Home | Teaching Jobs in Japan | Acronyms in ELT | ELT Articles | Directory of Resources | Metric Conversion
Articles on Teaching English

TEFL Articles

Articles Related to Teaching English in Japan


5 Different Methods of Teaching English in 2021

English is undoubtedly the most popular language on our planet. After all, it is present in public and private schools all around the globe. Unfortunately, there is no universal formula on how to teach a language. So, English teachers are using different methods for different students.

Live classes are slowly coming back, but students can still attend online English lectures. These are super convenient because you can learn a new language from the comfort of your home. And students may interact with their English teacher via video calls.

Those who use a computer or a phone to learn English should also improve their cybersecurity measures. Apps like antivirus or Android VPN could come in handy for the overall protection of our devices.

So, let's get familiar with different methods of teaching English today!

The Direct Method

The direct method, also known as the natural method, has been around for some time now. It was introduced at the beginning of the 1900s in Germany and France. This method does wonders for speaking skills because students are encouraged to think in English and English only.

This is why the direct method is still used today. The teacher focuses on speaking instead of writing. So, even grammar units are explained orally. Students usually guess the rules and try to apply them to their sentences. Several online apps and platforms offer similar classes. If you plan to try them out, make sure you use Android VPN on your phone or laptop. It could help you out with geo-blocked content, as well as increase your online security.

Keep in mind that the direct method is an excellent choice if you want to learn how to communicate in English quickly. Unfortunately, your writing skills won't improve unless you work on them on your own. After all, you will be speaking most of the time.

The Silent Way

The silent way focuses on a learner and their ability to use creativity. Caleb Gattegno, a famous educator, came up with this method. He researched the way native speakers learn their mother tongue.

The learner is encouraged to think for themselves, draw inspiration from their surroundings, and be curious about the language. A teacher is there to help out and reassure them they are on the right path.

This method is very successful among beginners and children who are just starting to learn the English language. Smartphones could be of great help when combined with this method.

For instance, learners could use grammar apps or online dictionaries and uncover new words and phrases.

Children learn English very effectively with TPR
Children learn English very effectively with TPR

Total Physical Response

This method of learning English, commonly referred to as TPR, is both fun and engaging. Just like the name says, students familiarize themselves with a language by doing various physical actions. A teacher describes something, and then students learn words and phrases by repeating the said action.

For instance, the "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" song is taught in grade school and is a perfect example of total physical response. While students sing the words, they also learn new words. They will remember them even if they don't know the meanings just yet.

Communicative Language Teaching

Communicative language teaching relies on interaction with other students, as well as a teacher. This approach is suitable for learners of all ages, but it is particularly successful among adults. The primary goal of this method is to teach a student to communicate in the English language.

Considering that the method is focused on communication, every student needs a speaking partner or partners. They are encouraged to discuss various topics, read texts or books in English, and use the language in everyday life.

A teacher needs to help learners understand the language when needed and help them out with the basics. The foundations of communicative language teaching include the phrases often used by native speakers like thanking, asking for directions, greetings, etc.

The Structural Approach

It might not be the most exciting method of teaching the English language, but it does wonders for students interested in mastering grammar. As you might have guessed by now, this approach follows a specific structure.

Therefore, a learner studies different sentence patterns and grammatical rules. A teacher needs to introduce these rules in a particular order. So, a learner should be familiar with Present Simple before moving on to Present Continuous, for example.

The structural approach can help learners understand the English language better, expand their vocabulary, and teach them the correct word order.