Language Teaching; A Learnt Art: Zohaib Ahmed
Teaching is an art and a teacher is an artist. A profession that a person adapts is more than service and its payment. Teaching is a profession that enables and designs all other professions. For being a teacher, it is important to have passion and skills of imparting knowledge to pupils. Knowledge can be transferred in many ways, but the best way is to make students work. A teacher’s role must be of a guider and a motivator, not a doer. Moreover, the more students perform the tasks, the better they can understand and grasp information from the subject matter.
Furthermore, I have personally seen many teachers who only stick with the syllabus and force the students to get into it, too; as a result, students go after cramming, which is disastrous. This not only affects students’ abilities, but also teachers’ mentality and skills in the classroom. Consequently, classroom loses its charm as well as students.
As far as the language teaching is concerned, it is different than school teaching. I reckon school teaching as formal and language teaching an informal style. Therefore, language teaching is far more difficult than formal teaching. Reason being, in schools, students are bound to go and take classes as compare to the language classes, which are taken on interest. If pupils have interest, they will come and put their efforts in studies. If they are forced to go like school, they will never put their self-efforts in learning language.
Besides this, language is not crammed but practiced. Practicing language needs environment, and a teacher is a crafter of that environment. Thus, a language teacher should possess the art of being creative and articulative.
Additionally, the modern education emphasizes on activity-based learning. It not only makes the environment healthy for learning, but also motivates students to engage with each other in shape of a competition which brings fruitful results.
I personally witnessed how activity-based teaching gets students in a learning relationship with the teacher, the speed of learning and adjustment in class environment. For example, I, at the initial stage of my teaching career, struggled a lot to engage students and make them love the classroom. Then I shifted my teaching style from manual to activity based; I really found a vivid change in me as well as the students and classroom. After this, I changed the schedule of the class and included a day for activity in a week’s schedule (Five-day week). This brought a great change in the class environment. Students, who were even reluctant to take class, also became regular and started taking their classes with higher interest than earlier.
Now, a question arises here that; how does a language teacher be creative? What I perceive, there are two major ways; naturality and observation. Naturality-based creativity is God gifted. It already exists in one’s mind and attitude. The other one is observation-based creativity; it is learned by the help of peers, gathering different ideas from multiple resources like books and internet, and training sessions. In addition, the most important thing that is needed to be a creative teacher is self motivation. Self motivation drives you to achieve a mile-stone in your teaching career.
Thus, language teaching is fun. Once you craft your way with the students, you will go to an endless journey of learning and expertise. One must have the skills of being a creative teacher of his kind then students will love to take the class, and the class starts and ends with fun and learning.
The writer is a visiting faculty at the Govt. Degree College Hub, and an instructor at the School of Intensive Teaching (S.I.T) Hub.