One thing I have learned about my teaching ever since I started actively reflecting is that..
I don’t have a favourite lesson structure or sequence of activities.
I actually draw elements from different methods and approaches and create my own sequence of activities based on what I know about my learners, their needs and expectations. This is called an eclectic approach, which comes from Greek εκλεκτικός, and means selective.
I’m currently studying the core module on the NILE MAPDLE and the two lessons I have designed for my assignments..
are completely different!
I have enjoyed designing and teaching both lessons equally, because they were designed with my students in mind and they helped them achieve their objectives.
Some key takeaways from this experience:
✔️don’t just teach the way you want to be taught.
✔️don’t just rely on a ‘safe’ structure. What is ‘safe’ for you may not work for your learners.
✔️experiment-it also prevents boredom!
‘ELT is nothing if not eclectic. New approaches and methodologies, reflecting developments and departures in thought, have been layered one on top of the other.
But new practices and ideologies do not necessarily replace the old, they rather add to them and, in some instances, augment and enhance them.
Eclecticism should be perceived as a strength of ELT, not a weakness. By its nature, it expresses accommodation and tolerance. If we, as curriculum designers, materials writers, and teachers, really want to put the learner at the centre of the learning experience, our duty to their diversity and heterogeneity is to offer as broad a spectrum of learning strategies as possible.’Who needs analysis? John Young, 1998
‘There’s as many methods as there are contexts. ‘
‘The method concept, i.e. that you can tackle every problem with a specific solution, is a century-old idea.’
The future of methods is less about the methods and more about methodology, what teachers do in their classrooms, rather than what they are expected to do. The future is not a specifc technology, it’s not a method, and it’s not a coursebook. It’s where teachers are sufficiently trained, experienced and reactive enough, to deal with the language that comes up in the classroom, and turn this raw material into learning oportunities.’
In this webinar, Thornbury also says our method is perhaps the best method, as long as it’s a not a random combination of activities.