adminComment(0) The Last Black Unicorn Tiffany Haddish Jeremy Harmer - The Practice of English Language Teaching. Jeremy Harmer, Series Editor How to Teach English is a practical guide for teachers who are at an early stage in their careers and for those studying for the. B2 Teaching English in the age of ELF. B3 Native speaker varieties and other Englishes. B4 World English education. CHAPTER 2: DESCRIBING.

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Uploaded by: ANTONIA - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. Jeremy Harmer - The Practice of English Language Teaching - 4th - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. THE PRACTICE OF. ENGLISH. LANGUAGE. TEACHING. Jeremy Harmer. Longman THIRD EDITION. COMPLETELY REVISED AND.

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We need to consider the issue of affect - that is, how the students feel about the20 Learnerslearning process. Students need to feel that the teacher really cares about them; if studentsfeel supported and valued, they are far more likely to be motivated to learn. If students feel they have some influence over what ishappening, rather than always being told exactly what to do, they are often more motivatedto take part in the lesson. But however much we do to foster and sustain student motivation, we can only, in theend, encourage by word and deed, offering our support and guidance.

Real motivationcomes from within each individual, from the students themselves. Responsibility for learningIf giving students agency is seen as a key component in sustaining motivation, then suchagency is not just about giving students more decision-making power. It is also aboutencouraging them to take more responsibility for their own learning. We need to tell themthat unless they are prepared to take some of the strain, their learning is likely to be lesssuccessful than if they themselves become active learners rather than passive recipients ofteaching.

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Insuch cases, teachers will not be successful if they merely try to impose a pattern of learnerautonomy. At first we will expect them, for example, to make their owndialogues after they have listened to a model on an audio track.

Such standard practice getting students to try out new language is one small way of encouraging studentinvolvement in learning. We might go on to try to get individual students to investigate agrammar issue or solve a reading puzzle on their own, rather than having things explainedto them by the teacher.

We might get them to look for the meanings of words and how theyare used in their dictionaries see below rather than telling them what the words mean.

Getting students to do various kinds of homework, such as written exercises,compositions or further study is one of the best ways to encourage student autonomy. W hat is im portant is that teachers should choose the right kind of task for the students. It should be within their grasp, and not take up too much of their time - or occupy toolittle of it by being trivial.

Even more im portantly than this, teachers should follow uphomework when they say they are going to, imposing the same deadlines upon themselvesas they do on their students. Other ways of prom oting student self-reliance include havingthem read for pleasure in their own time see pages and find their own resourcesfor language practice in books or on the Internet, for example.

At earlier stages of learning, good bilingual dictionaries servethe same function and allow the students a large measure of independence from theteacher. We will help students to be responsible for their learning if we show them where eitherin books, in self-access centres or online they can continue studying outside the classroom.

For example, we can point them in the direction of suitable websites if they have computeraccess , or recommend good CD or DVD resources.

If students are lucky, their institutionwill have a self-access centre with a range of resources comprising books including readers- see page , newspapers, magazines, worksheets, listening material, videos and DVDs,and computers with access to the Internet.

Students can decide if and when to visit suchcentres and what they want to do there. Self-access centres should help students to makeappropriate choices by having good cataloguing systems and ensuring that people are onhand to help students find their way around. However, the object of a self-access centre isthat students should themselves take responsibility for what they do and make their owndecisions about what is most appropriate for them. O f course, many schools do not have self-access centres, and even where they do, manystudents do not make full use of them.

This is because not all students, as we have said,are equally capable of being or wanting to be autonom ous learners. Despite this fact, weshould do our best to encourage them to have agency without forcing it upon them. But generally they find it quite hard to say why certain teachers struck themas special.

Perhaps it was because of their personality. Possibly it was because they hadinteresting things to say. Sometimes, it seems, itwas just because the teacher was a fascinating person!

One of the reasons that it is difficult to give general descriptions of good teachers is thatdifferent teachers are often successful in different ways. Some teachers are more extrovertor introvert than others, for example, and different teachers have different strengths andweaknesses. A lot will depend, too, on how students view individual teachers and hereagain, not all students will share the same opinions. But there are also others, perhaps, who do nothave what appears to be a natural gift but who are still effective and popular teachers.

Suchteachers learn their craft through a mixture of personality, intelligence, knowledge andexperience and how they reflect on it.

It is truethat some lessons and students can be difficult and stressful at times, but it is also worthremembering that at its best teaching can also be extremely enjoyable. In this chapter we will look at what is necessary for effective teaching and how that canhelp to provoke success - so that for both students and teachers learning English can berewarding and enjoyable.

Who teachers are in classWhen we walk into a lesson, students get an idea of who we are as a result of what we looklike how we dress, how we present ourselves and the way we behave and react to what is 23 Chapter 2going on. They take note, either consciously or subconsciously, of whether we are alwaysthe same or whether we can be flexible, depending on what is happening at a particularpoint in the lesson. As we have said, teachers, like any other group of hum an beings, have individualdifferences.

