Methods and Approaches in the Teaching of Languages . When it comes to the curriculum of the English and Spanish Degree at UPB, it has been hard for me to anticipate what a class will be about. Especially when your teahcer is Raúl Alberto Mora (A.K.A Dr. Berry. A.K.A “that wacko dude with the afro”)
Nontheless, I was eager and very curious to learn. Despite the professor’s “alternative” way of behaving, I know he had (has) so much knowledge to offer to us. Always with a smile (Or crazy-psycho-resounding laugh) on his face.
We met professor Mora in the first semester so we (kind of) knew what to expect: the unexpected. Without the intention of becoming the “teacher’s pet”, I have to say that I fount this class to be the most important we have had until this semester. We learnt about so many important themes like: English (Englishes) throughout the world, native and non-native speaker, differences between “approach”, “method” and “technique”. How language teaching methods have changed in history and so much more.
What I liked the most about the class (Other than what I have mentioned) were Demo Thursdays. During these weekly sessions we learnt how to put in practice some methods and techniques we have heard from, like music in the classroom, storytelling, writing to learn, even YouTube as a language learning and teaching engaging tool.
Although assignments were challenging and demanding, they were also very fun to carry out. First, there was the Slam Poem. For this task, we had to come up with a video in which we could express ourselves with any topic we wanted to. ( Here’s mine)
Next up, we had to post on the Medium Blog(Of course this is the one). I did not really enjoyed this activity very much as it was not very clear for me how to or what about, specially the when (We all had troubles there as none of the class made it on time).
The third assignment consisted on developing a Lesson Plan to be executed by an in-labor teacher. Camila and I worked together for this activity (Oh, yeah and for all the group activities always.) We got the opportunity to work with Claudia Cañas from UPB school section. We learnt so much from her as we had never done something like this (Even though we have started practices this semester and that would have helped us a lot. Maybe this is not the space, but maybe consider having this class moved to a lower semester would be beneficial for students).
Finally, the Capstone Project, a multi-modal essay that showed our conception of the future (Or present) of the classroom practices. How do we consider that a 21st century classroom should be like.
To conclude, I just want to say “thank you.” For all.