Friday, July 19, 2013

Virtual Learning Environment

"As teacher, our clients are the students. So, teach and treat them nicely"
-Great Teacher Tan-
Teaching English is a great challenge especially for teachers who are not trained to teach English

I myself faced this problem when I started to teach Year 4 English. In year four, the students are supposed to start learning sentence construction. However, these students don't have foundation in English. To my surprise, they don't even understand English.

In my first lesson, I taught about interesting places. I asked them simple question like "Can you tell me an interesting place that you know?". They just kept looking at me without any respond. Therefore, I made the question simpler, "tell me a place". However, I still got no respond from them. So, I assumed they don't understand the question. I asked "don't you understand English?". I continued " yes or no?" What I got from them were innocence looks. Unfortunately, I only got the first respond from them when I asked in Malay, "Adakah kamu faham Inggeris?". They answered "Tidak faham, Cikgu".

I started to wonder how am I going to teach these students for the time to come. If they can't even understand English, how can I help them understand and learn English? Then I figured out, maybe by implementing medias like videos, pictures and interactive applications could help me in my teaching and help them in their learning.

Hence, I started to implement Virtual Learning Environment in my lesson. I started by adding some videos like "Magic English" into my lesson. They would watched the video for about 30 minutes. During the video time, I would asked them some questions. For example "who is wearing a hat". They would answer "Goofy". From here they could at least learned the word "hat". Questions like this would also make sure they paid their attention to the video. The main purpose is to help them learn vocabularies.
When I'm teaching certain topic, I used PowerPoint. In the PowerPoint, I focused more on reading activities. I prepared some simple sentences. The students would read the sentences. Teacher should help them with the reading and also help them understand the meaning of the sentences. From reading the sentences, they could further build up their own vocabularies. Besides that, they also learned sentence structure.

Interactive applications like flash (.swf) are very handy. By using these applications, students  would learn to listen to the instructions and respond to it. They could play and interact with the applications. 

In conclusion, Virtual Learning Environment is the bridge to reach students with weak foundation. They could learn better with the aid of pictures, video and also interactive applications.

"Teachers responsibility is to teach and help students in their lesson regardless of their cleverness."
-Great Teacher Tan-

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