Reflecting on my learning and teaching style24-Sep-2013
If I had to be a learner now, I would describe myself as one with an analytical style towards the issues I should be aware of. I prefer spending time on tackling problems logically and a systematic presentation of new learning material would contribute to my personal preferences. I do not mind pushing myself hard as long as it is in agreement with my expectations and requirements. While reading about different learning styles, I noticed that learners with an analytical style are vulnerable to failure, which is a typical characteristic of my personality as well.
On the other hand, if I add some elements of the social approach to learning, the entire picture of me as a learner would be more complex. These assumptions of mine have been based on my recent research of various learning styles and approaches. It is important for us as ESOL teachers not to forget to put ourselves in the shoes of a learner, in order to remind ourselves of our students’ multiple intelligences and their expectations in terms of language education.
As a teacher I challenge students mainly with interactive activities by using various means of technologies. I always try to provide them with exercises which are usually oriented towards their multiple intelligences, such as: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial and interpersonal. My students’ preferences include word games, problem-solving activities, project works, brainstorming in groups, and they are usually closely connected to the session aims. In my opinion e-diaries can have a lot of practical applications; they can be used in various ways in the classroom and outside it in order to comply with various students’ approaches towards learning languages.
Diaries can be exploited as an amazing way of satisfying different types of learners’ skills and preferences. Teenagers are curious, energetic, willing to experience new ideas and it does not matter whether they would like to prepare for language exams or simply to improve and develop their knowledge so far. Needs analysis usually helps us reveal what the reasons might be for their desire to attend language classes, but after that we, teachers, are those who have to provide them with good rationale behind the ideas how exactly to organize language classes and what aspect of teaching to focus our attention on.
Currently my students are working on a project which focuses on their long-term aim to demonstrate that they love English and they accept their language studies not only as something that will contribute to their life but also a means of immersion in English literature and culture. The project is supposed to be a collection of articles and images about learners’ reading preferences, film reviews, and enjoyable and unforgettable tourist experiences.
I feel really excited to share that the eDiary, which serves as an interactive platform for the project, has provided them with opportunities to “exercise” their potential language skills, such as analyzing and discussing the topics during mini-speaking sessions in class, brainstorming ideas, searching for important information in pairs and groups, and finally presenting ideas in the online diary.
My students’ intention is to develop the project by transforming it into a mini-encyclopedia of their achievements and ideas. My aim is to promote quality in teaching English for the benefit of teenagers and my institution. There is a lot in common between my students’ aims and mine. The idea of an eDiary will help to realize our aims because this interactive approach towards lessons will make them interesting, inspiring, relaxing, and challenging. On the other hand, eDiaries add an element of novelty to more traditional vocabulary or grammar sessions and make them less stressful for students and less tiring for me as a teacher.
This is the online address of the second online diary, which my students have created and are currently developing: http://diary.com/independence
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our guest blogger Antoniya’s experiences in creating eBooks. To read more in this series, follow the links below: