1. What theories of learning, methodological perspectives or principles do you think are reflected in the materials or textbooks you use in your teaching?
In my practice, the most often used approach is CLIL, where content of each lesson shapes and influences the language. Most of the language taught is introduced through formulaic/ semi or fixed expressions in the form of sentence starters, speaking frames, scaffolded activities. The materials used in lessons are authentic, they are not simplified but made more accessible to learners who are at different levels in terms of their proficiency.
2. Has anything we have covered in the unit made you more aware of your current classroom practices? Has it made you question any of them?
Although, I said that CLIL is the most often used approach, I think that Principled Eclecticism is the best way to describe my co-planning and co-teaching with other teachers. Our approach depends on the students in front of us, their English levels, background knowledge and previous education. At times, Direct Method of drills and repetition is the most effective, at times (especially in more practical subjects) Total Physical Response seems to be the prevailing method.
3. What do you think is the value of studying approaches and methods, including older and more current ones?
I’ve noticed that methods, approaches and perspectives on language teaching and learning at times make a full circle. Some of them become quite popular, even trendy, only to be proven ineffective and forgotten. Several years, or decades later they come back in a new ‘packaging’. For example, one of my colleagues who teacher Spanish as a foreign language teaches using mainly Grammar Translation method and claims it is very effective. It might be to do with the requirements of the final exam which is reading/writing/translation heavy.