Teaching Methods

Theresa Summer "Introduction" in Basic Issues in EFL Teaching and Learning chapter 1

  • Make an overview of the headings of the different paragraphs in the text (like a table of contents) - this is meant to support your reading of the text
  • Choose one of the nine methods/approaches and read more about it online.

1. Defining Method and Related Terms

Method and Approach, Design and Technique

  • Method= how a particular task should be approached and carried out.
  • Here= how a foreign language should be taught
  • Three part distinction - 1. The teachers plan 2. How this plan is put into practice 3. Which theory of foreign language learners underlies the teachers plan.
  • Anthony 1963: Techniques, Method and Approach
  • Richards and Rodgers revision of Anthonys Model, draw a line between method and approach. Approach was coined to be more new and modern in comparison to more rigid and traditional methods. Approach = more pedagogic flexibility

Macrostrategy and Microstrategy

  • No universal best method or approach exists.
  • Kumaravadivelu 1994: Macrostrategy and Microstategy
  • Macro strategic framework with 10 pedagogic guidelines rather than predefined methods, that take differences in situational contexts into consideration
  • Microstategy describes classroom procedures: how diff. Macrostrategies are put into practice.

2. Categorizing Methods and Approaches

Language-, Learner- and Learning- Centred Methods

  • Language centered methods: teaching linguistic items
  • Learning centered methods: deal with pragmatic systems of the language such as the communicative use of language. Accomplishment of diff. Types of activities rather than traditional grammar exercises.

Interventionist versus Non-Interventionist Methods and Approaches

Ellis 1993:

  • Interface -
  • Non-interface -

A Historical and Chronological Classification

  • A list of methods put in order from then to now.

3. Traditional Methods from Translating to Drilling

The Grammar-Translation Method

  • Grammar rules, translation of texts and words. Often literary texts. No creative or communicative language.      

The Direct Method and Audiolingualism

  • Direct Method: Inductive approach to language learning and oral communication. Pedagogic texts. Only the target language was spoken in the classroom, no use of mothertongue.
  • Audiolingualism: based on behavioristic principles. Also sequential form of instruction of linguistic items and repetitive practice. Drilling and imitation played a key role.

4. Humanistic Methods and Alternative Ideas

Types and Features of Humanistic and Alternative Methods

  • Learner is in focus

Total Physical Response

  • James Asher:
  • Incorporate bodily movement.
  • Understanding language before speaking
  • Developing understanding through bodily movement
  • Not forcing speaking from students


  • Georgi Lozanov:
  • Learners are given new identity, special athmosphere is created through classroom arrangement and furniture and baroque music is played.

The Silent Way

  • Special materials are used such as wall-charts, tapes, drawings, pictures, worksheets and so on. The teacher remain silent most of the time -> encourages listening and concentration

5.The communicative Shift

Communicative Language Teaching

The Natural Approach

Task-Based Language Teaching


The Postmethod Concept

Kumaravadivelus Macrostrategies

Critique on the Postmethod Concept

7. Conclusion


Emil Alexander Holm Thorsen