I am teaching English at a new English course institution. The students are college students. The level is beginners. It is a three-month program. The meeting is 90 minutes and 3 days in a week. The syllabus is new for me as the director use art of speech as the basic term to be mastered. It means, by mastering the part of speech, the students can learn by themselves besides learning in the classroom. It is so different from the English course institution I was teaching at before: English Speaking Course.
|Picture: eLKISI Junior High School|
However, I prefer to make tenses as the basic term to be mastered. In my experience learning English, Learning Spanish, and Learning French, tenses is the major structure to be mastered. I prefer to make speaking as the prominent activity. The reason is that most students who study English at English course institutions think that they will be guided to speak like native speaker; do not only learn English like students at schools. In my experience teaching English, teaching English Grammar just made the students bored, though it is important for them.
The first meeting is introduction. It is the moment for the students and me as a tutor to know each other. I also tell them about what they will learn and how I will teach them. I can not decide what the best method to be used. I need to know their characters and their learning style.
The first meeting was running well as the activity was only an introduction. The second meeting was the first lesson. It was nouns. In this meeting I got the problems. The students looked tired, not spirit, bored, etc. I stopped explaining the grammar and asked them to make conversations in pair. Another problem appeared. Some of them sighed signaled as they didn't like to write or to do something by themselves. I suggested them to try to use English in daily activity with friends and try to read English text. They said no time for it as they are also studying at university. Bellow is the list of the problems I discovered:
1) The students were passive,
2) They don't have enough facility like English audio, English magazine, etc.
3) They don't want to practice/to use English outside the class
4) The meetings are in the evening. They have been doing many things during the day.
They must not be blamed. As the English tutor, I need to redesign the class and the teaching method to solve those problems. The third meeting I made the class full of activity and less explanation. It was surprising! They looked so spirit and more active. I heard laughter burst out in the classroom. However, one problem was not solved: The laziness in increasing vocabulary outside the class. They don't have time to read, to watch movies, to listen to English audio podcasts.
Some English course institutions directors will say, "They fail because they are lazy." They are right. But, English course is business. We need money for the institution and for our daily need. If most students were failed, though it was because of their laziness, but people will blame the institutions. It means doing English course business is not only about teaching English, but also change the students to like English, to be not lazy anymore.
Next week I plan to design new activity. They should read English text aloud at the beginning of the class; one student in every meeting. They also should write stories or a description text, at least 100 words. Then, I will teach them based on the text. The games to be used are also matched the texts.