Teaching a second language means teaching a language to learners who are not originally natives to that language. This form of instruction can either be carried out in the learner’s own nation either within the public school system or privately for instance in a part time language school or with a private tutor. The teachers can either be native or non-native speakers of the language. Teaching techniques Reading There is an increasing popularity in teaching that uses literature targeting the young children and teenagers.
Teenager oriented literature provides simpler resources especially the reading material printed by major publishers and mostly gives a more comprehensive method than the one found in the adult literature (Tarone et al, 2009). Communicative language teaching Communicative language (CLT) concentrates on interaction as both a technique and an objective of learning a second language. The method is also described as the communicative approach to the instruction of foreign languages or the communicative method.
CLT is often found to be a response to the audio-lingual method (ALM) and a complementation or advancement of the notional-functional syllabus (Tarone et al, 2009). Blended learning Blended learning is an arrangement that incorporates both classroom teaching and online interactions and is also called CALL or computer-guided language learning which is realized through a virtual learning environment. Input and input processing Input and input processing are major components of developing a second language or second language acquisition.
The term input describes all the information that the learner actually processes from the information offered to them. It is not possible to acquire second language without input and input processing. Acquisition models vary in the kind of input which is found to be the most significant factor to second language acquisition. Induction models view acquisition as a product from informal message-centered input while instructional models view formal instruction as a significant component of second language acquisition.
Any of the acquisition models recognizes the direct relationship between language input which the students are exposed to and the language output they deliver. When input is offered by interaction in natural environment learners concentrate majorly on trying to comprehend and produce a message and end up acquiring the second language as a coincidence. Conversely, if learners emphasize on the language itself, they pick the language intentionally. The above analysis of input however suggests that input is always available to the learners whether in their conscious state or otherwise.
Though the intention to learn is not vital to the learning process, attention to the input is essential to begin processing the input in order to acquire or develop the second language (Tarone et al, 2009). Social cultural perspective in language learning A social cultural viewpoint in language learning is based on theoretical assumptions and empirical investigation of learning acquired from different fields including human development, linguistic anthropology and social theory.
According to this viewpoint, language development starts with an individual’s social world which encompasses a diverse mix of regularly appearing goal-oriented intellectual as well as practical activities. Through the learner’s direct involvement in the activities as well as transformations in the learner’s life, the structural components of language are acquired together with communicative intentions and particular perspectives of the language. It is though ultimate internalization of self-regulation of the particular methods of achievement of success in the activities that characterizes growth in language acquisition.
From this view point, learning is regarded as the process of altering the patterns of participating in particular social practices among the communities as opposed to internal assimilation of structural features of language structures.
In language classrooms, interaction assumes a significant role in language acquisition in that it’s both a medium of language acquisition as well as an object of educational attention. By interacting with each other, learners and teachers form a common body of knowledge. They also establish mutual understanding of their functions and relationships and the values and anticipations of their participation as members in the classrooms. This implies that through interactions, learners and teachers socialize into specific understanding of what constitutes the formal curriculum.
The forms of interactions also assist in describing the values by which individual learners achieve their targets (Duff, 2000). Peer-to-peer dialogue in language acquisition In mutual dialogue, learners share ideas to solve linguistic challenges and/or construct language or ay information about language. Language mediates this activity as cognitive equipment to process and control meaning formulation and also as a social equipment to convey information to others. This implies that any word spoken can be viewed as both a process as well as a product.
Peer-to-peer dialogue is important in all the four skills acquired in second language development, that is, reading, writing, speaking as well as listening. Peer-to-peer dialogue can thus be considered as a mediator to second language learning (Oxford, 1993). Value of reflection and reflective teaching Reflection or critical reflection describes an activity or procedure whereby an experience is remembered, considered and assessed normally in regard to a wider purpose.
It is a reaction to past experiences and entails conscious recall and assessment of the experience as a basis for valuation and decision making and a directive for planning and plan execution. Reflective teaching has various approaches which include study of oneself and others, group teaching and exploring ones perspective of instructing through writing. In spite of the approach chosen, three parts that are a component of the method include: the event, recollection of the event and review and reaction to the event (Abbott, 2000). Errors and error correction
Learning of a second language involves Errors and error correction. Error analysts differentiate between errors, which are logical, and mistakes, which are not. They are concerned with identification of errors in the acquisition of second languages. An error can be categorized as a basic error, covert errors, overt errors or domain. They can also be classified on the basis of the level of the language. The classification of an error is very important since its correction is possible if it is positively identified (Corder, 2001). Qualities of a good second language teacher
A good second language teacher is a pre-requisite to the learning of a second language. A good and qualified teacher will motivate the learners by making the lessons more interesting and educational. A good second language teacher should have the appropriate qualification and education. For instance, it is not obvious that a person whose native language is English is necessarily capable of teaching English. Teaching the language requires special training to equip the tutor with the necessary skills appropriate for teaching the language.
