PAPER: Teaching English as a Foreign Language

PAPER
The Practice of English Language Teaching

By:
UMMI SALAMAH TIANOTAK
12105 88203 09 021

MUHAMMADIYAH UNIVERSITY OF NORTH MALUKU
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
2011

PREFACE

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Praise to be Allah, the writer thank Allah praised be the lord. Due to His mercy and aid so the writer has been able to finish this paper entitle “The Practice of English Language Teaching (Describing Students & Describing Teachers)” well.
As human being, the writer realizes that this paper is still far from perfect. That’s because of the lacks of the writer’s knowledge. Therefore, the writer seriously accept critic, suggestion, and advise from other friends to make this proposal be perfect.
The last but not the least, the writer would like to thank to friends who had given ideas in making this proposal.

Ternate, January 2nd 2012
Writer

Ummi Salamah Tianotak

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE i
TABLE OF CONTENTS ii
CHAPTER I : INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Purpose 2

CHAPTER II : DISCUSSION 3
2.1 Describing Learners 3
2.1.1 Age 3
2.1.2 Learners Differences 6
2.1.3 Motivation 7
2.2 Describing Teachers 9
2.2.1 What is a Teacher? 9
2.2.2 The Role of a Teacher 9
2.2.3 The Teacher as Performer 11
2.2.4 The Teacher a Teaching Aid 11

CHAPTER III : CLOSING 13
3.1 Conclusion 13

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background
Language teaching practice often assumes that most of the difficulties that earners face in the study of English are consequence of the degree to which their native language differs from English. A native speaker of Chinese, for example, may face many more difficulties than a native speaker of German, because German is closely related to English, whereas Chinese is not. Another example be Spanish, because a lot of words that come from this language are written in some way though pronounced differently. This may be true for anyone of any mother tongue setting out to learn any other language.
Language learners often produce errors of syntax and pronunciation thought to result from the influence of their first language, such as mapping its grammatical patterns inappropriately onto the second language, pronouncing certain sounds incorrectly or with difficulty, and confusing items of vocabulary known as false friends.

Most people who teach English are in fact not native speakers of that language. They are state school teachers in countries around the world, and as such they hold the relevant teaching qualification of their country, usually with a specialization in teaching English.
EFL, English as a foreign language, indicates the use of English in a non-English speaking Region. Study can occur either in the student’s home country, as part of the normal school curriculum or otherwise, or, for the more privileged minority, in an Anglophone country that they visit as a sort of educational tourist, particularly immediately before or after graduating from university. TEFL is the teaching of English as a foreign language, note that this short of instruction can take place in any country, English speaking or not. Typically, EFL is learned either to pass exam as a necessary part of one’s education, or for career progression while one works for an organization or business with an international focus. EFL may be part of the state school curriculum in countries where English has no special status. It may also be supplemented by lessons paid for privately. Teachers of EFL generally assume that students are literate in their mother tongue.

1.2 Purpose
This paper made in order to fulfill the assignment given my Mr. Abdurrahman Hi. Usman, S.Pd, SH, M.Pd, with the tittle “The Practice of English Language Teaching”. This paper is also as the guidance for Teachers who teach English Language.

CHAPTER II
DISCUSSION

2.1 Describing Learners
In teaching, there are several items which should be paid attention by the teachers in order to create a good atmosphere. They are; age, learners differences, and motivation.
2.1.1 Age
The age of our students is a major factor in our decision about how and what to teach. People of different ages have different needs, competences, and cognitive skills.
There are number of commonly held beliefs about age. Some people say that children learn language faster than adults do. They talk of children who appear to pick up new language effortlessly. Another belief is that adolescents are unmotivated surly and uncooperative and that therefore they can make poor language learners.
There is some truth in many of these beliefs, but they can also be misleading since like all stereotypes, they suggest that everyone is the same. In what follows we will consider students at different ages as if all the member of each age group are the same. Yet, each student is an individual with different experiences, both in and outside the classroom. Comments here about young children, teenagers, and adults can only be generalization.
2.1. 1.1 Young Children
Young children, especially those up to the ages of nine or ten, learn differently from older children, adolescents, and adults or at least in the following ways:
a. They respond to meaning even if they do not understand individual words.
b. They often learn indirectly rather than directly.
c. Their understanding not just comes from explanation, but also from what they see and hear.
d. They generally display an enthusiasm for learning and a curiosity about the world around them.
e. They have a need for individual attention and approval from the teacher.
Based on the characteristics above, it can be concluded that good teachers at this level need to provide a rich diet of learning experiences which encourages their students to get information from variety of sources. They need to work with their students individually and in groups developing good relationship. We Van also draw some conclusion about what a classroom for young children should look like and what might be going on. First of all, we will want the classroom to be bright and colorful, with windows the students can see outside, and with enough room for different activities to be taking place. Susan Halliwell writes, “not talking about classroom when children spend their time sitting still in rows or talking only to the teacher”. Because children love discovering things, and because they respond well to being asked to use their imagination.
2.1. 1.2 Adolescents
It is widely accepted that one of the key issues in adolescence is the search of individual identity, and that this search provides the key challenge for this age group. Identity has to be forged among classmates and fiends, peer approval may be considerably more important for the students than the attention of the teacher which for younger children, is so crucial.
There are a number of reasons why students and teenage students in particular, may be disruptive in class. Apart from the need for self-esteem and the peer approval they may provoke from being disruptive, there are other factors too, such as the boredom they feel, not to mention problems they bring into class from outside school. However, while it is true that adolescents can cause discipline problems, it is usually the case that they would be much happier if such problem did not exist.
However, we should not become too preoccupied with the issues of disruptive behavior, for a while we will all remember unsatisfactory classes, we will also look back with pleasure on those groups and lessons which were successful. Teenagers, if they are engaged, have a great capacity to learn, a great potential for creativity, and a passionate commitment to things which interest them. There is almost nothing more exciting than a class of involved young people in this age pursuing a learning goal with enthusiasm. Therefore, our job must be to provoke student engagement with the material which is relevant and involving.

