Methods of teaching English
Methods of teaching English

Methods of teaching English

“Let's learn to speak English in two weeks”, “learn grammar without cramming”, “the author's technique for 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), but 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 a well-developed logical thinking, you are very diligent and want to know grammar like an Oxford linguistics student, then the grammar-translation, the traditional method of learning English, will suit you. It is based on memorization of grammatical constructions, translation of texts from foreign into native, and vice versa. This method is most often used in school and university programs.

The main advantage of this method is that it allows you to master grammar at a high level, understand the structure of the language, and lay the 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 a 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 for the past tense, but you can’t apply them.

  1. Practice-Oriented Approach

The problem-solving, practice-oriented teaching methodology helps to solve the problem of the language barrier. During the lesson, the teacher invites students to act out a dialogue, play a game in English or brainstorm, that is, one way or another, use the existing knowledge in action. This approach allows students to master language skills as tools to complete the task.

The practice-oriented methodology helps to master the practical minimum relatively quickly and is suitable for people who learn English for travel, communication and work with foreigners. Thanks to the constant use of the learned words and constructions, the need to apply the acquired knowledge, the skill to speak fluently in English develops.

  1. Communicative technique

For a deeper understanding of the language system, a problem-solving technique is used in combination with a communicative-cognitive technique. One of the main principles of communication is the co-study of language and culture, the dialogue of cultures. To acquaint students with the culture of the language being studied, educational material is selected. For example, texts should show the authentic culture of English-speaking countries, films and audio recordings should show the culture of verbal communication. The lesson organizes the process of mastering a foreign culture, 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 in teaching 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 - gets acquainted with the phonetic, lexical, grammatical aspects of speech and types of speech activity. Exercises include questions and tasks for 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 structured so that the student can get the most out of what they already know.
In the complex, such classes are a built-in system, where there is the study of vocabulary, grammar, listening, reading and translation. Unlike the grammar-translation method, the teacher does not give grammatical rules as a set of laws that need to be learned, but provides students with the opportunity to deduce the pattern of using certain constructions through the 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 on your own helps you learn a foreign language faster and more fully. When the student himself manages cognitive activity and controls the learning process, this is called a metacognitive technique. This methodology is based on the following principles:

  • Planning - the ability to assess how much material needs to be learned and draw up a learning plan.
  • Goal setting is an understanding of what goal you will achieve by solving a particular problem. For example, I listen to these lyrics 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.

American psychologist Ann M. Dirks, the author of one of the first methods for developing metacognitive abilities, believes that the skill of applying mental strategies will allow the student to better navigate life situations. The role of the teacher in this method 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 ready to deal with non-standard situations in the future.

What methods are used in Global Ambassador?

В Global Ambassador we use a combination of several methods, 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 project. And in exam preparation courses (whether TOEFL, IELTS or others) we use a metacognitive methodology to ensure you get the highest possible score on the exam.


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