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I learned about important factors to consider in teaching special groups. Special groups are classified as Beginner learners, Individual learners, Young learners, Business English learners, and learners in a monolingual or multilingual class. Before taking this course, the thought of teaching beginners or business English learners was really nervous breaking. It is absolutely challenging. I thought I could never teach business English because I have limited knowledge of it, but after studying this lesson, it gave me the confidence that it is possible. I understood that teaching business English is 90 percent the same as teaching general English and I could use my ignorance of it to facilitate English conversation with the students.
I learned about the characteristics of the students in each special group, the general rules, and considerations for teaching, as well as the factors to consider in classroom management and discipline. For beginners, I learned that lessons should always be simple, use visuals, questioning and verbal repetition drills, play lots of interactive games, encourage student to student interaction by letting them work in pairs. It is also important to be supportive and praise them, and to be patient at all times. For individuals, it is important to do needs analysis and concentrate on their interest. For young learners, it is good to play games as often as possible, use gesture and mine, set the rule to speak English always, and so on. For business English learners, we should consider that they may have been working all day, their attendance could be erratic, and their motivation may vary. We should find out what their jobs involve and be professional. For monolingual learners, their culture is similar, and they can help each other to understand a task. It is important to consider the impact of friends for group work or pair work, age differences, or differences in their ability, and to be culturally sensitive. For multilingual learners, they don’t have a common language and you can use their variety of experiences to plan activities for them to communicate more in English, but we should be culturally sensitive as well.
In teaching Special groups, it is important to identify and consider the students` want or need to learn and their reasons for studying English. This will determine the type of lessons and materials we are going to prepare, and the methodologies and techniques we should use in the class. Throughout this course, I have learned that one of the key elements to becoming a good teacher is the ability to recognize and appreciate that what our students want to learn and what they need to learn may vary. It is important to find an appropriate balance by choosing appropriate material and directing the lesson to achieve the lesson aims. This lesson is significantly relevant in my teaching career in the future.