You are on page 1of 5

LINKING THEORY TO PRACTICE (TSL 3110) PROJECT (PART 3) : CRITICAL REFLECTION BY : SITI NUR IZZATI SHUIB (P5P)

Pupils who use English as a second language are likely to present unusual challenges to teachers, but certainly the challenges can be overcome with knowledge and thoughtfulness (Tips on Teaching,2011). Being aware of the fact, this Linking Theory to Practice (TSL3110) subject requires us to come out with a critical reflection drawing on the micro-teaching experience, the feedback received and also relevant literature related to the whole process. Reflection is one of the most important parts of any forms of learning, and is a great tool to be used to allow for greater learning.Basically, it is all about the learning process that took place pre, while and post micro-teaching. Reflecting on what is learnt during the process, personally, there are quite a number of aspects needed to be focused on including the aspect of teaching strategies and methodologies, considerations while planning, materials and also the assesement part of a particular lesson. For the micro-teaching part, my lesson plan is selected to be conducted. Planning the lesson and preparing for microteaching (pre mictoteaching) English proverb has the say that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Hence, it takes various considerations to come out with a good plan. While planning the individual lesson plan, there are surely some aspects to taken into account. As for the pupils are those who use English as their second language, their profieciency level should be clearly identified because all of the lessons activities depend on the language level of the pupils. The lesson targets on those average Year Three pupils. This means, to make the lesson plan realistic and meaningful, it has to adhere to the fact that it is for average Year Three pupils. First and foremost, while doing some reading and researches on the strategies or methods of teaching English as a second language (ESL) classroom, an article is found stating that the highly suggested way of teaching ESL classroom is the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). According to Rifkin, B. (n.d.)., the CLT is designed to help pupils to achieve certain goals such as understanding the cultural context in which the language is spoken and also allowing them to practice the language skills like reading and speaking parallelly. Referring to the theory of language teaching, I keen on implementing activities that promote the CLT theory for most of the activities have to be in the line with the theory. As for example, from reading, I conclude that the activities are best with interaction among the pupils. Activities like Where are my Friends and Our Fruits require the pupils to interact and work with each other. Hence, learning is believed to take place more efficiently rather than just having the teacher do the talking and explaining.

LINKING THEORY TO PRACTICE (TSL 3110) PROJECT (PART 3) : CRITICAL REFLECTION BY : SITI NUR IZZATI SHUIB (P5P)

Due to the fact that the lesson is targetted on average Year Three pupils, as a teacher, I should be aware of the language used in the lesson. To be more specific, in the planning stage, for individual reference, I have listed a group of vocabularies to be used in the lesson so that the pupils feel secure in learning. It means to avoid them feel confused with a lot of unfamiliar words. However, at the same time, some unfamiliar words are included in the list so that it fits Krashens second language acquisition theory, I + 1 (Tricomi E. T., 1986). In this context, pupils at this level are familiar with words like apple, mango and banana. Hence, i decide to add some unfamiliar fruits names like guava and mangoesteen. In this process of planning, it takes some time to filter the words and this teaches me how selective and careful a teacher should be. In the aspect of teaching aid, for the topic Fresh Fruits, I decide to use real object (relia) in the teaching and learning process. The word realia means using real items found in the world around us to help teaching.(TEFL Survival,2012). According to the site, relia is believed to bring a number of benefits to language teaching and learning. In this lesson planning, I have to ensure that the relia is practically used and exploited throughout the lesson. For that, I include activities that can optimize the use of relia in most of the stages like activities in the set induction, presentation and production stage. However, an issue rises. I have to ensure that the relia (fruits) is highly assessible and financial friendly. For that, I have done some survey on the nearest fruit stall and the result is positive. Thus, after some considerations in several aspects, I have the belief that this practical techinque of teaching helps to make the lesson more memorable, meaningful, alive, interesting and fun since pupils are interacting with real objects. After all, the use of relia itself explains the adaptation to the pupils cultural context and interest. Assessment is one of the the essential aspect to be focused while planning a lesson. A good teacher knows what, when and how to assess the pupils performance during and after the learning process. There come the term assessment of learning and assessment for learning. I at first place, should be clear that the selected assessment method should be able to show clear evidence of pupils understanding and produce sufficient information to support credible and defensible statements about the quality of their learning (Assessment of Learning, n.d). In planning how to assess pupils, I prefer to integrate both type of assessment ; assessment during and after learning process. The issue is how to ensure that the pupils are unaware of the fact that they are being tested so that they can perform their best. Hence, I can have a definite result of pupils level of understanding. For that, I manage to prompt them with some questions and from that, I have the idea on their performance. However, assessment during learning process seems not enough for me to know their performance as well as how

