What should the teacher know before meeting his/her learners.

Essay by mouldy1University, Bachelor'sB+, November 2007

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Since the early 1970s English language teaching as a concept has become very popular. There have been numerous approaches and theories as to how to teach language and how learners learn it. However this essay will focus on what a teacher should know or take into consideration before meeting his/ her learners.

Age is a major consideration that the teacher should have about the learners, the teacher should know the learners age. Harley (1986) believes that the question of age in second language acquisition is a complex one. It has been believed for many years that the younger the learner then the quicker they will acquire and the more proficient they will become in the target language. However others believe that the older learners are better as Pinker (1994) suggests that the older learner have a clear understanding of why they are learning an ability that children and teenagers do not possess.

The teacher should also be aware of the learners first language as it is thought to be a predictor of some of the problems that the learner may encounter when trying to acquire the target language. It is these cross-cultural differences of the learners that play a part in how the teacher teaches, as asking a learner to perform certain tasks within the classroom could be seen as an attack on the learners negative face thus being as Brown and Levinson (1987) suggest as a face-threatening act.

-It may also help the teacher to know of the learners' previous teaching experience. If the learner is used to being taught in the language in a behaviourist classroom then they will be used to being taught through repetition, and grammar drills. Then if they are now to be taught in a communicative classroom with the main influence on communication then...