Yeah so as the title suggests; this blog is about my takeaways from my Spanish language class. Signing up for a language class has so many benefits. After a few years of being an ESL instructor and TEFL teacher trainer, I have come to realize one thing. No matter how much you simplify the language concepts to the aspiring teachers or the language learners, there is a lack of perspective which can only be fulfilled if I go to the other side of the classroom. My constant try outs to learn languages (hail YouTube!) really kept me on the empathy track when it came to understanding the language teaching techniques from the language learner’s point of view. I mean there are just so many approaches and methodologies to talk about that can be blended or independently implemented in the class to help learners produce effective results. However, the problem areas can be anticipated not only through experience (of course it counts) but also if the instructor builds a co-learner attitude and brings in the same to the class; online or in-class. This can be fulfilled only if as a teacher I consider myself a lifelong learner.
Keeping yourself updated as a teacher is important. That goes without saying! I believe every 21st century teacher does that. But when it comes to actually being a learner by signing up for a course along with your teaching job; it has an entirely different effect. For example, a place like Turkey where they consider English as a foreign language, the expat teachers who gets hired are encouraged to sign up for Turkish classes. To the best of my knowledge that happens in parts of China and Thailand too. When these teachers simultaneously teach and learn, they bring a complete non-threatening environment in the class undoubtedly. Juggling between a teaching job and a being a learner not only lets you be more empathetic but also check your delivery styles in a better way. While you are a learner you are constantly learning and understanding how your instructor facilitates. That constant interplay in my opinion has completely made me more aware of so many different ways I can be dynamic and at the same be neutral with my interactions.
A big takeaway!