Our Teaching Methodology
Goals of foreign language programs vary, depending on the nature of the language taught and methodological preferences. Our aim is leads to efficient teaching for students to absorb and learn fundamentally. Here, we include a few general principles that should apply no matter what language learning approach you employ.
I. The Direct Method
In this method the teaching is done entirely in the target language. The learner is not allowed to use his or her mother tongue. Grammar rules are avoided and there is emphasis on good pronunciation.
The theory behind this method is that learning a language means acquiring habits. There is much practice of dialogues of every situation. New language is first heard and extensively drilled before being seen in its written form.
III. The structural approach
This method sees language as a complex of grammatical rules which are to be learned one at a time in a set order. So for example the verb "to be" is introduced and practiced before the present continuous tense which uses "to be" as an auxiliary.
The theory underlying this method is that a language can be acquired only when the learner is receptive and has no mental blocks. By various methods it is suggested to the student that the language is easy - and in this way the mental blocks to learning are removed.
V. Total Physical Response (TPR)
TPR works by having the learner respond to simple commands such as "Stand up", "Close your book", "Go to the window and open it." The method stresses the importance of aural comprehension.
VI. Community Language Learning
In this method attempts are made to build strong personal links between the teacher and student so that there are no blocks to learning. There is much talk in the mother tongue which is translated by the teacher for repetition by the student.
VII. Task-based language learning
The focus of the teaching is on the completion of a task which in itself is interesting to the learners. Learners use the language they already have to complete the task and there is little correction of errors.
(This is the predominant method in middle school ESL teaching at Frankfurt International School. The tasks are subsumed in a major topic that is studied for a number of weeks. In the topic of ecology, for example, students are engaged in a number of tasks culminating in a poster presentation to the rest of the class. The tasks include reading, searching the internet, listening to taped material, selecting important vocabulary to teach other students etc.)
VIII. The Natural Approach
This approach, propounded by Professor S. Krashen, stresses the similarities between learning the first and second languages. There is no correction of mistakes. Learning takes place by the students being exposed to language that is comprehensible or made comprehensible to them.