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Teaching Methodologies

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Teaching Methodologies

Post by Guest on Fri May 28, 2010 12:46 pm

Here's an interesting area for opinion.

Many of us on here went to the teaching workshop not long ago where we listened to 2 peoples ideas on ways to teach, albeit mostly to older, more experienced students.

Some of us work in private schools, some in government schools, some at universities, some even at international istitutions ( ).

I'm sure it's fair to say that most, if not ALL of us have a set curriculum to work to as set out by the MOEd - Christ some of us even helped translate the thing! We therefore have books to follow, paperwork to show when the big cheeses call in, boxes to tick, and of course, parents to please.

While there are some who would say they know it all already, I personally took away a few good ideas from that teacher workshop.... which I've already put into practice.

There are many ways to skin a cat, and likewise, many ways to deliver curriculum content. Some may work better than others, I think it comes down to the teachers ability to teach using each method and hold students attention, plus the students ability to maintain focus and understand.

So,

Q1: From your many personal experiences, what do you see as being your best methods / mediums of teaching?

Q2: Are you a 1 act show? Do you do the same thing to deliver every aspect of your course? EG: Read from the book, explain it, set homework, students sit a test...... box ticked.


For me, I find topic related songs, lots of colourful pictures, and simple problem solving / team building games work great for the younger students, where vocab and attention span is limited.
"Heads, shoulders etc", "happy and you know it", "okey kokey" etc are good for body part practice in youngsters.
"Mallets Mallet" works well as they get a little older and have more vocab ability.
Problem solving games can be good for getting the students to follow simple steps (which they certainly need to be able to do for P4 maths upwards).
Maybe short, simple cartoons as a treat.


Older students I find enjoy a challenge. Problem solving tasks work well, particularly in Maths or Science if you can relate the method to the real life situation.
Movies are good - cognition theory comes in there (input on 2 mediums). Longer movies I prefer to break down and explain what they are going to see, what they are seeing, then what they just saw (bit like a news broadcast).
Clips with regional accents are good for listening skills.
I don't use the computers too much for study as most will just copy and paste stuff straight from a web site without understanding any of it (I've even seen uni students doing this here - and yet they are never marked down for plagiarism).
I encourage it (using the computers that is, not the plagiarism) when students are making presentations to the class; as long as it is clearly their own work or they need to show something someone else has done as an example.

In all my classes, I like to make a big use of colour. Its ideal for showing stages of a method or changes to word endings / gammar etc.
Its also good to maintain focus in younger students: What colour should I use next? What colour is this? What will happen if I mix these 2 colours together etc

With all students, I find too much of the same thing just switches them off (cognitive overload on a single chanel) - even teaching degree students in UK, death by powerpoint was always a no no.

I could easily show my Thai students an English conversation movie enough times that they can recite it word for word, even reinact it........ but does that mean they have learnt and they understand?
Chances are they are just copying sounds and noises with no clue what they are actually staying.

2 years ago I was given 2 weeks to teach every EP student (180+ of them) to sing "Silent Night" for a Christmas show. Sure enough, after 2 weeks of "practice" (repeating the song over and over), they were singing it very well and did their little show.

Did they have any clue what the song was about..... NO, they were just making the sounds and noises I had trained them to make.
Did I appear to get the results my boss wanted? ..... Yes, they were singing English Christmas carols
Was it a good exercise? NO!

In the same way, I can sit and listen to a Thai song over and over, then gradually duplicate the sounds and join in. To onlookers, I am singing Thai...... in reality, I'm making noises that mean sod all to me.

To quote: "Where's the learning?"


Last edited by Mr Mann on Fri May 28, 2010 10:32 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Snowflake on Fri May 28, 2010 12:57 pm

very good post, when i get to school on Monday i will come with some input... Now i only use my phone...

Very good post!

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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Guest on Fri May 28, 2010 4:48 pm

I come from the minimalist school of teaching. So minimal in fact that there are times when I'm not even there.
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Snowflake on Fri May 28, 2010 7:01 pm

So minimal, but I guess when salary is late you would be yelling louder than most...

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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Guest on Fri May 28, 2010 10:40 pm

Minimal is common place here I'm sure. I regularly find myself putting my hand in my own pocket to be able to take the things I want into the classroom. I beg, steal, make, buy whatever I can get my hands on.

Often, this is a source of entertainment and added interest to the lesson.
What is it?
Where did you buy it?
Is that really just a pile of plastic bottles and junk stuck together?
And of course..... the step by step trial and error refinements when it doesn't work first time..... what went wrong? how can we make it work better?

I repeated 1 science experiment 4 or 5 times until it worked. Kids loved it when it suddenly went wrong. They were also well chuffed when it started working.
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Guest on Mon May 31, 2010 8:52 am

Snowflake wrote:So minimal, but I guess when salary is late you would be yelling louder than most...

Dunno. My salary's never been late.
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:05 pm

where was the Monday input Snowflake?..... its now Tesday..... come on.... wheres the learning?
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Snowflake on Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:32 am

sorry but i got dragged away from my play with some silly work items...

Will try to get it done later today...

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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Guest on Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:29 pm

must be busy over at your place......
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by james634 on Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:57 pm

Getting back to topic.

Methodoligies here seem to be based on the teacher. There is little advancement in the terms of new ways to teach and most get stuck in a rut.
Educate yourself into the new areas of teaching and see what happens.
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by Guest on Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:08 pm

james634 wrote:Getting back to topic.

Methodoligies here seem to be based on the teacher. There is little advancement in the terms of new ways to teach and most get stuck in a rut.
Educate yourself into the new areas of teaching and see what happens.

New areas of teaching Mr James? Care to enlighten us further Sir?

My reason for posting this topic is that at my school, we are expected to follow the curriculumn and use the books provided (these are what used by MOE'd chaps and parents to monitor what we are doing - no work in the books means teacher has not been teaching).

While I find this makes sense in the main, there are many times when the books and the whole "Follow the curriculumn" mentality just seems structured in a way that makes teaching very difficult and time consuming..... surely there must be an easier, more effective way.

Going back to the workshop, it was mentioned that no books are used in the classroom; the contact hour is for students to practice speaking. All well and good if you are teaching English, but Health, Maths, Science etc requires a lot more than just talking.

It still amazes me the level and amount of learning these kids have to do in a foreign language. At my school, they are expected to learn pretty much the same stuff in the English Programme as they do in the Thai Programme - twice the work in the same timescale. Thinking back to my school daze, I had enough trouble learning the stuff in just my own language!
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Re: Teaching Methodologies

Post by james634 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:27 am

My point about methodologies and how teachers use them was subjective. I don't know how people teach or what subjects they teach, but trying out new things and see what works best for you and the students' can't hurt.
If you have to follow a strict curriculum and set material you can adapt what needs to be taught to a more learner centered approach. One example would be to take the course work that must be completed and create a game from it.
This is extremely general, but there are ways to adapt what must be taught to make it more enjoyable for all.
I am in a unique position as I can design my classes how I see fit. My preference is a more student centered approach as compared to a teacher centered approach. Get the students' involved in their own learning it makes things more enjoyable.
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