THE BEAUTY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING REAL LIFE PRACTICE 1
Learning a second language is a thing of beauty and an experience tobe cherished. A secondary language provides the learner anopportunity to communicate with people from different countries andcultures. In this essay, I will explore my learning experiences as aninternational student at Saint Thomas Aquinas high school in Canada.I visited Canada in the summer of 2001 for my high school education,and it is from my high school experience that I knew my major wasgoing to be English and educating English as a Second Language. Thepractice of training a learner of English as a subsequent language isa fairly dynamic field in teaching. Sciences such as Biology andChemistry are constant, and the principles never change unless atheory is proven to be wrong and was previously thought right.English as a secondary language is always evolving and techniquesthat were applicable years back become irrelevant with time.Educators in the field are required to keep in touch with thecontemporary techniques and theories of teaching a second language soas to provide their students with the best experience possible. Thepurpose of this study is to study a past experience in respect tolearning English as a second language the essay is important as itprovides a chance to view how past experiences can shape current andfuture learning and teaching experiences.
Methods and Techniques for teaching a second language
Themethods and techniques of teaching adopted by a certain tutor willdetermine the effectiveness of his or her lessons. For instance,while attending high school in Saint Thomas Aquinas as aninternational student the tutors took on the affective humanisticapproach, and it had a positive influence in my studies and adoptionof the English language. The approach is one of the most modernapproaches and places emphases on the social atmosphere of theclassroom. The learners are expected to have a good relationship witheach other and with the teachers, creating an atmosphere that isconducive towards learning. A significant factor that influenced myadmiration for the English language and teaching it as a secondlanguage is the experience of enjoying the company of friends fromall walks of life and being able to communicate in a common language,English. Other approaches include direct approach, cognitive approachamong others. The educator should interrogate the reason for learningthe language and what the student intends to use the language for, tochoose the appropriate method (Thornbury, 2015).
Assessmentis the process of applying methods and techniques towards the aim ofgaining information on how to conduct a lesson. Regular assessment isvital in the learning process especially in learning a secondlanguage. In my experience of high school at Saint Aquinas inCanada, my English teacher used to conduct an oral assessment everyonce in a while. In the weeks after assessment, the teacher wouldreview topics that seemed hard to me at first. He would also come upwith innovative methods of making us understand better, such as roleplaying conversations. Testing as a form of assessment is aimed atanalyzing if the student has learned the intended topic if not theteacher teaches the topic again then tests again. In English andlearning a second language assessment of productive skill isimportant. Productive skills include reading and writing as thelearner has to produce words in a second language. Productive skillsare what the learner will use to socialize and communicate using thesecond language (Celce Muricia, 2014). While at the high school Iremember enjoying the education process as I was able to communicatewith people from different parts of the world.
Communicative Language Learning
CommunicativeLanguage learning is a technique applied in teaching secondarylanguages to learners. The technique emphasizes that a languageshould first be learned for efficient communication using the samelanguage. The teacher, in this case, concentrates on the fluency andability of a student to express him or herself in the second languagebeing taught. Although while in Canada attending high school ourlearning institution did not implement the communicative languagelearning. I realized a faster learning curve than average in Englishdue to my constant use of the subject to communicate and make newfriends. Communication was also vital in social gatherings andmeetings such as an international YMCA camp I attended. It is in nodoubt that any language was created for the purpose of communicationwith other individuals. Learning a language from this perspectivefirst enables a student to understand a language more as he or sheadvances into analyzing the aspects of the language. The disadvantageof this teaching technique is that it is difficult to assess andmeasure concerning success rate (Celce Muricia, 2014).
Tailor Made Teaching Techniques
AtSaint Aquinas, high school our English teacher believed inmaintaining a relaxed and comfortable environment in class at alltimes. He implements this teaching technique combined with severalothers to make a unique blend. The teacher had his tailor made theoryfor teaching English, and it worked perfectly for me as a student atthe time. The theory of teaching adapted by a teacher plays animportant role in the outcome of his or her lessons. Teachers caneven go further and implement theories of their own creation fromintuition and past experiences. Practices based on experience andintuition sometimes end up producing phenomenal results as they aretailor made for a particular class or society. Different learnersalso have different needs and requirements of the teacher. Teachersbecause of this have to analyze each student and provide them withthe relevant information. Different students also learn better withdifferent teaching techniques, and so the teacher has to tailor hisor her lesson to include each student. Students also requiremotivation so as to perform maximally in their learning. Teachershave to consider all these elements before deciding on a theory toimplement
Learning and coaching English as a secondary language is simple yetcomplicated subject. If the teacher and the learner are in sync witheach other, the second language becomes simpler to learn and teach.The essay concludes that there is no single solution for solving allthe learners and teachers challenges in learning and teaching. Fromthe information in the essay, it is safe to conclude that teachershave to put in an effort to understand each student`s requirementsand attend to them. Learners of a second language especially Englishshould use the language in everyday conversation so as to improvetheir productive skills.
Brinton, D. M., & Celce-Murcia,M. (2014). TeachingEnglish as a second or foreign language.Heinle and Heinle.
Thornbury, S. (2015). English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content,Consumption, Production. ELT Journal, 69(1), 100-102.