Azuka Suzzana Onwukwe

My teaching approach





 Foreign language teaching is a field that is constantly in a state of change. 30years ago the assumption was that teaching English was a politically neutral activity and acquiring it would bring untold blessings to those who succeeded in learning it. English was regarded as the property of the English-speaking world, particularly Britain and the US. it was seen as a vehicle for the expression of the rich advanced culture of the native speakers, whose literary artifacts had universal value. 

This picture has changed somewhat today, now that English is the language of globalization, international communication, commerce and trade,  the media and pop culture, different motivations for learning it come into play. This essay will compare and contrast several different teaching methods by considering their effectiveness in creating a communicative lesson. 


                                                    TEACHING METHODS 

A Method may also be defined as: "The process of planning, selection and grading 

language materials and items, techniques of teaching, etc”  It’s very important for a teacher to know the various types of method, their shortcoming and strengths as this serves as a guide on “How to teach” and “How teaching may be effective. 


  1. The Grammar Translation Method 

 In this method the mother tongue is used to teach English.  It is believed that vocabulary and phraseology of a foreign language can be learnt through translating its meaning into the mother tongue and the teacher points out the grammatical point and rules. The attitude to error is that students must always be right and give correct answers. 


The advantages of this method are :There’s  better and quicker understanding of words, as they translated to mother tongue, The child associates foreign words with translated words so strong memory bond is created, Grammar-Translation Method develops the art of translationThe principle of "to proceed from known to unknown" is followed, we can test the ability of comprehension of our students and know if they understand the subject matter. 


Some of the disadvantages are: The Grammar-Translation Method does not emphasis the four basic skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing. Iis not possible to translate important aspect of spoken language like pronunciation ,articulation, intonation, pauses, pitch ,prepositions, idioms, phrases and linguistic terms in English, Student get no opportunities to participate in the discussion of the unit, Translation into mother tongue affects the originality of words, It affects the sense and beauty of  words. 

It prevents students from thinking directly in English, Thus it prevents establishing of direct bond between thought and expression. 


 This method is not very effective in creating a communicative lesson as the main focus of language learning, communication is ignored. The unit of  teaching is word, not a sentence. It means vocabulary is taught in the form of isolated words which  doesn’t help effective communication. This method does not help in development of linguistic competence of learner as English grammar is taught through  rules, translation, definition and comparative study of mother tongue grammar. Grammar is taught deductively. 


   Personally I think a grammar class can never be effective when there is use of only translation of grammatical rules and their explanation, to speak any language whether native or foreign entirely by rules is quite impossible, students tend to have just the basic comprehension of the language but not how to use it in a situation 


Direct Method is a method of teaching a foreign language, through conversation, discussion and reading in the language itself, without the use of the pupil's language without translation, and without the study of formal grammar. The first words are taught by pointing to objects or pictures or by performing actions .Teacher  encourages direct and spontaneous use of the foreign language in the class room, Learners are be able to induce rules of grammar.  Speaking began with  proper attention to pronunciation. There´s no fixed structured syllabus and  it´s very organic. 


The Advantages are: English is taught as the child learns his mother tongue, pronunciation, accent, intonation and rhythm are essential for better and effective 

communication. This method helps to speak language effectively, it’s based on learning by doing. New teaching points were introduced orally, both comprehension and speech were taught.  method helps learners to enjoy the language,  the learners start using the language without fear, Correct use of grammar and pronunciation were emphasized.Grammar was taught inductively. 


  The disadvantages are: For every sentence or subject matter, the teacher cannot perform an action  this means that every subject matter cannot be explained by an action or showing an object. This method does not help in important aspect of language learning like reading and writing. To use this method in the class, the teacher should be mastered in the subject, he should have active command  in teaching, he should be a perfect teacher. This method requires many audio visual aids, which are very expensive not all schools afford such equipments. 

This method is very effective in creating a communicative lesson as students think and express themselves in target language, the unit of teaching is sentences not isolated word.  Direct Method is full of activities, the teacher shows object or performs the action to clear his concept and Learners find this interesting and natural . The teaching learning process are both carried out in English environment and this very effective in creating a communicative lesson. 



 Personally, I think  a language could be best taught by using it actively in the classroom and this is well incorporated in the direct method, it focuses on communication and the exclusive use of the language in class. Other  features that make this method stand out are,   classes are made very sponteanous  and interesting , this helps rentention and builds confidence as students gradually build their own inner criteria for correction. 



