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Here Below you can check out the feedback (for one of our units) of one of the 16.000 students that last year took an online course with ITTT!
Unit 3 provided information about theories, methods, and techniques of teaching. The lesson gave an excellent review of methodologies common to teaching language to students. These included the grammar-translation technique, which is essentially finding equivalents in the students own language and the foreign language one desires to learn and the audio-lingual method in which the premise is that learning is the result of habit formation through conditioning. Other methods include the presentation, practice, production method,, task-based learning, communicative language teaching, community language learning, the silent way, which uses discovery as the primary tool, the lexical approach, and Suggestopaedia, which gives an oral review of the previous lesson, presentation and discussion of new concepts, and then a listening stage in which the teacher reads the new dialogue. Each was presented with strengths and weaknesses to consider.
However, I agree that the Engage, Study, Activate method is the most flexible, and allows for integration of the parts of the other methodologies as needed. Compared to the other methods, it is by far the most accommodating considering the multi-cultural nature of teaching English to non-native speakers. Indeed, depending on the class or individual, a teacher must utilize a variety of techniques when teaching to keep students engaged, be aware of techniques for student language levels, be aware of local language and culture, and always remain positive. Negative feedback is fundamentally unhelpful; in my experience teaching archaeology and history I have found that the more positive the criticism and feedback, the faster students want to learn.
One concept I did not see in this lesson was investment. If you make your students feel you are invested in them and want them to learn, that can bring down barriers that can often make learning language hard. The last item I will address is corrections. I absolutely agree that corrections can make or break relationships and trust in learning situations. A teacher has to be able to evaluate the student and/or class in order to facilitate relationships which will in turn facilitate learning. Over the last decade, I have gotten my best results from students by maintaining a positive attitude, answering questions and making corrections in a positive manner.
Finally, as a self taught teacher this has been a fascinating journey to read about techniques I have been using but never really had a name for them. This lesson will be instrumental going forward whilst I continue to formalize my methods and techniques.