On Teaching English
The knowledge of English has become an objective social need because
for millions of people the English language is now a tool of their Trade. Businessmen,
tradesmen, engineers, scientists and scholars all over the world must know English because
it is the international means of exchanging information and experience.
Progress in society depends on gifted people. We are to bring them up
and develop their abilities at school. Such students are paid much attention at our
They are bored by routine work. They dislike monotonous exercises. But
a communicative lesson with interesting activities is great fun for all students because
they get emotionally involved. They are active and motivated in using their English. They
speak, find information, read texts, and talk about them – they learn English.
Teachers are to motivate through enjoyable and interesting classes. We
have to look for various materials for our gifted students. They need frequent changes of
activity; they need activities which are exciting and stimulate their curiosity. We do
everything possible to create a good rapport with our students. We must act upon their
hopes and aspirations. We set goals and tasks at which our students can be successful but
it is not so easy to do.
We place special emphasis on different activities. Our students create
situations, and dialogues, take part in discussions, compose imaginative stories, and
prepare original projects.
When involved, they are not afraid of making mistakes, or of having
their own ideas and opinions. We try to make the atmosphere amicable and our lessons –
democratic and enjoyable. We respect our students, and approve of their efforts. They need
to be appreciated. It is necessary to help students to make progress. We use problems,
debate questions or topics for discussion from TV shows or films. We dramatize scenes from
texts for reading. We try to do our best in teaching English and we do hope to be a
By L. Koz’yakova, & T. Yushakova,
School No. 4, Gagarin
It is well-known that the success of work in teaching our students the
English language depends on many factors, e.g. the teacher, the means and devices which
they has at their disposal, the capacity of learners and some other factors.
In big cities those students who have access to television, radio,
computer, magazines and periodicals, libraries with the textbooks needed, museums are also
those with the most elaborate visual aids in their classrooms, videotapes, films, slide
projectors, film strips. Besides, they very often have foreign language encounters
surrounding them and greater opportunities to communicate with native speakers.
Consequently they have more possibilities to develop their competencies.
As for us, the teachers of Gagarin town, we often work in classrooms
where a rough blackboard is the only instrument for visual reinforcement, yet the need for
visual aids remains.
The Chinese proverb has it:
I heard and I forgot,
I saw and I remembered,
I did and I learned.
All that I mentioned above doesn’t mean that because of lack of
visuals and equipment we don’t succeed in teaching the language and that we don’t have
The majority of our gifted learners fortunately enter departments and
colleges of foreign languages after graduating from school.
It means that our success depends on the teachers’ creativity and
their choice of language training program.
Every experienced teacher tries to find the one program, the main
textbooks which will let him/her have a chance to develop the skills and abilities of
A competency-based program approach is particularly well-suited to
talented adult learners, who bring many advantages to the language classroom. First, they
are experienced learners whose cognitive skills are fully developed. This means they can
make generalizations, understand semantic and syntactic relationships and integrate the
new language into their already developed native language.
Second, talented adult learners are self-directed and independent. They
have strong feelings about how and what they need to learn, and they take responsibility
for that learning.
Finally, talented adult learners are highly motivated. They understand
the importance of being able to communicate in the new language.
Basing instruction on competencies means that goals are clear and
concrete. The learners know what success will look like from the start and can assess
their own progress.
Competency based language programs are flexible in terms of time,
learning style and instructional techniques. Within these programs there is always room
for experimenting with new methods, and combining them with more familiar ones.
By D. Oleinikova,