In conjunction with the celebration of ETp’s 100th issue, I wrote in my last blogpost that if I could list 100 reasons why I loved my job in English language teaching, then I must have one of the best jobs in the world (for me at least).
I must re-emphasize that these reasons are my own. I certainly hope you can relate to them, but they are not necessarily applicable to everyone’s teaching experiences.
I have separated my reasons into categories of their own, in hope that it makes it easier reading. I recognize that each of these points could potentially be turned into a blogpost of their own. And because there are 100 reasons listed, I am not able to go into details about each one. If there are any that you would like me to elaborate upon, please do feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.
As I said, 100 is a considerable sum and so instead of listing them all in one go, I’m dividing them into three blogposts.
So here are the next 30 reasons! I love English language teaching because…
Things I love about teaching methodologies
41. I’m learning that students need to be given opportunities to practise speaking and I should minimize my talking.
42. I’m learning that learners need to be given the space to work things out for themselves.
43. I’m learning the importance of teamwork and collaborative learning.
44. I’m learning that we should personalise the learning experience for every individual student.
45. I’m learning about schema theory and how the brain associates language to contexts.
46. I’m learning to scaffold and guide my students’ learning process in a way that fits the stage of development they are at.
47. I’m learning the importance of recycling language and repetition.
48. I’m learning that one can teach English even without any books, photocopies or teaching materials.
49. I’m learning that people can have different learning styles, and different teaching methods might suit different people.
50. I’m learning that it’s important to ‘cherry pick’ from different teaching methodologies instead of slavishly sticking to one way of doing things.
Things I love about ELT activities
51. I get to use practically anything I encounter (films, newspapers, flyers, overheard dialogues, application forms) and turn them into a lesson using authentic materials.
52. I get to take my students to interesting places outside the classroom and have lessons practically anywhere.
53. I get to play charades, grammar auctions, board rushes, back-to-board, etc. and have ‘game-show-like fun’ with my students.
54. I get to use drama, role-plays and simulations in the classroom.
55. I get to devise and make my own games and set tasks that are of interest to the learners.
56. I get to incorporate the use of technology to enhance the activities e.g. using Twitter to get students to practise skimming and scanning; using Survey Monkey to get students to create polls, carry them out and report on the results; using sites like Sporcle to make your own quizzes; using pictures and articles from online news websites to not only practise receptive skills, but also as a springboard for discussions.
57. I get to improve the way I give instructions and explain the rules.
58. I get to see how the same activity can go down completely differently depending on the class you have. And I get to be creative because every student is different and this keeps me on my toes, forcing me to adapt my plans and activities.
59. I get to make learning fun, for not just students, but myself too.
60. I get to see tangible improvement in my learners when things work.
Of course, we love our job because we believe what we are doing is helping the people involved and the society they are in. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction when I can make a difference in some way, and that makes me love my job all the more. So…
Ways I can make a difference with my students
61. I can help them with linguistic concepts that they are struggling with, from understanding a grammar point to helping them to use a lexical item.
62. I can help them when they are trying to get a job, from helping them with the CVs and cover letters, to simulations of job interviews.
63. I can help them be more self-confident when speaking in English.
64. I can help with their levels of motivation, by making lessons relevant, interesting and enjoyable, and by setting clear goals and short-term and long-term targets.
65. I can help shy students come out of their shell.
66. I can help students who are less tech-inclined to use technology to their advantage, both in the classroom and out.
67. I can help them with their soft skills, and through the teamwork and tasks we do in class, they can work on their leadership and management skills, their negotiation and presentation skills, their creativity and problem-solving skills, etc.
68. I can make them aware of intercultural differences and help them be more reflective of their communication styles when communicating with others.
69. I can help students get along despite (and even because of) their differences.
70. I can show them how their communication skills are improving and give them a sense of achievement and satisfaction when they see the impact this has on their lives.
Why do you love teaching?
What are some of your reasons?
Share them here with your comments or write to me on social media.
Chia Suan Chong is a General English and Business English teacher and teacher trainer, with a degree in Communication Studies (Broadcast and Electronic Media) and an MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching from King’s College London.
Fascinated by the interplay between culture, language and thought, Chia is also an intercultural skills trainer and materials developer, and is now based in York.
She is also the voice of @ETprofessional on Twitter. You can find out more about her on her blogsite www.chiasuanchong.com