Sunday, September 20, 2009

Being a good language teacher

Yesterday I made a video response to Steven Kaufman's video regarding being a good language teacher. I thought it was a great topic to talk about. Being a good language teacher takes a special kind of skill that one will have developed after gaining experience studying a language independantly. During this process one will be able to learn what it takes to effectively learn a language when motivated. This is something that can't be taught in school because they go about teaching foreign languages in a different way. The only way one can obtain this type of skill is through serious independant language study. I think this is why I'm able to teach a language to an individual effectively and at the same time, make them very motivated to learn the language. I never thought I would someday help, show others how to learn languages effectively; especially learning the language independantly. This is something anyone can do as long as they are doing it the right way.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Traditional Textbook Utilization Methods

I've recently made a video on utulizing textbooks in the traditional way. Before making that video, I was asking myself if it would be ok to make that video because I wasn't sure if anyone would understand that type of approach. To many it may seem unrothodox, but I feel that it is a very efficient way for utilizing the textbook. I would basically take a course like TY(Teach Yourself) or any other type of course and start from chapter one, focusing on the constructions and incorporating those constructions with everything else I've learned. I don't want to contradict myself by saying that we should focus on grammar since I'm no advocate of that. Using this methodology is just giving the student a pretty good idea on how things are constructed. At the same time, these constructions will be incorporated with other things learned previously. As far as vocabulary, you won't memorize every single vocabulary in the chapter. I would choose at least 10 useful words from that chapter to learn and just get familiar with the rest of them. I would sweep through the book after mastering all of the constructions just to play with remaining vocabulary. While in the process of doing this, one should be writing journals every week. This would also increase vocabulary. Utilizing chatrooms for output is another way for building vocabulary. I've tried utilizing the textbook in many different ways, but this one seems to be the most efficient for me.