More TEFL Logue Confessions
I shared some of my secrets back in December; it’s now time for more.
1. I sometimes run to classes so I’m not late. In more than three years, I have been late to an on-premise class exactly once. Very unfortunately, my record is not that strong with one-to-one students. It’s hardly a habit to be late, and knowing, say, half an hour in advance, that I will be even a few minutes late is an incredibly stressful situation for me, even if I call the person to apologize and they aren’t upset. I actually nearly broke the heel of one of my boots the other day while running to a lesson to avoid being late. I have no good excuse. I shouldn’t be late. But sometimes I am.
2. As a language learner, I don’t mind more traditional methods. Vocab lists? Print them up for me. Translation? Hand me a pencil. Dictation? Let’s go. I am a communicative teacher – many of the ways through which I’ve learned are ways I would not use in my own classes to teach English…but the fact is, I do feel that I have learned. I admit, communicative learning can be an acquired taste; I’ve done only a bit as a learner and generally only as a student of the local language at the schools where I’ve taught. There are definitely communicative tips I am happy to incorporate into my own learning, but I’m not as dead-set against traditional methods as I perhaps should be.
3. Occasionally when a student talks for too long, I zone out and stop listening. I feel bad about it, but sometimes there seems to be no alternative. It just happens. If I miss a lot, I try to paraphrase and get the student to clarify or correct me.