Sunday, September 27, 2009

My students have difficulty learning, and here's what I do about it...

     I have been teaching for almost 5 years now, and in the process I have to encounter multitudinous challenges that often lead me to my breaking point (almost!). Well, I am still here, alive and kicking, not about to give up teaching just yet. Hopefully...
     I think most of my colleagues would agree that one of the greatest challenge of teaching the children in Kunak would be to make them remember and apply what they have just learned. I experimented with a lot of ways and approaches and yet to see any progress.
     What have I done so far? Here is a list of some of the things that I have tried or intend to try in my pursuit of helping the children to have better memory and learning skills:

  1. Unearth my Education Psychology and Pedagogy text books that have been buried for centuries under the accumulating dust on my shelves, and reread them, post whatever I think is interesting in this blog in the hope that I could learn or relearn something new.
  2. Try to learn a foreign language. Perhaps Arabic, French or Tamil. Whatever. I just want to know how it feels like to learn a language that is totally foreign so that I could empathize with what my students have to go through when they learn the English language.
  3. Get back to college and get a degree in English Literature. I have sat for the MUET test in June. Recently, I submitted my application to Universiti Putra Malaysia. I expect to get the result sometime in December or early next year. What has English Literature got to do with helping students have better memory? I don't know, probably nothing. I just think that if I get back to school (as a student, not a teacher), I would know how it feels like to be a student again and learn to remember things that I learn again. Probably I could come up with some kind of learning technique. If it works for me, it might work for my students. I could share it with them then. Why English Literature? I just like English literature, that's all.
  4. Read the book "Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century - The Six-Step Plan to Unlock your Master-Mind" by Colin Rose and Malcolm J. Nicholl. I have not finished reading it yet, but it is a really, really helpful book. Probably it could help me achieve my noble mission.
  5. Learn Tony Buzan's mind-mapping techniques
  6. Surf the Net for useful information.
  7. Plan an action research with my 'partner in crime', Norainah Arif.
  8. Attend the International Conference on English Language Teaching 2009 in Hotel Equatorial, Malacca on the 10th - 11th November. Who knows what I might find there.
  9. Continue with the teaching, Monday to Friday, as always.
  10. Pray.

A really good read. I will post what I learn from it once I finish reading it.

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