My teaching approach
I started off with an explanation
and analysis of certain teaching methods, to fully evaluate aspects that would
make an effective new method. I’ve chosen to target my method towards children
and teens as I feel I can relate to them easier and meet their needs. The goal
is to teach a language through interactive activities in a fun environment.
The Grammar-Translation Method
The Grammar Translation Method is one of the most
common ways of learning a language, especially within schools. The skills and
goals focused on primarily are reading and writing- rather than speaking/pronunciation
and listening. The use of written tests, fill in the blank activities and analysis/comprehension
of texts are widely used with the class.
Students have the chance to develop their English in a more academic way. A big
part of this method is the translation of sentences/words between their native language
and the target language being learnt.
Although this is the oldest method I do
believe in its sheer effectively in most of the areas. It’s a well-structured
method, with set rules and organization that enhances students’ ability in comprehending
a different language. Having said that GTM lacks strongly in speaking/listening
activities; which is a big
disadvantage as students will be less prepared and unable to communicate effectively
with their target language in real situations. Another positive factor is the
form of teacher authority in a class room, someone who treats the students
equally and is there for support, as well as providing plenty of
information/answers requested. I would defiantly interpret activities used in
GTM for my method. I think this would be better aimed at P3 and higher
The Direct (Berlitz) Method
The Direct Method focuses on vocabulary over grammar and completely restricts
any form of L1 used or translation within the class. Thus, the teacher
demonstrates, rather than translates or explains; pictures and objects are used
to help students understand the meanings. Grammar rules are never taught directly.
Opportunities are given
for students to use language in real contexts and pronunciation is valued from
the very start. The structure is topic based – with the four skills practiced:
reading, writing, speaking and listening. Exercises are based on what the
student has practised orally first.
This method provides students with the
opportunity to enhance in all the 4 aspects of learning a language. By not
allowing the use of L1 within the class, student automatically benefits and get
used to hearing, and understanding their target language. Through teacher
demonstrations students have the chance to think and express what they see. As
a result using the target language to communicate within the class. By
practicing speaking before the other three aspects, students get to know the language
and practice it before sitting down and trying to read/write etc. This will
enhance their confidence and ability to read and write with the language knowledge
collected through speaking. This method could be used with any level group as their
orders in steps are spot on.
The Audio-Lingual Method
The Audio-Lingual Method
is also an oral-based approach focussing on grammar patterns above
vocabulary. It emphasizes vocabulary acquisition through exposure to its use in
situation; it drills students in the use of grammatical sentence patterns. This
method results in learners overcoming the habits of their native language and
form the new habits required for their target language. The teacher presents the correct model of a sentence and the
students have to repeat it. The teacher is expecting a particular response and
not providing that will result in a student receiving negative feedback. Students should acquire the
structural patterns; they will learn vocabulary afterward.
Speech is more basic to language than the written form. The ‘natural order’ of
skill acquisition is: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The oral/aural
skills receive most of the attention.
By focusing on the ‘natural order’
students are in the position to fully benefit from this method. The object to
overcome the habits of their native language before fully learning vocabulary
is a smart idea as students are taught ‘how’ from the very beginning and can
then easily apply it into context. This is a slightly different method and may discourage
students from the beginning but with patience will learn to apply the rules and
gain good results. I would use this method with P3 students; although they have
basic vocabulary knowledge they are reading to fully develop sentences and
would therefore benefit from overcoming native language habits before
progressing further into the target language.
The Silent Way
The Silent Way is very different in comparison to
other methods. It focuses on students inner criteria’ for correctness and
therefore the teacher is silent for the entire lesson.
If students are simply given answers, rather than being allowed to
self-correct, they will not retain them. The teachers silence allows him/her to
closely observe the students’ behaviour and encourages group cooperation. In
this method praise and criticism is not applied as
actions can interfere with students’ developing their own criteria. There is no
fixed, linear, structural syllabus.
I really like the originality
of this method and believe in the results. The fact students are able to self-correct
is very beneficial, they will remember the rules and examples they’ve used to
explain certain aspects in class. The teacher’s job is passive and therefore
requires commitment and attention from each and every student. Thus, more
attentive. Although teacher silence is beneficial in many ways I do believe
students are at a slight disadvantage since teachers can make classes very
engaging and fun through the way they express lessons etc. Having said that, it’s
a very well-studied method with great results! I would use ‘teacher silence’ in
certain classes/ activities within my method as it’s a great way for students to
truly develop and believe in their knowledge or the target language.
has been developed to help students eliminate the feeling that they cannot be
successful or the negative association they may have toward studying. As a
result will help them overcome the barriers to learning. Lessons are taught in
a cheerful environment, students are relaxed and confident, making it easier to
Indirect positive suggestions should be integrated
into the learning situation to enhance students’ self-confidence and to
convince them that success is obtainable. Native language translation is used
to make the meaning of the dialog clear.
This is very beneficial method in which
students can fully develop and gain a lot of confidence when it comes to using their
target language. A fun environment gets students excited to learn and enhances
attentiveness within lessons. The structure is not fully set but by passing the
step into self -confidence students can achieve their goals in learning their
target language. I think lower levels such as P1 and 2 will fully benefit from
this method, as they are just starting off and need the boost of confidence. I
would use this method a lot with children and teens as ‘fun’ is a big
attraction/ chance from other classes.
Total Physical Response
This method is based on the coordination of
language and physical movement. The teacher gives instructions to the students
in the target language, and students respond with body actions. The method is
an example of the comprehension approach to language
teaching- where listening is a key factor. Grammar is not taught explicitly,
but is induced from the language input. This is a fun method in which students are
more eager to learn and is an effective way to teach.