2.1. 1.3 Adult Learners
Adult learners are notable for a number of special characteristics:
a. They can engage with abstract thoughts.
b. They have a whole range of life experiences to draw on.
c. They have expectation about the learning process.
d. Adults tend on the hole to be more disciplined than some teenagers.
e. They come into classroom with a rich range of experiences which allow teacher to use a wide range of activities with them.
f. Unlike young children and teenagers, they often have clear understanding of why they are learning and what they want to get out of it.
However adults also have some characteristics which can sometimes make learning and teaching become problematic:
a. They can be critical of teaching method.
b. They may have experience failure at school which makes them anxious and under-confident about learning.
c. Many older adults worry that their intellectual powers may be diminishing with age.
As teachers of adults we should recognize the need to minimize the bad effects past learning experiences. We can diminish the fear of failure by offering activities which are achievable, paying special attention to the level of challenge presented by exercise.

2.1.2 Learners Differences
2.1.2.1 Aptitude
Some students are better at learning language than others. At least that is the generally held view. It was possible to predict student’s future progress on the basis of linguistics aptitude tests.

2.1.2.2 Good Learners Characteristics
Neil Neiman and colleagues included a tolerance of ambiguity as a feature of good learning together with areas such as positive task orientation, ego involvement, high aspirations, goal orientation, and perseverance.

2.1.2.3 Learner Styles
A preoccupation with learner personalities and style has been a major factor in psycholinguistics research. Tony Wright describes four different learner styles within a group. The ‘enthusiast’ looks to the teacher as a point of reference and is concerned with the goals of the learning group. The ‘oracular’ also the focuses on the teacher but is more orientated towards the satisfaction of personal goals. The ‘participator’ tends to concentrate on group goals and group solidarity. And the ‘rebel’ refers to the learning group for his or her point of reference is mainly concerned with the satisfaction of his or her own goals.

2.1.2.4 Language Level
Students are generally described in three levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and these categories are further qualified by talking about real beginners and false beginners. Between beginner and intermediate we often class students as elementary. The intermediate level itself is often sub-divided into lower intermediate and upper intermediate and even mid-intermediate.

2.1.2.5 Individual Variations
If some people are better at something than others, better at analyzing for example, this would indicate that there are differences in the ways individual brains work. It also suggests that people respond differently to the same stimuli. There are two theories in particular which have tried to account for such perceived individual variations, and which teachers have attempted to use to for the benefit of their learners. They are Neuro-linguistic programming and Multiple Intelligence Theory.

2.1.2.6 What to Do about Individual Differences
We have to start with the recognition of students as individuals as well as being members of group. Even when the classes have been separated into different levels, not everyone in the group will have the same knowledge of English. Some will be better writers than others and some will have greater oral fluency than others.
We need to establish who the different students in our classes are. To ascertain their language level, we can look at their score on different tests, and we can monitor their progress through both formal and informal observation. This will tell us who needs more or less help in the class. It will inform our decision about how to group students together, and it will guide the type and amount of feedback we give to each students.

2.1.3 Motivation
2.1.3.1 Defining Motivation
Motivation is a kind of internal drive which pushes someone to do things in order to achieve something. As H Douglas Brown points out, a cognitive view of motivation includes factors such as the need for exploration, activity, stimulation, new knowledge, end ego enhancement. Marrion William and Richard Burden suggest that motivation is a ‘taste of cognitive arousal’ which provokes a ‘decision to act’ as a result of which there is ‘sustained intellectual and or physical effort’ so that the person can achieve some ‘previously set goal’.

2.1.3.2 Sources of Motivation
The motivation that brings students to the task of learning English can be affected and influence by the attitude of a number of people. There are some sources of motivation of learning English, they are as follows:
• The society we live in
• Significant others
• The teacher, and
• The method

2.1.3.3 Initiating and Sustaining Motivation
At the beginning of a course, with students at whatever level and at whatever age, the teacher is faced with a range of motivation. Some students have a clear goal, fed by extrinsic motivation to achieve it. Others have an internal intrinsic drive which has fired them up. Others still may have very weak motivation. But the student’s initial motivation (lack of it), need not stay the same forever. There are three areas where our behavior can directly influence our students’ continuing participation:
• Goals and goal setting
• Learning environment
• Interesting classes
Our attempts to initiate and sustain our students’ motivation are absolutely critical to their learning success.

