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The most common EFL methodologies are:
1.Grammar-translation. The basic principle of this system is learning about a language through finding equivalent in the students’ language and the foreign language being learned.
Major drawback: preventing learners from getting natural language input that would help them acquire the language and therefore, the danger is that the learner will learn about the language rather than learning the language itself.
2.Audio-lingualism. Suggests that learning is a result of habit formation through conditioning. It is based on the behaviourist theory and concentrates on long repetition and drills to form new habits.
3. Presentation, Practice and production. In this system the teacher presents the context and the situation for the language as well as explaining and demonstrating the meaning and form of the new language. Then the students practice making sentences with the language in a controlled way before they go on to the production stage where they are able to be more creative with the language.
4. Task-based learning. In this method the focus is more on the task than the language itself. Students are given a task to complete and when they have completed the task the teacher can, if necessary, provide some language study to clear up some of the problems they had while doing the task.
5. Communicative language learning. Stresses the importance of language functions as opposed to the reliance only on grammar and vocabulary.
6. Community-language learning. The students typically sit in a circle it is up to them to decide what they want to discuss. The teacher stands outside the circle and is ready to help with language problems that arise during the course of the discussion.
7. The silent way. The teacher says as little as possible because it is believed that if the students had to discover language for themselves, learning will be better facilitated rather than just repeating and remembering what had been taught.
8. Suggestopedia. Focuses on the need for students to be comfortable, confident and relaxed in order for learning to be more effective. Teacher and children exist in a parent-child relationship and traumatic themes are avoided.A suggestopedia has three main parts. 1. An oral review of the previous lesson. 2. A presentation and discussion of the new language. 3. Students listen to relaxing music while the teacher presents the new dialogue.
9.The lexical approach. Argues that words and phrases are far better approach for language learning than grammatical structure.
Each method has its pluses and minuses, but certain conclusions can be drawn:
Students need as much exposure to language as possible.
Students need certain amount of input from the teacher.
Communicative tasks offer real learning possibilities but are not enough on their own.
Anxiety and stress need to be low for effective language learning.
Where possible students should be allowed to discover language for themselves.
Engage, Study and Activate
If students need to be motivated, have to be exposed the language and have the opportunity to use it, then we have to make sure that all these factors come into play in the classroom. An effective method for this is ESA (Engage, Study and Activate):
Elicitation (Asking thought-provoking questions) is an extremely useful component of the ESA process. Elicitation techniques are strategies used by teacher to get learners to respond.
Examples of Elicitation techniques:
Real objects (realia): to elicit the word “ball”, show the class a real ball and ask them “what is this?”
Ask for the question.
Follow-on questions:Ask a target question to get a particular type of answer then follow on with another question.
Concept descriptions. An example of this is to elicit a comparative adjectives visually. Draw three circles on the board, small, medium and large. Labl them A, B and C. Ask the students to describe these objects in relation to each other.
Points to bear in mind:
Use a variety of elicitation technique during a lesson so that things do not get predictable.
Beware of appropriate elicitation technique for students’ language level.
When you want a specific answer, draw a picture. When you want a lss specific answer, draw it. Draw line by line pausing between each line to let them guess. Each guess can be added to the board.
Always try to be aware of culture and local language as you can.
When eliciting,you will often find that language produced was not what you were looking for. Remain positive and avoid negative feedback.
All ESA lessons should comprise of all the following component:
Engage: the teacher tries to arouse the students’ interest and get them involved in the lesson. This phase should be considered a warmer.
Study: In this stage students focus on language or information and how it is constructed.
Activate:This is the stage is where the students are encouraged to use all of the language they know. The focus is much more on fluency than accuracy.
Some lesson may be more heavily focused on one stage or another but all lessons should include all the components whenever possible.
Straight arrow ESA lesson
A straight arrow is where the teacher takes the lesson in the ESA order
Engage - Study - Activate
Boomerang ESA lesson
A boomerang sequencing gives us more possibilities while incorporating ESA.
Engage - Activate 1 - Study - Activate 2
Patchwork ESA lesson
Engage - Activate - Activate - Study - Activate -Engage - Study - Activate
Ideas for Engage phase:
Partner information share
I am going on a holiday and …
An adaptation of scattergories
My marvellous machine
The box game
Ideas for study phase
5. Word order
7. Tongue twister
9. Word search
Ideas for Activate phase
Surveys and mill-drills
I have learned a pretty good new number of ideas for good lesson. Ideas for warming up the class, for the study stage and the activate stage. This is what I really and what I have always been looking for. I particularly like the warm up activities and will apply many of them in my next lessons.