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Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:51:53 EDT by admin, 113203 views
Lóczy Lajos School, Balatonfüred
Education paper by Gaál, Julianna (all papers)
English Teaching Upside Down
„Translate these sentences and make these multiple choice tests” – this is what I mainly heard in my English lessons 20-25 years ago. Now being an English teacher in the same school, same classrooms – even the desks and the posters on the walls are exactly the same – I give completely different instructions to my students. Is the old method so out of date? Is there anything wrong with the old teachers, books or the reason for the drastic alteration of teaching attitude is due to the changing requirements of the 21st century? How can teachers adapt to these changes and what help do they get in case they have some problem? Can they apply the latest technology in the classroom considering there were even no computers in the schools 20 years ago and they have no idea what gadgets their students use on an everyday basis? What motivation do they have to improve taking their miserable salaries and the uncertain economic situation into consideration?
With its ups and downs, positive and nagative points I have seen teaching history in the making from the beginning of the 80s up till the present day. Also, being in the last place in terms of foreign languages Hungary has to face serious problems. What I’d like to focus on is what I can do for a better future working in a secondary school of a small town.
Some points I’d like to focus on:
- comparison of the grammar-translation method of the 80s and the present communicative one
- presentation of the text book of the past and the present
- presentation of an interview with a retiring teacher
- discussing changes in teacher training at Pannon University, Veszprém
- perspectives for a teacher in 2013 in Hungary
- differences between big citites and the countryside in terms of language teaching
- finding the reason why Hungarians are the worst in Europe at foreign language speaking
Brief Professional Bio:
Julianna Gaál is a teacher of English and tourism in Lóczy Lajos secondary school in Balatonfüred, a small town in the western part of Hungary. The secondary school where she teaches specializes in languages and tourism.
After graduating from Pannon University, Veszprém, Julianna started to work as a teacher in her old secondary school and meanwhile got a post-graduate degree in tourism at the University of Pécs. Four years later she decided to move away from her little town and she worked in Budapest for a couple of years as a private English teacher and at a private language school. From 2008 to 2011 she worked as a full-time journalist for the regional newspaper, where her field was culture and education. Now she is back in her old school teaching English and tourism. Beside teaching, she regularly writes articles for the regional and local newspapers and works as an examiner for state language exams. She has been to Washington as a journalist making reports about about the opening ceremony the Hungarian Cultural Year and has taken part in workshops about education in Oslo, Berlin and Vilnius.