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Why Comparative Teaching Methodologies Are Important Today

Why Comparative Teaching Methodologies Are Important Today | ITTT | TEFL Blog

With the rapid growth of technology, we can immediately see how it's affecting not only the world as we know it and how we interact with it. We also become aware of how it changes the way we teach language. In this essay, we will discuss how the change of technology has influenced our teaching process and also how it can be used to our benefit to make grammar learning an exciting process for students.

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

Traditional Approach

For decades we have taught students grammar the traditional way. Providing them with lists of vocabulary/language terminologies and having them study it by repetition. To this day we still use this technique as it’s seen as the most effective method because it has been in practice for a long time. Results prove that it works and has so far not failed us as teachers. However, there are several drawbacks to traditional teaching.

Students tend to get bored and demotivated as they mostly don’t find any connection between the words and ideas. We are also aware that traditional ways of learning grammar mostly focused on exercise books provided by the school lacked creativity and encouragement. Students are also not forced to partake in activities. “Traditional way of teaching is very relaxing for a student - he is not forced to think too much, he just writes the information and then uses it in exercises,” (V.Dur, 2013, para 5)

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Modern Approach

In today’s world, smartphone and digital tablets have become part of our daily lives whether we like it or not. We have also managed to create an interactive whiteboard in classrooms which now changes the way we teach. It supplies a platform for teachers, providing new material to students that can be more exciting and engaging than before. It is an exciting time to be a teacher as the resources are endless and we can use new technological advancements to develop more engaging classes.

Once again referencing what Veronica mentions in her article, “modern methods make students put their brain to use, communicate better, engage in conversation”(V.Dur, 2013, para. 5). Elaborating on this we can already see that using modern teaching techniques has its advantages. It gives the teacher a better chance of having students practice the language first hand and also to get a better response from the class. As mentioned it encourages students to engage more in conversations which allows them to practice speech while for example learning writing. It gives the lesson a duel teaching environment so to says.

Also Read: 3 Ways To Motivate Students In The Classroom

Materials

This leads me to the sources that we can find on the internet. There are thousands of websites one can use to download material and even construct new material that might suite the classes lesson better. Apps such as, “SurveyMonkey” are a great example of how a teacher can create a survey on a certain subject that students can access from the smartphones and complete. This gives the teacher a platform to construct guided questions based on certain lessons.

Not only will it provide them a great new way to test students but it will also allow them to see the feedback/results immediately. On top of that, we can use smartphones to download dictionaries such as “WordReference,” which also gives a translation of words to the native language. It’s a great way for students to be able to learn new words, understand their meaning and also to be able to get a translation in their native language if needed. These are some examples of how we can use technology to our advantage for both students and teachers.

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Since interactive whiteboards are becoming more popular there are a lot of befits we can reap from it. Websitesare great sources one can use to get warm-up material for a class. It can also be used to practice already learned language terminologies or words. Firstly it makes it easier for the teacher to construct a lesson. On top of that, it also allows the teacher to provide better examples to students when teaching new words such as digital pictures. The interactive lesson is essential, by making them more fun for students it sparks a better learning process.

Higher engagement between students and teachers are reached by involving audio and video within their presentation which makes the lesson more vivid. Using videos as a teaching material has become very popular in class. Lessons can be revolved around a piece of a movie and guided questions/ exercises can be constructed to test students knowledge. For example, using past simple tense as a topic of a movie that showcases a lot of physical actions. Questions can be constructed in such a manner to test the knowledge of students on the past simple tense by basing it on what a certain characters action.

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Disadvantages

There are however some disadvantages to modernization teaching methods and its effectiveness. Since the technological progression has only boomed as of recent we can say that modern teaching method is still on trial run. There is still a lot we have to learn regarding the effectiveness of using modern teaching and should be aware that it is still in its beginning stages. There are also some drawbacks to this such how expensive it is to initiate such programs. On top of that when using smartphones could not be accessible to all students due to external factors. So this can hinder the lesson and be graded as ineffective. Lastly, we are depended on power source when using modern teaching methods which will result in using traditional teaching methods.

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To wrap up my argument it's important to keep experimenting with modern teaching methods and to use technology to our advantage. It certainly is a great platform for us teacher to get our students to engage more. However, we need to be able to rely on the traditional teaching methods to guide us and to be able to fall back on when modern teaching fails us.

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