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    • #10025
      Beth Melia-Leigh
      Moderator
          @beth

          Share your thoughts on the following questions:

          1. What theories of learning, methodological perspectives or principles do you think are reflected in the materials or textbooks you use in your teaching? 

          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?

          3. What do you think is the value of studying approaches and methods, including older and more current ones?

          Are your views similar to those of your coursemates?

        • #39504
          Joanna Kolota
          Participant
              @joannak

              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.

            • #54948
              Robert Dailey
              Participant
                  @robertd

                  1.     What theories of learning, methodological perspectives or principles do you think are reflected in the materials or textbooks you use in your teaching?

                  The textbook that I generally use and am a big fan of is New English File. This course takes a communicative approach to ELT in the sense that it focuses on enabling learners to use English in real-life situations. Many of the tasks in the books require learners to bridge a communication gap and although grammar features in the course the language focus is more on lexis.

                  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?

                  Yes. I have started to ask myself more deeply why I am doing task X and in what ways I can do it better. I am a big fan of TBL; I use it a lot and have an idea of the reasoning behind it but doing the unit has invited me to consider using other methods and I found, for instance, Suggestopedia really interesting. I´m going to begin a class with some of Ravi Shankar´s music and see what happens. I also find the idea of grammar translation provocative and challenging – despite its unfashionability. Making tweaks to classes as is advocated in Demand High also seems like a very good idea. In fact, I think that I can improve my own performance as a learner, on this course, by making some small tweaks here and there.

                  3.     What do you think is the value of studying approaches and methods, including older and more current ones?

                  It is very valuable. Firstly, as Joanna Kolota says in the forum, fashions change, and old methods can become fashionable again. Secondly, and in accordance with the principle of Principled Eclecticism that Joanna also mentions, we can take bits and pieces from different methods and approaches that we don´t usually use and apply them if we think they will benefit our learners. (And of course, in order to apply them we need to know them!) Thirdly, most professionals, whether they be teachers, doctors or electricians, will have often quite detailed knowledge of the approaches and methods that are behind what they do so why not ELT teachers who want to be the best version of their teaching self?

                   

                • #56032
                  Peter Wilson
                  Participant
                      @peterw

                      1. What theories of learning, methodological perspectives or principles do you think are reflected in the materials or textbooks you use in your teaching?  I generally don’t use text books at the moment but I have used them a lot in the past. I tend to use a mix of communicative, TBL, direct method and PPP,

                      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? – It was interesting to listen to the debate between Harmer and Thornbury and think a bit more about the principals and benefits of teaching unplugged which I really like the idea of.  I liked what Thornbury said about meaning so you teach a grammar structure and they all copy you then as soon as they want to say something real outside the  drill, they revert to the mistake.

                      3. What do you think is the value of studying approaches and methods, including older and more current ones? I think it’s really useful to have an overview of the history of language teaching and a broad awareness of methods and approaches. I think a good teacher will try anything a few times to see if it works and then maybe we all end being principled eclectics in the end.

                      Are your views similar to those of your course mates? Yes largely – I like New English File, I think I use principled eclecticism and I think things go in and out of fashion. Personally as a learner I am definitely NOT a fan of grammar / translation method as I think it’s not good for application of language in real contexts. i am not 100% sold on suggestopedia yet, let’s see how Robert’s trial goes… :good:

                       

                      :bye:

                    • #57178
                      Andrew Burke
                      Participant
                          @andrew

                          1. What theories of learning, methodological perspectives or principles do you think are reflected in the materials or textbooks you use in your teaching? 

                          Although units can be repetitive, there is often a mix of perspectives and principles, so there is some principled eclecticism. I have noticed TBL, grammar translation, lexical approach and communicative approach.

                          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?

                          I like to think that my approach is principled eclecticism and I have realised that I do many of these techniques without knowing their name. As mentioned in my previous posts, I think I need to try out more approaches, rather than questioning more old-fashioned approaches, which I believe can have their place when blending approaches and styles.

                          3. What do you think is the value of studying approaches and methods, including older and more current ones?

                          Different approaches and methods should benefit different students. If you come at language in a variety of ways, hopefully you will hit ways that allow all students to learn. I think learning approaches and methods validates materials that you create yourself.

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