However, one of the things, perhaps, that differentiates us from some otherprofessions, is that we become different people, in a way, when we are in front of a classfrom the people we are in other situations, such as at home or at a party.

Everyone switchesroles like this in their daily lives to some extent, but for teachers, who we are or appear tobe when we are at work is especially important.

PersonalitySome years ago, in preparation for a presentation to colleagues, I recorded interviews with alarge num ber of teachers and students. Effective teacher personality is a blend between who we really are, and who we are asteachers. We have to be able to present a professionalface to the students which they find both interesting and effective. When we walk into theclassroom, we want them to see someone who looks like a teacher whatever else they looklike.

This does not mean conforming to some kind of teacher stereotype, but rather finding,each in our own way, a persona that we adopt when we cross the threshold. We need to askourselves what kind of personality we want our students to encounter, and the decisionswe take before and during lessons should help to demonstrate that personality. This is notto suggest that we are in any way dishonest about who we are - teaching is not acting, afterall - but we do need to think carefully about how we appear.

AdaptabilityW hat often marks one teacher out from another is how they react to different events inthe classroom as the lesson proceeds. This is im portant, because however well we haveprepared, the chances are that things will not go exactly to plan. We will discuss such magic moments and unforeseen problems on page This is especially im portant when the learning outcomes we had planned forlook as if they may not succeed because of what is happening.

We have to be flexible enoughto work with this and change our destination accordingly if this has to be done or findsome other way to get there.

Or perhaps we have to take a decision to continue what weare doing despite the interruption to the way we imagined things were going to proceed.

When students see that they can do this, their confidence intheir teachers is greatly enhanced. If, for example, the teacher always acts as acontroller, standing at the front of the class, dictating everything that happens and beingthe focus of attention, there will be little chance for students to take much responsibility fortheir own learning, in other words, for them to have agency see page Being a controllermay work for grammar explanations and other information presentation, for instance,but it is less effective for activities where students are working together cooperatively ona project, for example.

In such situations we may need to be prompters, encouragingstudents, pushing them to achieve more, feeding in a bit of information or language tohelp them proceed. At other times, we may need to act as feedback providers helpingstudents to evaluate their performance or as assessors telling students how well they havedone or giving them grades, etc.

We also need to be able to function as a resource forlanguage information, etc when students need to consult us and, at times, as a languagetutor that is, an advisor who responds to what the student is doing and advises them onwhat to do next.

The way we act when we are controlling a class is very different from the listeningand advising behaviour we will exhibit when we are tutoring students or responding toa presentation or a piece of writing something that is different, again, from the way weassess a piece of work. Part of our teacher personality, therefore, is our ability to performall these roles at different times, but with the same care and ease whichever role we areinvolved with.

This flexibility will help us to facilitate the many different stages and facetsof learning. RapportA significant feature in the intrinsic motivation of students see page 20 will depend ontheir perception of what the teacher thinks of them, and how they are treated. Rapport means, in essence, the relationship that the students have with the teacher,and vice versa. In the best lessons we will always see a positive, enjoyable and respectfulrelationship. Rapport is established in part when students become aware of ourprofessionalism see above , but it also occurs as a result of the way we listen to and treatthe students in our classrooms.

In the firstplace, students want teachers to know their names rather than, say, just pointing at them. But this is extremely difficult for teachers who see eight or nine groups a week. How canthey remember all their students? One m ethod is to ask the students at least in the first week or two to put namecards on the desk in front of them or stick name badges on to their sweaters or jackets. We can also draw up a seating plan and ask students always to sit in the same place untilwe have learnt their names.

Many teachers use the register to make notes about individual students Do they wearglasses? Are they tall?

We need, therefore, tofind ways of doing this that suit us best. At any age, they will bepleased when they realise that their teacher has remembered things about them, and hassome understanding of who they are.

Listening to studentsStudents respond very well to teachers who listen to them. But we need to listen properly to students in lessons too. And we need to show thatwe are interested in what they have to say. Respecting studentsOne student I interviewed had absolutely no doubt about the key quality of good teachers.

Correcting students see page 97 is always a delicate event. The problem we face, however,is that while some students are happy to be corrected robustly, others need more supportand positive reinforcement.

In speaking activities see Chapter 9 , some students want tobe corrected the m om ent they make any mistake, whereas others would like to be correctedlater. In other words, just as students have different learning styles and intelligences, so, too,they have different preferences when it comes to being corrected. But whichever methodof correction we choose, and whoever we are working with, students need to know that weare treating them with respect, and not using mockery or sarcasm - or expressing despairat their efforts!

