Shaping the educators of tomorrow – Part 1: Shaping the English teachers of tomorrow (The Science of Learning and the Art of Teaching Series)

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In this session, Ms. Nicki Coombs, Executive Principal from Beaconhouse, Sri Inai International School, Ms. Dylane Ho and Dr. Wong, Shin Pyng, both senior lecturers at HELP University shared their views on the topic of ‘Shaping the English teachers of tomorrow’.

According to Coombs, the evolution of teaching has changed considerably. The face of classroom teaching will be different in the future. She thinks that we will never go back to how we used to do it, but at the same time we have to be careful so technology does not take over. Moreover, Coombs mentioned that technology should be used in a blended environment. Blended learning refers to half of teaching being face to face and the other online.

But the question is, how do teachers ensure the students participate in the lessons? In her opinion, she thinks it is important now for teachers to be versatile and resourceful in their approach to teaching. Teachers have to be wary of not picking on everything, and they should spend time to think whether something is right for your class. In choosing the kind of potential employees, Coombs said she will always look for enthusiasm, and people who are passionate about teaching and how they would go about engaging with their students, whether face to face or blended.

Ms. Dylane Ho, talked about how the B.Ed Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESL) at HELP University prepares students to become English teachers. At a glance, the B.Ed TESL programme is a total of 3 years with 37 modules. Out of this total module, 28 are core subjects, 5 MPU subjects, 3 electives, and 1 teaching practicum that happens in the final semester.

The modules cover linguistics, literature, research, and methodology. Dylane said the 21st century skills include how students today can stay competitive in a changing job market. This includes learning Critical Thinking Skills like creativity, collaboration, communication skills, literacy skills such as information, media, technology, and life skills such as flexibility.

Teachers must strive to cater to the varying needs of diverse learners rather than one size fits all approach. They must stay up-to-date with the latest digital tools for creating meaningful learning opportunities. In today’s world research has an important role to play and rigorous action research is needed to refine their teaching practices to improve the learning process for students.

Dr. Wong, Shin Pyng, talked about Masters at HELP programme, which takes between 18-24 months, with 12 modules that include 10 core subjects, 2 electives which are MQA fully accredited, part time modular course for Saturday and Sunday classes, 3 weekends per module.

Educational institutions have had to adapt to the rapid changes to teaching and learning in the 21st century. In response to these changes, the Master in Education at HELP has designed unique models for the Masters programme.

By Norzaireen Shamsul Kamar