A New Ideology Essay

1980 words - 8 pages

The history of teaching English as a second language is filled with many different ideas that have been proven effective over time. An ESL teacher’s ideology, therefore, cannot be a composition of merely one of these ideologies; it must be a mixture of all of the ideas that work best for the teacher as an individual. As I am a newcomer to the realm of second language education, I know that my ideology will change. I am sure that I will have to shift my ideas to accommodate different types of students and different schools’ missions for their students. In the next few months, I will begin my first formal experience in teaching ESL. During this time, my ideology will be constantly shifting in order to make it the most comfortable fit for me and for my new students.
My own methodology is a composition of many ideologies from the past that I think would transfer into a modern-day classroom. Many of the ideas from the Direct Method (Brown 21) are found in my own ideology. In this method, students participate in large amounts of spontaneous oral interaction. In the Direct Method, teaching vocabulary includes using lots of pictures and demonstrations which help stimulate memorization. I would include these ideas in my own methodology because students can have real-world interactions with each other by using spontaneous language. This methodology also focuses on a natural, more inductive way of teaching grammar and does not include too many drills, charts, or memorization. The Direct Method attempts to simulate the way in which people learn their first language so it is a more natural approach to learning languages. The methodologies from the 1970s include many of the same ideas as the Direct Method. In Community Language Learning (CLL) there is interpersonal communication between the student and the teacher. This lessens anxiety and the students do not view the teacher as a threat but instead as a counselor that moves the students from dependence to independence. I think that it is important for the classroom to be as stress-free as possible. Students should not be scared of their teacher or else the language learning process could be slowed. Although in The Silent Way method (Brown 28) the teacher is much too distant, I do like the idea from this method that the students learn through discovery and creating. It is important for students to take an active part in their own learning process so that the teacher is not the only one in the classroom who is responsible for student learning. Discovery is a large part of the Total Physical Response (TPR) method which is also another method from the 1970s ideologies. In TPR, students touch, act, and listen before they ever speak in order to associate memory with motor activity (Brown 30). I would incorporate TPR into my own methodology because it is a very important method for teaching newcomers. When students first arrive in the United States and begin their formal language learning they cannot produce very...

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