Analysis of the Importance of a Teacher in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

来源:中联论文网    日期:2016-09-20 08:44:25

 【Abstract】A learner is not a passive recipient, but a key factor influencing the learning process and results. However, a teacher is still vitally important in foreign language teaching and learning process.
【Key words】Teacher’s Importance; Foreign Language Teaching/Learning

Previously, much of the discussion about language learning focused on the teaching techniques and materials. It had a focus on the teacher. It seemed to be an unexpressed view that the leaner was a container into which language knowledge could be poured. Later, change in linguistic pedagogy has occurred since the 20th century. And the learner is viewed as an active participant in the learning process and should take partial responsibility for his own learning results. It has had a focus on the learner. In fact the learner is definitely a key factor which has a great influence on learning process and results. However, it does not mean the learner is the only key factor. Teachers are also vitally important in foreign language teaching and learning process.
Language teaching is concerned about a huge number of different factors and all those are far-reaching fields involving an ocean of items. Teaching (methods/ approaches/ designs/ procedures), learning (learning/ process/ learning strategies/ differences among learners/ learning styles/ affective factors), learning materials (listening/ speaking/ reading/ writing/ translating), language ability (linguistic competence/ pragmatic competence/ strategic competence/ discourse competence/ fluency), environments (society/ government/ school/ family/classroom) and policies (educating/ teaching), all with the concerned knowledge are mastered and applied by teachers (not by learners) to make a successful class.
Besides, it is the teacher who figures out the learner factors or strategies, puts into teaching practice and triggers the success on learners. LAD (Language Acquisition Device), age, aptitude, motivation,attitude, personality, cognitive styles, hemisphere specialization,learning strategies, interest,sex,prior experience,memory and awareness, all these numerous and complicated stuff are the powerfully influential factors which are closely related to the learners but which are also dealt with by teachers in a correct sense. In other words, realizing an authentic learner-centered model successfully needs a teacher’s sense, skills and strategies. Looking beyond learner strategies, a broader area of learner autonomy including various self-learning and self-direction aspects cannot yet be isolated from the help of the teacher.
A Chinese old says a teacher, one who could propagate the doctrine,impart professional knowledge,and resolve doubts. A teacher holds diverse roles within the educational environment. A teacher is best known for educating the learners. Beyond that, teachers serve many other roles in the classroom. Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, and deal with varieties of troubles. A teacher is an instructor, disciplinarian, motivator and organizer. Outside the classroom, a teacher should also work to facilitate the continuing development of learners acting as a counselor, a soul keeper and a supervisor. Teachers have an indispensable impact on the growth of learners, from the world views to life value; from the personality to moral characters etc. Teachers’ influences supplement these from parents.
Nowadays, foreign language teaching’s main goals remain for CALP (cognitive/academic language proficiency related to general cognitive skills and academic achievement) and BICS (basic interpersonal communication skills consisting of accent, oral fluency and sociolinguistic competence) (Cummins, 1980). It is a teacher that understands the goals best and helps the learners establish the concept of foreign language learning and master the learning strategies.
What should be clarified is that advocating the importance of teacher in foreign language learning and teaching is not to reject the importance of the learner to language learning. To achieve the goals needs both teachers and learners. In the past, it was totally teacher-centered, and it is found that is wrong. At present if it were exclusively learner-centered, it could be wrong too. Learner and teacher are two neutrons in an atom. A teacher is vitally important in foreign language teaching and learning process too. Hence enough attention should be paid to teacher’s own needs and development. Teachers deserve consideration the same as the learners deserve. Caring teacher should also be in the category of humanism.
[1]Diane Larsen-Freeman and Michael H.Long.An Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research.Beijing:Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press,2000.
[2]Keith Johnson.An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching.Beijing:Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press,2003.
[3]Norbert Schmitt,ed.An Introduction to Applied Linguistics.Beijing:Beijing world publishing corporation &Great Britain:Edward Arnold(Publishers)Limited,2008.

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