Hello English learner!
I’m happy to see you’re visiting my blog so let’s cut to the chase. Today’s story will be about a few teachers and the mistakes they’ve made in providing language service (this is the corporate term for teaching a language LSP language service provider). Of course after we present the three stooges it will also be advised to analyze their mistakes and provide the right solution.
Let’s take on Mr. A.
Mr. A is fresh out of University somewhere in his late mid or late twenties. Now he is the type of person who goes completely against the stream and he is proud of it. He is proud of the discussions that he moderates and how engaged and excited his course participants are during the sessions. The highlight of the day are always the groups with a B1-B2 command of language who enjoy good and complex discussions. Sometimes these discussions can go on for 90 minutes therefore the entire course length.
Now what Mr. A is trying to ignore is the fact that not all of the course participants are as keen on speaking as his little discussion club. Some perhaps would prefer to devote more time to specialised vocabulary, perhaps even grammar or God forbid writing skills. See Mr. A is really enjoying the fact that he can speak the language with his course participants what he is forgeting is that speaking is just one of the skills that need to be practiced in order to improve your level of English. We also have grammar, vocabulary, listening and reading the highly underestimated but important little brothers of speaking. At first a bit boring not really relevant but it’s always better to have some specialized vocabulary ready for use when we go into a meeting.
Second culprit Mr. B
Mr. B is a great fan of the useful but not really modern grammar – translation method. The method is not the newest discovery in the world of language learning as it remains the primary tool for teaching Latin. The language which about 2700 years old. Now with Mr. B English grammar is the most essential thing in the course. Of course there are reading texts and vocabulary exercises but grammar is the essence of the language. That is why it is necessary to complete 100 examples every lesson. That’s the absolute minimum if we want to master the language. No grammar no English.
Well let’s face it Mr. B is partially right. English grammar is the little mini map that provides us with the hint on what should we say next (how to start a sentence or ask a question) and supports us in understanding the constructions used by the speaker in a live conversation, or in email correspondence. At the same time being a grammar champion will make us a great reader or listener but it will not make us a better speaker. In order for the grammar to work for we have to employ it and use it in the appropriate context or situation. Only then will the English grammar come in handy it’s kind of like mathematics but not really.
The final suspect Mr. C
At the beginning there was chaos… that’s what the c stands for. Mr. C is kind of popular, and kind of all over the place. He is quite often late and arrives at the trainings session either late, at the very last moment or he doesn’t arrive at all. In his case the question what was the homework or what did we do last week is absolutely normal and at this point he really needs your help. Mr. tends to initiate great discussions but sometimes has problems with controlling them. Quite often he extends them too much and sometimes leads the dialogues into a dead end. The feeling of chaotic exercises not matching each other and having no logical connection is quite common.
What Mr. C is missing or avoiding is a lesson plan. God forbid a curriculum. If he or she would take some more time to look into available materials and learner level decriptions he would quickly realize he doesn’t have to improvize every time he starts a lesson. Furthermore a little bit of preparation is also a good idea. Hey what can I say the course participants will quickly notice the chaos and lose all respect for their trainer.