Your typical or not-so-typical language school in the eyes of “The Teacher’s”
Adrian Hammond The Teachers
Arriving in Poland as a foreigner, a so-called „native English speaker”, a natural course to follow was that of becoming an English Second Language (ESL) teacher and I have come to love spending time in a classroom setting with eager learners in front of me each day. I feel as if each day is an adventure, no class is the same, and I never know what great conversations and stories I might encounter along the way. You see, language teaching is dynamic, students have different needs, have had different life experiences and I guess it is the excitement of the unknown and the enjoyment of getting to know new interesting people that keeps me teaching English every day.
Facing young learners in the classroom is a totally different kettle of fish and poses different challenges. How do I keep my students motivated? I just have to tap into what motivates young students into learning foreign languages here in Warsaw, Poland. Most young learners already know the value of the English language as it is their parents who make them aware of this fact even from a young age. Without doubt, English is now an international commodity and its value is certainly well-appreciated here in the highly-educated Wilanów community.
Undoubtedly, first language English teachers know how to speak, read and write in English but don’t necessarily know how to teach it in a methodologically correct way. That is why it is essential to seek the right tutoring, at a recognized language school. On the other hand, what you do get when you choose a „native speaker” as your English teacher, is a person who is able to assist, guide and mould you into a competent English speaker who can sound natural, use natural sounding expressions and idioms in the same way a first language English speaker might. Furthermore, a „native speaker” can boost one’s word pronunciation and intonation and make you sound more confident, which is an important part of ESL learning.
How can you achieve your goals and become a fully competent English language user? My advice is to listen, read, respond and engage as much as possible during English classes and on the outside of our language school as well.
Now I find myself trying to convey as much of the English language to my students as possible. They are, as ever, thirsty for more knowledge and they absolutely absorb what I say in lessons. It is I who needs to provide the platform for them to practice their English, assist in acquiring vocabulary, correct their pronunciation and assist them in understanding new grammar concepts and how and when to use them.
In conclusion, my passion for teaching English is put to good use in our language school, which provides me with the platform to teach from and my students a place to guzzle down more words, consume grammar concepts, absorb new phrases, ingest idioms and take in new expressions. But, the ultimate reward is seeing them use English freely with absolutely no (language) barriers.
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