Suggestopedia is a teaching method, which focuses on how to deal with the relationship between mental potential and learning efficacy. In other words, language teaching is not only?about teaching language but also helping students to develop themselves as people and the encouragement of positive feelings. In Lozanov’s view, the reason why we are inefficient is that we set up some psychological barriers to learning such as the fear of being unable to perform or the fear that we will be limited or we will fail. 

 Some Advantages of this method are: It  could help  motivate the mental potential, can   give us a great deal of enlightenment. Authority concept, People remember best and are most influenced by information coming from an authoritative sourceThe learner learns not only from the effect of direct instruction but from the environment in which the instruction takes place. 

The disadvantages are: Environmental limitations it requires too much from the environment of teaching and learning,The size of class---normally twelve students, the dim lighting, large comfortable chairs and music selections are not readily available to the majority of schools, and these environmental factors are almost impossible to be obtained?in large classes. The writer believes  that this method is best suitable for beginners and young learners and not for adults.  

posters, pictures, and decorations containing grammatical patterns are placed on the walls of the classroom and soft music is played for relaxation, activities such as drama, music,  role play etc are integrated as frequent as possible. In all the features of Suggestopedia, the most conspicuous one is the centrality of music and musical rhythm to learning. 

My opinion is although Suggestopedia is far from a perfect method, it is fair to say that Suggestopedia could be a favourable teaching method as long as it is used properly 



The Audiolingual approach to language teaching? has a lot of similarities with the direct method. Both were considered as a reaction against the shortcomings of the Grammar Translation method, both reject the use of the mother tongue and both stress that speaking and listening competences preceded reading and writing competences. But there are also some differences. The direct method highlighted the teaching of vocabulary while the audiolingual approach focus on grammar drills, this method advocates that language learning is habit-formation, mistakes are bad and should be avoided, as they are considered bad habits, language skills are learned more effectively if they are presented orally first, then in written form, analogy is a better foundation for language learning than analysis. 

   The advantages are: It aims at devoloping listening and speaking skills which is a step away from the Grammar translation methodThe use of visual aids? has proven its effectiveness in vocabulary teaching 

The disadvantages are: The method is based on false assumptions about language.  The behaviorist approach to learning is now discredited, Many scholars have proven its weakness. 

The main activities include reading aloud dialogues, repetitions of model sentences, and drilling. Key structures from the dialogue serve as the basis for pattern drills of different kinds. Lessons in the classroom focus on the correct imitation of the teacher by the students. Not only are the students expected to produce the correct output, but attention is also paid to correct pronunciation. Although correct grammar is expected in usage, no explicit grammatical instruction is given. It is taught inductively.? Furthermore, the target language is the only language to be used in the classroom. 


 My opinion is Inspite of it’s short comings, it could serve as an effective method. Some of  it’s objective are accurate pronunciation and grammar, the ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations and knowledge of sufficient vocabulary to use with grammar patterns. 



This method of teaching a foreign language is based on the coordination of speech and action. The basics of this method lies in the believes that; 
a?Second language is learnt in the same ways as the first language, ?Students should develop listening skills first, and speaking skills afterwards .The child’s response to spoken language is usually physical, so adult learners should do that as well when learning a foreign language. 

The advantages are: it’s a good tool for building vocabulary, students enjoy moving around. Teachers are not required to prepare long hours beforehand, The method is suitable for classrooms of children with mixed abilities or disabilities. The method is effective for both adults and young children, Class size need not be a problem. 

Some of the disadvantages are:  The TRP is best suitable for beginners, Students don’t get a chance to express their thoughts.The method can be challenging for shy students. The method emphasizes imperative constructions, which may lead to the  future inappropriate and rude language of the learner. 

In the classroom the roles are divided between the teacher and students, the former being a “parent”, the latter being the “children”. Students must respond physically to the verbal questions , commands and requests of a teacher. The activities in the classroom may follow all kind of scenarios from very simple to more complex ones. 
The TPR method of teaching a language can be used for a variety of purposes: teaching vocabulary, and classroom language, imperative sentences or some other aspect of grammar. Moreover, this method is a good alternative for teaching students with learning disabilities who have problems learning with traditional approaches. 


 In conclusion , it’s obvious that using a specific method for teaching a foreign language requires careful consideration and preparation, I think a combination of several methods could be  successfully used to achieve the most desirable results. 



English language teaching methods, tools and techniques by Dr M.F  Patel and  Praveen M.jain. 

Learning  Another  Language Through Actions  by James J Asher. 

30years of  TEFL/TESL : A Personal Reflection by Jack C Richards. 

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