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The Relevance of Teaching Methodologies in Real Practice

The Relevance of Teaching Methodologies in Real Practice | ITTT | TEFL Blog

A method of teaching contains the techniques used by teachers to impart knowledge to students. These strategies are determined partly on the subjects to be taught and partly by the nature of the learner. In this task, I will give some examples of different teaching methodologies, compare these techniques, and explain why it is important that teachers, mostly who are teaching in a foreign country should know these methods.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nathalie L. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

ESA Methodology

One of the most effective methods of teaching is ESA (Engage, Study, and Activate); this teaching method allows your student to be exposed to the English language; having the opportunity to use it. Phase 1 is Engage – this is the part where the teacher must have the attention of students. Teachers will engage their students with activities such as stories, music, games, and pictures. The activities provided while engaging the students can be used as the foundation of the class’ language content to be tackled on for the day. Phase 2 is Study - the target on this phase is on the subject matter. This is where the teacher presents information about the language, teaches the students about vocabulary, how to use it, grammar, etc. Lastly, Phase 3 is Activate - In this phase, students are asked to do activities that involve role-playing, story writing, and presentations - to practice what they’ve learned for the day.

Also Read: Do TEFL teachers need a second language?

PPP Methodology

Moreover, another example of teaching methodology is Presentation, Practice, and Production. In this method, teachers first present the lesson for the day. The students then practice writing sentences before going on to the production stage where they are able to be more resourceful with the language.

In addition, Grammar – translation is probably one of the most famous methods. It is a method of second language instruction based mostly on the translation of passages from the native language into the target language.

Effectiveness of the ESA Method

Nevertheless, the ESA method has been proven as one of the most effective ways of teaching English as a foreign language as the said method can enhance students’ writing skills through implementing the activities during the lesson, it also improves students’ knowledge of vocabulary and the proper use of the language as the method allows them to practice on it. As someone who grew up in a non-English speaking country, the method that my teachers usually use is the grammar-translation; I was taught to learn the grammar rules and vocabulary but didn’t get a chance to practice the language verbally. It was too focused on just following the rules from the textbook and learning the same method throughout the course. This method does not require students to participate in activities like role-playing or debating to enhance the students’ pronunciation of the target language. Growing up, I was scared to talk in English even though I could understand the person I’m talking to well, and I know the language; I’d always feel intimidated as I didn’t practice the language in terms of speaking enough – I was frightened that people will make fun of me because of my accent. Lastly, PPP has proved to be effective in teaching the English language to young learners as it provides a simple and clear structure of the lesson. Although it is a teacher-centered method as the teacher talking time can be too long, there’s a huge chance that teacher-student relationship won’t be built while using this method; due to this very reason. Students may get bored and would be unwilling to participate in any activities that would be given as well.

Also Read: Teaching Monolingual vs. Multilingual Groups: What You Need To Know

Deeper Understanding

Moving forward, teaching English as a foreign language, educators have to consider various things to get into a deeper level of communication with their students; such as: the students’ culture and tradition – teachers has to be aware about these and to practice these to enhance the relationship between teachers and students; trying to fit in a little is not always a bad thing, it shows sincerity that the teacher is willing to adjust in order to get closer with their student. Also, to avoid offending anyone as there are some words or actions that we are able to do freely in our own country as it doesn’t mean anything, but might express a bad meaning to them. In addition, teachers should consider the first language of their students. If the teacher grew up in an English speaking country, the teacher’s language of English was mainly developed from absorbing the language around him/her and processed it and through trial and error, he/she are able to use the language accurately and fluently. This natural language acquisition is not possible when teaching in a classroom full of students who have their own first language.

Also Read: 6 Tips to Be an Inspiration to Your Students

Furthermore, it is important to learn different teaching methodologies because of diversity, age of your student, subject matter – what to focus on, and the level of your students’ knowledge of the target language; taking all this in consideration, there always has to change in the way should teacher teach. For example, taking in account the age of your student, the teacher should not teach the kids in a manner as if he/she is talking to adults who have a better understanding of the language, using words that they have not encountered will raise confusions, also they won’t be focused throughout the class as they’d find it boring. There will always be a teaching technique that will benefit the teacher and the class more. Every educator develops a particular way of going about the complex task of teaching, but knowing all these methods will help the teacher be a better educator.

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