Respect is vital, too, when we deal with any kind of problem behaviour. We could,of course, respond to indiscipline or awkwardness by being biting in our criticism of thestudent who has done something we do not approve of. Yet this will be counterproductive. It is the behaviour we want to criticise, not the character of the student in question.

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Teachers who respect students do their best to see them in a positive light. They are notnegative about their learners or in the way they deal with them in class. They do not reactwith anger or ridicule when students do unplanned things, but instead use a respectfulprofessionalism to solve the problem. Being even-handedMost teachers have some students that they like more than others.

For example, we all tendto react well to those who take part, are cheerful and cooperative, take responsibility fortheir own learning, and do what we ask of them w ithout complaint. Sometimes we are lessenthusiastic about those who are less forthcoming, and who find learner autonomy, forexample, more of a challenge.

The reasons that some students are not forthcoming may be many andvaried, ranging from shyness to their cultural or family backgrounds. Sometimes studentsare reluctant to take part overtly because of other stronger characters in the group. Andthese quiet students will only be negatively affected when they see far more attention beingpaid to their more robust classmates.

How To Teach English

At the same time, giving some students more attentionthan others may make those students more difficult to deal with later since they will cometo expect special treatment, and may take our interest as a licence to become overdominantin the classroom. Treating all students equally not only helps to establish and maintain rapport, but isalso a m ark of professionalism. Asprofessionals we are also asked to perform certain tasks. Part of this preparation resides in the knowledge theyhave of their subject and the skill of teaching, something we will discuss in detail on pages But another feature of being well-prepared is having thought in advance of what weare going to do in our lessons.

As we walk towards our classroom, in other words, we needto have some idea of what the students are going to achieve in the lesson; we should havesome learning outcomes in our head. O f course, what happens in a lesson does not alwaysconform to our plans for it, as we shall discuss on pages , but students always takecomfort from the perception that their teacher has thought about what will be appropriatefor their particular class on that particular day.

The degree to which we plan our lessons differs from teacher to teacher. It will oftendepend, among other things, on whether we have taught this lesson or something like it before. We will discuss planning in detail in Chapter Keeping recordsMany teachers find the administrative features of their job taking the register, fillingforms, writing report cards irksome, yet such record keeping is a necessary adjunct to theclassroom experience.

There is one particularly good reason for keeping a record of what we have taught. Itworks as a way of looking back at what we have done in order to decide what to do next. It is im portantfor professional teachers to try to evaluate how successful an activity has been in termsof student engagement and learning outcomes. If we do this, we will start to amend ourteaching practice in the light of experience, rather than getting stuck in sterile routines. It isone of the characteristics of good teachers that they are constantly changing and developingtheir teaching practice as a result of reflecting on their teaching experiences.

Being reliableProfessional teachers are reliable about things like timekeeping and homework. It is verydifficult to berate students for being late for lessons if we get into the habit for whateverreason of turning up late ourselves.

It is unsatisfactory to insist on the prom pt delivery ofhomework if it takes us weeks to correct it and give it back. Teacher skillsAs we have suggested, who we are and the way we interact with our students are vitalcomponents in successful teaching, as are the tasks which we are obliged to undertake.

Butthese will not make us effective teachers unless we possess certain teacher skills. Managing classesEffective teachers see classroom management as a separate aspect of their skill. In otherwords, whatever activity we ask our students to be involved in, or whether they are workingwith a board, a tape recorder or a computer, we will have thought of and be able to carry28 Teachersout procedures to make the activity successful.

We will know how to put students intogroups, or when to start and finish an activity. We will have worked out what kinds ofinstructions to give, and what order to do things in.

How to Teach English 2nd Edition Jeremy Harmer

We will have decided whether studentsshould work in groups, in pairs or as a whole class. A variety of different kinds of sessions are planned for the event. There will be a focus on three major topics, firstly in training foreign languages including modern technologies in English Language Teaching ELT. Secondly, English teaching and assessment methods and third and finally specialized English training with career orientations.

The hope is that by sharing methods and from lecturers with international experience they can improve the quality of training English for lecturers here.

The university has implemented a project to train foreign languages for students in the period … [Read more A survey done by Go Overseas, a U. With data updated until May this year, the survey found that a foreign English teacher can earn from VND English is an obligatory subject from sixth grade across Vietnam and in large cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, many primary schools opt for English programs for students and demand high proficiency.Perhaps the learners love the subject theyhave chosen, or maybe they are simply interested in seeing what it is like.


With data updated until May this year, the survey found that a foreign English teacher can earn from VND Rapport means, in essence, the relationship that the students have with the teacher,and vice versa. The programme began in the academic year.

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We need to tell themthat unless they are prepared to take some of the strain, their learning is likely to be lesssuccessful than if they themselves become active learners rather than passive recipients ofteaching.

Children usually respond well to activities that focus on their lives and experiences.

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