Helping you learn

A new student recently asked me if I could describe my teaching methods and it is a good question, so I'll have a go.

I try to encourage and guide my students to become better learners and I do this by asking "what do you notice?", "what do you notice about this word?", "what do you notice about this structure?", "what do you notice about this sentence?".

I do this because all langauges follow patterns (or rules or tendencies if you prefer) and as you progress you apply these rules until you discover there are exceptions to the rules, so you modify your understanding of the rules. This is the process by which we learn our first language: we learn rules, we eventually over-apply the rules, so we correct the rules and then move on. This pattern of learning comes naturally to us as children but as adults some of us need help seeing the patterns.

So, one of my basic methodologies (known as Raising Awareness) can be described as a process of challenging students to become more aware of the patterns within the English language and to become better independent learners.