This is the first in a series of articles written for everyone who teaches English in Ukraine. English teacher training for Ukrainians and foreigners is obviously, a must. The bigger question is, what is it that needs improvement?
Where do Ukrainian teachers need a little help in conquering the challenge of teaching the best English to young students? What does it take to teach students beyond the elementary level? What do foreign born individuals need to know before taking on a responsibility like teaching English to students at lower and upper levels of English?
English teacher training is an ongoing process. No teacher should ignore daily education and vocabulary building.
English Ukraine employs many qualified English teachers at public schools. Younger teachers are often challenged when speaking English with fluency. Many experienced mature Ukrainian English teachers, teach old English without regard to how people speak in today’s world of English.
If you are the exception to this, congratulations. Speaking uniform English with consistent pronunciation is always a challenge for young students. Typically, there are several common sounds that are difficult for most students of English from Ukraine. In future articles, I will cover as much as possible and explain many of the voids and opportunities discovered by teaching English in Ukraine.
English teacher training should include learning new vocabulary from sources you find interesting and informative.
Some of the commonalities among all Ukrainian English teachers are fairly simple to modify and improve. Most teachers teach grammar by example as opposed to why English speakers do what they do. In other words, teachers teach by creating an example when students ask a question.
For instance; A student asks a simple question like “Teacher, what is a noun?” A typical response from most teachers is; “A noun is table or table is a noun”. Of course, there is a problem with this answer. Table is also a verb and an adjective in the English language. Would it be more informative for the students if the teacher responded something like… “A noun is a person, place, thing or idea?
Of course, young students starting out, need to be taught by a teacher in Ukrainian and sometimes the Russian language. This just makes common sense. What doesn’t make common sense is why young students rarely know English grammar in English.
In other words, most young students never learn words like; Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Conjunction etc… These words should be incorporated into English lessons taught by Ukrainian teachers of English. Once these words are translated to Ukrainian or Russian, a student will generally readily understand. Teachers need to spend more classroom time teaching English grammar terminology in the English language.
I hope you find my thoughts and experiences useful. In no way do I intend to criticize or demean anyone. After teaching nearly 15,000 English lessons in Ukraine over the years, I felt it was time to express my thoughts and concerns to help improve the methodology used by teachers of English in Ukraine.
My information is based on interaction with countless students mostly from the Mykolaiv region in Ukraine. Look for more articles in the future. I hope you find shared information useful, informative and beneficial to your students of English. Please feel free to share your constructive thoughts and questions.