to communicate experience and opinions
  • Develop the personalities of students through interactions with others and with new ideas

By implementing language learning theories that present students with a challenging and rewarding learning environment, Communicative Teaching Methodologies can engage students in areas of learning that stress basic cognitive, socioaffective,and linguistic principles of language development. Presenting students with a diversity of issues that actively engages their mind, different skills can be integrated that allow students to learn how to use the English language for communication purposes in different situations and in different types of relationships. Focusing on strengthening English communication skills as a way of building relationships within the class can motivate students to achieve greater goals not only during the class, but also after the class and throughout their lives.

Michael Posthas an MA with distinction in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, UK. He teaches part-time at Kwansei Gakuin University and his research interests include Critical Discourse Analysis and Media, Communication,and Culture. He can be contacted at <themikepostexperience@gmail.com>.

Website developed by deuxcode.com