The Practice of English Language Teaching

Subject: Linguistics
Pages: 6
Words: 1731
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: Bachelor


Knowing and understanding the English language increases one’s probability of getting a good job in various companies around the world. It is also a language of global communication, the internet, and media. Thus, learning the language is essential for socializing plus entertainment and work. However, not many people, especially those that live in countries where it is not the first language, get to have teachers who can teach them to understand and speak it. The aims of language can be far-reaching as well as highly personalized.

Even though the reasons for choosing to learn a second language may be mostly personal, some apply to everyone. These may consist of the concept that the language is among the international languages spoken in many nations worldwide. From an overall view, individuals cite different reasons for studying English, including their future careers and traveling purposes, particularly to states that communicate using the language. Students of the language also aim to get a better understanding of the manners of life experienced in the nations where it is spoken, and be able to live in such places. Chinese people who are known for embracing their language have embraced the idea of learning English language. This paper discusses how a group of Chinese students aged between sixteen and seventeen years reflect on their performance.



The micro-teaching targeted Chinese students between the age of sixteen and seventeen years. The purpose was to develop their skills and capabilities in the language. In the lesson, the focus was on phrasal verbs Sowell (2017, p.10). The reason for choosing to teach that was because they are complex and proved to be difficult for the students to comprehend. There is a difference between a verb and a phrasal verb. The latter means a combination of a standard verb plus one or more particles, while the former is simply an action. Research by Sowell (2017, p.11) shows that phrasal verbs are complex to many language students. The study indicates that students get confused due to the difficulty of discovering synonyms to the phrasal verbs, plus others do not understand their meanings. One cannot deduce the meaning from the verb elements, as suggested by Sowell (2017, p.12). For instance, “put down” is a phrasal verb that can be used to literally mean put down, for example, on the floor or table. However, it can also be idiomatically used to mean criticizing or humiliating an individual.

Thus, the first step was planning for a lesson that would deliver the meaning of phrasal verbs, for example, take off, by coming up with activities that expound on the same. This meant that the learners had lexical phrasal verbs when the lesson ended. There were challenges encountered in the design of the activities, for instance, finding ideal resources for the age group. The topic selected was ‘How do you spend your pocket money?’. This was ideal because it not only supported the target but also shared an exciting story represented in the past tense. The lesson started with a warm-up activity to boost the learners’ spirits plus get their attention by focusing on the activity.

This eliminated the barrier that existed between the teacher-students and peers. Here, the educators opted to introduce the phrasal verbs by listening to an audio of the text twice to comprehend the meaning then show it on a screen to indicate the phrasal verbs. According to a study by Atas (2018, p.4), vocabularies are important for a second language student to utilize in the productive language, and there is a connection between listening and vocabularies. Listening activities help learners improve their comprehension, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Regardless of the level of English language proficiency, podcasts offer an instrumental resource that supports the language learning process.

While Teaching

The group of educators felt confident in delivering the lesson despite being the first teaching experience. The learners responded by showing enthusiasm in the warming activity. After the action, the next step was revising the previous lesson with a game of passing envelopes. The music plays on while the learners pass an envelope around, and when the music stops, the learner has to provide an answer to a question. The game aided them to break the routine plus sustain their energy at a high level indicated by their fluent engagement in the activity (Velandia, 2008, p.23). It was discovered that the instructions about the activity were not clear as some students gave feedback that suggested the doubtfulness about the instructions. Clear instructions ensure that learners fully understand what they require to do to succeed in a class as it eases their nerves, assuages their insecurities.

The following activity consisted of introducing the phrasal verbs by listening to the audio more than once, which assisted the learners to recognize comprehension listening plus answering questions. An example being did George receive anything with his fifty pence? During the first listen, the learner could not answer the question and requested another chance to listen to the audio. Input repetition is important in activities such as comprehension listening activity. New research that focuses on language acquisition suggests that even short repetitive exposure results in a rapid increase of neural response that manifests memory-trace formation.

Therefore, listening twice or more improves comprehension skills as well as enables a learner to answer questions regarding a material. Due to less explanation, the learners were unable to fill the gap as required since most of them were confused. Feedback from one of them suggested that during the listening activity, they focused on answering the question while assuming the phrasal verbs needed to fill the gaps. As mentioned earlier, giving them unambiguous instructions concerning the activities can aid in understanding what is necessary (Rouhi, Nabavi, and Mohebbi, 2014, p.74). The educators discovered that the allocated time for the lesson was inadequate to accommodate every activity and thus were nervous.


