Teaching a Foreign Language
Is there a risk in it?
By Carmen Hurtado
As EFL teachers, one of the goals we set for ourselves professionally is to walk forward, climb to the top, and stand out as teachers at different stages, reaching the highest levels. However, this goal does not significantly means progress in our careers. It frequently signifies leaning towards up-to-the-minute approaches, losing touch with the evolution of the language -–syntactically as well as lexically— and developing a tendency to underperform a bit in fluency and beyond.
What are the risks native and non-native English speaking teachers face if they keep on teaching the same EFL course-level over and over?
It might emerge as lack of confidence by EFL teachers on their own language skills. For example, they might be afraid of delivering the lesson using the foreign language in full style. Likewise, they could take most of the class-period prompting early-year students to develop non-verbal activities (e.g.; coloring, cutting, and pasting) as well as, for instance, encouraging juniors/undergraduates to sustain discussions regularly if they have a big class. To get over these affairs, it would take them more than a little 'learning-session’ planning time, rather than employing the time in developing communication skills. Consequently, it might downgrade the practice of EFL in communicative activities.
Another factor to be considered is the need for better communication among teachers, because to 'learn' only what is to be taught at a certain level should not be enough. It goes without saying that teaching at one single level for a long time, gives us the impression that we have everything under control. That is, we get to know a certain lexicon, type of guidelines, sort of activities and even, we fall again into the risk of using the same doings year after year. Is that so hard to avoid?
How should teachers become aware of the importance of updating and practicing the language endlessly so that it can be transmitted at ease, fluently and appropriately?
The need to learn languages continues to rise, higher and higher. Globalizations, the business world, communication, amid other components, are great motivators not only to learners but also for teachers. Are we ready to react in time and spin out straightaway?
Tell us what you have observed in this regard from your experience as a teacher of languages and have your say.
Carmen Hurtado, graduated in the educational field; she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Science, and the title of Lic. in Education by Universidad Nacional de Educación. She has also finished her master’s studies in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Universidad de Piura, and taken some specializations in the EFL and Spanish fields. She has taught English and Spanish for over 20 years. She currently works teaching fully online courses. A lecturer in the late Annual Congresses at CIDUP, she works as a Pedagogical Teacher Trainer and is a member of the Research Area at Universidad del Pacifico Language Center.