Karyn Bailey

My teaching approach

The Cockney-tive (Cognitive) Approach

The Cockney-tive (Cognitive) approach is designed to teach English as a foreign language, this method is purely aimed at intermediate (P3) level students and who are able to express themselves.

This essay will compare and contrast four different teaching methods such as Caleb Gattegno's 'The Silent Way', Georgi Lozanor's 'Suggestopida' and the 'Communicative Approach' which has been around since the 70s and the early 80s these methods have been around for many years, the fourth method is Karyn Bailey's (that's me) 'The Cockney-tive (Cognitive) Approach'. Each of these methods will be assessed in accordance to the following themes:

Receptive and Productive Skills:

In order for students to have a successful second language communication students have to develop their Receptive skills i.e. Reading and Listening and their develop their Productive skills i.e. Speaking and Writing.


It is a “system” that has been developed by the student who is learning a second language and has not yet become fully proficient but uses the target language imprecisely i.e. preserving some features of their native language, or overgeneralising target language rules in speaking or writing the target language.


A syllabus is a summary of what will be covered in a course of study, an example an language teacher would design a syllabus around the order in which grammatical items are introduced an example starting with 'present simple' then 'past simple', then 'present perfect' and so on.

Teacher's Role:

A Teacher's role has a number of dynamic functions, The role usually entails the relationship between the teacher and student, for instance a teacher's role can be seen an assessoriii, a coachiv, a form of resourcev, psychologistvi, an agony auntvii, conversationalistviii and controller/organiserix.

Use of Material:

The way in which the content of the material and how the material is used to aid the student's learning.


This technique is used to practice a new language. It involves the teacher modelling a word and the students would repeat. This allows the students the opportunity to practice pronunciation in a non-threatening environment.


Age Appropriate: Is the material and activity appropriate and relevant to the age group of the learners.

Level: In order to understand the differences between the students’ levels of production, we have to consider two main skills in their language mastery: understanding and speaking. The proportion between these two skills will give us their level of proficiency.

Second Language Acquisition:

Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is used to describe learning a second language. It is a process which we learn or pick up a second language, this process is called a subconscious process which happens while we focus on communication.

The common ground that all these methods possesses is to find the best way to teach English as a foreign language. The first method to be looked at is called 'The Silent Way', it was created by Caleb Gattegno in 1963. The characteristic of this method is for the teacher to be silent through out (dedicated to Student Talking Time) method, it also allows the student to correct themselves and self-monitor therefore allowing the students to gain fluency in the language and thus not allowing them to return to their native language.

The key factors used in this method are the use of material- the colour sound chart, this method could be taught at a P3 level in order for this method to work the students will have to have some basic knowledge of the structure of the English language, this method is appropriate for any age group.

The negative aspects of this method is the lack of verbal instructions given to the students and no correction is given when mistakes are made by the students. Praises or criticism isn't an important factor within this method which is a negative aspect because when teaching students, praises and criticism boosts the student's confidence and that is a key factor in any form of teaching.

The second method is called 'Suggestopida' which was developed by Caleb Gattegno and Georgi Lozanor in 1970, this method was developed to aid students in eliminating the negative feeling that they cannot be successful at language-learning. The 'Suggestopida' method uses two planes which the communication takes place, the first plane is the conscious-ness – this is where the learner attends to the language and the second plane uses the fine arts such as music, art, drama, and classical paintings reach the subconscious-ness of the students therefore making learning easy and a pleasant.

The key factors in this method is the productive skills (listening and reading), it also can be used at an intermediate level where students have a good understanding of the English language. The material used is appropriate for the level of knowledge of the students and the activity in hand, also second language acquisition is present in this method, the negative aspect of this method is that it translates the material that the teacher uses to make it clearer.

The penultimate method was created since 1970s and the early 1980's and is called the 'Communicative Approach', the teaching strategy of the Communicative Approach is the idea of a taskxi. The Communicative Task consists of a goalxii, input from studentsxiii and an activity.

In order for the students to successfully learn the language, real life situations are used which allows the student to use their natural instincts for language acquisition allowing them to use the language, this type of method develops both the productive and receptive skills,as a natural development of communication trial and error is tolerated. The material used by the teacher is authentic and the role of the teacher is to facilitate and monitor rather than leading the class.

The last method was created by myself called the 'Cockney-tive (Cognitive) Method', this method was created for students at an intermediate (P3) level. The structured and engaging syllabus will focus the students on the process of communication and learning through the steps of language, task-based and will be learner-centred.

It important for the students is to learn and retain, therefore a teacher's role is to use the PPP method (Present, Practice and Production), the presentation phase usually consists of two steps: an introductory activity such as a warm-up or a lead-in, which is an activity intended to raise students’ interest in the topic; and an introduction of the target language.

In the practice stage, the focus is on form. The teacher provides opportunities for students to practise the learnt items in a controlled way. This is a chance for the students to use what they have learnt, the students are monitored and correction is given in a form of a feedback so not to deflate the student's confidence.

