My teaching approach
The profession of being a teacher has existed
for years and over time, teachers have developed different methods of teaching.
There isn’t one correct way of teaching, choosing your teaching style depends
more on who you are teaching, what their goals are, rather than on your
personal preference. Therefore, in this essay, I am going to talk about different
teaching styles such as the grammar-translation method, the direct method, the
silent way etc. I will discuss the positive and negative points of each method
then will come up with my own method by choosing, in my opinion, what the best
points are from the other ones.
First, I am going to talk about the
grammar-translation method. This method mainly focuses on studying texts,
meaning that the main focus is on reading and writing skills. The students are
not allowed to make many, if not any errors, communication is non-existent.
This method would particularly be suited for students, for example, whose
mother tongue uses a different alphabet, for instance, Arab. If you have to
learn the English alphabet, then this method would be the correct one to use.
However, for someone who is interested in communicating with people, then this
method wouldn’t be appropriate. I personally think that when learning a
language, teachers shouldn’t encourage students to use their mother tongue;
they need to try and only think in the target language.
The direct method is slightly different to the
grammar-translation method. This time, the main emphasis is on learning
vocabulary through speech. The students are not allowed to translate through
their mother tongue, therefore trying to avoid language transfer. Correct
grammar and pronunciation is very important and words are taught through
pictures. With this method, teachers use an inductive approach, which means
that they have the students find out rules through the presentation of adequate
linguistic rules. I think that this is more interesting way of learning grammar
than the grammar-translation method because it is a more communicative approach
and the most important thing is that students can’t use their mother tongue.
The Audio-lingual method the same kind of
method as the direct method but this time, grammar patterns are more important
than vocabulary. The purpose of this habit is to learn how to use the language
to communicate; the teachers correct the students a lot as this method is based
on accuracy. With this approach, students learn the correct structure of
sentences before learning vocabulary. In my opinion, I don’t agree with this
method because I think that before knowing how to structure sentences, you need
to know some vocabulary otherwise you can’t say anything!
The silent way is a very interesting method as
the teacher doesn’t speak. The teacher expects the student to try and
self-correct, develop their own “inner-criteria for correctness”. This
encourages autonomy in the classroom and group corporation. In my point of
view, I think this method would be appropriate with more advanced and more
mature students. It couldn’t work with beginners, and you couldn’t expect young
children to be autonomous. This method is a very good way for practising
speaking skills but as the teacher expects the students to correct themselves,
I think that some students wouldn’t necessarily pick up on them.
The Suggestopedia’s main goal is to eliminate
barriers, such as students thinking that they can’t learn a language, or
negative association they have towards studying etc. Therefore, the environment
of the class is very cheerful and relaxed and the teachers also use fine arts
to facilitate the student’s learning. I think that this is a great way to teach
students who aren’t very confident; being taught with this method will enable
them to learn the language with trying very hard. However, this method always
encourages native language translation which I think should always be avoided
when learning a language.
The Total Physical Response approach is a fun
way to learn a language. The students follow directions uttered by the teacher
and learn by observing the teacher’s actions. This method is fast paste and
isn’t meant to be stressful. I think that this method would work well with
children, as they will appreciate the games and the general atmosphere of the
class. Furthermore, the fast pace should keep them captivated throughout the
The content-based learning consists in learning
the target language in a particular context, students learn specific
vocabulary. This method is useful for professionals, for example for doctors
who need to learn medical terms. This method would not be good for someone
wanting to learn the language in general as the vocabulary would be too
The communicative method is aimed at
encouraging communicative competence. The main focus here is being able to use
the language in context and speak fluently. Errors are tolerated, as the main
goal is to communicate. I think that this is a great method as it develops the
student’s receptive skills (listening and reading), and productive skills
(speaking and writing). This is method also enable teachers to use all kinds of
activities, such as questionnaires, listening activities etc. In my opinion,
this method is suitable for most kinds of learners, as it develops all skills.
The final method is the Callan method.
Conversation is the main focus, and this method aims to give confidence to the
student right from day one. Learning is based on the student’s memory, as they
listen and repeat, read and write and repeat and retain. I think that this is
one of the best methods because there is a high speed interaction which allows
no time for the student to translate through their mother tongue, grammar is
learned implicitly, through repetition, and because of the fast pace of the
lesson, there are no silences.
My teaching method would be based on
communication; I think that that is the most important thing when coming to
learn a language. I would use part of the direct method which doesn’t allow
students to use their mother tongue, it is essential not to always try and
translate. I also think that encouraging the student and praising them is key,
as a teacher, I feel you have to be a mentor and build your student’s
confidence up. Therefore, I would also use the Suggestopedia method. In my
opinion, being in class should be a fun and enjoyable experience, the total
physical response method would enable me to keep the students entertained and
captivated. I wouldn’t want my students to consider the English lesson as a
chore. My classes would be very enjoyable, I would give the students as much
talking time as possible, all new rules would be taught implicitly, meaning
that I would teach through examples. Concerning corrections, I would correct
the students more if they were doing vocabulary or structure activities as they
are based on accuracy and would correct less when they are speaking, as they
are practising they’re fluency and I wouldn’t want to interrupt them.
All in all, I am confident that by using my
teaching style, which is a mix of several different methods, students would
learn fast, speak well, and be confident when using the English language.
However, this method would be suitable for someone wanting to communicate but
it wouldn’t be adequate for someone for someone who, for example, is very
interested in grammar.