Learning a new language is
difficult and can be confusing. It is one of the hardest things a person can
learn but yet one of the most wanted skills. There are many theories as to why
it is so difficult from the student being too old or young as well as negative
beliefs that you just cannot learn it. Students may go to class with a negative
feeling based on past experiences learning a new language. There are many
teaching methods to try to overcome these obstacles to teach a new language to
eager students. Each method has its positive and negative effects to them. Each
one applies to different types of students depending on their learning styles
and previous knowledge.
The Callan Method is a way to teach
a language through natural means. It gives priority to conversation, listening
skills, and memory. The objective is to give the students the ability to feel
confidence on day one and begin speaking English straight from the start. When teaching, the teacher has a constant
dialogue where the students use a “Formula-Answer-Answer-Question-Answer”
format. This is where the teacher shoots quick questions at a very high speed
at the students and they have limited time to answer. The quick speed is
supposed to stop the students from translating the new language into their
original language. It is also supposed to create better student involvement.
The quick rhythm of class is meant to keep the students attention on the
material and result in no silences during class.
has its benefits as well as its negative effects. The quick rhythm can be
helpful for some students. The fast pace can help the students’ brains to learn
and use the new language under pressure. Not all students can learn this way,
however. The quickness may cause some to stumble and lose their place within
the class completely. Speaking without much time to process can cause some to
make mistakes, and the quick corrections can affect their confidence within the
class and their use of the language. This method may be better for younger,
lower levels. The fastness and repetitiveness will help the students to have
the information drilled into their heads. At higher levels, the students may
find this too quick with no time to really process and understand, as with
The Direct or Berliz Method is much
different. It is based on the theory of vocabulary over grammar. No use of the
native tongue is allowed within class. Teachers are to use objects to help the
students understand what they teaching without using translations. Teachers are
meant to demonstrate, not explain. Pronunciation is given a lot of attention
within the class. The students are meant to speak during 80% of the class.
The goal of
the direct method is to have the students make mistakes and correct them
themselves. Teachers ask the students the same question in difference ways,
having the students repeat their answers. This is to help them feel confident with
their use of the language. This is a benefit of the Direct Method. The
repetitiveness is not always a positive thing within the classroom. This can
loose the student’s attention after a while, and stunt their learning.
Suggestopedia is another teaching
method. Its goal is to eliminate the negative barriers a student may have about
learning a langue. For this theory to work, the student and teacher must have a
positive outlook on the ability to learn and teach a new language. It suggests
that students cannot always learn a language because their believe they can’t.
The negative belief stops them from actually learning something.
classroom is taught in a cheerful manner. It keeps the students relaxed and confidence
in their ability to learn. The teacher integrates indirect positive suggestion
throughout the class to help enhance a student’s self-confidence. Fine arts,
such as music, role-playing, and art, are used to help the students learn in a
more productive way. The students learn solely through watching their teacher.
While this method may help the students to understand the meanings, it doesn’t
help with their speech. There is very little student talking time within this
method. It affects their confidence in their speaking ability and their
pronunciation. It is a purely observational and listening type of method.
Approach focuses on more than just observational and listening. It is a method
that integrates four different skills for communicative understanding. The four
skills the students develop are productive, speaking and writing, and
receptive, listening and understanding. Authentic language is taught in real
context. The classes are driven by the target language. Games are taught to
help teach the target language. The games are based on real life events and are
meant to maximize the students talking time.
approach uses a piece of classwork or a task as a teaching strategy. The task
has a goal, an input and an activity. The goal is what the student should be
able to accomplish after the task has been completely. This helps guide the
student so they know what to pay attention to, what are the key points. The
input for the task could be an article or text. It gives examples for the
students to understand what it is they are supposed to learn. The activity will
be putting the input into action and helping the students reach their goals.
This method helps the student to walk away with a strong knowledge of the
language and how to use it in realistic ways.
System is similar to the Communicative Approach but used in a different way.
Everything taught within the Oxbridge System is to build a confidence within
the students to walk away communicating the new language. The system eliminates
negative implications of studying and pushes the students to increase their
involvement in the new language. There is no use of the native language within
the system. This is so the student learns the new language based on meanings
and activities, rather than just translation. This helps the student to use the
knowledge more accurately when out of the classroom.
The teacher plays a bigger role
within the Oxbridge System. They are more of a playmaker than a teacher. They
give the tools to be used to the students, and let them create and speak. They
share their knowledge of the new language to the students by guiding them
rather than just lecturing. Different types of activities are used to
accomplish this. The Oxbridge System has vocabulary, topic and structure
activities for each class. The
vocabulary activities teach the students useful words to use in their daily
life and how to use them. The topic activities give the students something to
discuss or debate. This creates a lot of student talking time and causes them
to use their knowledge of the language to communicate to each other and discuss
a new and interesting topic. Structure activities help to teach the students
grammar. Rules are not given, but examples are. Many examples, as well as
guiding the student, help them to understand what is being told to them without
it being too “textbook”.
is successful for many reasons. The students are learning a useful way to use
the language. It is more practical for the every day person. There are no
textbooks so it is less about the rules and more about practice. This helps the
students to really remember what it is that is being taught to them. It is not
about memorizing, but about using. The students are taught in a visual, repetitive
manner that will help them to remember and use what they learn. They learn more
about pronunciation and how to speak like a native speaker. Learning from a
book doesn’t teach you this. It doesn’t tell you how to use or say things, but
just gives you the rules. Oxbridge gives the rules indirectly so the student
can understand how they are used more clearly.
of these methods may work, they do not work for every student. Creative your
own system when teaching is the must successful way to teach the language. A
teacher cannot teach a new language to students when they do not agree or
believe in the system. A teacher should take the aspects of all methods they believe
work and combine them into their own personal method. When teaching their system,
they should adapt it to each students learning styles. A student can’t learn
from every method just as every teacher can’t teach every method. It is about
finding the correct balance to learning and teaching to achieve the highest
rate of success for both teacher and student.