Nov 30, 2011

TESL Methodology in a (Rhyming!) Nutshell

I made study notes. 

I made them into rhyming couplets.

They're about 90% iambic. I want to remember them easily, after all.

We're in the middle of an interview junket for university teaching positions. I've heard scary stories of deans grilling applicants on grammar terminology and TESL methodology. Panicked, I whipped up a crib sheet overview of the Big Ideas. It was verbose, as I tend to be, so I shrunk 'em down to simple, easy-to-memorize rhymes. 

For the record, neither of our first two interviews grilled us that way. Still, I'm prepared. Rhythmic and prepared!

Classical Method

Its vocab and grammar, not Listen and Speak
Oft used with dead languages: Latins and Greeks

Direct Method

Learn L2 like L1 said Maxmilian Berlitz,
with vocab and flashcards, a repetitive blitz!

Audiolingual Method

Learn structure and vocab through building block scripts
Using everyday language, like a phrasebook for trips

Communicative Language Learning

Never mind being perfect, just be understood
With real-life simulations, like ordering food

Natural Approach

Krashen's i + 1's how learning naturally goes;
language one step tougher than what a student knows

Total Physical Response

In this class youll be active and play Simon Says
To learn vocab through movement before turning a phrase


If learnings efficient when students are calm
Use drama, games, rhyming, while listening to Brahms!


Engage with fresh topics drawn from students choices
Dont bore them with textbooks, just use your own voices

Silent Method

Language is modeled through Cuisenaire rods
Its the students who speak, while the teacher just nods

Affective Filter

Students are timid and slow to progress
When their learnings impeded by boredom, shyness

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