My teaching approach
Carmen Morrás Catalán
teaching methods: compare and contrast
People all over the world use English to
communicate. Over the years, learning it has become a necessity for many
reasons: work mainly but social and personal as well. That is why the
traditional teaching method has developed into different ways of teaching, more
modern and more speaking-focused. Students not only learn grammar and new
vocabulary but they practice it in real situations and in a context, which
allows them to use the language.
The traditional method, also called the Grammar-translation method, focuses on
students learning how to write and read properly. So they learn grammar and
spelling very well but they don’t learn how to use the language.
Opposite to this is the Direct method. The main differences with
the traditional one are: no translation is allowed, the teacher has to
demonstrate (not explain), it is based on topics more than in linguistic
structures, pronunciation is very important and grammar is taught inductively.
Students learn how to communicate in real situations.
Most of the other methods are more similar
to the direct one than to the traditional one, based on developing the communication
skills of the students (some of them more than others). With the Audio Lingual method, students learn
structures and vocabulary and memorize them by constant repetition. The Callan
method is similar to this one, the teacher talks a lot and prints structures
and new vocabulary into the students’ brain.
Way method is and old technique in which the teacher observes the students
and uses silence as a tool. They learn pronunciation first; all the different
sounds are represented by colours so students can easily identify them later. Then,
students learn what language means by practicing and putting it in a context,
similar to the Direct method. The Vaughan
method is based on conversation, translation and learning structures so
students can develop their speaking skills.
There is a lot of repetition, similar to the Audio lingual and the Callan
The last method we are going to mention
here is the Total Physical Response (TPR).
It isn’t very communicative as it is based on students learning by mime,
gestures and words written on a blackboard. They develop their listening and
In my opinion, methods based on repetitions
are not very good; students get easily bored and the teacher has to talk a lot,
which doesn’t allow students to develop their speaking skills. The TPR one could be useful for children, as
they learn by “acting” and repeating.
In my experience, the traditional method is
good and very useful because it makes you understand the “inside” of the
English language; students learn how to write and read properly. However,
students don’t get to use that language and when they find real situations they
can’t communicate very well. So, I think a combination of this method and the Direct one would be the perfect way of