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4 Concepts That Every Teacher Should Be Aware Of The Difference Between Them

These concepts are very important for every teacher to know the difference between them. They are, from the broadest to the narrowest: strategy, method, approach, technique.

The Difference Between Strategy and Method


When we try to achieve some objectives by any method it becomes a strategy. A strategy is actually a combination of different methods, e.g. lecture, using textbook or question-answer which can be never be used separately.

A strategy is a macro approach. It considers teaching as science. Its purpose is to create a conducive learning environment. It is based on some theories.


When we use the term method, it implies some orderly way of doing something.

The teaching method is limited to the presentation of the subject matter. Methods come under a strategy. A method is a micro approach. It is teaching as an art.

Here, work is important to present a certain topic and implement a theory effectively.  

The Difference Between Approach, Method & Technique

The terms technique and procedure are often used as synonyms to refer to a series of steps that one takes to employ any general method being used in the classroom. But, the term approach refers to something else.

Here’s how approach is different from method and technique


An approach is a set of assumptions, theoretical stances, or ideologies dealing with the nature of language learning and teaching. It represents the sum of our philosophy about both the theory of learning and the theory of language.

It is considered as a theory of language answering the question why?


A method is a targeted plan or set of orderly procedures or techniques that are based on a selected approach. It reveals what needs to be done in a systematic way and how to focus on achieving those objectives.

It includes the following to answer the question how?

  • Plan
  • Objectives
  • Syllabus type
  • Activity types
  • Learner Roles
  • Teacher Roles
  • Role of materials


A technique is an actual implementation in the language classroom. It could be in the form of an exercise or just any activity that you have to do to complete your mission.

It includes the following to answer the question what?

  • Procedures
  • Practices
  • Behaviors

It appears that the term approach is the broadest of the three. Within one approach, there can be more than one method. Finally, the term ‘technique’ is the narrowest of the three.

Thanks For Reading

This article is one of the ELT snippets that I post regularly.

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The aim of these snippets is to provide a collection of practical strategies, tactics, ideas, and tips drawn from my long experience in TEFL, teacher training, and classroom observation as an ELT supervisor mostly of EFL Egyptian teachers.

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