In the last post we learned some important things about language teaching. Names such as: Approach, Method, Strategy and Technique. We can ask now “How teachers should adopt an approach or a method?” The point of this post is to provide some thoughts on choosing an approach or method.
There is no such thing as the best approach or the best method. It is important to learn how to use approaches and methods and understand when they might be useful, see its issues and controversies and see different perspectives in which theory and practice can be linked. In trying to apply approaches or methods, the teacher should consider the context factors (e.g. cultural, political, local institution) in which teaching accurs, because it has impacts on the effectiveness of teaching. Some approaches and methods are unlikely to be used because they can be difficult to understand or lack clear practical use. There are some points we need to consider when choosing an approach or method:
- Its advantages, effectiveness, benefits, practicality;
- Compatibility with the teacher’s beliefs and classroom or schools;
- It is complicated and difficult to understand?
Approaches, methods and techniques may be an essential starting point for inexperienced teachers. As the teacher gains knowledge and experience, he or she will be able to develop an individual method, using approaches and methods flexibly and creatively based on their beliefs, values and experiences. They can transform and adapt methods they use to make their own, according to the reality of the classroom.
“The only way to make wise decisions is to learn more about the various approaches and methods available and to find out which practices have proved successful.” (Celce-Murcia)
RICHARDS, Jack C. & Rodgers, Theodore S. Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
CELCE-MURCIA, M. Language Teaching Approaches: An Overview
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