Approaches and Methodology
Alternatives to Translation
Non-verbal Communicative Teaching
Suggestions for good communication
Different Learner Styles
There are many theories and methodologies ranging
from e.g. Total Physical Response to the Silent Approach, which have been
used to teach students a second language. However, we shall just focus on
one particular methodology.
However, first of all, we should
outline one of the typical difficulties that are experienced. It is often
problematic for JTEs and ALTs
alike is streamlining their combined efforts in the classroom (i.e.
effectively team-teaching together).
There are a number of reasons for this, namely:
1. Communicative and cultural language barrier: the
JTE and ALT have difficulty understanding each other's intended actions and
2. In some cases, fear, reluctance or apathy towards
team-teaching by either ALT and/or JTE.
3. Under- utilization of the ALT in lessons due to
the reasons stated above.
4. Lack of awareness of the differing student learner styles that
exist in the classroom.
II Suggested Lesson Planning Approach:
A very simple yet effective method of teaching is
achieved by using the ARC approach. (as outlined by Jim Scrivener
'Learning Teaching' (1990))-for information on ARC
teaching methodology and Jim Scrivener. The lesson is
essentially divided into 3 clear stages.
& Focus stage- e.g. Teacher/ALT
demonstrates, explains, illustrates, pre-teaches the
necessary new vocabulary, grammar etc. in order for the students to do the
Exercise stage- Ss do an exercise
as stipulated by the T/ALT to practice grammar structure and form, increase
their English accuracy and test and demonstrate their ability on a given
Exercise stage-Ss do an
exercise that involves communication with language fluency practice which
can be used and directly relates to- real- life and is meaningful. Such
activities are normally enjoyable as they are flexible and allow the
students to decide what to do/say for themselves.
A typical lesson might run something like this: CRCAC
“Learning Teaching” by Jim Scrivener, Longman p.134
Clarification & Focus
I show you
I tell you
I help you find out
You find out for yourself
. For a lesson to be 'balanced' you need to have all
of the 3 stages above. Without them, both the lesson staging and the
learning process are not complete. This also makes it difficult to
determine how well your students have learnt and understood what you both
have been trying to teach them.
Consider these rhetorical questions.:
-How can a student know what they are supposed to
practice if they haven't been shown what to do? How can a student do an
exercise if they cannot understand the grammar structures or vocabulary
that you want them to practice during the exercise?
All of the above problems should be addressed in each
Clarification & Focus Stage of the lesson.
-How can a student openly communicate with another
student using newly taught English if they have not had the chance to
practice the new structures beforehand?
Such a topic should be addressed in the Restrictive
Exercise stage of the lesson.
-Why would a student be
interested in practicing English structures and being tested on a grammar
point if they didn't know how such phrases, vocabulary etc. could be used
effectively in real-life situations in English speaking countries?
i.e. Students need to have a Reason and a Purpose to
their learning English in order for it to be interesting.
The above point should be addressed in the Authentic
activity stage of the lesson.
Each stage is as essential as the next in the whole
lesson staging process. Every step is inter-linked and relies upon the
preceding part to facilitate student learning. Thus an authentic activity
(i.e. one used to demonstrate either a student's fluency or raise awareness
of real-life/authentic language through use) is as important as the
Clarification and Focus (illustration/explanation) and Restrictive
(practice) stages during the lesson.
Clarify what students need to do by
telling/showing/helping them and lastly allow them to find out for themselves.
By 'bringing the language to life'- using real-life
scenarios etc.(authentic material/activities)- you
are providing the students with an interactive, meaningful context for
learning English. Such knowledge has a real, specific purpose and can be used
directly thereafter in a real-life situation in countries where English is
III. Alternatives to Translation:
It is often better to explain the meaning of words by
using alternatives to translating into Japanese. The following are
This works well for nouns and adjectives. You can
draw or use a picture source from a book, the internet etc. to demonstrate
Gestures work well for verbs, adjectives, prepositions
and a whole range of grammar.
Explain the meaning of the word using words that the
students already know.
Environment = the area around us. The trees, animals,
rivers, air etc.
Voluntary = when you do something because you want
the word in a sentence/in a context
Write up a sentence in English, which uses the word,
to convey its meaning effectively. Students are surprisingly good at
inferring or deducing meaning from context.
e.g. President = George Bush is the President of the USA.
Friendly= a friendly person always smiles and says hello.
IV．The Non-verbal communicative
Non-Verbal Communicative Teaching requires that only
English be used in the classroom. Students learn the
meanings of new words and phrases through gestures, body language, and
context. This technique is widely considered to be the
most effective means of introducing new language concepts.
V. Teacher as Counsellor in the Classroom:
It is important to empathise
with your students.To do this requires acceptance
and a deeper understanding of our students. This is
not always easily achievable.
-Acceptance should be unconditional. Accepting
students unconditionally is difficult yet achievable.
understanding: It is better to accept a student from his or her standpoint.
This requires the teacher to be adaptable and versatile in their
relationships with students and to modify their stance from student to
VI. Useful suggestions for good communication
in the classroom:
communication is a two-way process.
is mutual understanding.
communication results in mutual influence.
key to a good relationship is trust.
purpose of teaching is learning: learning is changed behaviour.
of our ignorance is the entrance to our own education.
is more than information- it is conversion.
listening involves patience, openness and a desire to understand.
lies more in feelings than in words.
10)Be aware of the dangers of comparing.
11)When you borrow strength, you build weakness.
VII. Different Learner Styles:
Of course, all of the above is potentially useless if
both the JTE and the ALT have not considered using a range of activities to
cater for the various learner styles that exist in the classroom. Each of
us has a preferred method of learning and each of us responds and learns
better when that particular teaching-learning style is being administered
in the classroom:
-Visual-Spatial Learner ( ability to visualize objects and spatial
dimensions, and create internal pictures and images)
-Verbal-Linguistic Learner (the ability to use words both orally and written)
-Logical-Mathematical Learner (the capacity for inductive and deductive thinking
and reasoning, as well as the use of numbers and the recognition of
-Musical-Rhythmic Learner (ability to recognize tonal patterns and sounds, as
well as sensitivity to rhythms and beats)
-Intrapersonal Learner (capacity to understand yourself and act adaptively,
spiritual inner state of being- self-reflection and awareness)
-Interpersonal Learner (quickly grasp and evaluate moods etc. of others and
have good capacity for person-to-person communications and relationships)
-Bodily-Kinesthetic Learner (use the body to express ideas and feelings and have
the ability to control physical motion)
1. Useful site with brief overview of different learner style preferences and multiple
2. Also see Howard Gardner's Theory of
Multiple Intelligences' and Daniel Goleman: 'Emotional
Student-focused lessons =lessons where students are more active and involved
in the lessons and where the teacher takes a more passive role.
Eliciting passive knowledge = where the teacher draws out knowledge from the
students by asking questions. Knowledge that the student has acquired over
a period of time almost unconsciously and rarely uses.
Rivers W.M. “The Psychologist
and Foreign Language Teaching” (Appendix 1964)
Murgatroyd S. “Counselling and Helping” (Methuen 1985)