Many institutions and teachers have a reputation for real success in teaching English. Others have a poor reputation. For example, they say that they have learnt a lot of English at school. Others say that they have studied for three, four years or more, but learnt almost nothing. The main test in for real success in teaching and learning should be whether or not the learners are able to communicate at all in English. Can they understand simple instruction, letters, articles? Can they respond an interview? Can they use certain functional expressions in a conversation? Can they comprehend simple paragraphs? Can they ask for directions in the street? Can they express their opinion in a discussion? Can they write letters or reports? And, can they pass recognized Examinations in English, like KET, PET, IELTS, TOEIC, or TOEFL?

We know success is not just being able to repeat memorizes sentences or complete grammar exercises, – but more than that, the learners should have ability to use English effectively in real communication situations. Success is not the same as getting 8, 9 or 10 in course tests – though it may indicate some progress

Successful teachers and institutions where they teach may be different in many ways. Their teaching skill is affected by their experiences, trainings, size of class, hours of teaching in a week, methodology and the materials they usually use. However, successful teachers tend to have certain things in common. They usually:

. Have practical command in English, not just a knowledge of grammar rules.
. Use English most of the time in every class, including beginners’ classes.
. Emphasize more on learners’ practice, instead of teacher explanations.
. Use time for real-communicative activities, not just practice of language forms.
. Focus their teaching on their learners’ needs, not just ‘finishing’ the syllabus or course book.

A teacher’s development of a command of English should be a long-life hobby as well as a professional obligation. Of course, a knowledge of the rules and terminology of grammar and vocabulary is also useful. But language teaching is much more than just the transfer of knowledge. Using English in to communicate with their learners is also avoidable. By using English in or out of classroom, their learners constantly experience the real communicative use of English. It motivates the learners and improves their exposure to the language through listening comprehension and gives them opportunity to speak English. Finally, put the learners at the centre of teaching. Your success as a teacher is based entirely on their success as learners.

Hopefully this short ideas will benefit those interested in English teaching.


By Iin Hermiyanto


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