As any self-respecting teacher would know that in class if you do not know where your class is heading you will never get there. This is true for any teacher who enters a classroom intending to give their students an education that will further expand the students’ knowledge. This means that objectives need to be set. This means instructional objectives need to be attained. The methods and training that the teachers will implement during the class should be incorporated in reaching everyone’s goals and objectives. The teacher has to discover whether the students leaving the classroom have demonstrated their language/skills acquisition. It has to be clear in the teacher’s mind that the students will exit the class having broadened their ideas/knowledge in while being able to talk about something new.
There has to be a teaching approach that the teacher utilizes to formulate the students’ learning that enhances aptitude. One way is for the teacher to state what they would like the students to be able to do at the end of the class although the ‘in between’ phase needs to be verified. This also relates to the students who should know what their objectives are. This is by stating exactly what they should be able to achieve in the specified time. This is done by explaining the objectives to the students. Objectives need to be stated. The first step is to write an objective. The teacher must know what they want the students to be able to do. Objectives are clearly stated using action verbs like ‘define’ and ‘describe’. Objectives look at the students showing/defining what they have learnt. The teacher will never know unless they see and hear for himself. The students’ learning is imperative and making objectives that are not achievable will not help their learning. The teacher must be clear in their head what the measurable objectives for the students are. An objective is a written statement, defining in precise terms, what the learner will be able to do at the end of the training and how well. A teacher is faced with setting out understandable objectives. A verb like ‘know’, which clearly does not allow the teacher to define the student’s capacity of knowledge, will not help achievement. So, many verbs can be open to interpretation such as ‘know, understand, and think’ clearly do not prove to the teacher that the student is in command of new expressions and terms. Verbs like ‘define and describe’ will undoubtedly illustrate to the instructor the depth of the students’ language acquisition. This means that teachers do not just have objectives per se but clear objectives that define the learning outcome. There has to be some form of accomplishment at the end of the class or term. A factor that has to be taken into account is; are the objectives achievable? It acceptable to have objectives but if they surpass what the student level is at, the objectives will not work. These have to be arranged in a format that will allow the students to learn. These objectives have to be measurable and observable.
The teacher also has to determine the domain in which objective can be classified. There are generally 3 domains cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor. Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues (1956) developed a widely accepted taxonomy for cognitive objectives. The main domain is cognitive. Bloom further classified the cognitive domain into 6 levels. The lowest level is knowledge. This is the students’ ability to recall information. The teachers can the students to state, recall, tell, and define. The next level is comprehension. The students must be able to grasp meaning, explain and restate ideas. There is also evaluation during the course of learning where the teacher has to see how far the students have developed. Of course, teaching and student’s acquisition of language is not as straightforward as would seem. Some students need that extra bit of tuition which is standard. This is where feedback comes in. The teacher has to evaluate the students. The students have to develop through the instructional process and if this does not work first time the teacher has to have a plan to reinforce the objective and set the students on the right path. The students need to improve so as not too elongated learning where it becomes tedious. This also helps the group where everyone is working together. For a group/class, task analysis is used a lot by many institutions which progressively test the students to evaluate their level of acquisition and are they achieving the objectives. Robert Mager defined three conditions of objectives. Learning objectives determine the outcomes and how they are to be assessed with the all modules having clear, defined objectives, practice exercises, and mastery tests. A good learning objective has to have three primary components of an objective:
- An objective always describes the important conditions (if any) under which the performance is to occur.
- An objective always says what a learner is expected to be able to do; the objective sometimes describes the product or the result of the doing.
- Wherever possible, an objective describes the criterion of acceptable performance by describing how well the learner must perform in order to be considered acceptable.
I have shown how teachers should not only look have objectives but also make those objectives quantifiable for the students. This means that the teacher will get an enhanced picture of the students learning. This, of course, means that the teacher can focus not only each lesson but the whole term to achieve certain objectives.
Working as a teacher trainer, I have two main aspects to consider for my students about second (even foreign) language educational practices: what to teach and how to teach it. Organizing for instruction provides the information that allows these soon to be teachers to determine how each class (the term) successfully develops. It is their analysis of their instructions and tasks involved that contribute to comprehensible education. This is one focus that proves hard to convey to these new teachers and certainly an ongoing professional development for myself. This means that there are educational objectives that they need that outline what will be learnt and what their second language students should be able to do/show at the end of the period of study. With respect to this, I will, in this reflection, outline what is contributed into this discipline as to help with my deeper understanding.
