Teaching StylesTeaching english
as a foreign language may not come as naturally as I may expect. Even though I have been speaking, understanding, reading, and writing english
for many years, being able to teach a language that is second nature to me will in fact take a lot of preparation and strategy. Teaching requires the teacher to break down what they already have mastered and convey it in a simplified manner to their students. Understanding and incorporating various teaching styles can help reach each student. Throughout my research, I have found four main teaching styles: formal authority, demonstrator, facilitator and delegator. These are broader but relate closely and incorporate most of the roles of a teacher that were presented in unit one.
A teacher who uses a mainly formal authority approach is similar to the teacher who takes on the role of a manager. Like the manager the lessons are instructor-centered and the teacher will control all that goes on throughout the class. Students are mainly expected to learn the material and then be able to reproduce it. Typically the teacher will be in the front of the class conducting the lesson. A downfall to solely using this teaching style is that teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships will have a difficult time forming. However, this type of teaching is necessary at times and can be effective if balanced with other teaching styles.
The demonstrator is mainly an instructor-centered approach as well. The teacher will demonstrate what is expected of the students and then aid the students in applying what they’ve learned. This teaching style is very similar to the model teacher role. In contrast to the formal authority approach, the demonstrator teaching style encourages student participation. This may be the student’s only chance to see and hear the english
language modeled by a native speaker. Therefore, this approach can be very beneficial to assorted types of learners especially adults.
Teachers using the facilitator teaching style will slant towards a more student-centered approach. The teacher will focus on activities and facilitating them. Activities will typically facilitate active learning and student’s cooperation with each other to problem solve. This teaching style seems to incorporate the resource and organizer roles of a teacher. Students are given more responsibility to use their ingenuity in learning the language and achieving results. Independent, motivated students will flourish from this teaching style.
Finally, the delegator is another student-centered teaching style. The teacher will take a mostly hands off approach and give students the control over their learning process. This teaching style incorporates many roles including the prompter, observer, and aspects of the facilitator. The teacher will involve students in forming their own learning development and act as their consultant. Students may be asked to work as an individual or in a group setting. Primarily using this teaching strategy would be most appropriate for upper english
learning levels. However, aspects of this style could be incorporated in lower levels.
Each of these teaching styles has great strengths but also great weaknesses if exploited. Knowing your students and their learning styles will be a teacher’s biggest asset in implementing their teaching style blend. Most students fall into at least one of four main learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic. Each teaching style accommodates different learning styles in varying ways. Any teacher who uses solely one teaching style will only be able to reach a percentage of their students. That is why using a combination of teaching styles and taking on the numerous teacher roles is so important as an english
foreign language teacher.