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CLT Or TPR? 6 Popular ESL Teaching Methods You Should Know As A Teacher

Posted on 30th October 2023

Research reveals that there are over 2 billion people who speak English all across the globe natively or as a second language.

With English becoming more and more popular with every passing day, it is not relatively easy to teach English to speakers of other languages. Not only do you need patience and cultural understanding, but you also need to be aware of popular methodologies that have worked for TEFL teachers over the years. Regardless of whether you have completed an in-class or online TEFL course, understanding the proper teaching method can help students learn English and use it as their language.

Why Learn ESL Teaching Methodologies?

Before moving into the most popular ESL methods, you first need to know why these techniques are important. There are several reasons why learning the basics of ESL teaching methods is a must-have for teachers.

ESL teaching methods
Source: www.englishuk.com

Here are a few of them:

  • Demonstrating proper knowledge about ESL teaching methodologies enhances your marketability.
  • When you use TEFL buzzwords during an interview you are more likely to get hired and that too with a good package.
  • When you use a variety of TEFL teaching methodologies in your classroom you can make your lessons more effective and engaging.
  • By understanding the pedagogy, you can design better ESL resource materials and lesson plans.
  • Learning TEFL methodologies can also help you to strategically use learning objectives that will benefit your students.

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Popular ESL Teaching Methods You Should Know About

Here are some of the most trusted TEFL teaching methods that most educators around the world swear by:

1. Direct Method

In this method, all teaching is done in the target language which is English. Translations in the local language are not allowed in the classroom. The focus lies solely on speaking correctly instead of learning grammar. This method is extremely student-centered and has gained a lot of popularity in recent years.

Students are required to learn English instinctively and naturally and thus, this method is also known as the natural approach. Teachers correct the mistakes that happen in class and reinforce the correct usage of language through practice. This methodology can also be used during virtual sessions as well.

2. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

This again is a trusted method by most teachers as it emphasizes the student's ability to communicate in real-life contexts. Students learn to accept offers, make requests, express their feelings, and explain their thoughts, opinions, and preferences.

Additionally, this method also teaches students through problem-solving and real-world assignments. This method is also less concerned about grammar accuracy and focuses more on fluency.

3. Task-Project-Enquiry Based Learning

Task-based learning is another successful method that has become popular over the years. It is sometimes considered as a part of the CLT method, but it also heavily emphasizes the individuality and independence of the students.

It is an inquiry-based learning method that involves students asking a lot of questions and finding answers to those questions themselves. By solving the queries with the help of their facilitator students' participation and motivation to complete the tasks also increased.

4. Total Physical Response (TPR)

Now this is a method you might already be using in your classroom. It is a technique where you teach language to your students through movements. Some ways of using TPR in your classroom include gesturing acting, role play, or miming.

This method suggests that students learn the best by doing rather than merely analyzing. This method is frequently used while teaching young learners or teaching online. It not only allows students to retain the vocabulary but also acts as an outlet for their energy to help them stay focused.

5. Eclectic Approach

This method incorporates bits and pieces of all the methods mentioned on the list. Teachers understand the needs and requirements of the students and use what works best for them. Since each student has a varied learning style and preferences, teachers use a mix of methods to build the best learning environment for the learners.

Therefore, conducting a needs assessment is one of the best ways to start teaching language learners as it gives a better idea about the strengths and weaknesses of the learners. Educators can also frequently reflect on their teaching style to not comment, adjust, and brainstorm to change their methods as and when required.

6. Audio-Lingual

This method is based on the behaviorist theory of learning and it is one of the most popular techniques used since the 1960s. According to this theory, teachers elicit responses through stimuli. Teachers introduce positive reinforcement to encourage repetition in students. It relies on the idea that learning a language is similar to acquiring habits.

The audio-lingual method is best for students who are visual and auditory learners. They generally require a great deal of practice and involve a lot of dialogue and conversational elements. Also, remember that control of structure and accurate pronunciation is of paramount importance in teaching this method.

Pick Your Best Fit

Teaching language doesn't always have to be boring and frustrating. You can incorporate fun while using the above-mentioned methodologies in your classroom. Additionally, you can also find your teaching method while pursuing an in-class or online TEFL course to see what works best for you. You can mix your individuality with the already established techniques to create a perfect blend for learning, growth, and development.

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Written By : Sanjana

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