The production stage focuses on fluency and provides students with an opportunity to personalise the language learnt by doing less controlled tasks, that is, by using their own ideas, this method allows students to use their receptive and productive skills.

The two learning styles for this method are:

Visual style of learning – There will be coloured coded words to help the students gain understanding of word usage and sentence structure, there will also be use of symbols and illustrations to help student associate images and words, this style of learning will students Receptive skills.

Kinaesthetic – This stye of learning will build on the student's productive skills, the kinaesthetic style of learning would be done through activities to i.e. putting the target language for that lesson into practice, this way the target language will be drilling and repetition and thus student will achieve Second Language Acquisition but in the unconventional way.

The research done on the 3 methods Caleb Gattegno's 1963 'The Silent way', Georgi Lozanor and Caleb Gattegno's 1970 'Suggestopida' and the 'Creative Approach' 1970 and early 1980's, all hold common ground when it comes to Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

In the 'Silent Way' the use of colour coded word I find very useful as I am a visual person when it comes to learning, the aspect I would take from this method is the use of colour coded words to help students understand sentence structure and the use of words.The negative aspect about this method is the fact the teacher is silent for such such a long time, for students that can be very off-putting especially if the student lacks confidence in learning a new language, this method on the other hand would work well if you were to use it as part of an activity teaching children.

The 'Suggestopida' method I feel that the part of this method that works is the elimination of negative barrier towards learning as it is the most important factor when learning or teaching, what I also liked about this method is the was the use of conscious-ness and subconscious to aid the students learning.

The last method the 'Communicative Approach' this method I find very useful as it makes learning fun, active and it keeps the students motivated with this approach as they have an interest in what is being communicated as the lesson is topic or themed based. Also the use of authentic material keeps the lesson fresh and for the teacher teaching it motivated in sense that they would get bored teaching the same material, so because the material is fresh it's keep the teacher motivated to teach and the student motived by the fact the teacher is motivated to teach.

The 'Cockney-tive (Cognitive) method was created from personal experience of being taught as a child and aspects of the 3 method above have been taken to help make the 'Cockney-tive (Cognitive) Method' a method that can be use with any age group.

As a child I had a lot of fear when it came to learning as I was a slow learner but thinking back, the teacher was not good at explaining things or breaking down explanations into their simplest form and there was also a lack of patience. There are mini warm up activities where the teacherxiv has to take part, this allows the student to relax, open up to the teacher and to eliminate any form of negativity.

I am a visual learner and I remember certain information in a coloured coded fashion an example, I a learning Spanish and in order for me to learn words that has masculine noun or ending I write in blue and words that has a feminine noun or endings I write in pink and so on. I use this in my method as I find it aids student when they are constructing a sentence.

Using real life situations I feel helps to set the learner up for using their skill in the big wide world, an example when I had my driving lessons, all my lessons took place on the actual roads of London which enabled me to understand in order to drive at 30 mph would be that you are driving in area where is build up or residential. If this explanation was taught to me any other way I wouldn't have understood but because a real situation was used I was able to see the consequences of when you do or don't drive at 30 mph in a build up or residential area.

This method is made to make learning a new language fun, easy and to set the students up for using their newly acquired language in the big wide world.

i Also known as Interlanguage Fossilisation.

ii There are many different types of syllabus (although often in language classrooms the syllabus from the course book is the only document). Syllabus types include grammatical, lexical and functional, which focus on the building blocks of language, and task-based and learner-centred, which focus on processes of communication and learning. (Oxbridge website, 2013, TEFL FUNDAMENTALS TERMINOLOGY).

iii. Assessor: Clears doubts related to the English language.

iv. Coach: Extra linguistic knowledge.

v. Main resource for the students for the English language (a walking talking dictionary)

vi. Psychologist: On a basic level, being able to interpret the reactions and the responses of the students and then adapting your classes based on the reaction and responses of the students

vii. Agony Aunt: Student will come to you with problems and your role is to listen and understand.

viii. Conversationalist: Knowing how to make your students start talking, being able to strike up a conversation . This is leaves a memorable impression on the student.

ix. Controller/Organiser: Organises/controls the execution of activities.

x. It is also compared with second language learning, which describes how formal language education helps us learn language through more conscious processes. An example?A learner studying in an English-speaking country may have more success due to the language they acquire in their part-time job than with the language they learn in their class.

xi. A piece of work

xii. What the teacher expects the learners to be able to do after

completing the task, for example, being able to use a particular verb tense correctly.

xiii. This could be in the form of a specific reading text like a

questionnaire, a newspaper article or the operating instructions for a TV; similarly, it

could be a piece of listening, such as a radio discussion on a contentious issue, one

side of a telephone conversation or a dialogue.

xiv. This allows the student to see that the teacher isn't afraid to make themselves look silly in front of the class.

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