several questions about teaching

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several questions about teaching

Unread post by PatPaul »

Hello Everyone,

I am a retired EFL teacher and have a few questions for those still in the field. During my time teaching, in the Middle East, Japan, Korea, at the high school and university level, I rarely, if ever saw any instructor using the IPA to teach pronunciation. Actually, I did see one teacher use it on his power point presentations to introduce new vocabulary, and that was at a university in Saudi Arabia. I completed a Master's in Education with a concentration in TEFL, and received only on Introductory Linguistics course, and some linguistics basics in a CELTA I took several years later. From what I was told before I completed graduate studies, was that an MA in Applied Linguistics was superior to any post-secondary studies/advanced degree in EFL/TEFL. However, as I mentioned, I rarely witnessed colleagues using linguistic terminology in their classroom, for example, when assessing a student's oral communication skills, identifying some elision problems and noting them in assessment. As for grammar, I was assured by my tutors that what I would learn in a CELTA course would be suffice;however, while teaching at a junior high school in Japan, I was often asked for my opinion about some question on an English entrance exam. I would usually refer to my "Practical English Usage" book, Michael Swan, and if that did not provide an answer, I would ask other foreign teachers. Often I would get answers from other foreign like, "I'm sorry, grammar is not my specialty." Some of these teachers had graduate degrees, and one friend, a PhD in English Lit. from Edinburgh University. So I would like to know if the education/training I received was adequate. Would a DELTA have served me better than a M.Ed? I recall when I did my graduate degree in 1997-98 having technology (WebCT) shoved down our throats, only to find during the 1st job I took at a university in Korea, after graduating, was teachers carrying these big music players to class, and using the same black boards that my teachers used in my public school education. Not sure if any of this is relevant now, since I am "retired."

Thank You,

Rising Star
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Joined: 13 Aug 2019, 11:54
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Re: several questions about teaching

Unread post by COLIN »

Quite a good observation PatPaul.
The way I see it, Grammar themes are capitalized and learned during pre-university courses like TEFL etc.
From university onwards, one is expected to thoroughly know and use these themes.
As for the classroom, it depends on each teacher to adequately implement skills that best suit the needs of the students, with the use of whatever tech material available. Consequently, the teacher that feels weak and insecure in grammar, will surely seek to avoid it. Furthermore, the teacher cannot be held warrant for the institution that decided to grant him a degree, without his actual knowledge of the specific content.
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