This article deals with the five characteristics of teachers who would like to be effective in teaching communication arts subjects. In addition, this article tackles the three levels of conceptualization and organization in language teaching, namely: the approach, method and technique.
Are you a student majoring in English? Or perhaps, you have been teaching English for so long, but is still interested to hone your craft in teaching? To begin with, you must be familiar with the characteristics of an effective communication arts teacher.
Five Characteristics of an Effective Communication Arts Teacher
1. A competent user of the language.
This means that aside from your ability to express your ideas in English through oral and written communication, you must have a good academic preparation particularly on how to teach English. Identifying the knowledge and skills that students need to learn can help you conceptualize the structure and functions of language that must be organized and chunked into lesson-sized experiences. In addition, you should also have a communicative competence in which you have the ability to use your ideas in a right place, in a right manner, at a right time, and to a right person.
2. Ability to interact with students
You should have the ability to interact with students. Interacting successfully with students means that you have stimulated their interest and have motivated them to learn.
Interacting is not just simply asking low level type of questions where the students give their responses from a book. A good interaction is when students give their answers by relating what they have learned to their own experiences or current issues. Or when they give their opinions or ask thought-provoking questions to their classmates.
Thus, there is a need for you, as a teacher, to diagnose your students’ needs and interests and plan for activities that will improve their critical thinking ability.
3. Interested in literature
You need to have a healthy interest in literature. A teacher must be a bookworm.
There are great books and literary pieces to read about and share to your students. Literature is the best way to educate the heart and mind of students.
Teach your students not only of the knowledge that they need for work but teach them how to be more compassionate with others and live life without prejudices or biases due to skin color and religious affiliations. After all, we are all human beings who need to love and be loved.
4. Adopts a positive attitude towards communication arts
As a teacher, you should have a positive attitude towards the communication arts curriculum. There’s no perfect curriculum.
Sometimes, you may not like a particular subject matter or activity to teach in class, but if that subject matter or activity is mandatory, you still have to show your enthusiasm and interest in teaching it; for interest begets interest.
Even if you wouldn’t tell the students of your attitude in teaching, they could discern if you are interested or not in imparting knowledge to them. So, you better adopt a positive attitude and always wear a smile while teaching them.
5. Applies various teaching approaches
A good communication arts teacher should apply the various approaches, methods, or strategies in teaching. Since you will be teaching students from different backgrounds, interests and needs, it is therefore important to have a repertoire of approaches, methods, techniques and strategies of teaching to meet your students’ individual needs.
Approach, Method, and Technique
Now, there are three levels of conceptualization and organization in language teaching as identified by Anthony (1963) as cited by Villamin et al. (1994). These are the approach, method and technique which are hierarchically arranged.
The approach refers to the assumptions and beliefs about what your students must learn in a particular subject. For example, you should know the nature of a subject matter from language specialists or researchers. Based on the selected approach, you have to think of a method to demonstrate it. A method is an over-all plan as to how you will organize and present your lesson. Once you have a method in mind, think about how you will implement it in class. The classroom procedures or techniques you have learned can help you carry out the plans.
At this point, it would be easier for you to choose a teaching strategy that is best suited to your purpose and to your students’ needs.
So, why don’t you apply this information, and find out if you can use the Total Physical Response Method in your class?
Villamin, A.M., Salazar, E.L., Bala, E.C., and N.R. Sunga (1994). Innovative strategies in communication arts. Quezon City, QC: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.
© 2015 January 8 M. G. Alvior