Enjoy Reading Clubの紹介
What is a good English teacher?
When I met her for the first time, I was a high school student. I didn’t like my English class at that time. I believed that English which was taught at high school was just for entrance examination for universities because all I did was translation, complicated grammar, and difficult vocabulary which I would never use in daily conversation. However, what I wanted to learn was not English for examination, but English as a communication tool. My goal as an English speaker has always been to be able to have natural conversation with native speakers. One day, I realized that my speaking skill couldn’t reach this level just by studying at school. I needed my private English teacher who could teach me real language. Then, I met her. She completely changed my idea toward teachers.
Now, I know teachers are one of the most important aspects when students learn a language. My private English teacher showed me how teachers should be. Many English teachers in Japan don’t have enough experiences to teach. Good teachers need many experiences and extensive knowledge, and even more importantly, teachers should be always on equal footing with students.
Good English teachers don’t push. For example, one teacher might believe that singing English songs is the best way to memorize vocabulary. Therefore, her class involves singing time. However, one of her student is very shy, so he rarely sings in her class. She gets cross at his attitude, so she tries to make him sing. Good English teachers never push their ideas to students, but they suggest what they expect them to do. They always ask for student’s consent. Good teachers ask students first even when they decide textbooks. These teachers can respect student’s characters as well, so they are good at expanding student’s personality.
Good English teachers don’t give quizzes. In many Japanese high schools, students have to take vocabulary quizzes. Even though the purpose of these quizzes is to enlarge their vocabulary, but students memorize words just for the quizzes. Therefore, they can’t expand their vocabulary as a long term, and it’s very easy to forget vocabulary which is crammed just for quizzes. Without the test, they actually acquire a large number of words, and someday these language abilities will explode by chance. For example, imagine that there is a girl who was poor at English at first. However, she met a wonderful teacher, and she found that reading many picture books was the most suitable way for her to learn English. She continued to read, and she enjoyed it very much. When she met a foreigner after this process, she enjoyed talking with him for a long time. She could talk with him more fluently than before. If students enjoy the language and continue to learn, there is no need to take quizzes.
Good English teachers don’t teach, but they support. When students learn a language, they certainly require basic vocabulary and basic grammar. However, they surely reach enough level to learn by themselves without teachers although the periods they need is up to each student. Therefore, the job for teachers is to lead students to discover how to learn by themselves. They support their students by suggesting some materials, which should be suitable for their level. For example, it’s dangerous to assume that picture books are so easy to read that they’re for beginners. Picture books are not always easy because vocabulary that is used in books is for native speakers, so they are sometimes difficult for Japanese.
Good teachers should recognize the actual level of the materials, and they should be able to suggest materials of the right level to students based on their ages and their level of English. Therefore, good teachers who can support suitably can motivate students well. Students realize that the harder they work, the more they improve their abilities. Teachers don’t teach, so student’s improvement depends on their motivation.
The most important thing when students learn a language is to enjoy learning and to continue. The subject they are interested in is easy to remember, and hard to forget. If you continue, there is another discovery every day. Good English teachers can back up the students efficiently to make them continue and enjoy English. In this way, my teacher completely changed my ideas toward teachers. Before I met her, I had believed that teachers should teach. However, she showed me that the most important thing was to be always on equal footing with students. Therefore, she didn’t teach me, push me, and she had never given any quizzes to me. She tried to keep equal relationship with me, and she always tried to learn from me as well. This attitude toward students builds good relationships, and it connects student’s motivation to continue to learn.
最終更新日 2014年12月11日 11時50分56秒
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