I love teaching. I love learning and developing my skills as a teacher. I enjoy continuous development. I love travelling and travel at every opportunity. I've been to 18 countries so far. I am ambitious and self-driven. I consider myself a happy person.
I am a qualified ESL teacher with a Bsc. Honours degree in computer science , a CELTA qualification and 5 years international teaching experience.
I was teaching Preparatory Year English at King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh and have been for 4 years. During my time there I have taught ESP, EAP and general English to various levels ranging from beginners to near-native level advanced students.
Prior to KSU, I worked as an English Teacher in Egypt (two years) where I applied and built on skills such as effective team-work, cultural awareness, and the ability to adapt lessons according to age, culture, language and the level of English of each student. I developed and perfected key teaching skills such as good classroom management and diplomatic student relations.
In my years as an EFL teacher, I have taught intensive conversation classes and worked on extended writing projects with students, assisting them to overcome the problems in their writing by helping them edit their own work.
Having worked in curriculum development and focus groups, I feel I have a good grasp of the needs of teachers and learners in a foreign academic environment. Furthermore, I have conducted my own workshop on checking students understanding of key concepts and different learning styles.
At KSU also worked as part of a committee that represented teachers by presenting their issues and grievances to upper management, and working with the Vice Chair to create and apply effective solutions. Moreover, I planned and executed a successful ‘Teacher Talks’ bringing together teachers from diverse backgrounds to motivate and inspire my colleagues.
I am dedicated, focused and passionate about teaching and everything I do. It is these experiences and qualities, along with my innate passion for teaching, which I feel make me an ideal teacher.
My most formative learning experience, one which has shaped my core values as a teacher, was my Arabic classes when I was nine years old. At the time I did not enjoy the teacher centered lessons that resembled the audio-lingual approach. This experience shaped me into the type of teacher I am today and what I focus on when developing my teaching style.
Through effective classroom management, a Presentation-Practice-Production (PPP) strategy and a student-centred approach, I have a strong foundation to build successful
lesson on. Classroom management is a key element of a teacher’s responsibilities. To have effective classroom management, I bear in mind several important ideas whilst teaching. First, I use group work since collaborative tasks contribute to reducing the affective filter, which facilitates student learning and retention. Second, I mix stronger students with weaker ones, and at times I put students of similar levels together and vary the tasks according to their ability. When students are on-task, first language use is significantly reduced, communicative learning and student talk time are increased, resulting in productivity. I create activities that allow personalization and select high-interest topics that keep my students engaged and focused. I find my students enjoy the learning process and good rapport develops.
My lessons are based on a PPP strategy to ensure effective staging of a language lesson. I believe staging sets my student up for success. Before the presentation stage, I assist in activating their schemata with regard to the topic. I use this technique to introduce new vocabulary or teach grammar. For example, if I am introducing new language about technological devices people use, I would write ‘technology’ on the white board and tell them to write as many words as they can think of relating to the topic. I always make the topic authentic to the student; I can say ‘What technology do you use in your house?’. I assist my students in comprehending the meaning of new words by using realia, visuals, actions, or gestures. I find this technique is also helpful when the objective for learners is to draw a connection. For instance, I display a picture of a typewriter on the interactive Smartboard to explain the meaning. However, not all words can be explained through these means. I contextualize the words if I am unable to convey the meaning visually. I contextualise new words into sentences for guided discovery. At this stage I am not concerned about accuracy but rather seek to arouse curiosity.
During the practice stage I focus on precision to help students integrate new language correctly. This method especially applies to my beginner-level students. By using
controlled activities, like an authentic text about the new Apple Car modified into a gap-fill using the target language, I help students become confident about using the language later in the freer practice.
In the production stage, I use freer tasks to promote fluency. To illustrate, I instruct students to write a letter to Apple, Inc. about their favourite device using the target
language. By creating a real-life scenario the students personalize the target language, take charge and apply what they have learnt. Freer practice allows differentiation to occur. For my weaker students, it gives the opportunity for further practice; for the stronger students, the chance to be more creative.
A student-centred approach motivates students to become autonomous learners and develop in the language whilst enjoying the process. My role in the classroom is to facilitate the learning process and create learning opportunities. I pick a student to use the interactive whiteboard to solicit feedback, which cuts back teacher talk time and increases student talk time. I also encourage students to be more self-sufficient by giving them more responsibility in the classroom. One teaching responsibility I can share is error correction.
A student of mine said ‘lab tob’ and instead of correcting her I made a facial gesture. She tried again, and after her self-correcting was not successful, I gestured and nodded to
another student. The mistake became a learning opportunity. I involve students because I remember what Scott Thornbury said about his experiences: ‘learners often pay more
attention to other learners than they do to their teacher or the course book’. As a result of my previous experience in learning, I continuously improve and update my
teaching techniques for the benefit of my students. Through effective classroom management, PPP strategy, and facilitating a student-centred classroom I can create an
enriching learning environment.