Here, you can find out personal information about me and information about me as a teacher.

Self Introduction (Details)

My name is Melissa and I am a third year exchange student at Iwate University.

My goals for the English Teaching Methodologies 3 Course are to learn the best methods for helping students become aware of various modes of communication across a curriculum. I hope to learn how to select materials that will help expand students linguistic horizons and to how to plan instructional activities that give students opportunities to use the new forms to which they are being exposed.

My dream for the future is to become a Japanese language teacher for high school students. I think language learning is important and would like to share the fun of learning Japanese with students.

The best thing about my time in university so far has been coming to Japan. I will be living in Japan for a year and I am enjoying the classes and meeting new people.

I have always considered myself a organized person. However, my time at Iwate has forced me to redefine and learn new organization skills to stay on top of school work and personal activities. At Iwate University I have relearned how to maintain my grades and personal commitments in a new environment and culture.

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Guide to Melissa's Portfolio (Details)

The overall goal of this portfolio is to show you what I have learned/ experienced at the Faculty of Education which impacts who I am as a person and a teacher. My portfolio is divided into the following sections.

Teaching Experience: Here I present about my experience teaching outside the university using "Critical Incidents" to discuss the issues I have encountered and what I learned from them. I also talk about my own personal teaching methodology and my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher.

Language and CultureHere I talk about my foreign language learning such as my strengths and weaknesses in English, qualifications I have, or my experiences using English. I also talk about cross-cultural experiences I have had inside and outside Japan.

Teaching Activities: On this page I show and describe the teaching activities I have made inside and outside the university. I also discuss the teaching skills I have acquired. The point of this page is to show you what I have learned about teaching. This page can include pictures, video, lesson plans, worksheets, descriptions of lessons, and student work.

Disciplinary Knowledge: On this page, I will write what I know about relevant academic disciplines to teaching English as a foreign language such as socio-cultural theory, language acquisition, phonetics, etc.

What I learned in ETM 2 (Details)

Posted by Melissa Runnion on 17 July 2014, 6:57 AM

In ETM 2 I learned to speak thoughtfully.  Speaking at a higher volume does not increase students comprehension and how you speak can affect how students learn. Student absorb speaking skills every time they listen to their teacher so it is important to act as a good example when conducting class. When conducting a class it is important to speak clearly and a little slower than your natural rate. Articulating words and trying to limit a dialectal accent is also important. 

I also learned understanding the individual needs of students makes class time more productive. Once a teacher has assessed the students language proficiency and educational history, lessons can then be individualized to focus on the students functional language level. Ongoing student assessment helps the teacher stay in touch with students language levels and as a result classroom time can be targeted towards maximum growth. It is also important to have flexibility to adapt your instruction to their needs. 

A third point I learned in ETM 2 is that a effective ESL teacher should be able to develop relevant activities that grab students attention and fully engage them in the language learning process.

I also found it very useful to know how to develop original language learning activities for students specific needs. This is important if their is a lack of resources or you cannot find the activity you want, a teacher should have the skill to create their own exercises. 

What I learned in ETM 3 (Details)

Posted by Melissa Runnion on 05 August 2014, 7:43 AM

In ETM 3 I learned the best teachers are those who think carefully about their classroom plan and plan every detail about how they are going to organize the teaching and learning. It is would seem a very obvious lesson, but during ETM 3 I was constantly learning a teacher can never really plan enough and it is important to organize as much as you can. During a lesson an issue or change in plan will always occur, but the more planning a teacher has done the easier it will be to improvise when needed. Also, planning time gives teachers a chance to predict possible problems in the class and think about ways to del with them. For example, by practicing a activity a teacher can spot potential difficulties students may have and can adjust the lesson accordingly. Another lesson I learned in ETM 3 is one of the main principles of planning is establishing a clear aim for your lesson. It is very important for aims to be realistic because if the subject is too difficult students will lose motivation, but if it is too easy they will become bored. During ETM 3 I learned that a lesson aim needs to be very specific because class time goes very fast. If an aim is to general teachers can not get everything done. 


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