The return

Hello. I’m back after a period for self-analysis and insight. I took the time to review my way of making videos and giving classes. I criticized myself and part of it included a personal frustration about my inertia in helping students with difficulty in learning another language, pronouncing properly and retaining a word from another language in their minds so never to forget it. I taught Portuguese for three years in a classroom and during that time my one goal was making Portuguese language as easy as possible for the student. Practice has told me that it does not always work like that.

Students who are “good at languages” learn quickly according to schedule but these are 40% of students if much. So what happens to the remaining 60%? Where have I failed?

I encouraged the students to provide me with constructive criticism about this; after all they did seem to be satisfied with the most positive aspects of the classes as per the flattering references on my website. Definitely an issue was me not sticking to the target language during the class. Some students had a great need for translation and I think I let myself get carried away. Another problem was that the method I was using was not really innovative and not aimed at the target group I was teaching. For instance, to my target group I did not have to explain the difference between conhecer and saber, as that difference did not exist in their language either. Along with the method applied, the classes were given with aid of PowerPoints.

At first rudimentary due to my poor knowledge of the program, I could improve myself in time, implementing new features, adding sounds and images and turning the classes into something fully dynamic so the students could interact very easily. That took me almost 1000 hours sitting behind the pc looking again and again at the same slide and trying to figure out what was not making sense. Once the classes had been duly compiled, the next challenge was to finally prepare a document for the student to keep as a reference and for listening purposes. The student would be able to practice at least three of the four language skills which are speaking, understanding, reading and writing.

Talking and testing the pronunciation with a native is advisable no matter when or where: in the classroom, online or during tutoring. But most importantly the student would have: a starting point to learn words from a foreign language, visualizing and listening at the same time and as often as he or she wishes and then, in due time and with self-confidence, be able to practice with someone else, without fear of making mistakes. The next video will explain you step by step how I prepared these videos for online classes.

Don’t miss it.