Competency 3: Teachers and Teaching

Teachers need to enjoy teaching. In this third in a series of 5 posts, teacher learning as practiced at SIT is viewed in terms of teachers and teaching. Which of these attributes were demonstrated by the great teachers in your life?

Teachers have awareness of

  • the relationship between learning and teaching
  • their own assumptions about teaching and learning
  • the impact of their teaching upon learners and their learning

Teachers have attitudes of

  • enjoyment of and passion for teaching languages
  • respect for individual and culturally-linked learning and teaching styles
  • willingness to change their teaching

Teachers have knowledge of

  • theories, methods, techniques, and materials of teaching language and culture
  • theories and methods of classroom management and instructional groupings
  • theories and methods of curriculum design and implementation
  • theories and methods of assessment, both formal and informal
  • reflective teaching and experiential learning

Teachers have skills of

  • teaching reflectively: seeing, describing, inquiring into, and making hypotheses about students’ learning and the teaching context, and taking intelligent action based on this process
  • designing and implementing opportunities to observe and assess students’ learning, including structured feedback sessions
  • creating a safe and positive learning environment
  • articulating a personal approach to language teaching based on well-defended assumptions
  • establishing short and long-term course objectives
  • creating and implementing effective and appropriate lesson plans and units
  • designing and implementing curricula that emphasize speaking, listening, reading, writing, culture, and content
  • effectively organizing and managing a classroom
  • developing skills and awareness in students that enhance their self-assessment capabilities and continued learning

These teaching competencies are excerpted from the MA in Teaching student handbook (2007-08). They are common to all of SIT’s MA in Teaching programs.


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