Education must be based on the fundamental rhythm of life itself-the wish to grow, to extend oneself, to break out of one’s shell. It must seek to place people on the track to self-improvement. It cannot be authoritarian; it must seek to enhance a person’s progress with his agreement and to his satisfaction. Parents and teachers have to play a cardinal role in the building up of the character of the next generation. Language teaching methods are systems or strategies for teaching foreign languages to learners.
There is a long history as to the study of language teaching methodology, and there are fierce debates even up to this day as to which method works best. This presents a unique challenge for teachers as they strive to help these students achieve in learning the English language and the academic material specified in their content area learning standards. Every teacher who teaches subject matter in English to ESL students is not only a teacher of the content area but is a teacher of English as well.
Educators must continually reflect on their teaching and update their practice to address the needs of the growing population of ESL students, placing a strong emphasis on the human side of teaching. Teachers must continually focus on these students and find effective ways to arrange their learning to help them achieve. Studies on teaching methods have become important in the field of language teaching and learning. The principles and techniques of teaching methods have mainly emphasized the aspects of teachers’ techniques.
However, one of the important shifts is in the view of learners since communicative approaches have emerged into language teaching and learning. Among the approaches, language learning strategies of the learners is considered as one of their exclusive feature. No other personality can have an influence more profound than that of a teacher. Students are deeply affected by the teacher’s love and affection, character, competence, and his/her moral commitment. A popular teacher becomes a model for his/her students.
The students try to follow their teacher in his/her manners, costumes, etiquette, style of conversation and his/her get up. He/she is their ideal. He/she can lead them anywhere. During their early education, the students tend to determine their aims in life and their future plans, in consultation with their teachers. Therefore, a corrupt and decadent class of teachers can harm a nation much more seriously than a class of corrupt and perverted judiciary, army, police, bureaucracy, politicians or technocrats.
A corrupt and incompetent teacher in not only a bad individual, but also the portent of a corrupt and incompetent generation. A nation with corrupt teachers is a nation at risk. Creating an appropriate condition from which learning may take place, is well thought-out to be the teacher’s most important role. The skills needed in creating and managing a successful class may be the key to the whole success of a particular course. A teacher’s attitude, intentions and personality is of paramount importance. The teacher also needs proper organizational skills and techniques.
The goal of classroom management is to create an atmosphere conducive for interaction in meaningful ways. Effective classroom management may be achieved when the following three conditions are met, such as, the appropriate roles of the teacher, suitable grouping of the students, and harmony in the class. Teacher’s roles are related ultimately to the assumptions about the language itself and language learning at the level of approach. Teachers may use different approaches but they may as well be required to play different roles.
There are some common roles that teachers play in most of the major approaches. The teacher is a controller of everything that goes on in the classroom. He/she controls not only what the students should do, but also whenever they speak the language. Teachers are considered to be an organizer since teaching is the organization of learning. Thus it follows that a teacher is essentially an organizer. The task of any organizer is to enable a group and the individuals in it to function effectively together for the achievement of a common purpose.
More so, the teacher is an assessor, giving feedback and advice, as well as correction and awards grades to students. On the other hand, a teacher is said to be a participant in an organized activity especially during discussions and even role-plays. The teacher is as a prompter when he/she encourages students to participate or make suggestions about how to proceed in a certain activity. The teacher is considered a resource and is also regarded as an instructor when he/she is actually teaching the new language points and training students in language skills.
The role that the teacher plays in the lives of students and the teacher’s potential to improve the quality of life for students cannot be underestimated. Elementary school teachers have a major effect on how children will view school, possibly for the next twelve years of their lives. This effect can be compounded when students do not speak English. In order to foster acceptance, self-confidence, learning, and achievement, teachers of ESL students need to make the classroom a haven for children, create meaningful learning situations for their students, and never give up on them.
Furthermore, various recent approaches are proposed by many linguists. They contend their attempts to present a new approach based on a new theory of language to replace the traditional teaching approaches such as ‘Audio-lingual,’ ‘Grammar-translation Approach,’ and ‘Direct Method. ’ For example, the “Grammar-Translation Method” is quite ordinary. Each lesson is composed of one or two new grammar rules, a short vocabulary list, and some practice examples to translate. Both separates the teaching of grammatical form from communicative meaning.
Words are usually learned as individual items in lists without being contextualized. ‘Suggestopaedia,’ ‘Silent Way,’ ‘Community Language Learning,’ ‘Total Physical Response,’ ‘Task-Based Learning,’ ‘Communicative Language Teaching,’ and ‘Content-Based Instruction’ are then considered to be several approaches formulated as a reaction to the behaviorist features of the traditional approach. Such as Suggestopaedia that relates to the development of neuron psychology. Suggestopaedia uses music and complex means of relaxation to mediate the state of mind in which a very large volume of material can be absorb with ease.
These new methods were firstly received with skepticism. However, there are many advantages gained if the teaching of language incorporates new strategies outside of its traditional approaches. The most popular recent approach is ‘Communicative Language Teaching’ proposed by D. A. Wilkins (National syllabus, 1976). Through this approach teachers promote real life communication and try to assist student’s communicative ability. The Communicative Approach is a forceful teaching method based on a theory of language as communication.
Teachers set daily objectives for students to perform various kind of communicative task. Students on the other hand should practice using the language communicatively inside and outside the classroom. Educators do not agree that there is one method considered to be the best tool to teach English language. One method cannot solve all problems of language education as well. Most language teachers recognize that the perfect method of teaching a second language is yet to be discovered. Thus, teachers tend to be flexible and eclectic in attempting to adapt different methodologies as required by the students.
In fact, the new emphasis is on ‘eclecticism’. Fundamentally, the principle of eclecticism refers to the use of various teaching styles in a discriminating manner as required by the learner needs and styles. The application of the ‘Principle of Eclecticism Approach’ proceeds by first addressing the issue of learners’ needs and styles. Teachers choose an eclectic approach, administering some type of grammar instruction within a communicative frame. They can mix focused approach with a communicative approach giving emphasis on group work.
Denoting a focused classroom activities as well as promoting the communicative approaches intended to process language meaning, although focused activities practices that draw attention to the way language is used in dialogue. However, there is no panacea for all the problems teachers encounter in language teaching. Language teachers need not only to rely on their own judgment to come up with the most appropriate solution to the perceived problem. Therefore, when teachers use eclecticism, the solutions might be sought the best approaches or methods available.
If a teacher realizes the significance of his/her job, the tremendous responsibility he/she is shouldering, the share he/she has in the future development of the nation, and consequently the accountability he/she will have to face in the Hereafter, he/she will at once shudder with the idea of facing the grave consequences of any dereliction on his/her part. There are many different strategies and approaches to achieve effective classroom management. The choice is in the hands of the individual teacher because he/she will know exactly what will be effective to his/her classroom setting.
One main point to keep in mind is consistency. When a teacher is consistent, students do well academically and socially while the teacher provides rich experiences for the students to internalize. Whatever method the teachers use, however, the most important thing is that it should be used creatively and appropriately. To teach creatively, the teachers should know of their students, of their subject, and of the nature of teaching. To teach appropriately, the teachers should first locate the problem areas and then frame and reframe the problems in critical reflection to find out the best solution possible.