Saturday, October 1, 2011

Teacher Education Course

What all theories of language acquisition account for is the ability of human beings to learn in different environments or circumstances. All the main theories draw conclusions based on indirect evidence. Language learners have to make do with the methods at hand and hope to have inpirational teachers who despite the absence of comprehensive theory can draw conclusions and look for the best practices to the specific group of people in front of them.
There was never a single method that would be effective to all learners worldwide, but an educator might choose from past methods elements or techniques to add to his/her repertoire and be able to justify the choices. It’s common in language teaching programs to study different methods and learn the approach and rationale behind them so that a teacher can make decisions in terms of what principles to incorporate into practice. New teaching ideas abound and every language teacher has had the experience of trying out a new activity in class. But no matter how carefully you plan your lesson, there will always be a moment in which a reflexive teacher will realize she/he should have done things differently. It’s paramount to realize that our beliefs and approaches must not be set in stone since educators will always face the challenge of preparing people for a fast changing future. A teacher has to be dynamic and eager to experiment and take calculated risks, trying new ways and ideas here and there. The relationship between our beliefs and what actually happens in class should be our guide when we are to decide what changes we welcome in our practice. A 21st century teacher not only faces the challenge of looking into the past to learn that each method brought advantages and drawbacks but also look into the present changes and the future to sort out what new ideas to implement. Here is a Quizlet about approaches and methods - an overview (adapted by Nunan 1989) from Teaching by Principles to refresh my memory and brush up.

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