My teaching approach
Assignment 1: TEFL
Compare and contrast two
methodologies in terms of the approach to teaching, the approach to learning,
the goals of the students, the organisation of the syllabus and the teacher’s
attitude and behaviour.
approximately 1000 words
A teaching method comprises the principles and methods used
for instruction. Commonly used teaching methods may include class
participation, demonstration, recitation, memorization, or combinations of
these. The choice of an appropriate teaching method depends largely on the
information or skill that is being taught, and it may also be influenced by the
aptitude and enthusiasm of the students.
Some popular methods and approaches
The Grammar Translation Method,
The Audio-lingual Method
Direct Method and many more.
The Grammar translation
teaching method is one of the oldest methodologies in TEFL teaching, and is
frequently associated with learning ‘dead’ languages such as Greek and Latin.
The method refrains from spoken communication and relies heavily on teaching
grammar as a means to translate text from one language to the other.
It is said that the
Grammar Translation method is the easiest for a teacher to employ as it is not
necessary for the teacher to speak at a high level of English or be imaginative
with lesson preparation. Grammar Translation classes are taught in the
students’ native language, and require students to memorize long lists of vocabulary
and grammar rules. They also encourage students to translate classical texts
and other arbitrary sentences. Students are taught by way of lots of drill like
repetition exercises and lengthy explanations in the mother tongue.
unstated assumption was that students would naturally pick up the ability to use the
language if they obtained a full and explicit understanding of the "The
Learning in this manner
can have a tedious and soporific effect and can lead to the class being
The Direct Teaching Method
followed the Grammar Translation Method and was to a
large extent a reaction against it. The Direct Teaching Method, developed by
Maximilian Berlitze, is in my opinion a far more effective approach to
Using only the target
language in class, encourages students to think in the target language and
respond spontaneously through oral communication, building up a bank of
everyday vocabulary and sentences without being taught grammar explicitly. Various
vocabularies are taught through using pictures and elaborate pantomime, allowing
the students to absorb the grammar as they go.
This manner of teaching
allows the students approach to be less frustrating as it is more engaging.
Students play an active role in the classroom, participating in lively
activities which can stimulate and motivate their learning.
The aims of teaching in
the Grammar translation Method are to primarily improve the students reading
and writing skills. It was believed that literacy of the target language is far
superior to that of the spoken language, thus being able to speak fluently in
the target language is not seen as an important goal of learning and is
therefore not on the syllabus. Instead, this method is grammar-driven with lengthy
explanations of the grammatical rules and is practiced through written
exercises encouraging direct translation, paying no attention to pronunciation.
In comparison, the Direct
Method focuses on pronunciation, emphasizing vocabulary over grammar with a
Situationalsyllabus. The primary goal is to be able to communicate naturally in
the target language; therefore students practice “real-world” conversations and
scenarios, through an active syllabus. The purpose of language learning is
communication; therefore, a great emphasis is put on questions and answer
activities encouraging opportunities for “real-life” conversational practice. Conversation
exchange with a native English teacher is key in achieving a good level of
pronunciation and flow.
is not present in the classroom of a grammar translation class. Instead the
teacher behaves in an authoritative manner, dictating and translating to the
students. Most of the interaction in the classroom is from the teacher to the
students. There is little student initiation and little student-student
interaction. Being one of the oldest teaching methods, it retains the historic
image of the teacher standing at the front of the class doing all the talking
to a non responsive classroom.
In contrast the role of
the teacher in the Direct Teaching Method is to conduct the class activities. Students
and teacher are partners in the learning process and student-student
interaction is also encouraged through the use of fluent conversation, debates
Teachers' attitudes play
an important part in the over-all learning process and have a direct effect on
the students' motivation, self-esteem, and anxiety level. Therefore I feel that
it is important for the teacher to maintain a good atmosphere within the
classroom rather than a commanding one, discouraging a positive learning
In conclusion I believe
the Direct Method to be the preferred style of learning, when teaching English
as a second Language, due to its natural learning method. I feel it is more
valuable to be taught the language, rather than to be taught about the language,
giving you a natural acquisition of the second language. However there is no
right or wrong approach to teaching or learning, it is a personal preference
depending on the way in which you respond to learning.
Learning Teaching – Jim