Fresh off our latest Virtual TESOL Certification Class we are charged and ready to face the exciting prospects for the future! Congratulations to the graduates of our June class! They were a vibrant, eager group who made tremendous progress throughout all five dynamic days.
This month we are thrilled to talk about Jobs, Jobs, and more Jobs! A reassuring reminder that your decision to invest in yourself with our dynamic training was a very good one. Well done! We will also discuss the benefits of using the Communicative Approach as one of your methods and finally, a fascinating peek into the benefits of applying multi-modal reinforcement to your teaching. Grab a cup of Java and let’s get started!
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Galore!
We have great news for you! According to a recent article from TEFL Academy (February 24, 2020), there were 1.7 billion people learning English in 2015. That figure will rise to 2 Billion in 2020. In China alone, 300 million people were learning English in 2015.
This astonishing figure, when compared with the high turnover rate of English teachers worldwide, all but guarantees employment in this industry. The May 26, 2020 article, “How Has The Coronavirus Pandemic Affected The Czech Republic’s TEFL Industry?”* found on Expats.cz comments: “The demand for online English teachers has actually grown during the pandemic, as instructors and language schools around the world were compelled to move all of their courses online.”
The training and skills you acquired with us are ever ready to launch you into this lucrative field. We are always thrilled to hear of your experiences, so please don’t hesitate to tell us all about them at firstname.lastname@example.org If you’re looking for work, check out our “Jobs” site. www.lexica.world/jobs
Method Of The Month: The Communicative Approach
The article, “The 5 Best Ways To Improve Your Memory”,* from Time Magazine in 2015 quoted Ed Cook, cofounder of the language app Memrise, who was also crowned a Grand Master of Memory in his early twenties as saying, “You’ve got to actively recall the memory 30 times.” Other research suggests 17 times or even 50 times. This means that, to take new vocabulary from short term memory to long term memory, you need to repeat each new word in authentic context between 17-50 times. These responses are not limited to just vocal repetitions. Using questions that require the student speak, listen (to themselves and others), process the response, write down the response, and reply to the answer, submerges their brains in the language. The Communicative Approach method, where students are given between 3-5 questions that they then have to ask 5-10 people, is a powerful way to sound down new vocabulary
into their long-term memory. Additionally, the positive emotions that arise from the excitement of seeing different faces and physically moving around a room (or Zoom breakout rooms) adds to the “whole-brain” approach to learning. This method underscores the value of teaching a group of people rather than a one-to-one basis.
Much emphasis has been made on catering to an individual’s distinct learning style. We hear of varietiesof approaches that fall under broad categories like Kinesthetic, Visual, Audio, etc. The truth is, though, while our brain may initially respond favourably to a familiar learning approach, in the long run, it always prefers and thrives when presented with information in a variety of learning styles. This is true especially when the teacher merges and combines multiple teaching methods in an unpredictable way. This is called Multimodal Reinforcement. In John Medina’s book, “Brain Rules”, he supplies the following evidence that shows the superiority of this brain-friendly learning strategy.
“Researchers showed short flashes of light near the subjects’ hands, which were rigged with a tactile stimulator. Sometimes researchers would turn on the stimulator while the flash of light was occurring, sometimes not. No matter how many times they did this, the visual portion of the brain always lighted up the strongest when the tactile response was paired with it. They could literally get a boost in the visual system by introducing touch. Multiple senses affect our ability to detect stimuli, too. Most people, for example, have a very hard time seeing a flickering light if the intensity of the light is gradually decreased. Researchers decided to test that threshold by precisely coordinating a short burst of sound with the light flickering off. The presence of sound actually changed the threshold. The subjects found that they could see the light way beyond their normal threshold if sound was part of the experience. These data show off the brain’s powerful integrative instincts.”
The study showed that the participants preformed their best when presented with three different stimuli at the same time. They saw the flash of light, they felt the tactile stimulator with their hands, and they were heard a precisely coordinated burst of sound when the light flickered off.
To summarize up, we agree with John Medina’s observation, “learning abilities are increasingly optimized the more multisensory the environment becomes….the opposite is true: Learning is less effective in a unisensory environment.” So, when teaching, strive to use multisensory presentations. Here are six principles from “Brain Rules” to apply to your lessons.
1) Multimedia principle: Students learn better from words and pictures, than from words alone.
2) Temporal contiguity principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
3) Spatial contiguity principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near to each other rather than far from each on the page or screen.
4) Coherence principle: Students learn better when extraneous material is excluded rather than included.
5) Modality principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text.