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quinta-feira, 6 de março de 2014

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS


In these two semesters of Estágio I and II, we have been regarding the importance to teach learner-centered classes, which was constantly stressed not just by the Professor Fernanda Mota as also by all the authors mentioned in this final report. As they claim that the aim of education is the students, thus, teachers have to be aware that the classes should be prepared for them. Teachers should center on the students’ needs, motivations and interests, not on their own personal ones.  

In his book The Second Language Teaching & Learning, Approaches, David Nunan put into words some of his definitions about the traditional model (behaviorism) and the experiential model (constructivism), in which behaviorism works only with the transmission of knowledge giving the absolute authority to the educator engendering a passive role to learners and so, it is totally teacher-centered. While in a constructivist viewpoint, the teacher is a facilitator in the students' learning process; he is directed to take into consideration students’ needs where he cares about helping learners to develop their autonomy enabling them to participate and transform their knowledge, generating competent students to achieve the success in his learning skills, self-inquiry, social and communication skills, and thus, it is entirely learner-centered.  

 David Nunan also tackles the deductive and the inductive approaches, in which, the deductive one is quite similar to the behaviorist point of view, with respect to the approach more centered on the teacher’s shoulders and to its traditional way to pass the knowledge without any autonomous ideology. Whereas the inductive one resembles to the constructivist perspective for it focuses on students’ skills and needs, where they are taken to learn through observation and inferences, and therefore, directing the responsibility of the learning process more to the students.

 From all the theories that I have seen throughout this course following Fernanda Mota’s advices and instructions trying to put it all into practice in the period of teaching practice at the public school Henriqueta Martins Catharino, I have to confess that even though it was a very short period of time for us to experiment as teachers, to apply everything that we have been taught and for not having had any experience in teaching previously, I could feel that I was able to overcome all the anxieties that crashed me and that with much of dedication and great efforts, I could prepare excellent classes and perform them successfully within my conditions. And in spite of many obstacles I had to face with students' dropouts, absenteeism and lack of assiduity, I could surpass all of them, resorting to flexibility in order to accommodate and adapt the contents so that students could be able to follow them. 

 In this teaching experience, I also learned how to reconcile approaches, methods and skills, where I could teach students the grammar contents as well as using the language with the function of communication. I also made great effort to teach the four language abilities: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, and besides all that, I had to refer to my pedagogic creativity which helped me a lot to teach more interesting, ludic and creative classes appealing to students’ attention which allowed the classes to be more learner-centered reinforcing the principles of the constructivism.

I should admit that I have much more to learn as a teacher day after day and that it was a very short time for us to develop all that, but even so, it was a very profitable and efficient experience for me to widen the perspective about education, to develop my teaching skills and to learn about teachers’ duty and position. I should say that I am quite happy to discover that I could be able to overcome all the barriers that teachers unexpectedly may face in their teaching progression concerning the hard public school system, so, having a feeling of accomplishment for having fulfilled the duty. The expectations that frustrated me were because of some students who ignored to attend classes, the ones who neglected the importance to learn English and because of their lack of assiduity and declining school attendance. As for the rest, it was a really fruitful and enriching experience.