Teach English in Donghu Jiedao - Guangzhou Shi

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In this unit, I have learnt that the productive skills of speaking and writing, although they are different in a number of ways, are both used to communicate. In most cases students prefer to focus on speaking skills because they are of the most use to them and, as a language teacher, it is important to remember that writing should not be ignored. I realise that it is vital to create a desire and need, in the students, to communicate. A number of factors are important to encourage students to participate in communicative activities; they have some communicative purpose, they want to say or listen to something and they are interested in what is being said. I have learnt that accuracy and fluency are of equal importance while speaking. Accuracy activities ensure that the students use language in a controlled way compared to fluency activities when they can be more creative. It is, therefore, important to include controlled accuracy based activities, guided activities as well as fluency based activities in order to achieve a balance and to help the students succeed. I have learnt that by creating a comfortable atmosphere, where students are confident to speak, willing to make mistakes and enjoy communicating they will be more successful English speakers. I realise that it is a good idea to use careful planning, pair and group work, lots of controlled and guided practice before fluency activities, allow students time to think before speaking and be willing to change classroom dynamics to encourage interaction between the students. I have learnt that writing differs from speaking in a number of ways; grammar, vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, layout and punctuation. Therefore, I realise that writing may prove to be a challenge for many English language students. Forming individual letters, if a student's language differs alphabetically from English, and spelling is a challenge for students as English is not a phonetic language. The layout and punctuation can also present the students with difficulties because the rules of their first language are very different from those of English. I am now aware that creative writing in some forms, such as, poetry, stories and plays should be encouraged as it helps to engage the students, as well as, lets them feel proud of their finished piece of writing. I have learnt that games are a great way to teach language and can provide useful controlled practice and free practice material. These can include competitive, as well as, co-operative games. As students of all ages enjoy learning through games, as a teacher, I realise they should become an integral part of the syllabus and not just be used superficially.