Practical Techniques for Language Teaching
Author: Michael Lewis
Publisher: Heinle ELT
Publication date: January 1, 1985
Number of pages: 144
Format / Quality: PDF
Size: 5 MB
Teaching situations are different. You may, for example, have to preparestudents for a particular examination so that some time must be spent on
examination techniques. All teachers complain that they do not have enough time to do all the things they would like to do. Some compromises between what you would like to do, what your students need, and the requirements of the situation, are inevitable. In these circumstances there are two guiding principles which should influence your decisions: that language teaching is only an aid to language learning, and that it is those things which help the students to improve which are of particular importance; and secondly that language is first and foremost communication. Those activities which mean students can use the language, and communicate better, are to be encouraged at the expense of activities which will only mean that students “know” the language.The first two chapters of the book do provide a more general framework for the specific tips which follow. Even these general principles, however, are practical rather than theoretical. You are encouraged not only to read the tips, but to try the ideas they suggest. We hope most will work for you, but some may not, and some will need to be modified for you and your situation.
The book is essentially one of techniques, applicable to different situations and also to different material. Any selection of textbook materials we could make would be in danger of being situation-specific, or based on assumptions about text-books which are widely available at the moment ofwriting. We believe initial teacher training courses should include an element which shows students how to develop lesson plans round publishedmaterials, but in our experience course tutors almost always prefer to use contemporary or local materials in developing these lesson plans. For this reason, we have not included a chapter on specific materials. In revising this book for its second edition, we consulted many course tutors, and others with experience in the teacher training field. We were delighted to discover that they were happy with the existing text. The main change in the new edition, therefore, is the addition of points which we felt deserved more emphasis. In one or two cases — specifically increased emphasis on receptive skills and collocation — the re-emphasis marks the development in our own thinking since the first edition appeared.
Few teachers, however long they have been teaching, are doing things as well as they possibly could. There is almost always an opportunity for new ideas, attitudes and techniques. We hope this book will encourage readers to try any ideas which are new, and so to develop their teaching, and in turn their students’ learning.