Qualified tutors should have a firm knowledge of linguistics, language skills and the modern teaching methodologies and theories. The tutors should consistently keep themselves updated, for instance, by extensive or wide reading and participating in language conferences (Tarone & Swierzbin, 2009). Dedication and sense of humor A good second language teacher should have a passion for teaching and should be dedicated to the teaching career. The tutor should teach with the intention of making a difference in the learner and assist them to learn.
A good second language teacher should not be solely be motivated by money but should have the inner motivation to teach and help. Motivation by money would imply that the tutor is more interested with acquiring money rather than the needs of the learners. The teacher should possess a good sense of humor. Such a teacher will be able to make the learning enjoyable and fun (Tarone & Swierzbin, 2009) Four skills in second language acquisition Listening Listening is the language skill which students mostly find the most difficult to comprehend. This is as a result of the students’ feeling that they not compelled to learn every word.
To realize their objectives in relation to this skill, the tutor plays a significant role that is described by the following steps: first, it is necessary to assist all the learners prepare for the listening task properly before the text is introduced to them. It is therefore necessary for the tutor to make certain that the learners comprehend the language they require to finish the task and are fully informed of their expectations in the course. The learners need to be reassured that it is not necessary that they comprehend every word but most of the words especially the common ones.
The next significant step is to encourage the learners to anticipate the words they would hear. In real life, the condition, the speaker, and the image clues all assist everyone to decipher oral messages (Duff, 2000). Speaking In teaching the speaking skill, the tutor must take into consideration that the language input used in the instructional process is higher than the level of the language production anticipated from the learners. Learners especially those in primary schools should be exposed to several speaking activities to enable them participate with little verbal response.
At higher levels however, learners are motivated to start to manipulate language and convey themselves in a clearer and more personal means. In the primary school for instance, the two major speaking activities utilized are: songs, chants, and poems to encourage learners to imitate the model they hear on the cassette. Other activities are the game and pair work activities which should at all times emphasize on a particular model. These motivate the learners to start to manipulate the language by exposing them to certain amount of choice, although within a supposedly controlled situation (Duff, 2000).
Reading In order to make reading a relaxed and interesting activity as opposed to a boring and tedious duty, it is significant to ensure that the learners do not struggle to read every word they come across, whether they are skimming for the wording for general meaning or scanning it to look for particular information. At this point, the teachers should select texts while considering the difficulty level. They should also consider the interest of the learners as well as their humor so that the learners are encouraged to read as they would do with their native language.
The selected texts should be motivating enough to keep the learners entertained as well anxious to read and learn more of the language. As far as the listening activities are concerned, it is significant to invest more time preparing for the tasks by utilizing illustrations (Duff, 2000). Writing In the lower levels, EFL learners progress from writing secluded words and phrases, to short paragraphs about some specific topics or very common topics like family, home, and hobbies and friends. Since most of the learners at this level are unable to either linguistically or intellectually create written text from the start.
The writing activities mainly show towards the end of a course to enable the learners have adequate exposure to the language and practice of the major structures and vocabulary they require. At this point, the learners work will invariably contain errors. The teacher should be more sensitive in the correction process and not focus much on every error that is identified. A piece of written work that is full of correction work is de-motivating and usually counter-productive. In as much as possible the learners should be encouraged to make corrections in their own work (Duff, 2000).
Difficulties to the learners Language instructing practice often presumes that most of the difficulties that students encounter while learning the language are as a result of the level to which their native language varies from the second language.. An indigenous speaker of Chinese may for instance encounter more difficulties than an indigenous speaker of German, because German is closely related to English more than Chinese is. This may also apply to individuals of any first language intending to study any other language.
Language learners commonly make mistakes especially syntax and pronunciation mistakes due to the influence of their first language like mapping its grammatical structure inappropriately onto the second language, pronouncing certain sounds wrongly or with difficulty and confusing certain aspects of the vocabulary, referred to as false friends. This is known as first language transfer or language interference (Richards & Renandya, 2002). Conclusion A good second language instructor is a significant factor when learners are studying a second language.
It has generally been agreed that great tutors are those that still recall what it was to be a learner and treat the learners as equals. When teaching a second language, the tutor must establish an open, free and close relationship with each of the learners and motivate the quieter ones or the slow ones to gather enough confident and courage. The teacher should have enough patience and appreciation and an understanding that everyone can make mistakes. Being in a position to teach a second language is the most rewarding job since it involves assisting learners to advance and communicate abroad (Richards & Renandya, 2002).
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