My teaching approach
The objective of this assignment is
to compare, study and conclude with a personal opinion about the different
teaching methodologies. In order to approach this goal, the assignment will
include teaching goals, organization of the syllabus, teacher & Ss roles, and
evaluation of each method in that order; concluding with a personal approach.
The Grammar –Translation method does
not include speaking and listening goals, it focuses on reading and writing
skills, so that the Ss improve in grammar rules, tenses, vocabulary by
translating texts, structure exercises…As it focuses in vocab and grammar, It
has a lexicon-grammatical task based syllabus. Teachers are the authority in
the classroom there is no gap for learning from other’s and also no place for
auto-corrections since the teacher will always correct Ss and give the answers
they don’t know. Ss are evaluated by written tests, texts translation…
Translation is a good method but only as second option when there are real
understanding problems or with low level Ss, only with beginners. This method
is not suitable for people that are willing to use English in real life since
it has no speaking or listening, I would say it is good for a ESP course.
Berlitz method includes all 4 skills:
speaking, listening, writing and reading. The real objective is communication
so it’s no longer suitable for a ESP course, or at least, not like the Grammar
– Translation method, since Berlitz method focuses on communicative skills.
Teacher’s are no longer the authority in the classroom. Ss practice the target
language through the simulation of real situations. Another remarkable fact is,
grammar is taught inductively; rules are figured out from examples and may
never be given explicitly. In my opinion, that last point might be something
negative while teaching lowest level students because it’s harder for them to
relate those examples to the target language. It’s a great method to improve Ss
English skills, because according to some scientific researches, it’s easier
for Ss to remember funny or amusing situations that might happen while they act
or go through those situations.
According to the Audio-Lingual Method skills
are presented in their “natural order” which means Ss will practice the skills
in the following order: listening, speaking, reading and finally writing. So
according to this order, this method contains the items of phonology,
morphology, and syntax of the language. Also, student’s errors are avoided
through the teacher’s awareness of where the students have difficulties and
restriction of what they are taught to say. I wouldn’t stick to this method
since in my opinion all 4 skills should be improved together and mistakes
shouldn’t be avoided; they are our way to know what should Ss improve or what
to emphasis on.
Suggestopedia method practices and focuses on
all 4 language skills, which syllabus is based on dialogues that are graded by
vocabulary and grammar. The teacher is again an authority, but in this case,
classroom environment is a key fact, it has to be bright and cheerful. This
method suggest the use of music along with the rhythm of the class, texts of
800 words ( aprox ) used to play different roles in a dialogue, always began by
the teacher. This method is quite interesting and even though it might be a
slower method to improve Ss’ English language skills, it provides an
almost-perfect environment suitable for the learning.
The TPR Method can be easily related to the
suggestopedia since it also focuses on having a relaxing and delightful
classroom environment. The teacher is the director of all students’ behavior
must be tolerant with mistakes and praise Ss.
This method is quite similar to the content based-instruction
and participatory approach since both of them teach through communication
rather than for it. Teacher’s build on Ss previous knowledge and experience.
The Communicative approach improves student’s
strategies for understanding language as it’s authentically used. Cross cultural
elements are also included in each unit: students have to learn about the
culture of L2 as well. Authentic material is used so that Ss earn real, live
language, even though sometimes texts are adapted to fit the grammar or
vocabulary purpose of the unit.
Now then; after studying the different TEFL
methods I would like to come with my ideal and own method. To approach this
goal I will base my method on constructivist approach which is based on
experimental learning through real life experience to construct and conditionalize
knowledge. That means, letting Ss learn by going through real life situations
and experiences, and that is the popular “learn by doing”. This method would
include all 4 learning skills:
Listening: dialogues are not only a good way to practice the speaking
skill but a great way to practice the listening one
Reading: Novels and also exchanging letters with a native speaker is a
great way to practice it in both formal and informal speech.
Writing: It is true that with this method we would not give so much
importance to this language skill but it would be also practiced with the
exchange of letters.
teacher is no longer the authority but just a passive speaker, which means
total tolerance to mistakes (while the main idea is clear), but again, it’s not
a director like in the TPR method but also not as active as in the content
based-instruction and participatory approach even thought teacher will still be
very important characteristic of this method would be the presence of a bright
and cheerful environment just like in suggestopedia, and why not, music can be
involved in that ideal environment since the latest scientific researches state
that one part of the Ss learning is the subconscious learning, which can be
provided by some background voices (like music), in the same way babies learn their
first language. The types of learners are self-directed, creative, innovative,
drawing upon visual/spatial, musical/rhythmic, bodily kinesthetic,
verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical and naturalistic intelligences. Ss goal
is the highest order of learning: heuristic problem solving, metacognitive
knowledge, creativity, and originality that may modify existing knowledge and
allow for creation of new knowledge.
method’s goal is to let Ss “spread their wings” while they are tested everyday
in many type of situations. I would say it could be used to teach any level
learners, but, before using it, it has to be tested and of course it has to
evolve just like students would work hard to improve their English language.