PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF TEACHING ENGLISH
Here are some principles of teaching English which are based on a communicative and prove to be motivating in teaching students to communicate in English:
encouraging a friendly, relaxing learning environment (getting the lesson off to a good start: warm-up activities establishing a trusting, positive, supportive approach at the lesson);
setting attainable (real) standards for students (taking into consideration varying abilities and levels of motivation and cooperation);
not over-correcting students' mistakes (encouraging fluency, using reformulation to respond to the mistake);
personalizing materials and activities (choosing topics and material based on students' own experience, using "open" exercises and open-ended questions, developing learners' abilities with respect to their interests);
being flexible and responsive (being ready to adjust the plan of the lessons to the needs, interests, or ideas the students may have at the moment);
activating cooperative learning in the classroom (organizing pair and group work, helping each student to make a valid contribution to the final product of the joint work, regardless of their linguistic ability);
using English all the time (using the English language inside and outside the classroom has a great influence on the students' willingness to speak English);
8) using various material (charts, grammar and vocabulary
games, pictures, graphs, tables, leaflets, brochures, newspapers,
magazines, audio and video courses, etc).
And if we follow all these principles, we are sure to achieve good results.
Well, I believe, a teacher is a teacher while he is searching, inventing, creating. He can use any traditional methods of teaching, but, of course, he should apply the method to a concrete group of students or he is welcome to create his own, new system of teaching.
I'll just mention what non-traditional methods can be effective in teaching English.
The method of pictorial synopsis is widely used now. When a child speaks a foreign language, he has two obstacles to overcome: what to say and how to say. So if the pictorial synopsis includes the contents of the text, the pupil has only one difficulty : e.g. making up a story using the synopsis.
The next method is the method of personal involvement and interaction. We all realize that if a pupil isn't interested in the learning process, the result will be poor, so we should always involve him into the process urging him to express his opinion, to give examples, to react, etc.
Another helpful method in teaching English is drama, that satisfying students both intellectually and emotionally, involves them in the actual experience. Success is important for everyone and through drama we can give the students this taste of success.
I disagree with those teachers who view drama only for entertainment as an extra-curricular activity.
Drama can be used as icebreakers (as the introductory activity); it can be used as in-betweens; it can be introduced as the end-activities (for revising, fixing the language taught during the lesson, relaxing and keeping the feeling of joy and success).
Next comes the method of teaching grammar in context, the creation of real situations and finding stimuli that are interesting and meaningful to learners. To teach only the theory of grammar won't bring success, because this process is usually dull, the exercises are far from students' interests and life experience. The only way out to interest the learners is to create the atmosphere of speaking in real situations.
Among other effective methods I can recommend:
1) inventing stories with modern objects or objects of the past. It can be done in groups, one by one, in pairs, etc. The story can be written or oral. And it can be used in connection with a text/or a topic, etc.
Associations: A student says what the given word suggests to him or her and explains why.
Two pupils stand with their backs to the board: they are the detectives. You write up a brief situation (e.g. The house is on fire). The rest of the class are witnesses and suggest orally concrete evidence (I can smell smoke. People are jumping out of the window, etc.). The detectives have to deduce the situation from the evidence.
Creating a joint mini-lecture on the given topic e.g., you choose the word “ice-cream” and the
students in turn say sentences with this word.
Ask students to describe one dream they would like to
choose at night and explain why.
Ask students to think of as many objects as they can that may be kept in a matchbox, or a wardrobe, a shed, etc.
What if the letter "b" were dropped from the alphabet? List ten words that would be affected. Write a short letter to your friend without using "b"s.
8) What if you could snap your fingers and go anywhere you want? Make a list of five places you would most like to visit.
Optimists and pessimists: two teams give their ideas about the same thing.
Take a sentence which is a statement of fact. It may be true, false or even absurd, e.g. I saw an elephant in the supermarket yesterday. The students try to see how many questions they can ask about it.
11) cooperative story-telling.
e.g. A brief context of the text is written on the blackboard. The learners are to fill in the details of the story.
12)Provocative questions also help to develop creative and
even initiative speech.
To sum up, we should ensure conditions in which a pupil will have a desire to say something in a foreign language, to express his thoughts and feelings. We should remember that oral speech in class should be always stimulated and use those stimuli which can arouse a pupil's wish to respond in his own way. Then both - teachers and pupils - will be a success. Good Luck!
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