Philip Broomhall





My teaching approach

Teaching Methodologies

 

 

 

The Direct method, Audio Lingual method, The Silent Way and the Grammar Translation method are all ways in which a second language is taught and all have positive and negative aspects. The communicative approach is an example of a current teaching methodology which teaches students the second language using the language´s function rather than focusing on its form. The student is taught the second language with the emphasis on speaking and using the language in context of real situations encountered in everyday life. Grammar is taught implicitly rather than explicitly where the students are taught the structure of the language in context without directly referring to grammatical terms or using grammatical formulas.  The communicative approach is one of the more widely used methods today and is also used to teach English for specific purposes

Such as Business English and Medical English etc. addressing the needs of students

engineers, doctors, restaurant staff and so on.

 

 

 

Grammar translation method

Classes were taught in the native language of the students and grammar would come

directly out of a texts and shown in a text book in context. This method would have the

Students translate entire texts from the target language in to the native language and included many grammar drills for the students to exercise their knowledge. The problems

With this method was that the students were very weak in speaking and pronunciation skills

lacking the ability to express themselves communicatively in the target language.

However the target language was learned using the native language enabling quick

and easy explanation where in other methods this can be more time consuming. This method even allowed teachers that were not fluent in the target language to

teach and quickly assess if the students have learnt what has been taught using the native language. This method was used in most schools up until the 1960´s and was in direct opposition to the direct method. It differs greatly to the communicative approach using the native language as the basis upon which to teach with grammar, reading and writing being more important than speaking and listening.

 

 

Direct Method

With this method all the teaching is done only in the target language and is meant to

Immerse the student the same way as when they learned their first language.

The focus of this method is on speaking and listening and teaches only the most

Frequently used everyday language. The teacher teaches new vocabulary

Using realia, flashcards or using demonstrations. The students are made to think and express themselves in English rather than understanding English which is a good for the

Student’s ability to communicate effectively.  It is said that the main problem with the direct

Method is that it tries to teach the second language the same way as the first language by the Total Immersion technique. The method does not grade the language and

Structure the materials used. There is very little student interaction as compared to the communicative approach and is quite restrictive. The direct method did advance the method of teaching from that of the grammar translation method and provided the way for a more communicative approach in teaching.

 

 

Audio lingual method

 

This method is similar to the Direct method in that it teaches students the target language

Without the use of the native language and stresses the use of speaking and listening exercises which is thought to be a step in the right direction compared to the grammar translation method. The students are taught not with a focus on vocabulary like the direct method but on grammar. The main activities are reading out dialogues, repeating

Modelled sentences and using lots of drills. Dialogues are used as the structure for drills

With key words or parts of the dialogues changed for different situations.

No direct grammar instruction is given, lessons focus on correct pronunciation, Repeating sentences and dialogues after the teacher. The negative side of this method Is that it is thought that mistakes are bad and have to be avoided making the students feel restricted only to use the forms and dialogues given without being able to creatively use

The language as is needed. This creates students which are basically parrots who are unable to create anything new or spontaneous. Again this method is similar to the communicative approach in that it focuses on speaking and listening but falls short in giving the students only a limited usage of the language.

 

The Silent Way

This method sees the students doing 90 precent of the talking where the teacher doesn’t talk but rather demonstrates using hand gestures and a sound colour chart which is to help teach pronunciation. This method shifts the focus from the teacher to the students and promotes active participation from the students during the lesson. The teacher stays silent, elicits

Responses from the students and uses silence to help the students self-correct or peer correct. Students start studying the sound system in which sounds are associated with different colours represented by the chart sitting behind the teacher as he conducts the lesson. In the Silent Way classroom there is a lack of communication in the form of everyday conversation which students need to use in the second language. Although a positive is

the students have to work problems out themselves and work together developing good problem solving skills. This method is very different from the conventional methods of teaching and being quite abstract in its approach.

 

 

Suggestopedia

The method is based on the power of suggestion or positive suggestion to make a student more relaxed and open to learning. This is done by the use of music a relaxed comfortable environment and a teacher student relationship like that of a parent and a child.

There is no set syllabus for the teaching or order in which it is presented. It teaches using

Lengthy texts, vocabulary lists and grammar points.

There are four stages of the lesson: Introduction, Concert Session, Elaboration and Production. In the introduction the teacher introduces the grammar and lexis. Then the Concert Session. In this stage texts are read to the students while music is played with the most common reading being a “Concert Reading” using a classical

piece of music like the Beethoven symphony.  Emphasis would be placed on the rhythm and intonation of the reading in time with the music. The elaboration part of the lesson the students play games and sing classical songs. The Production stage is where students spontaneously speak and interact in the target language without any correction or interruption. The benefits of this approach can be seen in creating a relaxed atmosphere for the students as this does have positive affect on learning without any anxiety inhibiting the process. As for the way the language is taught it doesn’t seem to be a very structured way to use the language and there seems to be no logical progression to what the students learn. Despite the claims of the developer of this method Georgi Lozanov it’s doubtful that the students use any type of language that would be useful in everyday communication.

 

 

Summary

 

All these methods have their positive and negative aspects. The Grammar Translation method is not very communicative and has too much emphasis on grammar, reading and writing over speaking and listening. This is an outdated method which creates students able to read and write well but lack the facility to express themselves communicatively. The direct method is an improvement to the GTM method with the focus on speaking and listening skills while grammar is not the main focus as with the GTM. The Direct method doesn’t allow much communication between students as does the communicative approach. The Audio Lingual has a focus on pronunciation but errors are seen as bad habitats and students are not allowed much room for creativity. This is similar to the direct approach but the focus is on using fixed structures of language and dialogues with emphasis on grammar rather than vocabulary. The silent way is good in that it allows the students to be more active in the classroom environment and better problem solvers. The students communicate only for peer correction and not conversationally which is important in everyday language.

Suggestopedia is a method which may have the benefit of allowing students to learn in a relaxed anxiety free environment but lacks in any real structure or progression in learning for the students. These methods in contrast to the communicative approach are limited in many ways as they all seem to lack direct communication between the students and restrict the creativity of the student to produce the language. There are aspects of all these methods in the communicative approach with maybe the exception of the GMT method. Focus of speaking and listening, low anxiety in the classroom, importance of pronunciation and

grammar being taught implicitly are all things that are important in the communicative approach. All these methodologies in a way have been a progression towards newer and better way of teaching and have directly or indirectly contributed to the development of the communicative approach.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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