(17 of 50) MODERN LANGUAGE TEACHING (CLT) & TAIWAN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT

By | February 14, 2018

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Do you think this person will agree with me? Probably not.

A Conversation with Someone who Disagrees (ii)

Let us continue our imaginary conversation with that person who strongly disagrees with everything I have said. They are like the picture above, and they certainly don’t look happy, right? I will list their comments, and give my answers, and let’s move on to comment No.2 & 3.

2nd Comment

The Grammar-translation method which I use is based on cultural dimension, and logical input is necessary in the IELTS test, so students need to have the underlying logic explained in Chinese in order to reformulate messages into good speaking, because they don’t have time to learn normally, so this approach is much better in their circumstances.

My Response

Those who defend their methods of teaching will sometimes use a lot of words, and strange argumentation. Your job is to really think about this, and decide if it actually makes sense. Please don’t assume it makes sense, even if the teacher claims credentials, qualifications, and expertise (which they usually lie about). Think carefully about the words, and analyse them yourself. Don’t just simply believe.

The 2ndcomment makes no sense at all. When it is written in Chinese, it makes even less sense – in fact, often the justifications others teachers use for their bad approach (when translated to me in English) is absolutely indecipherable.

3rd Comment

CLT isn’t perfect. Many people disagree with it, and criticise it!

My Response

Actually, most people who know what they are talking about accept CLT, and it is the most widely used teaching methodology in the world. However, there is no ‘perfect’ system, and everything can be criticised. For example, some people say CLT does not offer enough grammar/structure; however, the ‘soft’ version of CLT introduces a lot of this.

Others say there are no ‘rules’ in CLT, so nothing can be standardised or systematically taught to teachers.There is no ‘rulebook’.  I say, ‘true’, and this is what makes CLT such a difficult skill, and why experience and hard work is always necessary – and why many who may claim that they teach in this way, may not be good teachers at all. Everything all depends on the teacher!

To those who take CLT and their professional seriously, and have developed their skills to make it work in the classroom, the drawbacks of CLT are overcome, and the criticism can be easily answered. The obvious question I would like to ask these people who attack it is: do you have a better system? The answer is a definite ‘No, you don’t!’ You have no system which can stand any logical scutiny.

We will look at another (critical) comment in the next post.

Now, check that you know the meaning of the underlined vocabulary (also repeated below).

  • a dimension (n)
  • to reformulate (v)
  • to be indecipherable (v)
  • to criticise (v)
  • a drawback (n)
  • to overcome (v)
  • scrutiny (n)

If you want to find out more about me, go to aisielts.com .

Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed