Know Who We Teach Makes us Better Teachers

发表时间:2021-09-24 13:03作者:TESOL in China

       I'm still impressed by one of the homework questions from the first day ofclass, “What age group would you like to teach? And why?”, and I put down theage group of “Early Childhood Development” stage as my answer. To be honest, itcould be a disaster teaching children at this age group because they are alwaysout of rules in class and make you frustrated. However I have decided to stickto this age group and teach not only because I love to get around with childrenbut most important thing is that I believe the language development for earlychildhood is rather crucial than any other stages due to their fast adaptingand learning abilities, and we could be great teachers only if we know who weare teaching in ages, characteristics, and to use appropriate approaches toteach. That was just a thought provoking question to all of the teachers.


       Thereare different groups of student in different ages categorized by TESOL forChildren as: the Early Childhood Development that concludes toddler and 5 yearolds; the Elementary Age Development at ages 6-9; the Junior High AgeDevelopment at ages 10-13, and High School Age Development at ages 14-17 (TESOLfor Children Course E-Book, page 5). Now after distinguishing the different agegroups it is important for teachers to know which age group we would like toteach at the beginning or we should say we should make best use of what we goodat interpersonally in order to make a good start.

       Itis important to know the characteristics and language development of yourstudents. As great teachers we should always follow the development patterns ofchildren both physically and mentally throughout the teaching process. Forinstance, toddlers tend to communicate by using crying and telegraphic speechbut they will eventually understand a lot of new words by other forms ofnonverbally communication, they will not usually keep good discipline in class,and they only keep concentration in short period of time. In contrast, the fiveto seven year olds are at a whole different level. They can verballycommunicate and express themselves clearly, they make plans of activities anduse logical reasoning, and they can understand direct human interactions.(Teaching English to Children by Wendy A. Scott and Lisbeth H. Ytreberg, page7)

       Touse right and appropriate teaching approaches to teach your class will get youtwo fold results with half the effort based on the two perquisite we mentionedabove. There are many different teaching methods we learned such as RassiasMethod, Total Physical Response, Content-Centered Language Learning, LexicalMethod, and Whole-Language Approach et cetera. (TESOL for Children CourseE-Book, page 21) The effectiveness of teaching and learning results could allbase on what kind of teaching approach you choose for your group age ofstudents. Total Physical Response and Musical Approach are especially suitablefor students at early childhood development stage since they like to playgames, listen to the songs, and they could understand a lot of words bygestures and body movements. Whole-Language Approach is then more appropriatefor older students such as 8-10 year olds and even older as they can understandthe language structure and are aware of the foreign language they learn such astalking about meaning-based phonics, spelling and grammar. (Teaching English toChildren by Wendy A. Scott and Lisbeth H. Ytreberg, page 18)

       Itis not easy to be a good teacher, but we can be a better teacher once you knowyour students very well as they can be distinguished and categorized in agegroups, characteristics, and taught with appropriate methods. The beauty of ESLteachers is that we learn and we will keep learning as we teach our students,and we gain happiness and success by passing the knowledge of language to ourstudents.


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