Joseph Hughes

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 would not.

And finally Number Three is simplification; this is a simplified form of the language similar to what children would normally use.


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 the others.

For example:


Grammar translation method (GTM)

  This 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 have the:


Direct method (Berlitz)

  Now 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.



 Desuggestopedia 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.


The Callan method 

  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 answer.

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 to understand.

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.


The 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 on speaking.

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 the battle.

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 pub.

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 their students.

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

 And 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.

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