Part 1 This is an old idea of mine - to reflect on some observed classes to help novice teachers aka students bring some variety, structure and fun into the classroom. I'm not acting a sage on the stage here, some ideas offere here are controversial and are under hot discussions for ages, but anyways hopefully they might be a good kickoff in your career.
The main maxim to be remembered first thing is that you teach how to speak a language and this is what you allow to do in your class and this is what you create an atmosphere for. You can't start playing Bach practicing chords and scales, can you? You start playing a piece of music by actially playing it, you don't read music, you don't practice chords (these are all preparations though), you start playing it - it's quite clumsy, unsteady, a bit irritating, but you keep playing, the same way you're going to start speaking a language by actually speaking it, not reading and translating.
The second maxim - it's clear as this: we all experienced grammar-translation method at schools and universities: a sad fact is that not all our teachers are going to be our role models. You often complain you didn't have a chance to learn English at school, you did it only at university or with private tutors, and this didn't happen because of the whole educational paradigm and approaches teachers have and I DO understand teachers have to stick to the programme and they are underpaid and lots of other things, but it's your generation who' re going to make a difference and you're not going to do doing old things. All in all, learning new approaches , watching and attending workshops, using and trying different techniques, tools and activities is a MUST.
There are a lot of elt issues to be covered and probably there's more to come up on this blog as well, but for now there are some practicalities to use in your classrooms:
- It's a good idea to go for drilling when you introduce new structures and words because they provide intensive oral practice and they help "getting your tongue around"
- Flashcards - flashcards are a very useful teaching aid, they are basically any pictures and photos that can help in different ways:introduce a new vocabulary, show the meaning of a word, for storytelling activities you name it, you can find some here as well as a lot of other materials.