2.2 Describing Teachers
2.2.1 What is a Teacher?
Teachers use many metaphors to describe what they do. Sometimes they say they are like actors because ‘we are always on the stage’. Others think they are like orchestral conductors ‘because I direct conversation and set the pace and tone’. Yet, others feel like gardener, ‘because we plant the seeds and then watch them grow’.

2.2.2 The Roles of a Teacher
Within the classroom our role may change from one activity to another or from one stage of an activity to another. If we are fluent at making this changes our activity as teachers is greatly enhanced. The roles of teacher aim to facilitate the students’ progress in some way or other, and so it is useful to adopt more precise term than facilitator as the sections below indicate:
2.2.2.1 Teachers as controller
When teachers act as the controller they are in charge of the class and of the activity taking place in a way that is substantially different from situation where students are working on their own in groups. Controllers take the roll, tell students things, organize drills, read aloud, and in various other ways exemplify the qualities of a teacher-fronted classroom.
2.2.2.2 Teachers as organizer
One of the important roles that teachers have to perform is that of organizing students to do various activities. This often involves giving the students information, telling them how they are going to do the activity, putting them into pairs or groups, and finally closing things down when it is time to close.
2.2.2.3 Teachers as assessor
One of the things that the students expect from their teachers is an indication of whether or not they are getting their English right. This is where we have to act as an assessor, offering feedback and correction, and grading students in various ways.
2.2.2.4 Teachers as prompter
When we prompt we need to do it sensitively and encouragingly but above of all, with discretion. If we are too adamant we risk taking initiative away from the students. On the other hands, we are too retiring, we not may supply the right amount of encouragement.

2.2.2.5 Teachers as participant
The teachers also can join the activity not as a teacher but as participant. There are good reason why might want to take part in a discussion. For example, we can enliven things from the inside instead of always having to prompt or organize from outside the group. When it goes well, students enjoy having the teacher with them, and for the teacher, participating is often more instantly enjoyable than acting as a resource.

2.2.2.6 Teacher as resource
In some activities, it is inappropriate for us to take on any of the roles we have suggested so far. When we are acting a resource we will want to be helpful and available, but at the same time we have to resist the urge to spoon-feed our students so that they become over-reliant on us.

2.2.2.7 Teachers as tutor
When students are working on longer project, such as pieces of writing or preparation for a talk or a debate, we can act as a tutor, working with individual or small groups, pointing them in directions they have not yet thought of taking. In such situation, we are combining the roles of prompter and resource, acting as tutor.

2.2.2.8 Teachers as observer
When observing students we should be careful not to be too intrusive by hanging on their every word, by getting too close to them. Above of all we should avoid drawing attention to ourselves since to do so may well distract them from the task they are involved in.

2.2.3 The Teacher as Performer

2.2.4 The Teacher as Teaching Aid
2.2.4.1 Mime and gesture
One of the things that we are uniquely able to do on the spot is to use mime, gesture, and expression to convey meaning and atmosphere. Mime and expression probably work best when they are exaggerated since this makes their meaning explicit. We can also use gesture to express or demonstrate meaning.

2.2.4.2 Language Model
Students get models of language from textbooks, reading material of all shorts, and from audio and videotapes. But we can also model language ourselves. This does not mean the giving of a clear language model, but also, for example, the saying of a dialogue or the reading aloud of a text.
One way in which we can model dialogues is to put up two faces on the board and then stand in front of each of them when required to speak their lines. For such activities we should make sure that we can be heard, and we should animate our performance with as much enthusiasm as is appropriate for the conversation we are modeling

2.2.4.3 Provider of Comprehensible Input
As teachers we are ideally to provide comprehensible input since we know students in front of us and can react appropriately to them in a way that a course book or a tape, for example, cannot. We know how to talk at just the right so that even if our students do not understand for every word we say, they do understand the meaning of what is being said. At such time the language gains, for the students are significant.
However, we do need to be aware of how much we ourselves are speaking. If we talk all the time, however ‘comprehensible’ our language is, the students are denied their own chance to practice production, or get exposure through other means (from reading to listening to tape, for example). They may also become bored by listening to the teacher all the time.

CHAPTER III
CLOSING

3.1 Conclusion
3.1.1 Describing Learners
Based on the description previously, it can be conclude that in describing learners there three aspects which must be paid attention by teachers in order to create a good atmosphere in the classroom. They are Age, learner differences, and motivation.
Age is a major factor in making decisions about how and what to teach because students of different ages have different needs, competence, cognitive, and skills.
3.1.2 Describing Teachers
Before talking more about teachers we should know about what teachers are. Teachers are like actors because they are always on the stage. They are the persons who give someone knowledge or to instruct or to train someone.
Teachers have an important role in the classroom and they have a lot of function when they are in the classroom. They can be controller, organizer, assessor, prompter, participant, resource, tutor, and observer.

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