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Core concepts of NLP:
1. Submodalities: exploring your imagination. How can we remember things? By
seeing, hearing or feeling? Submodalities represent this: how we remember things. That’s to say, every thought we have is formed by pictures, sounds or sensations.
2. Anchoring: recapturing good moments. It means changing our state of mind or
mood easily by using the technique. Anchoring happens naturally when something such as a sound, a smell, a taste or a picture reminds us a moment of our life. For example, whenever I hear the song of Black Eyed Peas, Boom Boom Pow, I remember my last summer holiday with my cousins Anchors may set off negative feelings in addition to positive feelings. When we come to implications, there are a lot of ways using anchors in the classroom. One of them is “quiet arm”. According to this anchor, as a teacher, in order to stop students’ talking in the classroom, I can sit down quietly on my chair by raising my arm until they see me, stop talking and raise their hand. Another anchor is “the penalty box”. This anchor is used to discipline students on a special place in the classroom. In order to stop talking or prevent unwanted behavior, I can walk towards this place to make them understand there is something wrong in the class. However, actually, what I should do mainly is to be patient, whatever happens in the class. That’s the point, I think!
3. Sensory acuity: noticing, not assuming. Sensory acuity, one of the four pillars of
NLP, is concerned with noticing the nonverbal clues that people are communicating. As a teacher, what I should do is to practise my sensory acuity and notice what is going on in the class. I should be alert to the non-verbal signals from my learners and read their non-verbal messages.
4. Rapport: the key to communication. Rapport is also one of the four pillars of NLP.
It concerns maximizing similarities and minimizing differences. If there are some similarities between the teacher and students, it is easier to communicate. As a teacher, to create rapport, I should use the language the way students understand. We also talked about matching and mirroring. Matching is doing the same thing with the same part of the body as the other person. That’s to say, to do same thing between me and my students. Mirroring is using the opposite side of your body as in a mirror. Mirroring is a kind of effective classroom management. Matching and mirroring a whole class at the same time is not possible, but getting them all into rapport with each other by doing activities is possible. I should also do energizer and cooler activities according to students’ mood. 5. Perceptual positions: see it my way, see it your way. This is related to how we look at the issues and how we view things from at least three different points. First position; experiencing something from my own point of view; in other words, seeing, hearing and feeling the events through my own eyes, ears and feelings. As a teacher, what I should do is to meet my own needs firstly, and then to beware of being selfish and insensitive to the needs of learners. Second position; experiencing something from the
other person’s point of view; that’s to say, being in somebody’s shoes. As a teacher, what I should ask here is that “Would I like to be a student in my class?” If the answer of this question is “Yes!”, then it means that I do my job well. I should know that before criticizing someone, I should walk a mile in their shoes. Third position; experiencing the relationship between first and second position as a neutral observer; so to speak, standing back and watching myself and the other person. What I should do in the class as a teacher is to look at all students objectively. Someone else’s shoes. This is all about empathy. Do we really understand other people’s feelings and problems or do we see the world through the eyes of someone else? In order to answer these questions we did an activity in the class. Firstly, we thought about a problem we had lately with someone. Then one of our friends sit on the first of three chairs in front of the board. It was the first position, namely, her own point of view. She told the problem from the point of her. After that, she sit on the second chair which was the second position, and told the problem from the point of the person with whom she had the problem. Finally, she sit on the third chair. Eventually, she was a neutral observer in the third position. She tried to evaluate the situation objectively and tell who was right. Another friend of ours did the same activity then. By means of these activities, we saw whether we could be really objective and sensitive. Metaprograms: why we do what we do. This is about selecting relevant subject to students which depends on their personal experiences, background information and motivation. As a teacher, what I shouldn’t forget is that different students are motivated in different ways, and what I should know is what motivates learners. If I know their needs, I could be in a good position to serve them. We also mentioned basic metaprograms which are proactive (acting first) or reactive (thinking first), internal (evaluating themselves) or external (evaluating things), options (like to have lots of choices) or procedures (like to know the right way), towards (motivated by what they want) or away from (motivated by what they don’t want), sameness (noticing what is the same about things) or difference ( noticing what is different about things), attention direction (being aware of others or being absorbed in self), style (being independent or co-operative), general (like to have the big picture) or specific (like to focus on the details). Finally, we thought our metaprograms and decided which of them we are. Modelling: the study of excellence. “Modelling excellent behavior leads to excellence.” As a teacher, I should be a good model for my students. If I like my job and if I do my job well, my learners are likely to imitate me. If they consider me to be extremely good at doing something and if they do exactly what I do, they will be excellent. However, as long as I am aware of my weaknesses and strengths, I can be a good model and in order to be an excellent teacher, I should model excellent teachers like my students. Sensory language. The language people use can indicate which representational system they are using, such as eye movements. For example, visual learners use visual language and they utter sentences such as “I see what you mean” or “I get the picture”. Auditory learners use auditory language such as “That doesn’t sound right” or “I hear
what you’re saying but…”, whereas kinaesthetic learners say sentences such as “I feel it is wrong” or “That does not grab me”. 10. Reframing: changing words, changing minds. This is to rename or re-label things in order to alter our perception of them. The words we use have a great influence, so as a teacher, I have to watch out and be aware of my language. In addition, I have to use positive words instead of negative ones if I am addressing especially young learners.
Teaching pronunciation: In the beginning of class, at first, we answered the following questions: 1. Have you ever thought your pronunciation before the university? 2. With your current knowledge, how do you evaluate your previous teachers? We worked in pairs and discussed the answers of these questions. Then we discussed in the class and gave some examples from our experiences. Secondly, we mentioned pronunciation issues. Many teachers give attention to grammar, vocabulary, reading and listening but they ignore or make little attempt to teach pronunciation. The reasons of this may be that teachers do not know how to teach, what to teach (sounds, stress, intonation) or when to teach. However, on the contrary, as teachers, we should take into consideration teaching pronunciation. We should know what, how and when to teach. As students tend to imitate us, we should be a good model; so we should pronounce properly and correctly. In this way, they will be much more competent than we are. Thirdly, we discussed perfection versus intelligibility and focused on two points. The first one is language exposure. Some students want to be exposed to a native speaker variety; so they should be listening to perfect English as much as possible. The second one is identity issues which means being afraid to lose identity while speaking like a native speaker. We also talked about fossilization and mutual intelligibility. Fossilization means the way learners learn words wrongly. We shouldn’t forget that if learners pronounce words wrongly, it is our fault! We should also remember “the earlier the better”: this is highly important because we cannot correct some pronunciation mistakes after a certain age. Therefore, we should be good at pronunciation from the first. Mutual intelligibility is to be understood by someone and to be able to understand someone. We should mainly aim to intelligibility. That’s the issue! Mutual intelligibility between the teacher and students or between students and students is essential so that learning may occur. We should let our students understand the person who is speaking. Finally, we talked about the problems which occur in pronunciation teaching and learning. What students can hear: in order to deal with this problem, we can show students how sounds are made through demonstration etc. or we can record our own voice. That is to say, we should focus on what they hear and this is all about “ear training”. What students can say: this is concerned with practice. Practice makes perfect. The more students practise,
the better their pronunciation will be. The intonation problem: this is about rising and falling of the voice in a sentence. Our task is to enable students to recognize some specific intonation.
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