Essay: How teachers help

What do you think is the most difficult thing about learning a language is?

I’ve been learning Japanese on and off for most of my life. I have been learning Russian on and off for two years. The thing I find hardest about studying a language is not the grammar, not the vocabulary, not finding someone to practice with, it is self studying. It is sitting down and studying. I can do it in bursts but I have never been able to consistently self study. This could just be me but I am certain that everyone has this problem with language learning.

There are plenty of books and applications that promise to solve this problem. They claim to have found the way for you to learn a language by yourself. There is a bigger difficulty at work here though. Every person has a different way of learning. What is successful for you is not necassarily successful for me. That is why we entrust teachers to help us to study. It is the teacher’s role to figure out who we are and how we learn. If you want to be a good teacher you have to learn who your students are and what helps them learn. For example, I am the type of student who needs someone to tell me why I am doing something. As soon as I know why, I will do it without question and succeed. If I do not know the answer to that question I will never get anywhere. That is just one way of learning. If you have a class of thirty people you have to figure out how those thirty people learn. That sounds challenging but there will be a lot of overlap and the students will appreciate your efforts to try different ways of presenting information to them. As my mentor once said, “when you realise one person is stuggling, design a lesson around that one person and then give that lesson to the whole class because chances are there are others that need that help too.”

If you want to be a successful student you should figure out what your learning style is and build your own learning program around that style.

With that said; what’s your learning style? And for the teachers out there what are your students learning styles and what do you do to help them learn that way.



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