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The Principles of Modern English Language Teaching (vi): Conclusion
The most modern methodology of teaching English is loosely known as Communicative English Teaching, which is usually just called ‘CLT’. In the previous five posts, I explained its five central principles. So, what do you think?
Hmmmmm. You might realise that CLT is totally different to grammar-translation-memorisation approach. What this means is, the CLT classroom might be totally different to what you have experienced before. If you watch it in action, and don’t know any better, you might think things such as ...
- Why isn’t the teacher giving the answers?
- Why is the teacher asking the students questions? [It should be the other way around!]
- Why isn’t the teacher giving out loads of paper with words all over them?
- Why are the students talking to each other? [That’s just listening to bad stuff, right?]
- The teacher is just sitting in the corner, watching? [He should be helping students, right?]
- Why isn’t the teacher explaining grammar?
- The students are just talking, but they should be studying books, right? And the teacher should be talking to them?
- Why is everyone having fun? [They should be hard at work, and sweating in concentration, right?]
- This isn’t teaching at all. This is just wasting the students’ time.
- The teacher isn’t treating the students with respect.
- I’m not impressed at all.
- This teacher has no skill.
However, now that you know the principles of CLT, you might realise that the teacher is actually highly-skilled and experienced, and doing some absolutely amazing things.
- The teacher is allowing the students to work out the answers.
- The teacher is making the students really understand the points.
- The teacher is not overloading the students with useless word lists which they can never remember or ever use in real life.
- The teacher is promoting fluency and real communication.
- The teacher is listening carefully to the speaking, and noting down the mistake for later feedback.
- The teacher is feeding back about grammar only at the end of the speaking activity, and not using names but just saying, “I heard someone say ...... what should they say?” so that no one is embarrassed.
- The teacher is allowing the students to really communicate in natural ways.
- The teacher is creating an environment where no one is frightened to speak.
- The teacher is REALLY teaching, allowing the students to REALLY learn a language!
- The teacher is respecting the students as human beings who are all individual and valuable.
- The teacher is creating an amazing learning environment which should impress you very much!
- The teacher is highly skilled and professional.
The next post will raise one very important point about this.
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