Theories, Methods & Techniques of Teaching - Methodology Review

 

Before we move on to the final methodology for today, let's just recap and see where we are at this point in time. We're looking at different learning methodologies. Each of those methodologies takes its premise from being somewhere on this particular spectrum of ?nature versus nurture? and where we are on this spectrum gives us a starting point for the background or theory to that particular methodology. So, we?ve had a look starting in the 17th century and the classical method and moving on as the ideas of psychology developed to various methods, such as audiolingualism, the silent way, Suggestopedia and TPR. Each of these showing a development as knowledge about learning increased and each of these takes a different starting point on our English spectrum.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

In this unit, the many aids and equipment available to the teacher were described, along with each item's pros and cons and a good many references for useful course books, dictionaries, etc.. Some of the materials provided for or useful to the teacher are overhead projectors, white/black/smart boards, worksheets, cassette tapes/recorders, video cameras, CDs, DVDs, and many more. There is a wide variety of products for the teacher to use to aid the lesson, capture the students' attention, and more effectively teach the language. White boards are preferred over black boards by most teachers, and allow for quick and easy visuals. The space of a white board should be used effectively though, as most students want to write every detail they see on the board, even if it's not necessary. Spontaneous additions to the white board, while not necessarily bad, could confuse students, so it is a wise idea to plan out what you want the children to be able to see. A teacher should also make good use of the many colors white board markers come in, as they can be used for emphasis, rather than capitalization, which is scientifically proved to be harder to read than regular lower case letters. Other useful methods of emphasis include underlining, italicizing, and more. The white board is cleaner than a chalk board, but it does have drawbacks, such as limited space and more time the teacher has to spend with their back to the students as they write (although efficient teacher learn to minimize that). Smart boards, or Interactive White Boards (IWBs) are gaining popularity, although costs limit the areas and schools they're able to be implemented in. IBWs have great potential for creative masterpieces that would cleanly teach the lesson with no lack of space and successfully garner the students' attention. Unfortunately, many teachers don't take the time to train themselves or get trained on the technology (IBMs can be quite complicated) and end up using them like glorified white boards that can write with fancy mouse-pens. The IBMs also need to be connected to a computer to work, and the internet and technology can be faulty. IBMs are a wonderful medium for creative, interactive lessons, but a back-up plan should always be prepared during a smart board-based lesson in case something goes awry. Worksheets can be bought or created, and are a wonderful way to give students controlled grammar practice. Role-play cards and flash cards are also very useful and fun. A cassette recorder is severely outdated by now, but listening to authentic or created dialogue between English-speaking people can provide great audio to go alongside textbook dialogues, etc., and can helps students with fluency and listening comprehension. CD players and DVDs provide the same service as a cassette player, although DVDs provide an added visual aid as well, and therefore are usually more stimulating and exciting. Reference books, such as the dictionary are always useful. The dictionary provides not only the definition of a word, but the pronunciation as well (using the phonemic alphabet), and sometimes an example sentence demonstrating the word in a real-life scenario. There are many great tools for a teacher to implement in lessons, and using them can boost students' morale and encourage them that learning is fun and exciting.


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