My methods are dictated by the material being taught, and the needs of the student, but with an emphasis on interactive participation. The more the material can be taught in the context of conversation, games, puzzles, engaging the student's imagination, music, etc., the better. Standardized testing and rote memorization don't benefit the student much in my opinion, and deviate greatly from the way human brains actually learn. I also believe there has to be an element of fun in learning, because the mind is more relaxed and open to new material.
I taught English to children in Beijing, China, and took their lessons to another level when we devoted a part of the class to the lyrics of American pop songs, and singing those songs. The kids got to have some fun focusing on more casual language and slang, which is really important in communicating with Americans in English.
How the element of fun is introduced for a child born in the U.S. might look different, but it is important to opening the mind.
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