TEACHING APPROACH: Q & A with Julie by Inglés con Julie - Profesora de inglés en Majadahonda



  1. In your opinion, what are the 3 most important qualities of a good language trainer?


Resourceful, Organized, Welcoming



  1. What is the difference between a communicative and traditional approach to teaching which is more advantageous and why?


Communication approaches are used during communicative activities, such as conversation and correspondence, and these are normally interactive. That is to say, the participants alternate as producers and receivers. In general, the language learner/user’s communicative competence is activated in activities involving reception, production, interaction or mediation (in particular interpreting or translating). Each of these types of activity is possible in relation to texts in oral or written form, or both.


 While the majority of research has been devoted to language learning in a natural setting, there have also been efforts made to investigate second language acquisition in the classroom (traditional approach). This kind of research has a significant overlap with language education, but it is always empirical, based on data and statistics, and it is mainly concerned with the effect that instruction has on the learner, rather than what the teacher does.

The research has been wide-ranging. There have been attempts made to systematically measure the effectiveness of language teaching practices for every level of language, from phonetics to pragmatics, and for almost every current teaching methodology. This research has indicated that many traditional language-teaching techniques are extremely inefficient.



  1. In your opinion, what is an acceptable Teacher Talking Time Vs Student Talking Time ratio? How does the student’s level influence this ratio?


This has to do with the right classroom management. It is quite natural that we tend to involve the most participative students which can even help us in class, but let us never neglect the shiest students. Distribute STT evenly between all the students in the group.

This easiness in involving all the students is again a result of your good preparation. You’ll be able to measure and devote even STT only if you are well prepared and know your activities and objectives.



  1. What is your general attitude to error correction? How do you go about correcting your student(s)?


One of the major obstacles with speaking is that learners have to overcome the anxiety of making mistakes and blurting out things that may be considered wrong or stupid. Our job as teachers is to provide the kind of atmosphere that encourages student to speak freely and see mistakes and errors as a necessary part of the process of learning.



  1. How much time do you think it would take to prepare for a 1 hour lesson?


30 min – 1 hour


  1. To what extent is discussion important in a lesson? What are some of the pitfalls of a discussion activity and how could these be avoided?


There are many reasons to give speaking tasks and activities to students:

+ Making the students have a free discussion gives them a chance to rehearse conversation, which occurs outside the classroom. For example having the students take part in a role-play at an airport check-in desk allows them to ‘get the feel’ of what communicating in a real world context is like.

+ Speaking activities provide feedback for both the teacher and the students. Teachers can see the progress of the students and what problems they are having. Students can see what type of speaking they are good at and what they may need to improve on.

+ Good speaking activities can be highly motivating. If there is full participation by all the students and the activity has been setup properly it can give the students a boost to their confidence and make for an enjoyable lesson. In turn this can increase student motivation.




  1. How would you deal with a ‘problem’ participant? For example, someone who is overly demanding, or someone who is reluctant to participate during a class?


While personality and personal problems are out of the teacher’s hands, it is still the teacher’s job to try and tackle some of these problems. Teachers need to learn how to make the shy student feel comfortable and come out of their shell or the stressed student relax and forget about their worries when they arrive to class. To be a successful teacher, you must know how to build rapport and cater to your students’ needs.

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