LINKING THEORY TO PRACTICE (TSL 3110) PROJECT (PART 3) : CRITICAL REFLECTION BY : SITI NUR IZZATI SHUIB (P5P)

effective the lesson is. Therefore, at at the end of the lesson, in the closure stage, I plan to have a feedback session in which the pupils are to write anything that they have learnt throughout the lesson and also indicate their opinion towards the lesson using happy or sad emoticons. In my point of view, this is one of the fun way of assessing young learners. Thus, planning a lesson gives me a chance to think through each aspect and make sure that there were no holes. Even though I am prepared going into the classroom, there is only so much planning and preparation that is possible. While and post microteaching Conducting a microteaching provides an opportunity for me to be aware of certain aspects to be taken into account when teaching in real classroom. It is indeed, not only a good practice but also a process of learning and discovering new things that will be very useful in the future. First and foremost, while conducting the microteaching, I realize that I am able to maintain a good rapport with the pupils. This can be evidenced when I manage to be sensitive to pupils responses and opinion. For instance, when they do say something during the task completion, I do reply and respond to it regardless of who the pupil is. In addition, being conscious about the fact that pupils do need compliment as one kind of reinforcement in learning, I try my best to express the appreciation using phrases like That is excellent and Good job!. In my opinion, it is pleasant to do this as in it promotes the sense of belonging to the pupils since they are aprreciated regardless of what they have shared. It gets clearer when I do this to one of the pupils, he seems to get motivated and he shows positive attitude throughout the lesson. By acknowledging his opinion, he will find that he belongs to the class and this leads to the feeling of security and safety which indirectly helps in his process of learning. This is definitely in line with maslows Hierarchy of Need (Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in Arab British Academy forHigher Education). In classroom, there will always be things that will come up, such as random pupils responses or questions that I will not have prepared for. Hence, after reflecting on the process, I agree to the fact that being well-prepared to conduct this microteaching, it is like a bonus point to my group members and I as at least we have sat together and figure out some possible questions might be asked by the pupils in the lesson. This ensures a good reply to the pupils thus, misunderstanding of the language content can be avoided. Another aspect to be reflected upon is how far the materials prepared are effective and practical. For instance, the cut out of papers used in the activity Where are My Friends are very small that it makes

LINKING THEORY TO PRACTICE (TSL 3110) PROJECT (PART 3) : CRITICAL REFLECTION BY : SITI NUR IZZATI SHUIB (P5P)

them not really practical to be used by the pupils of Year Three. I should have make them in A4 size. Preparing for this microteaching, we think it will just be fine if we use fruits of any state as our relia. However, when the day comes, the fruits (relia) seem to be not fresh anymore. This can basically create misconception about the fruits texture and colour. For example, we bring a mango yet the mangos skin is getting wrinkled. Those who never see mango might come into a conclusion that all mango is yellow in colour and the skin is somehow wrinkled. In future, if this is going to be conducted again, we have to make sure that the fruits used for relia are fresh enough. It is teachers responsibility to keep the materials of teaching be in good condition. Queensland Goverment : Department of Education, Training and Employment , (2012) states that qualities of a good teacher includes the ability to explain and deliver input effectively. Aware of this fact, I do set certain criteria as a guideline. This includes aspects like having good eye contact, appropriate body gestures and suitable facial expressions. In my opinion, I eventually posses most of that aspects and this makes me feel quite comfortable having myself standing in front of the classroom. As our body language speaks louder than words, trying to manage it is a total challenge for me yet it is manageable when it comes after some practices. From the lecturer and peers feedback I now aware that my body language and gestures are suitable with an attribute of a teacher however, there is always room for improvement. My voice projection on the other hands, can be improved as well. It is loud and clear yet I can be more firm in conducting the lesson so that the pupils can see that I am serious with the lesson. Plus, level of confidence also has something to do with an attribute of a good teacher. At the very beginning, I am quite hesitant in delivering my lines. Words uttered are not clear enough. This is due to the fact that I feel very nervous standing in front of the classroom with a lecturer observing my lesson. However, I have to find a way to cope with this as it will be very useful in future, especially during our practicum. Thinking about the way, I remember a fact on how to reduce nervous symptoms. It suggests one to have a deep breath several times and fortunately, I feel much better once doing that. I try my best to console myself so that I gain more confidence. Support from peers also plays important role in the process of being confidence in this microteaching as they do help once I am blank in front of the classroom. I think, this microteaching is very helpful in training me to possess those attributes needed by a good teacher. Other than that, I learn that as a teacher, we should be able to model accurate and fluent language use. This means that as a teacher, one should avoid having even one grammatical

LINKING THEORY TO PRACTICE (TSL 3110) PROJECT (PART 3) : CRITICAL REFLECTION BY : SITI NUR IZZATI SHUIB (P5P)

error while conducting a lesson since we are teaching second language to young learners. Furthermore, young children learn by imitating (Dancy, R. B. ,2012). As in the microteaching, there is several grammatical error done such as instead of saying Theeban has shared, I say Theebann have shared. This can make them confused with the subject verb agreement learnt before. Hence, in future, I should be more aware of the languge used during interaction as young learners tend to model their teacher both verbal and non-verbally. Last but not least, Moreno Rubio , C. (2010) states that effective teachers manage and organize the classroom according to the pupils needs and preferences to create an optimistic and warm learning environment for all the pupils, and enhance their learning. This fact wakes me up as I think, in the microteaching, I am aware that I don not really apply good classroom management. As a result, there are some misbehaviours such as some pupils do talk even when I talk. A feedback from a peer suggests me to apply at least one classroom management routine that can assist the smoothness of my lesson. For instance, I should have the policeman stategy on. This is best used the time I write something on the blackboard. It is believed to help me in controlling the amount of misbehaviours so that the lesson becomes more effective and conducive. In future, it will be more effective if I set certain rules before starting with the lesson so that the pupils are clear of the dos and donts and also clearly understand what is expected from them. This is good in a way it helps to reduce those misbehaviour in the classroom. All in all, preparing and conducting the microteaching lesson to a group of my peers is a superb learning experience for me. In addition to planning activities and aligning my lesson with standards, I also have the opportunity to observe my peers style of teaching and receive constructive feedback on my own teaching and lesson. This definitely leaves me with something to reflect on and improve upon my teaching.