Welcome to my blog. My name is Kathryn and I am a former school teacher. Leaving the stressful teaching profession and entering the world of educational research gave me more time to pursue my hobbies and passions- the biggest of these being learning Norwegian.
I recently attended a Norwegian course in London and unfortunately, I had quite a bad experience. The course was prescriptive, unengaging and the teacher did not build on the strengths or support the weaknesses of his students. In short there was nothing that the teacher was doing that we could not have done ourselves sitting at home working through the textbook.
A good language teacher (and there are so many out there) will recognise the areas for development in each of their students and tailor their teaching to meet your needs. A good language teacher will give you opportunities to develop conversational skills as well as just reading aloud from a textbook. A good language teacher will acknowledge your goals and help you work towards them using the resources which fit those goals.
It got me thinking about all I had learned whilst training to be a teacher and how I could apply these expertise to my own learning. I have started this blog to give you insight into how I approach learning with the mind of an educator. When I get stuck with some concepts I put myself in the shoes of a child and I think to myself “How would I support this child? What provision would I put in place? What resources would they require?”. This could mean I think I need help from a native speaker (aka my partner) or it could mean that I think I need some visual supports or that there may be a better book which explains the concept in a different way.
The key to this blog will be to help people understand who they are as a learner and how they can improve their self-teaching skills. This doesn’t mean going it alone and not using classes or tutors, but hopefully it will help you develop new ways of approaching your self-study in between your formal lessons. I will be sharing key pedagogical approaches and how I have applied these to my self-study as well as hopefully starting a discussion with people about their language learning. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Kathryn (@365smallsteps on Instagram)