Contemporary college English teaching and learning is going through a change from the traditional mode to a new one in the multimedia setting and many new features arise thereby such as the increasing use of such materials as computers, multimedia facilities, on-line resourses, et. From a humanistic perspective, the nature of the College English course including its teaching and learning as well as its evaluation should be reconsidered. The current paper focuses on the main concepts in a humanistic language teaching and learning classroom and explores the issue of “how to teach in a humanistic way”.
Key words: College English Teaching; New Technology; Humanism.
College English is an important basic subject at colleges, therefore, its reformation should be carried out in the teaching idea, teaching method and so on. College English teaching is faced with a new opportunity for development today, it is of great importance to review the essence of humanism thought and re-examine the relevant nature of the course of College English and elements of college English teaching. The implementation of the humanism teaching will play an important role in improving teaching quality and enhancing the teaching effect.
Humanistic thoughts and College English Teaching
The humanistic psychology making E. Erikson, A. Maslow, and C. Rogers as the main representative rose in 1950 of the United States. Humanism emphasizes the importance of people’s inner world, and put people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions at the forefront of the whole psychological development. The basic theory of humanism includes “theory of original goodness of human nature”, “theory of hierarchy of needs”, and “theory of self realization”. In which, the “theory of hierarchy of needs” and “theory of self realization” put forward by Maslow have very rich educational significance.
The western humanism thought has a profound revelation to the contemporary college English teaching, which urges people to reinterpret college English teaching from the teaching idea, teaching content and teaching environment. On the one hand, the humanism thought reminds us that College English teaching should not regard itself as a skill training and the process of learning as the knowledge storage, but should cultivate the students’ independent thinking ability, guide the students to explore the world of English from their own unique perspective. Thus, it can promote their comprehensive development in the learning process of self realization, so as to get ready for the future changing world. On the other hand, language is not only a means of communication, but also includes the history and culture of the relevant countries and nations. The process of learning foreign language is also a process of learning new culture and forming a new social value.
Humanistic view of College English Teaching
Humanism from Curriculum View
People said that college English has been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people as a concept of a humanitic class curriculum. College English is faced with many impact and challenges today, and people should come back to re-examine the nature of the course and give it a reasonable “birthright”. College English curriculum is not only a language course, but also a quality education curriculum to broaden the knowledge and to understand the world culture. Therefore, college students should not only learn some words to a certain number in college English curriculum learning, but master the basic English listening and speaking skills. In addition to improving students’ comprehensive English ability, college English should also have a higher goal, which is the development of students as people. Only when the updates of both technology and equipment focus on this goal, and do not adapt to the development of technology by sacrificing it, will the students not become just parrots of “fast mouth, tense ears and empty brains.”
Humanism from Teachers’ View
Undoubtedly, humanism-centered education will further complete the meaning of education, however, the important position of teachers should not be ignored when the college English teaching method is on the way to Humanism at all times. The status of teachers not only reflects in the fact that teacher is still the authority of knowledge, and the guide for the students in the learning field, but also in teaching students “academic research” and “human research” through daily teaching in the process of “preaching, tuition, disabusing”. In this sense, College English teachers should constantly study new situations and changes based on the original knowledge system, so as to achieve the two aspects of improvement of thinking and professional technology. It is necessary for teachers to learn the knowledge of modern educational technology and creatively apply it to teaching practice specific to the current situation of College English teaching, and cannot hold incomplete and seperated from the modern educational technology. What’s more, teachers should pay attention to improve their self-cultivation. Therefore, college English teaching should make breakthrough progress, and pay attention to promote the improvement of the quality of teachers.
Humanism from Students’ View
Concerning the status of the students, people believe that students should undoubtedly become the subject of study, and located in the center of the whole teaching process. However, the learning subject status of students is relevant; teachers still play the significant role of guiding and disabusing. First of all, teachers’ subject status in teaching in our country has a long history, which is the thinking set of most students, if students fully become the subject of learning, the sudden change from being passive to active will make many students feel confused and at a loss. Secondly, network greatly enriches teaching resources at the same time with some negative effects, such as the good and bad is intermingled. Faced with the complicated network English resource, if given more freedom to choose, most of the students will be “drowned” in the vast network of resources and can not extricate themselves. Therefore, the author advocates the theory of “student centered” on the basis of teachers’ guidance in the teaching of College English.
