Teaching and Pedagogy

Teaching and not cheating oneself, the best of arts.

Many things have been said about the nature of second language learning and teaching or foreign language pedagogy as well. There are still many things to discuss about the what and the how, on the one hand; and the whom, on the other hand. Other pigments may be added to this colorful canvas: social aspects, grammatical aspects, phonology and phonetics, and semantics. All this combination of art very well framed within varied methods, approaches and techniques. Nobody can deny that this pedagogical process of a foreign language acquisition has plenty of facets and much more complexities in this globalized evolving world indeed.

Still, let’s narrow the scope to plunge directly into the teaching of English to children. Furthermore, right now, shall we be sinners enough on the eye of the beholder so as to leave theory rampantly aside, and deal just with some simple, but not less rich and juicy fruit of the day to day experience.

Once upon a time, dealing with a group age of about seven and eight years old, being the content topic based on a short story about a bird flying home… First things first, the Must do:

  • Reading aloud. Proper and improved pronunciation is a key requirement in oral communication.
  • Spelling. Such an elementary issue in direct relation with phonology. The blend of this three terms coexist in the nest of literacy: the phoneme, grapheme and morpheme.

Second things second, the Must let fly:

  • The emotional side. When students get carried away by their own interests and much concerned about that blue bird that became extinct some years ago. There comes up the teacher with information from the news announcing the birth of the one and only bird in Uruguay. Also, other news months later announcing that a flock of fifty birds were brought to Brazil to be looked after in a reserved area. Valueless is the joy, surprise and will on the part of the children to eagerly learn about all this. Their own interest and motivation surpass the initial aims of the lesson itself.
  • Knowledge of the world, beyond all grammar rules and accuracies desired. The bird protagonist in the story temporally lives in New York city and flies south to Brazil, to his true home. Spontaneously and immediately children become aware of the concept of city and country, and the continent they live in. As they see it, Río Grande is a city in Argentina, New York is a city in the USA. Where is Brazil? The bird flies south, so Brazil, undoubtedly lies south to the USA.
  • Worldwide values. The genuine sense of belonging; belonging to a home, to one’s own culture and country or origin. The absolute condition of freedom and paving the way for its achievement.

All in all, these actual daily school experiences prove to be the core and the blood in this amazing process of the one teaching and the one learning, at the same time swapping these dynamic roles, moving upwards along a spiral orbital pedagogical momentum. In other words, pure magic sparkling around children and teacher.

Always do bet on genuine teaching and not cheating yourself; thus, understanding children, creating and producing knowledge for these pretty young sponge like students, will always pay!

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Fabiola Montoni

Fabiola Pabla Montoni Isaac is an experienced teacher working at Public Secondary School, EADEB and ISPRG.