A variety of teaching methods are implemented by Palestinian and international teachers at the Excellence Center in English classes in order to improve English skills. Some of them dialogues, pair work, groupwork, presentations, listening exercises from videos or music, storytelling, and drawing. It is important that teachers use a variety of methods to appeal to student’s different learning styles. While these methods engage students, they also benefit from being exposed to numerous methods that help to develop different skills, such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
The local teachers also play an important role in the students’ learning. Because they have experience in English learning as native Arabic speakers they can help with common problems with regards to tenses and vocabulary. They also serve as inspiration and motivation to students as they witness nonnative speakers expressing themselves in English. Local teacher Brahim says that “his aim or mission is to change the false stereotype about learning English, that it isn’t difficult. In my classes I use icebreakers, games, and interactive presentations to make the students more motivated. I also to apply the “learning by doing” method. For example, if students take a trip to the Ibrahimi Mosque, they will draw a picture of the route, explain it, and talk about important places in Hebron.”
The role of the international volunteer is to create an educational atmosphere to facilitate the students learning. The teachers train specific English speaking and grammar skills while encouraging students and giving them all the opportunities to practice speaking. Some of the most used methods are groupwork. Students work together to complete tasks and assignments. It is effective because students correct each other’s English and learn from each other. Other methods include presentation, which happens formally with a powerpoint, or informally when students present their pairwork activities to the class. Teachers also use games that require the students to speak freely and creatively in order to train their speaking and conversational skills.
The international teachers can influence the language learning process by connecting with the students in some way, whether through humor or popular culture to encourage them and motivate them to continue practicing and learning. Volunteer teacher Iram from Australia describes her methods used, “ I apply explicit instruction, discussion, cooperative learning, group work. We try to make it more engaging through interactive presentations.” Another volunteer Melanie from Canada says, “I use lot of cooperative learning techniques that use impulses from students to decide which way is best. Also, lots of interaction where they get to be creative. Lots of creativity and story writing where they have to think outside of the box, studying language isnt the focus but rather using the language.”