Interview with a teacher – Liane
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1. In which country are you teaching? South Africa
2. How long have you been teaching ESL to children? 22 years
3. How old are the children you are teaching? 9 to 10
3a. How big are the groups you are teaching (if teaching groups)? 13 children
3b. How long are the lessons / how many times per week (for example: 2x 60
mins) 2 x 60 min per week
4. Tell us about a teacher who has influenced your life the most and what made him/her different from all the others? (From your own school days or colleagues now)
I had a dreadful Maths teach when I was 17yrs, I went from 95% to 43%. I vowed I would do all in my power to teach children with love and Passion recognizing how they learn.
5.When you first started teaching children, what did you find the most challenging and how did you deal with it?
I discovered the reason they were battling was they did not know how to get the ‘th’ sound.
I start each year teaching the position of the tongue for each sound they battle with.
6.What do you find the most rewarding aspect of teaching kids?
Seeing the sparkle in their eyes for each little achievement
6a. What do you think s the most important trait a teacher should have when teaching ESL to children? Patience and respect
7. How do you think a perfect ESL-for-kids classroom should look like? Posters covering topics or vocabulary so they continually are reminded. Works of the children. Reward charts
8.What is your favourite song to sing with the kids? Each class creates their own songs and tunes
9.What is your favourite game? K. I. N. G Spells King
9a. What’s your favourite activity? My Story Book. After a topic has been learnt, children write a story on it and illustrate it. These are then scanned, and bound as 0a gift to each learner at the end of the year.
10.What is your favourite book to “work on” with the kids? The Magic Faraway Tree
10a. What materials are you generally using in your classroom? I create my own materials
11.Can you tell me about a successful behavior management strategy you have used in the past that helped engage a student or a group of students?
When teaching, giving an instruction or reading, I have all children sit on the mat. They then return to desks to complete work.
11a. What do you think, motivates children the most to learn English?
Recognizing each achievement. Offer rewards of sweets for certain number of achievements.
12.How do you evaluate your students? Based on the curricula we have to follow. Prepared and unprepared reading and orals
13. Do you have any story of a child that made fantastic progress to inspire us?
I taught two Chinese girls who came to the country and did not know a single word of English. After two terms of 5 x 30min lessons covering only verbal communication. Both girls completed and
Passed their grade and skipped a grade. Both are continually in the top 5 every year
14. What advice would you give a new ESL4kids teacher?
Do not expect perfection. Have fun, allow children to share stories and give feedback. Different children learn better in different styles. Ensure you use all nine styles of Learning when teaching. Above all have fun! and Do not shout.