Humanism from Resources View
Teaching resources includes both traditional textbooks, such as recording machines, radios and other supplementary facilities like computers, multimedia language laboratory, network teaching resources, teaching courseware under the condition of information technology. The current college English teaching resources are abundant, but there are still some problems need further discussion, including the establishment, choice, and use of resources. For example, in the creation of teaching resources, the existing teaching software enriches the information in the visual and auditory aspects, but it is difficult to achieve a positive interaction between the learning resources and students, and its actual effect is also different from the beforehand. We believe that the creation of teaching resources should not only have the participation of software production professionals, but also the participation of teachers with rich experience in teaching and professional knowledge of English. Besides, the creation and use of teaching resources must have a definite object in view.
The Implementation of the Humanism English Teaching
Create a People-oriented Teaching Environment
The people-oriented teaching gives prominence to the status of students as the subject of learning, but the realization of the subject’s status maintenance and learning objective also depends on a harmonious, equal and friendly teaching environment; while the key to the creation of the environment is the quality of teachers and their efforts. That is because the humanistic quality of teachers is directly related to their attitude towards “how to treat the students”, “how to treat the courses they teach”, and “how to teach and other problems”. First of all, teachers should fulfill the shift of their role between guide and facilitator from consciousness and actual action. Secondly, teachers should be aware of the needs of the society, especially the needs of students to learn English, so that the teaching content and the actual needs of students can be combined perfectly. Third, teachers should pay more attention to the students’ ways of acquiring knowledge, understanding the methods and accessing to the world with their unique personality, and carrying out targeted guidance and exchange instead of imposing their will on the students. There are variety of communications between teachers and students, teachers and teachers, teachers and teaching materials and resources, students and their learning materials and resources. Finally, the multimedia teaching software and equipment are being introduced to college English teaching class today, because of the lack of experience and technology, there are still problems of teaching software design and use. In this case, teachers should be familiar with the characteristics and use situation of the device, and guide students to solve the contradiction between the software and equipment, so that the use of machine equipment and software can reflect the will of the people and achieve harmony between man and machine.
Dig Humanism Thought in the Teaching of English
The College English Teaching under the guidance of humanism is required to adopt different teaching materials for different regions, different schools and different levels of students. Even the same materials will form a different understanding from different perspectives. Humanism in College English teaching requires teachers and students to have a pair of wise eyes, which are good at discovering the humanism thought and factors in the textbook. For example, a series of materials reflect the essence of humanism in the theme of the determination and selection of content in the “College English” (New Edition). Such as the generation gap, the pace of life, terrorism, the virtual world, travel, job interview, and so on, which both expose students to the world of reality in life, and guide students to look toward the future. And the theme, such as human’s kindness, cruelty, lies, animal intelligence, aliens, cloning, and fighting the forces of nature, makes students consider the people, human nature, human and animal, and man and nature relationship at the same time learning the text content, even reflect on the existence of themselves, which kind of thinking itself has broken through the subject field of College English teaching with scientific common sense.
Carry out the Teaching Evaluation of the Humanism
Humanism education advocates that students should be one of the subjects of the evaluation system, and the evaluation of students has a central position. Secondly, Humanism education also advocates the use of a variety of methods to evaluate teaching, such as: personality analysis, learning archives, contract evaluation, self-evaluation. In other words, humanism education advocates the combination of internal evaluation and external evaluation and the formation of diversification of evaluation subjects and methods. After the establishment of the subject of evaluation, the humanism evaluation system should also take into consideration the problem of evaluation criteria and evaluation content. For College English teaching, the evaluation criteria should be discussed and decided by both the teachers and students themselves. The content of the evaluation should not only include the tool of language, but also people’s perception and self realization through language perception and self realization. Here, the author would like to emphasize the importance of the students’ participation in the evaluation system. Since all aspects of teaching is open to students’ self-learning and self-realization, only when all students are made to take participate in the evaluation system, can the effectiveness of evaluation teaching has the real basis. Otherwise, teaching evaluation will become a “passive water”.
The introduction of reasonable humanism factors to College English teaching is what the trend of new teaching requires. At the same time, we also believe that the thought emphasizing humanism is bound to blow a strong whirlwind to the introduction of all kinds of advanced equipment and technology nowadays, which will bring a breath of fresh air for the College English Teaching in the new period.
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