How ELT thinking keeps changing …

I’m currently working at tweaking a course session on the different TESOL methods and methodologies, both historic and current.  This is part of our refresher courses for English teachers.  It’s fascinating to me how the thinking about what is effective in teaching language has changed over the years – and is continuing to change as more and more research is conducted.  What strikes me is how parts of all of the methods and methodologies have remained and influenced current ‘best practices’ in ELT.  Suggestopedia, for example, is probably one of the wackiest of them all, according to current thinking.  However, while you don’t find many (any?) teachers dramatically reading long dialogues to Bach anymore,  the use of music as background accompaniment is very common, and the idea of environmental factors influencing learning is still relevant today. 

 As Content Based Instruction and Task Based Learning become more and more widely accepted and used, it makes me wonder what ELT ‘best practices’ will be in another twenty years …

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