This method is an ideal way to entertain
students in their learning process. By body demonstration responses, students
need to pay full attention to the teacher in order to participate. The
concentration on listening is very important and a key factor in
learning/understanding a language. I would certainly use this method a lot!
This is an approach that emphasizes
interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language.
Students practice with authentic materials in small groups. It gives priority to
meanings and rules of use rather than to grammar and rules of structure.
This is a perfect way to start off
learning a language especially in terms of beginners and those wishing to develop further with their speaking. The
method is effective and allows students to develop and become confident with communication
in their target language. It is also a more comfortable way of learner as
students aren’t required to memorize, and study excessively. This method is all
about practice, practice, practice.
The Callan Method
It claims to be a variety of the natural approach,
giving priority to the conversation, listening skills and memory through a practical
approach. The objectives are that student’s gain confidence in speaking from
the very beginning and get rid of their fear of speaking. Students practice pronunciation
and communication. The teacher asks direct questions which students must repeat
and then repeat the response. It’s a very fast paste method but an effective
With repetition, and
exposure to a lot of the language, students grasp the sense of pronunciation
from the very beginning and are able to participate and practice the language
constantly within the class. Although they don’t respond spontaneously, they
learn sentences and typical responses. This method is very effective and drills
information into students. I would use this method in sections of a class, as I
think children and teens may find it slightly stressful. But the use of
repeating the teacher’s example is a good idea!
The Ease- tastic Approach
My method is targeted at children and teens –
through the analysis of existing teaching methods I have extracted aspects/activities
from certain ones that I believe my target audience will fully benefit from. ‘Ease-tastic’ will aim to enhance student’s vocabulary
and ability to communicate orally as well as listening comprehension. Then once
at a confident level will introduce reading and writing activities. Grammar
will be gradually introduced in a similar approach to the Oxbridge system. Exposure
to both receptive and productive skills is key, as students will become linguistics
with all four skills in their pocket.
The class entertainer and friendly personnel. Although the target audience does
need some form of authority – respect will be created through confidence and likeability
At the same time professionalism is key, students will be treated equally and
given equal opportunities to part take in activities. Praise is very important
in the age groups, but without patronisation/ excessiveness. Teacher must also
be highly prepared with a range of fun activities and oral exercises. In terms
of methodology I would draw from the teacher attitude in the Oxbridge method.
There would be a range, in order to keep students engaged
and facilitate their different needs
and preferable ways of learning.
>The class room is bright and colourful, with a friendly atmosphere to
enhance the experience within the class and attract students. A seating plan
may be used for larger groups of students but circle chair arrangements are key
to provide a sense of communication and class participation.
> White board would be used in class for certain explanations or
instructions for activities as certain students like to see things written
down, to refer back to if in doubt etc. It is also a good tool for activities
such as ‘slam the board’ – which consists of a one on one competition to ‘slam’
the word (weather in translation form or synonyms or explanations) requested by
the teacher/other students.
> Games such as ‘charades’ and role plays, debates, and opinion cards would
be used for communicative purpose. These are very engaging activities that
provide students with the chance to fully express themselves and use the language
> The ‘Total Physical Response’ is an excellent way to teach children. Engage
them and test their comprehension through body actions.
>Objects, such as a bean bag may be used by the teacher to pass to student
who is going to respond to a question. This small gesture engages students and gives
them something to do while applying communication skills in front of other
peers. Therefore can often act as a calming mechanism.
> Songs and video clips in target language will be used to focus on
listening and comprehension. As well as a form to start of lessons in a
fun/humours way. ‘Song of the week’ would give students the chance to listen
and get used to words in the target language as well as then breaking down the
lyrics/ definitions within the week. A potential activity could be ‘making up a
song’ in groups with a certain theme the teacher has provided.
Videos would be relevant to the age groups and show things of interest/humour
and popular programs. Showing them in the target language first and then in the
native language. Allowing students to suggest/explain what’s happening etc., by
picking up on certain words and body language etc. A great song for learning is ‘head shoulders
knees a toes’ a fun song that involves moving around for the student.
> The repetition exercise (Callan method) will be used to practice pronunciation
and confidence when speaking in class as students all together will loudly
repeat. Each student will then get the chance to speak individually, coming up
with a sentence of their choice while the rest repeat loudly.
>For reading and writing practice, activities such as matching, and fill in
the blanks will be used. They will
include a lot of pictures (for younger ages) and interesting layouts for all,
plus colour! There is a big difference in the attention students pay to
>In terms of corrections, the teacher will choose the appropriate time and necessity
to do so as correction can discourage a student. Obvious mistakes will be
address in a polite, sly manner in certain activities. Smaller mistakes will be
jotted down and addressed later/ waited for the student to later on self-correct.
of student’s difficulties and reason for learning:
By using a small proportion of the ‘silent method’ the teacher at
certain points of the class or on certain days can use this method and concentrate
on observing the students and allowing them to self-correct while communicating
and working together with their class mates.
As previously stated will firstly focus on oral communication and vocabulary.
Secondly, listening and comprehension, through various activities. Grammar is not explicitly explained, but used
in examples throughout activities. Topics and vocabulary are the main concentrations.
Each lesson/week has a plan, target vocabulary and topic of concentration.
In conclusion the ‘Ease-tastic’ method focusses on engaging students,
with various activities and unexpected teaching methods from the very begging. The
objective for my target audience is to LOVE the class and the process of
learning a new language. The main skill developed is speaking and listening.
With reading and writing developed later on.
Although the method is not yet concrete, I believe it would truly work on
children and teens – especially within a school environment.