To begin with, I need to show in my training that education for each second language student takes on many factors not only learning academically but also being a student of life. This means that students become natural learners and recognize not only their role in the learning world but also the world as a whole. They can gain knowledge in the classroom but how do they apply it outside the classroom. This means that through education, within the teacher’s objectives, there should be provisions for each individual with opportunities to develop abilities so that each student is able to demonstrate that he or she can do a specific task to a reasonable standard. But the teacher must recognize that there are different types of objectives. They can be developed into separate areas. Three such areas exist. Each of the three areas or domains are of human functioning. There is the affective domain which involves feelings. The psychomotor area includes coordination and other physical skills. The cognitive domain includes those activities directly associated with doing academically relevant work. With these three domains, each objective shows prominence as observable actions that are what the teacher wants to observe after they have broadly educated the students.
The student, with respect to second language and achieving each objective, should be able to communicate effectively and recognize the need for lifelong learning. They should be able to participate as citizens in our democratic society. This means making responsible decisions, having respect and seeking to understand himself or herself. They should recognize and possess a personal value system which emphasizes consideration for others and understands that the quality of human life is enhanced by a harmonious relationship with the natural environment. These factors highlight the teacher not only as an educator but as a person. The teacher should be a role-model. These factors should help for a genuine group of learners/people that have learning as a focal point. This is said although the main focus is how they can reach these objectives in the classroom. The teacher must use specific tasks to bring forth their knowledge not only of life but also the knowledge and attainment of their new language in respect to the study of English. The teacher’s topics of instruction must be broken down into tasks. These tasks must be broken down into stages. Each stage has to have the students challenging themselves.
The students always need to be pushed one step further. One way to set up the lesson is to have an approach to educational objectives. The approach works this way: first, the teacher needs to find out who he/she is teaching, how old the students are, what level they are, and what their needs are. All these needs can be assessed. The teacher then needs to write some goals and objectives which are observable and measurable. Setting up a course requires three levels of objectives: immediate, short-term, and long-term. These are checked as the learner improves and progresses along the ‘natural order’ when he/she receives second language ‘input’ that is one step beyond his/her current stage of linguistic competence. For example, if a learner is at a stage ‘i’, then acquisition takes place when he/she is exposed to ‘Comprehensible Input’ that belongs to level ‘i + 1’. Any teacher would agree that the process of writing and understanding these sort of objectives leads to clarification of intuitively held teaching goals and thus leads to better teaching and testing decisions. The students should also recognize their learning so they have workable objectives for themselves. These can be initially mapped out for the students. It gives them that challenge. They should know where they are heading. They should know what level they should be at, come the end of the term. Of course for the teacher, these goals and objectives need to be put into a lesson plan that will educate the students without boring or challenging them too much. It is a challenge for the teacher to be able to predict the efficiency of the students when the term is all but over. The teacher has to take his initiative and then implement the lessons for the term. This is where all the planning should be successful, although lessons and students have to be evaluated regularly (formative assessment). Feedback is needed and also reflected on. This can be assessed to see the effectiveness of the lessons. All of this requires determination. There will be discrepancies between desired and achievable goals. The teacher should be open to amendments. It assists in judgments about the problems to be addressed.
To conclude, in this reflection, I have emphasized how important it is for a teacher to understand goals and objectives. It should be recognized that the students’ goals identify the ideals of skills and attitudes that a student in the education system should strive to achieve through instructional programs. I have shown that instructional objectives describe general outcomes associated with specific topics. I have explained that students need to show not only their knowledge but their behavior as a proficient learner. I have also recognized that the instructional program, through the clear understanding of achievable objectives and goals, the teacher should provide each individual with opportunities to develop abilities so that learners communicate effectively in their new language. Students recognise the need for lifelong learning, respect while seeking to understand himself or herself as a learner. The ultimate questions asked are “What is being done?” and “How are these tasks accomplished?”.All in all, it is the hope that this way of teaching provides a framework for understanding for these new teachers that I (and you) teach.