My teaching approach
The world of teaching a second language has many
techniques that a teacher or company can conduct their classes to
benefit the needs of their learner's, all would defend their way and
say that theirs is the best, in my opinion there is no correct way of
teaching a language, only ways that make the teacher feel more
comfortable and relaxed, which will make the flow of the classes more
acceptable and enjoyable for the learner's. So in this essay I am not
going to say which is the best, I am going to say which I would be
more comfortable to use in my teaching.
But first, I am going to do a quick overview of what
I believe to be the industries most famous and well worked strategies
which have been and are currently been taught at the moment around
the world. The strategies that I will explain are the following;
Direct (Berlitz) Method
The Direct Method
is a programme in which the learner's start very basically, learning
simple vocabulary and phrases of everyday life, then building up to
the grammar issues later in the course. All of the learning is done
in the L2 language and there should be no L1 speaking in the classes.
The courses are constructed using text book's which the teacher's
follow during the programme. Correct pronunciation and grammar are
emphasised and class room's should consist of mostly STT.
I can see this being
a deceiving way of teaching L2 to a new group of learner's, which at
the start may seem to be consuming the L2 very rapidly, but I think
though the stages of the course the process will slow up and the
learner's will become agitated and less consistent as the programme
becomes more repetitive and not giving the learning what they
actually need. I have studied in these sorts of courses before and
there is too much information and vocabulary given at the start of
the courses, learner's become swamped in un-neccessay vocabulary and
this can become a cause of affective factors in L2 learning.
communicative approach uses the idea of a task (a piece of classroom
work) as a teaching strategy, consisting of a goal, input and an
activity, The approach develops the productive (speaking and writing)
and receptive (listening and understanding) skills through
communicative ways, games and role plays are very important in the
classroom's as they have certain features in common with real
have to say, this is one of my favourite syllabus' as I believe that
it gives an all-round purpose of learning. It gives the learner's the
opportunity to practice all skills in a practical and meaningful way.
The only problem I can see with this syllabus is if a participant of
the course is more visual, they may not be well suited to the
programme as they will need to see the rules on paper to be able to
teaching method uses activities (structure,vocabulary and topic) to
firstly build up speaking and understanding using a communicative
approach all taught in the L2. It aims to teach the L2 effortlessly
with the main objective to teach how to speak in the corresponding
language, the classes are started with their trademark mix of quick
question's which have no correspondence to the class which helps the
learner's switch their brain's into thinking in the L2, at the end of
the classes there is a quick wrap up of the class so that the
participant's can recap on what they have learnt.
I started the course I was a little sceptical about the Oxbridge
system as I had not witness anything like it before. But I have been
involved in classes which show dramatical improvement in the
learner's capabilities speaking the L2. Every student seems to be
fulfilled in their learning experience and enjoying the environment
of the class. The statistic's show that the system is working and
that is a very positive mention in a hugely competitive modern
language learning industry.
approach to teaching
coming to Oxbridge I have had past experiences of teaching in other
companies which syllabus' were constructed by using corporate text
book's which the teacher follows in order to explain grammatical
situation's, vocabulary and dilemmas so I can understand the pro's
and con's with these system's, but after studying and practising at
Oxbridge and seeing the way they organise their syllabus, I have to
admit it has had a great influence on my approach.
would theoretically use the same approach as Oxbridge but there is
two things that I would add to the system to optimise the learner's
curriculum. First I would start with a more visual approach for the
beginners (S1 students), for example when teaching structures to S1
learner's, I would use work-sheet's with grammatical situation's so
that the more visual learners can grasp the concept's of the
morphology involved with the L2, none of the exercises would be
translated into their L1 as learning a new language does not involve
any translation from L1 to L2 and this will help the learner not
using interlanguage in the lessons. I believe that this would be more
beneficial for them to understand the concept's of the language
structures in the L2, after the learner's progress to P2 I would take
away these worksheets and carry on with the Oxbridge approach.
I would introduce a section at the end of each class dedicated to
writing, by giving the student's quick written test's of the
word's/structures that were used in the lesson, so not only are they
practising all of their receptive skill's they will being practising
all of the productive skill's as-well. These quick test's will not be
as important to the syllabus as the speaking communication aspect but
it will give them a short amount of time understanding how the word's
and structures are composed.
would be a basic example of what a S1 class (60mins) would look like:
minutes- quick question's, (to get the student's thinking in the
minutes- structure activity, (with the use of worksheets).
minutes- vocabulary activity.
minutes- topical activity.
minutes- wrap up and written structure/lexical text.
syllabus would be constructed with the framework of structure,
vocabulary and topic activities which would be specifically
distributed to meet the needs of the learner and their corresponding
you can see from the graph, the activities are correctly organised so
that the more basic levels receive more structure and vocabulary
activities as their basic understanding will not let them express
themselves correctly for the topical activities, and vis-versa for
the higher levels, they will mostly be applying practice to the
vocabulary and topical activities to expand their already known
knowledge of structures and language. The classes will follow this
guideline so that the student's can ESA using the language and build
up their L2 acquisition to be able to communicate in all means of the
whole structure of the course can be changed for ESP too, depending
on the specific needs, it will follow the same guidelines just with
different activates regarding the regarding topic.
in the classes.
teacher's will prepare their classes appropriately to the learner's
needs and not only will they be a teacher, they will also be a guide,
a organiser, an assessor and agony aunt to the learner's, as every
person needs different things, they must be capable to understand if
a participant has any affective factor's in their learning and then
be able to cope accordingly to get the best results, they must always
tell the learner's that making mistakes is part of the development
process and never to feel embarrassed in those situation's. All these
factors will make better rapport and reducing the affective factors
of the learner's, as this is essential to have a good learning
environment. I believe that having the confidence to speak out is
critical in learning a new language, it is impossible to be able to
speak a language if you do not practice speaking the L2 with other
will also have to regulate their comprehensible input regarding the
level of the student's they are teaching, with clear slow request's
always in the L2 language so that all the learners can understand. I
believe the location of the teacher is essential, I would take out
all white board's so that the teacher's never have their back's
towards the participant's, sitting at a table with the learner's
around you gives the optimum ability to enable learning and if a
participant for a moment, needs extra attention for some reason, they
are always able to identify the problem and take the necessary
action's. The teacher can then monitor and analyse the learner's in
their progress and will be able to identify if a person is not
understanding correctly or having a hard time grasping the situation.
This would also influence introducing more kinaesthetic activities
such as role playing and action games etc. So not only will the
visual and auditory learner's receive positive stimulus, the
kinaesthetic participant's will become stimulant in their natural
way. This will benefit all of the learning styles in the program.
This can be done by taking away the teacher's notes in paper and
distributing each teacher with a tablet loaded with the lesson
activities, objectives and videos, which the teacher's can introduce
in the classes so that the participant's can see and understand real
communicative situations in real life activities.
learner's would have to sit an exam before they could start the
course, to indicate their level, determination and age, which all
have a key factor on the learning process, I do not believe that an
age can delay a person the chance of learning a new language, I just
understand that classes have to be adapted accordantly to suit the
age, (I.e.- a adult is not going to want to learn about children’s
nursery rhymes etc.).
you can see my syllabus is a mixture of the Oxbridge system and the
Communicative approach as I believe that these two system’s are the
best suited for me and my teaching and is what I would expect if I
was learning another language.