Reporter: We know the TESOL International Association has defined the six principles for ELT and that you are one of the authors of The 6 Principles . Are these principles intended to be universal guidelines for English teachers?
Deborah Short: TESOL International Association has proposed six principles which are universal guidelines drawn from decades of research and experience to inform English teaching and learning. We believe if you implement these six principles, it is conducive to learner success. With materials we have, we have recommended practices for each principle to lead to teaching excellence.
Reporter: In general, what should teachers consider when planning their lessons?
Deborah Short: When teachers plan lessons, we recommend them to use the six principles, which can help design lessons and check students' learning. The first one is “know your learners”, you have to know students well in order to design effective lessons. You need to know both their goals and language proficiency skills so you can move them forward. Other principles will help you prepare plans that engage students, improve their authentic language use and practice and make them feel part of the growing community of English speakers. Principle Four helps you differentiate students for some students are stronger speakers or better readers. Perhaps you want to adjust their reading texts or tasks. Principle Five, which is about monitoring and assessing language learning, is a part of any good lesson where teachers have to find out how much students learned and how much more should be taught to move to the next level.
Reporter: This year, the TESOL International Association China Assembly will be held in Hangzhou. What kinds of benefits do you think English educators and experts can obtain from this event?
Deborah Short: It is great that there will be the second TESOL International Association China Assembly this year, and I encourage teachers to go to this large scale gathering of like-minded educators. It’s an opportunity to have professional learning to meet your needs, to network with others and share effective teaching practices and assessment. It is important that we gather together to engage and collaborate, in which way we meet TESOL’s Principle Six which is about creating a community of practice.