Theories, Methods & Techniques of Teaching - The Classical Method


Before looking at the methods or approaches themselves, there are some terms that we need to define. These are the approach, the method or the technique. Basically, these are hierarchical. The approach is an overriding set of principles that a method can actually make use of, whereas the technique are the things that we actually do in the classroom to approach that method. So, these three words are going to appear during the presentation. Again, for each of either the approaches all the methodologies we're going to ask four questions. So be it an approach or a method for each of those things: Where did it come from? What's its background? What does it involve when we're talking about actually in the classroom, in other words techniques? What is positive about it? What appears to work about that methodology or approach and what is negative what doesn't work so well? Basically, we're going to look at it in a historical viewpoint. So, we'll start with the oldest particular teaching methodology, which is known as the classical method. The classical method was given its name basically because it was trying to teach the classics in language, which is ancient Greek and Latin. Those particular languages are now dead. This methodology was probably started somewhere around the 17th century and the purpose of this particular methodology was for scholars to be able to translate old Greek and Latin texts into their particular language. If we take the language that we usually speak, our native language, that is often given the designation L1 and the language that we are trying to translate that to, let's call it the target language, is given the designations L2.

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.

This unit discussed management of classrooms. The first part of this is being aware of yourself and effectively using eye contact, gestures, your voice, and students' names. The next area visited was grouping of students. Groupings include whole-class grouping, students working on their own, group work, and pair work. Each of these have their own set of pros and cons, and a variety of these should be used in a way that is not repetitive. Pair and group work are especially important to increase student talk time. Next, the unit discussed classroom arrangement. This is dependent on a number of factors, such as space available, type of setup given, students' age, nationality, and student personality. Another thing to be considered is the teacher's position in the classroom, which can indicate what their role is at the time and what kind of activity is going to happen. It's extremely important to spend as little time as possible with your back to the class, but it is sometimes inevitable when you need to write on the board. The unit does discuss ways to avoid this when writing on the board, such as writing while students are working on another task or writing in small sections. After this the unit discussed giving individual attention to the students. It is vital to know all of their names to avoid leaving out certain students or giving some more attention than others. Another point here that I thought was really important was that if students don't want to or can't be active in some activities it should be considered that it may be better to leave them silent and not force them to participate. This doesn't mean giving up on them or leaving them out, but they may need time to build confidence and forcing them to participate could do harm. Going off of giving individual attention, it is important to avoid unnecessary teacher talking time. There are times when teacher talk time is vital, but you should give the students plenty of opportunity to speak and be active during class. One time that teachers need to talk is when giving instructions. Four ways to give instructions effectively are using simple language, be consistent, use visual cues, and check students' understanding (asking 'Do you understand?' is not a way you should check understanding). Another important part of teaching effectively is establishing rapport. A few ways to do this are be positive, personalize activities for the students so they are engaged and interested, and making sure they know each other's names along with a little about each other. The final area discussed in this unit was maintaining discipline. Part of this that stuck out to me was \"when in doubt err on the side of control initially\" because it is easier to start out tough and relax control later than the opposite. This section also discusses reasons for problem behavior, which include things that the teacher cannot control. Preventing problem behavior can be done by being punctual, well prepared, and consistent along with showing mutual respect. However, when problem behavior does occur some important things are to follow through with punishment, focus on the behavior rather than the student, and act immediately.

Check out ITTT's Blog Posts

Apply for your TEFL/TESOL Course!
  • 1 The application process is free and does not commit you in any way.
  • 2 Anyone fluent in English and aged 18+ is eligible for our courses.
  • 3 No previous experience or qualifications are required.
  • 4 Apply today and receive a free e-guide covering the basics of TEFL/TESOL
  • 5 Sign up for your course before 29 July, 2019 and receive an additional course free of charge. *
* Applies to in-class courses, combined courses, diploma courses and 120-hour online course with tutor and videos
Personal data
Course Details
Additional Info

Where would you like to teach? (optional)

The personal information we collect on this page will be treated in accordance with our privacy policy.
By submitting this form you declare to have read and agreed to the Terms & Conditions.