Sally Johansson

Profesora de inglés

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How to be a good English teacher

My name is Sally Johansson and I’m from Sweden where I have a bachelor degree as a Pre-schoolteacher but I’m currently living in Madrid. My biggest passion of being an English teacher it’s about to communicate with my students and share ideas with each other. As a teacher I like to be flexible at my work but also have a good structure. 

          

 

I remember one lesson I had a class with sex years old students and the object was to teach maths. When the students saw me bringing out the books from the cabinet, their faces turn into grey and it was a lot sighing from the students. In that moment I decided not to use the books in that lesson. I told my students to let’s play a game, so I brought a big dice and told them to pass it along between them. The game was about to reach a specific number for example 67 and the students had to use addition and subtraction. In this case, they helped each other study maths through communication which also motivated them to succeed together as a team. 

You can do the same with teaching adults. The differences is the topic, in this case you are teaching them verbs, regular and irregular verbs and instead of using a dice you can use a soft ball. The students can throw the ball to each other and name different verb tense for example play, played, playing with a limit of time to make it more exciting. 

The two examples I mentioned are great examples two keep your students motivated and also develop your creativity as teacher. I’m not saying that only playing games is what learning is about. I’m talking about be creative in your teaching approach and have a sustainable structure. The communicative method has a big impact of how you learn ESL.

Is it possible to study a language on your own without any communication? Probably yes but your learning skill would be limited because you never practice to speak the language with other people. 

One of the theory I follow when I’m teaching English is Social Development theory by the psychologist Lev Vygotsky. He truly believed that to learn new language it’s about interact with other, "in order to understand the language of others, it’s not enough to understand the words. You must understand their thoughts" (Vygotsky 1896-1934). I relate that to my experience when I’m trying to learn Spanish. It is impossible for me to speak in Spanish if I only know the word but not the meaning of it. I cannot put the word into context and therefore I cannot practice the language propertly. 

The last thing I want to mention is having good relationships with your students.

I used to play football for many years and the coach was a great leader!

She motivated us to do our best and also it was important to make mistakes because if we didn’t make any mistakes, she believed that we didn’t do our best on the field. All different types of leaders have one thing in common that makes a person a great leader and it is respect. To get respect is about having good relationships and feel empathy for others. 

 

My career as an English teacher is still growing because you always learn as long as you live but it is important to be patience and except your individual learning skills.

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