The memory of best learning English
Learning English has been part of my life for several years. The reason is so clear and valid that I couldn’t escape from that duty. It looks like a bunch of burden to me. To have a title as an English teacher is an obstacle to learn English. Most people expect them to be perfect commanders of English. This expectation could be a limitation to be better user of English. As a result, they avoid exposing themselves into English environments. I also have no exception. Therefore I found out the alternative choice to learn English: joining the teacher training sessions, which would be done with English teachers. They make me more comfortable, though I make mistakes, or even lack of competence. Anyway, a moment came to me. I may not forget that experience for the rest of my life. Too exaggeration!!
It was not long that I met that chance. It was last summer vacation. That training was called SIT certification program. It took 180 hours, which means spending whole vacation period. It also required 7 demo classes and thick portfolio-file. Our 2 trainers were over 60s’. One was a Canadian old lady, the other was American gentleman. Phillip, American trainer had a conspicuous eliciting technique and humor. Susan was very sensitive to our needs and dealt the difficulties during the session. They showed their teaching demo and elicited our ideas about teaching four skills. They used color papers, big-size white paper, tape recorder, small cards, scarf, … for teaching aids. Whenever we watched their demo lesson, we are amazed at their idea, technique over human mind. Although they didn’t show the splendid pictures and crafts on the screen, they know the secret to move our mind. For example, they taught “Three Little Birds”, they encouraged us to think about the lyric, showing the hand drawing pictures- farm house, sun, birds… and then gave lyrics cards and asked us to stand when the phrases were heard…. Lastly we danced and hummed the song all together with trainers.
We teachers demonstrated our teaching and reflected it all together. This part was so demanding that most teachers couldn’t sleep well that summer night. We tried to get ideas and prepare for the teaching until the session finished. We were not supposed to be graded in the program. However, we did our best for our teaching. A teacher brought board –size world map for the lesson. A classical guitar was introduced in the classroom one day. We always discussed ideas, found the reference books in the teachers’ room and helped other teachers make teaching materials and aids such as copying, stapling, cutting, drawing… I also got lots of help from other teachers. When I was finding the ideas for my topic, direction, every teacher got together around me and gave a piece of advice to me. I was so impressed with their support. I stayed late at night and finished my preparation. I got thumbs up for that lesson.
After this program, I realized that my English competence had improved a lot. Language learning pattern may not seem continual rise curve, but steep steps after long slow horizon. At that time I experience this feeling.