AMERICAN DREAM? YES, PLEASE!
МБОУ «Средняяобщеобразовательнаяшкола №5»
I was always fascinated by American teachers. They present interesting lessons, never make their students swot and seem to be familiar with every kid’s problems. Their students do not cheat, feel free to express their opinion and are not embarrassed to ask the teacher for advice.Teaching the dream.
I am happy to be an English teacher, because my lessons help Russian children to feel a bit American, which means more flexible-minded, ingenious and self-confident. My usual words at the beginning of my lessons are, “Forget that you are learning English. You already speak it and go to school in California”. My students begin laughing and joking that they achieved their American Dream. That is a good beginning, but do they really know what the American Dream is?
The present-day American Dream is not being rich and famous, not having a beautiful house and expensive car. This is independence, self-confidence and initiative. These are the things Russian children should be taught first of all.
The first problem I meet is Russian students are sure they learn English to achieve some goal. To pass exams, to go abroad, to enter the university, to please parents, and just “to need it in future.” Every time they say that, I ask, “When toddlers, did you realize that you were learning to walk, because you would need it in future? Did you think about any benefit, when you learned to cycle? You did not. You just learned it, used it, enjoyed it and probably improved your skills to enjoy it more. A foreign language is the same. All you should do is learn it, use it and enjoy it.” Such a motivation really helps me and my students. Kids stop treating English like a required thing. They feel more liberated, get not afraid of making a mistake and try to have fun of study. As a result, they do all their best to learn the lesson better and to participate in class more actively.
The second problem is Russian students are not eager to work in groups. Reading articles about methods of teaching abroad, one can see pictures of happy students, working on a group project. Various psychological studies show that the population of America and Europe is mostly extravert, that is why work in groups is preferable and very effective there. As Russian psychological studies show, Russians are mostly introverts and feel uncomfortable, working in groups. I really see a lot of my students feel upset and stressed, when they get a task to role-play and to make a dialog with a partner. As a result, they lose their activity and learn the lesson worse. To avoid such situations, I give them the opportunity to choose between group work and one man project. I also allow my students to choose partners themselves. Such method lets children to feel comfortable, to unlock their creativity and to show the best results they can.
The third problem is connected with the second one and deals with the problem of fear. Russian children are often afraid to express their opinion, because they are afraid to meet others’ disapproval or disagreement. Such a matter of things demands a lot of extra work. Besides learning spoken polite forms, once a month my students and I play a debate club. The rules are pretty far from the original ones, but such an activity is very effective in teaching Russian children to express their disagreement in a polite way, to react to critics adequately andto defend their point of view, no matter how different it is.
I want to conclude by saying that successfulness and competitiveness are the most important human features nowadays, which are impossible to achieve without independence, self-confidence and initiative. On my lessons, I teach my students to achieve them, which means to feel no stress during learning English, not to be afraid to show creativity, to express disagreement and to defend their opinion. That helps our children to make the well-known American Dream reachable.
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В статье я размышляю об актуальных проблемах обучения английскому языку в школе. В данной работе освещаю наиболее эффективные формы и методы обучения.Статья будет интересна как молодым педагогам, так и уже опытным.Особенно хорошо освещена проблема преодоления трудностей подросткового возраста,языкового барьера.
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