English language teaching methods
English language teaching methods

English language teaching methods

“We will teach you to speak English in two weeks”, “learn grammar without cramming”, “the author's method of memorizing words” and many other promises beckon with simplicity and ease. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for learning a foreign language (we wrote about this in previous article), however, you can choose a proven methodology based on your goals and make the learning process more effective. Let's look at the basic methods of teaching a foreign language.

  1. Grammar-translation method

If you have well-developed logical thinking, you are very diligent and want to know grammar as a student in the linguistic department of Oxford, then the grammar-translation, traditional method of learning English will suit you. It is based on memorization of grammatical constructions, translation of texts from foreign to native, and vice versa. This method is most often used in school and university programs.

The main advantage of this method, it allows you to master the grammar at a high level, understand the structure of the language, lay the fundamental foundation. Disadvantages: insufficient attention to the lexical part, mechanical memorization of words. For reading and translation, either complex literary works or artificial texts are used. When a student enters the language environment, he may stumble upon a language barrier. But it’s very disappointing when you know by heart about the active and passive voice, all the options of the past time, but you can’t use them.

  1. Practice-oriented approach

To solve the problem of the language barrier helps the teaching methodology oriented to solving problems, practice-oriented methodology. During the lesson, the teacher offers students to play a dialogue, play a game in English or arrange a brainstorming, that is, one way or another, use existing knowledge in action. This approach allows students to master language skills as tools to accomplish the task.

The practice-oriented technique helps to quickly learn the practical minimum and is suitable for people who learn English for traveling, for communication and working with foreigners. Thanks to the constant use of the learned words and constructions, the need to apply the knowledge gained, the skill to speak English fluently develops.

  1. Communicative technique

For a deeper understanding of the language system, a problem-solving technique is used in conjunction with a communicative-cognitive technique. One of the main principles of communication is co-learning of language and culture, dialogue of cultures. To acquaint students with the culture of the target language, educational material is selected. For example, texts should show the authentic culture of English-speaking countries, films and audio recordings - the culture of verbal communication. In the lesson, the process of mastering a foreign language culture is organized, taking into account the interaction of native and foreign cultures in various types of situations of intercultural communication. The teacher builds a dialogue between students, encourages them to compare and contrast.

The cognitive approach to learning takes into account both the universal processes of cognition and the individual characteristics of each student's learning. In practice, this means that the student goes through the natural stages of the cognitive process - he gets acquainted with the phonetic, lexical, grammatical sides of speech and types of speech activity. Exercises include questions and tasks on the development of memory, attention, logic, thinking, tasks of a problematic and creative nature, activate the mental and emotional activity of students. The lesson is built so that the student can get the most out of existing knowledge.
In the complex, such classes are a built-in system where there is a study of vocabulary, grammar, listening, reading and translation. In contrast to the grammar-translation method, the teacher does not give grammar rules as a set of laws that need to be learned, but provides students with the opportunity to derive the pattern of using certain constructions through educational material. This approach allows you to more consciously learn a foreign language. 

  1. Metacognition, or metacognitive method

You may have heard more than once that the ability to study and practice independently helps to learn a foreign language faster and more fully. When a student himself manages cognitive activity and controls the educational process - this is called metacognitive technique. This technique is based on the following principles:

  • Planning - the ability to estimate how much material needs to be learned and draw up a learning plan.
  • Goal setting - understanding what goal you will achieve by solving a particular problem. For example, I listen to these texts in order to learn to understand the Texas accent.
  • Self-control is the ability to help oneself in learning, to cope with problematic moments.
  • Evaluation - the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen strategy.

The American psychologist Ann M. Dirks, the author of one of the first methods of developing metacognitive abilities, believes that the skill of applying mental strategies will allow the student to better navigate in life situations. The role of the teacher in this technique is reduced to an assistant, a coach, who shows the tools for learning. The element of self-study helps to effectively prepare for exams and be prepared to solve unusual situations in the future.

What techniques are used in the Global Ambassador?

At Global Ambassador, we use a combination of several techniques, and this set depends on your goals. For example, visiting Smart English courses You learn at once according to 3 methods: communicative-cognitive, metacognitive and design. And in exam preparation courses (whether TOEFL, IELTS or others) we use a metacognitive technique to ensure you get the highest score when passing the exam.


Sign up for a free trial lesson

Sign up

Learn more about Smart English

Popular self-study courses and tests

Share with a friend

Since 2009. We help students in Russia, the CIS and around the world.

Charity / Charity

Global Ambassador® is a registered service mark of Global Ambassador LLC

The services are provided by Global Ambassador LLC and IE Zaikov Maxim Sergeevich (License for educational activities of the Ministry of General and Professional Education SB No. 19343 from 27.03.2017)

The website is for informational purposes and is not a public offer

0 + No age limit

Company rank 4.97 / 5
👉 Sign up for an introductory lesson or consultation on education abroad