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4 Effective Teaching Strategies For ELT Classes

4 teaching strategies to use in your classroom

Here are four effective teaching strategies that can be applied in your English language classes:

1. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a process of generating multiple ideas/options in which judgment is suspended until a maximum number of ideas has been generated.

The importance of brainstorming for students:

  • Helping students solve problems;
  • Encouraging students to benefit from the ideas of others through developing and building on them;
  • Supporting the cohesion and relationship among students.
  • Fostering the idea of assessing the views of others.

In addition, brainstorming has some advantages, they are:

  • Actively involving learners in higher levels of thinking;
  • Promoting peer learning and creating synergy;
  • Promoting critical thinking; and
  • Helping groups reach consensus.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to brainstorming:

  • Requiring learners’ discipline;
  • It may not be effective with large groups; and
  • It can lead to “group think”

2. Demonstration

Demonstration means performing an activity so that learners can observe how it is done in order to help prepare learners to transfer theory to practical application.

Moreover, the demonstration strategy involves the teacher showing learners how to do something.

The advantages of demonstration are to

  • help people who learn well by modelling others;
  • promote self-confidence;
  • provide an opportunity for targeted questions and answers; and
  • allow attention to be focused on specific details rather than general theories.

The disadvantageous of demonstration:

  • It is of limited value for people who do not learn best by observing others;
  • It may not be appropriate for the different learning rates of the participants; and
  • It requires that the demonstrators have specialized expertise if highly technical tasks are involved.

3. Case-Based Small-Group Discussion

In this teaching strategy, small groups of 5-10 address case-based tasks, exchanging points of view while working through a problem-solving process.

Case-based small-group discussion has some advantages. They can:

  • Actively involve participants and stimulates peer group learning;
  • Help participants explore pre-existing knowledge and build on what they know;
  • Facilitate the exchange of ideas and awareness of mutual concerns; and
  • Promote the development of critical thinking skills;

On the other hand, Case-based small-group discussion has some disadvantages. It can:

  • Lead to off-task or social conversations;
  • Be a challenge to ensure participation by all, especially in larger groups; and
  • Be frustrating for participants when they are at significantly different levels of knowledge and skill.

4. Games

Games are used to bring competition, participation, drills, and feedback into the learning experience as a motivator and opportunity for the application of principles.

Carefully planned uses of games in the classroom (e.g., for practising certain verbs, tenses, questions, locatives, etc.) add some interest to a classroom

The advantages of games:

  • actively involves learners;
  • can add or regenerate motivation;
  • promotes team learning and collaborative skills;
  • provides a challenge that can lead to confidence in knowing and expressing the material;
  • provides feedback; and
  • can create a “fun” learning environment.

The disadvantageous of games:

  • creating in-group/out-group feelings;
  • demotivating students who are not competitive by nature;
  • creating feelings of inadequacy in those not as skilled or forceful; and
  • discouraging creativity if the format is very rigid and the focus is strongly on winning.

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