November 29, 2012
Typically at my placement, I am with one teacher on Monday and another teacher on Thursday. I have noticed differences in their teaching styles, like there would be between any two teachers in a US school. However, both of their styles are very different than ours in the US and the classes I have been placed in. There is a much larger sense of leniency when it comes to their lesson plans and schedules. They are never in any rush to finish a particular grammar lesson; they may keep working on the same topic for a while after they originally planned. Not only is the time they plan for a lesson very loose, but the topic of the lesson is as well.
Whenever I first come in in the morning one of the teachers will say “I was thinking we will do this today…” but not have anything really set still. I find this difficult because she often brings up something she wants me to teach them the morning of. Sometimes when I email her to try and find out ahead of time she will give me a very general topic, but often she usually says “oh we’ll talk when I see you next week!” Now, if I were planning a very formal and structured lesson like I do with my pracs at home, this would be a big issue. But she usually winds up teaching for half the class and then has me read from their book a passage about some aspect of American culture. Then she will ask me to engage in a conversation with the students about the topic from my perspective. As chaotic as it is going into it, I think the students really have benefitted practicing their English in this manner. The majority of them will not go on with English studies, but the teacher does believe that being conversational in English is important for them. While it is a challenge to come up with things on the spot sometimes, this teacher does know what these students need better than I do. And while it is sometimes unfathomable how on the go they can be, it does seem to work in their classrooms.