An interview with a talented Student

His name is Muhammad Majdy .He is a talented student. He is one of the best students I have ever taught in my life. He started memorizing the Noble Quran chapters when he was nine years old .he had memorized the Holy Quran at the tender age of 11. He loves poetry because of that he likes to memorize poems for famous Arabic poets.

Today I intend to make an interview with him discussing some important points in his life especially which are related to learning English.

Me: When did you start learning English?

Muhammad: I start learning English since I was seven years old.

Me: Do your parents encourage you to learn English?

Muhammad: Yah, They are strongly encourages me to learn English. Actually they encourage me to learn English by:

A)     Bringing a private teacher of English to teach me how to learn English.

B)      They encourage me to use web sites which help me to learn English such as ( BBC Learning English)

C)      They encourage me to memorize more vocabulary as much as possible

Me: Do you think watching movies which Arabic translated help you to learn English?

Muhammad: Actually, not that much. I like short movies which has slow accent and I learn the vocabulary they used, before watching it.

Me: What is your best type of Dictionary?

Muhammad: I like Arabic-English Dictionary.

Me: Could you give me the name of it?

Muhammad: Sure, I like “ALMAWRED”.

Me: What is your best teacher of English?

Muhammad: Saeed Mubarak

Me: Why did you choose him as a best teacher?

Muhammad: I choose him as a best teacher because he makes a great effort to teach English in a funny way. He always verifies his teaching methods.

Me: What do you want to be in the future?

Muhammad: I want to be a professor in Medical College once a day.

Me: I hope all best of luck.

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Why Some Students fail to progress in English!

Have you ever witnessed a situation where teaching English as a second language becomes so difficult that you find some of your students unable to make significant progress after a considerable long period of time? Well, stay with me while I explain my own personal observation with some of my students. The other day, during one of my teaching sessions, I asked some of my students to differential between number fourteen and forty and to my surprise most of them couldn’t. But that was only a tip of the bag as when I further asked them to spell their names in English that also proven to be a Herculean task. This made  me worried as I have just been transferred to a new school. Immediately, I started an investigation by discussing  this issue with some teachers and the following was the result my findings:

Inadequacy of the Course Book

Foundation in any thing is the most important. However, a careful look at the course book reveals that the foundation course  which should enable the students to master the reading and writing skills is absolutely inadequate. The exercises and activities are not well designed and organized to give students the opportunity to grasp the basic of the language. In consequence they continue to face basic problems in reading and writing.

– Students’ attitude towards the language

Most of our students think that it is not necessary to learn a foreign language and as such they are not motivated to devote their effort to learn. This negative attitude is causing frustration to the teachers and impacting their enthusiasm. A teacher who knows that he or she will have to face a group of disinterested students will lack the zeal to do the optimal and students will be the losers in the final analysis.

– Size of the Classroom

Added to the above mentioned problems, teachers usually have to deal with a large class. The number of students far exceeds what is reasonable so this make it very difficult to handle and these uninterested students are taking advantages of the  situation to practice their nonchalant attitudes.

– Lack of cooperation from Paren

The role of parents towards the education of their children can not be over emphasized. But pathetically, most of them are not doing enough to monitor their children’s learning progress.This is dealing an adverse blow on the learning process of their children.

– Solution

For every problem there must be a solution, if we honestly search for one. Contemplation on the above problems leads us to the following solutions:

– Redesigning of the Course Book

I think if the present course book is resign to include worksheet, flash cards, other activities, exercises and necessary learning aids to assist the students to master the basic skills of reading and writing then they may not encounter difficulties in the
understanding of further advanced lessons.

–  The Role of the Teacher

In relation to students’ negative attitude towards the target language, the teacher should endeavor to create a classroom situation wherein students will feel motivated and encouraged to learn the language. The teacher should use inspirational speeches to emphasize the need of learning English in this technological age.

– The Role of Parents

In order for teachers to be successful, their effort must be supported by parents and guardians. This cooperation will create a sense of discipline and responsibility on the part of the students and consequently enhanced the learning process.

 

– Reduction of Classroom size

The number of students in the class should be reasonable to enable the teacher to easily handle them. A class which is relatively small gives the teacher the opportunity to teach well and therefore monitor the progress of the students. So if there is any problem in the learning process it could be solved at the initial stage.

My students challenge me!

In my last post, I mentioned that I gave my students a new type of questions with the aim of preventing them from cheating. My observation after I gave them these types of questions while still following some traditional strategies such as creating A, B versions, was quite fascinating. Students who had adopted the habit cheating failed my examination miserably. Yet still others tried relentlessly to play some dirty games.

 What they did was that they intentionally abstained from writing their names on their answer sheets. Their aim was probably to confuse me. But they were unsuccessful in this trick, because I made a quick comparison between the handwriting on their homework book and that of their answers on the sheets. Finally, I was able discover who own these papers. They were astonished, but they later understood that they were not smarter than their teacher. As the saying goes, “a school master was once a school boy.

 In conclusion, I would like to mention an important note of caution to my fellow teachers that we should not be naïve to some of the criminal strategies that some students might adopt in order to render education process meaningless. In addition to our academic achievement, we should be equipped with the necessary knowledge to deal with the psychology of these young students criminals. I remember when one of my students complained saying: “Please teacher help me someone has stolen my books!” Sometimes, some students even practice violence against teachers themselves. It is not uncommon for teachers to find the windows of their cars broken or other types of destruction. Headmasters and students’ supervisors are also in need to know how to investigate and take appropriate measures before the situation becomes uncontrollable.  We are in need of reading about school related crimes. I invite suggestions from readers on how to deal with minor and major challenges of students.