The lesson was successful, and the delivery was great especially regarding the target. It was ideal for the students at the age of sixteen and seventeen years old. It incorporated colourful animation to highlight the text and multiple activities to establish the phrasal verbs. The warming-up question at the start of the lesson worked well since it opened up a discussion as well as made the learners attentive. The tutor’s feedback highlighted that the beginning was very engaging as well as motivating (Rouhi, Nabavi, and Mohebbi, 2014, p.76). Additionally, assessing the earlier lesson aided the learners in engaging in a topic they knew well. The majority of the peer responses mentioned that they enjoyed the envelope game and discovered it interesting.

Nevertheless, a second response showed a lack of clarity in the instructions given concerning the activity. According to Harmer (2001, p.401), productive skills are essential for rehearsal vocabularies. Thus, communication can better the learner’s receptive and protective capabilities. Therefore, understanding new languages can be utilized outside the classroom setting Atas (2018, p.4). The purpose of the listening activity during the lesson was to answer a comprehension question. However, this could be made better by discussing the answer after the initial listen in groups. Therefore, by listening to others, the students can practice after the class.

From observation of teaching, time management was an issue since there was not adequate time to check responses from the final activity at the lesson’s end. As suggested in the peer response, the last activity was not checked, so they failed to recognize the right answers. In the following lesson, it would be better to change that activity and focus more on grammar (Atas, 2018, p.4). This would include displaying the past tense rule then designing an exercise to better the learners’ grammar. As per the tutor’s comment, it would be better to plan the activity after listening to support the past tense.

Reflection on an Episode

I chose to reflect on episode stage 3, filling the gaps by forecasting the answer from prior audio listening. Stage 4 consisted of watching animation plus completing filling the gaps. This episode is ideal since the activities encouraged attentiveness from the learners despite some room for improvement. The first thing was handing out the worksheets and asking the learners to remember the missing phrasal verbs talked about in the audio they had listened to. After three minutes, they were requested to watch the text as the animation clip and complete the missing phrasal verbs. According to researchers Lee, Pandin, and Rethinasamy (2020), retrieval practice is one of the methods of recalling the vocabulary by remembering them. Additionally, pacing allows a student time to recognize the tongues.

Recalling is among the techniques used in productive language, which helps learners to repeat the vocabularies. However, they could not remember the phrasal verbs since they listened to the material twice with their concentration on answering the comprehension question rather than finding the phrasal verbs. The episode could be better by telling the students about filling the gaps task and following that by listening to the material for the third time (Harmer, 2001, p.402). After checking the phrasal verbs, drilling was utilized to practice pronunciation while repeating, this is essential in developing pronunciation skills. The repetition exercise ensures that the student memorizes the pronunciation.


The reasons for choosing to learn the English language for someone from a country the language is foreign can differ from one individual to the other. Despite the reasons being personal, there are indications that most people study for almost similar reasons. Many have embraced the idea that English is an international language spoken and understood by many worldwide. Students of the language target to acquire a better insight of the manners of life experience in the states where it is the first language as well as live in such places without difficulty. The paper discusses how a group of Chinese students aged between and seventeen years and reflects on the experience.

From the paper, it is evident that phrasal verbs prove difficult to understand for many students aiming to grasp the English language. Studies have indicated that many get confused due to the difficulty of finding synonyms for the phrasal verbs. There is another group of learners that fail to understand their meanings. However, with proper methodologies and approaches to teaching, a learner can become proficient in the language. For instance, repetition has been seen as a productive method that enables a learner to memorize whatever they learn.

Reference List

Atas, U., 2018. The role of receptive vocabulary knowledge in advanced efl listening comprehension. 21(4), p4.

Harmer, J., 2001. The practice of English language teaching. London/New York, pp.401-405.

Lee, B.C., Pandian, A. and Rethinasamy, S., 2020. Recall and Retention of Vocabulary Depth of Young Learners via PWIM. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 28. Rouhi, A., Nabavi, S.M. and Mohebbi, H., 2014. The effects of previewing questions, repetition of input and topic reparation on listening comprehension of iranian efl learners. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 2(2), pp.73-85.

Sowell, J., 2017. Good instruction-giving in the second-language classroom. In English Teaching Forum. 55( 3), pp. 10-19.

Velandia, R., 2008. The role of warming up activities in adolescent students’ involvement during the English class. Profile Issues in Teachers Professional Development, (10), pp.9-26.