EET 睿騏英語 Abish 老師 2017年教學回顧
Annual Teaching Reflection 2017 by EET Instructor Abish
To Teach Is To Learn 教學相長
A need to go an extra mile
Though having been teaching for many years, I know there is still a need to go an extra mile and to walk out of my comfort zone. There are times that it’s not easy to keep myself remain enthusiastic in doing the thing that I’m familiar with. Saving some time to reflect on this profession is like making an overall cleanup once a year to welcome the Chinese New Year. As we get down to clean, we more or less discover that certain things are or have been overlooked for a while. After the thorough cleanup, we feel refreshed and straighten up for a new start.
Online teaching is not what I used to do in most cases. Inevitably, I found myself in a spin for the recording request and a series of standard procedures for each lesson. Panic, anxiety, and juggle were the words that best described how I felt in the very beginning. Troubleshooting every technical problem became very urgent for technophobia like me. Administration support was also desperately needed at the same time. Meanwhile, I hadn’t got enough time to go over and familiarize myself with about a dozen textbooks before my teaching. That made me feel insecure. This new experience was thrilling and gladly with constant administration support and communication, it has turned my stress and anxiety into calmness and ease. I pause and ponder that teaching has again become more than teaching itself to me.
The word “teach “in Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as the following acts:
to cause to know something, to know how
to accustom to some action
to guide the studies of
to impart the knowledge of
to instruct by precept, example, or experience
to make known and accepted
Teaching can happen anywhere for anything and reason. In the era of global village, foreign language is one of the must-learn things on the list. First language or mother tongue is acquired in one’s surroundings naturally while second language takes conscious and consistent efforts. Before one teaches, one must have learned. One should have gone through the process of ignorance, curiosity, search, obscurity, research, analysis, understanding, and internalization. With sufficient input of knowledge, one can then give adequate output. Teaching can be somewhat compared to parenting, in terms of purpose, process, and expectation. As we realize how children are raised, it will not be hard to figure out its lasting impact on children’s development and achievements. In other words, we may predict how learners perform and even transform from how they learn and receive instructions.
Generally, parents would want to see their children develop well, accomplish something, or excel at something. That is typically considered success. Despite what has just been said, some parents only want their children to be healthy and happy or of integrity.
Different purposes lead to different goals and lifestyles. For parents whose belief is about support, respect, and trust, they would not value their children’s academic achievement over anything else.
Similarly, as an instructor, my role is to find out their needs and help them hit the target. As one-on-one teaching is learner-centered, each individual’s need varies. As a result, the selection of materials and the teaching approach are determined accordingly. When speaking and listening is what a learner needs most, then the objective of all lessons will relate closely to oral communication.
The process of rearing children usually involves all of the above definitions in the dictionary. As a Chinese saying goes, a newborn to the world is like a piece of blank paper. It indicates that parents are the writers, the painters and the builders of this new life. It will become what the writers write, what the painters paint. It can be vibrant or pale, aesthetic or dull. Parents shape children's character. They play a significant role in children’s development and their influence can be lifelong.
Typically, parents help their baby to utter their first words and also some of the most important words, like papa, mama, yes, no, and bye, when they start to babble. Then when they become toddlers, they are taught how to walk safely by holding parents’ hands, how to use spoons and bowls with their tiny hands, how to go potty during the potty training period, and other basic survival skills. During the preschool age, parents have built a routine for them to follow, from meal time, nap time, bath, bedtime story, to bedtime. An established pattern of daily routine can help children feel secure. Such familiar environment facilitates their physical and emotional development. Parents may also read books to children to identify everyday things and common knowledge for them. As they attend school, parents may instruct them to complete their assignments. Parents may also teach children math, literature, geography, or any subjects that they excel at. As they get older, they learn to tell right from wrong in their daily life through parents’ values and knowledge. They are taught how to be kind and polite by following parents’ example. Apart from interpersonal skills, some parents train their children to do house chores, like ironing, doing the laundry, and doing the dishes. It is beneficial for children to assume responsibilities early by giving them opportunities to share housework. For better social-emotional development, dedicated parents also set family rules and that include the discipline of breaking rules. Hence, children would learn a lesson from the consequence of their inappropriate choice. There are a myriad of things to go on during the parenting process but that doesn’t mean parents know everything or are perfect. They give what they have and what they know.
From the aspect of teaching,
the complete or ideal process of teaching starts from a preliminary test, which evaluates learners’ language proficiency, and a questionnaire of learning preferences and reasons. Knowing learners’ needs and background can facilitate the customized design of the curriculum, the selection of materials or textbooks, and the teaching approach. Next, plan each lesson and give relevant assignments for learners to practice on their own. They need time to absorb and internalize what have been taught. Then, over a period of time, they may be evaluated again to see how much progress they have made. For instance, a beginner may be unable to introduce himself with more than three sentences for the first lesson. After a span of six months, he may make a self-introduction confidently for three minutes.
As the learning program takes place, learners would have questions and concerns, whether it is about grammar, culture, definition, or intonation. The way I learned English was not in a rigid classroom but through listening to radio, CDs, music, watching lots of movies, and conversing with native speakers. I didn’t have any experiences of overseas study but I do have a bunch of foreign friends. I used to learn American English and most of my friends are from the US. When it comes to British English and culture-related contexts, I may only know part of them instead of all of them. I know I’m also a learner, who needs to invest constant effort in seeking answers and exploring more.
In a learner-oriented setting here at EET, the teaching pace is determined by how fast a learner can absorb a lesson. No rush, no fixed amounts of each lesson. It’s truly incredible that there is such a language institution in Taiwan, where cramming or crash courses dominate the market. That is what I can’t do in other institutions, for teaching is textbook-oriented, and it’s about the whole class, not about individuals. Teacher-learner rapport is less likely to develop fully.
Expectation plays a significant role in spurring people to act. Parents’ expectations for their children, again, vary. For instance, with adequate and realistic expectation, children can be motivated to achieve academic success continually. It can be a straight-A student, or a full-attendance student, who enjoys learning. Without parental expectation, children’s learning attitude and motivation is likely to become less. Drop-outs may occur. Absences may increase. They need to know their parents care about them.
Likewise, learners are like children who need encouragement, company and guidance before they can be totally on their own. Instructors should help give learners the driving force to study and practice consistently. Encourage learners. Work with them. Follow up with them. Let them know they can develop their potential to meet their goals. Let them know they are not alone in this language learning journey. Their fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, and thoughts of giving up will be replaced by hope, persistence and confidence. They need to know their teachers are mindful of them. Their motivation can be transformed and then has a great impact on the outcome. From the perspective of psychology, outward motivation can go for a while, but inward motivation can last for a whole life.
Perfect are none of us. Perfection takes a long way to go. I appreciate the hearty teaching philosophy of EET, its efficient administration support, and helpful teaching feedback. All of these have smoothed the way for my online teaching experiences and skills. Above all, my enthusiasm for teaching is kindled again.
2017 英語教學回顧 全文完
作 者： 睿騏英語 Abish 老師
日 期： 2018/1/19
Education is the process in which we discover that learning adds quality to our lives.