My teaching approach
The Cockney Method
There are many different types of teaching
methods, but the positives and negatives of each method varies on opinion.
We are going to be looking at some of these
methods and there different styles and I will introduce you to my method known as The Cockney Method, but before we get to that, I would like to talk about
other methods and what goes into making them.
There are numerous different points to
consider when reviewing a teaching method for example, which level of learner
is it aimed towards, is there a certain age that would benefit more and what is
the teacher’s role and attitude in the classroom.
We also need to look at other things such
as interlanguage, productive and receptive skills and what material, or lack of, the teacher is using.
Before we start to analyse other teaching
methods, I would like to go over and explain what interlanguage is.
Interlanguage is the language used by a
learner who is not yet fully proficient in L2.
This is an important objective study to
predict and anticipate errors; these errors are normally influenced by the
structure of the learner’s mother tongue.
There are three different processes that
influence the creation of interlanguage;
Number One is known as language transfer,
this is where learners full back on their mother tongue, and this is not much
of a mistake than it is a process.
Number Two is over generalisation, this is
where learners use rules from the second language in a way that native speakers
And finally Number Three is simplification;
this is a simplified form of the language similar to what children would
As you may remember I also mentioned
productive and receptive skills.
Activities such as speaking and writing are
known as productive skills, and activities such as listening and reading are
called receptive skills.
Depending on which method you are using any
one of these skills or individual activities can be given more importance than
translation method (GTM)
method is focused on writing text and the ability to communicate is not a goal.
The main focus is on reading and writing,
and no attention is given to pronunciation.
Most of the spoken language in class is in
the student’s native tongue; the students are taught a large variety of words
but are not taught how to use them in sentences.
And then on the other side of the scale we
the main object of this method is vocabulary rather than grammar.
The one basic rule in this method is there
is no translation allowed, the teacher is to demonstrate and explain using hand
gestures or other words if the student is unable to understand.
Pronunciation gets attention from the very
beginning, no native tongue is allowed, writing is important but not as much so
as the Grammar translation method.
There is also a syllabus that teachers need
to follow, a syllabus is a curriculum which is a list of activities, which
teachers need to follow as so they can see what the students have been taught and
what level the students are.
So just from these two methods alone we can
see a huge contrast in teaching methods one focuses on productive skills and
the other on receptive.
I think neither method solely focuses on a
certain age group or a particular level, but I feel the Grammar translation
method may be a little bit to difficult for complete beginners to start with.
I also feel that as a method in general it
can teach students bad habits in pronunciation and may make their lives
difficult down the line when it comes to communicating with others. Where as
the Direct method allows students to communicate from the very begging, thus
giving them confidence and the ability to talk to others which in my opinion is
the main goal in learning another language.
I would now like to delve into two other
different methods, which are on different sides of the spectrum altogether.
The first method being Suggestopedia and
the other being The Callan method.
was developed to help students eliminate the feeling that they cannot be
successful, or the negative association they may have toward studying and, thus
to help them overcome the barriers to learning.
The main objectives of this method are to
make sure learning is facilitated in a cheerful environment, the teacher should
`desuggest´ students psychological barriers, indirect positive suggestion also
fine arts such as classical music, art and drama are integrated into the lesson
to reach the students subconscious.
Native language transition is used to make
the meaning of the dialog clear and finally communication takes place on two
planes the first being the conscious and the second being the subconscious.
This method starts at an extremely fast pace and finishes the same way,
on average the teacher will ask fifty questions an hour.
Each lesson consists of three blocks which
are as follows: listen – speak, this is where the teacher will complete the
dialog and then the students will have to repeat.
Repeat – retain, this is where the teacher
will tell the class the answer twice in a row, then ask the students the
question which the students will then have to answer.
So it goes answer, answer, question then
And finally read – write, this is where the
students will read what has been written and then write down the answer.
There is absolutely no silence in the class
from the first minute to the very last.
The syllabus to the callan method has not
been updated since 1959.
So yet again we can see two very different
methods one at a very fast pace and the other in a more relaxed state.
Looking at both of the methods I think the
teacher’s material is a very important factor, into making the classes work.
The Callan method teachers will go through
fifty questions an hour, so they will need to have a good lesson plan, with a
list of questions that will not be repeated or too difficult for the students
As for suggestopedia the teachers rely on
music, drama and art so all of this will need to be prepared along with the
actual activity they will be teaching.
In my honest opinion I think both of these
methods are a little farfetched one method would give me a headache and the
other would put me too sleep.
I can see the benefits in both of these
methods for example; in the Callan method the drilling technique the teacher
applies could benefit some learners.
And as for suggestopedia the relaxed style
of the class could help some students to get over any barriers they may have.
And now I would like you to look at the
method which I have created.
Cockney Method (TCM)
The cockney method is a method that has
been designed for higher levels; the one main difference between this method
and the others is that it has been designed solely to focus on teaching for one
specific place which is London England.
As you may know people that are from London
are called cockneys, they have also created a version of the English language
that only exists and can bee truly understood in London.
TCM will only benefit students that want to
travel or live in London.
The Cockney methods main points are
speaking and leistering, the main goal is to have the students understand and
speak fluent in Cockney.
To learn Cockney the students are required
to have a high level of fluency in English to begin with.
Cockney is mainly formed off rhyming slang,
expressions and idioms, it is very rarely written so each class will only focus
Teacher and student interaction is
essential for the class to be a success; the teacher must be able to make the
students feel at ease and relaxed.
Each class the students will learn
different target language, and be asked to use it in a sentence.
The teacher will also read a text in
Cockney and the students will have to try and translate the script into Basic
English, for example: alright me old china gis ya dog so I can get a smash to
Firstly each word will need to be explained
so me old china – china plate means mate,
Gis ya – give me, then dog which is dog and
bone – phone, we then move on to smash – smash and grab which means cab, and
then lastly battle – battle cruiser which is boozer, which is another name for
So in normal English it means: hello my
friend, can I borrow your phone, to order a taxi to the pub.
As you can see Cockney is very complex and,
pronunciation will be focused on from the very beginning.
The seating arrangement of the class is
very important: the teacher will need to have eye contact at all times with
Because Cockney can be difficult the
teacher needs to keep eye contact and be able to interact with the learners to
keep them interested.
TCM will have a syllabus that teachers need
to follow, Cockney is not just used in normal vocabulary it is also used to
refer to numbers mainly money, so students will need to be taught this as well.
To refer to a twenty pound note it is known
as a Bobby Moore which means score, thus meaning a Bobby – twenty pounds
higher level students will be given homework such as: watch old programmes such
as only fools and horses and if able to go to a bar in south east London and
start a conversation with a drunken old man.
So after looking at a few examples we can
see the different styles and techniques that certain teaching methods use.
I feel there is no right or wrong method,
the most important thing is to grade your student’s needs and to find the best
method that will help them to learn.
There are many different factors that we
have looked at, that go into a good teaching method but which and what ones you
use is solely up to the teacher or the syllabus they are working from.
But the last point that I would like to
make is that no matter what method, syllabus or teaching materials you use it
is all down to the teachers attitude and if they want to give a good class, and
really care about their students needs.
If the teacher has a bad attitude or the
students cannot connect with them, then the learners will not enjoy the class
or want to be there.
Rendering the whole class pointless.