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TESL Methodology: An Overview. Spring 2001. TESL Methodology: Values. 1. For teachers to reflect that can aid teaching and to think what underlies their actions. 2. Methods offer teachers alternatives to what they currently think and do.

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tesl methodology values
TESL Methodology: Values
  • 1. For teachers to reflect that can aid teaching and to think what underlies their actions.
  • 2. Methods offer teachers alternatives to what they currently think and do.
  • 3. Teachers join a community practice with a knowledge of methods.
  • 4. Methods keep teachers’ teaching alive-helps prevent it from becoming stale and routinized.
tesl methodology values continue
TESL Methodology: Values(continue…)
  • 5. A knowledge of methods helps expand a teacher’s repertoire of techniques.
  • 6. Methods serve as models of the integration of theory (principles) and practice (techniques).
  • 7. Study of methods can encourage continuing education in the lifelong process of learning to teach.
theories influencing tesl methods
Theories influencing TESL methods
  • Linguistics
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Neurology
  • Ethnography
  • Computer Science
  • Sociology
  • Social Works
  • Anthropology
  • Education
glossary of terms
Approach: assumptions, beliefs, and theories about the nature of language & language learning

Method: an umbrella term for specification and interrelation of theory and practice

Technique: specific activity manifested in the classroom that are consistent with a method and therefore in harmony with an approach

Design: relationship of theories to classroom materials and activities

Procedure: techniques and practice derived from one’s approach and design

Glossary of Terms
methodology overview
Traditional :

Grammar Translation

Direct Method

Audiolingual Method


Community language teaching


Silent Way

Total Physical Responses

Communicative language teaching

Methodology Overview
grammar translation
Grammar Translation
  • Time: 19c.
  • Focus: grammatical rules, memorization of vocabulary, translation of texts and doing written exercises
  • Weakness: can’t speak and understand even after memorizing the entire grammar book
direct method
Direct Method
  • Time & Theory: end of 19c., Charles Berlitz in Germany, compare SLA to 1st language acquisition
  • Focus: only target language, oral communication
  • Weakness: not take well in public education due to budget limit, lack of NS teachers and practices
audiolingual method
Audiolingual Method
  • Time & Theory: 1940s~1950s, Structrual linguistics and Behavioristic psychologiest, conditioning and habit formation-stimulus, responses, reinforcement
  • Focus: target-like pronunciation and pattern drills
  • Weakness: ultimate failure to teach long-term communicative proficiency
community language teaching
Community Language Teaching
  • Time & Theory: Charles Curran (1972), Chomskyan deep structure and psychologist’ affective and interpersonal nature
  • Focus: reduce affective factor, translation, non-directive
  • Weakness: translation isn’t easy, reliance on an inductive strategy of learning
  • Time & Theory: Bulgarian psychologist-Georgi Lozanov
  • Focus: superlearning needs to stimulate alpha brain waves by making learners relaxed
  • Weakness: environment hard to get and relying on memorization
silent way
Silent Way
  • Time & Theory: Caleb Gattegno (1972)
  • Focus: “Discovery Learning”-learners construct conceptual hierarchy on their own, problem-solving
  • Weakness: Teachers-too distant to encourage a communicative atmosphere, learners-too independent
total physical responses
Total Physical Responses
  • Time & Theory: James Asher (1977), 1st language acquisition + physical responses
  • Focus: giving commands (no oral responses)
  • Weakness: more applicable to beginning learners
communicative language teaching
Communicative Language Teaching
  • Learn to communicate through interaction in the target language
  • Authentic text
  • Focus on learning process
  • Use learner’s own personal experience
  • Try to link what’s been learned in the classroom to the outside
questions to consider in reviewing each teaching method
Questions to consider in reviewing each teaching method:
  • 1. What are the goals of teachers who use the method?
  • 2. What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the students?
  • 3. What are some characteristics of the teaching/learning process?
  • 4. What is the nature of student-teacher interaction? What is the nature of student-student interaction?
  • 5. How are the feelings of the students dealt with?
questions to consider in reviewing each teaching method continue
Questions to consider in reviewing each teaching method: (continue…)
  • 6. How is the language reviewed?
  • 7. What areas of language are emphasized? What language skills are emphasized?
  • 8. What is the role of the students/ native language?
  • 9 How is evaluation accomplished?
  • 10. How does the teacher respond to student errors?