All of us CELTA folk have been persuaded that communicative approaches are the best and that the Traditional TEFL method is the way to go. You may also have been told how ‘old fashioned’ grammar translation is/was and even the Audiolingual method. You were probably also told that lessons should be level-specific, mixed skills, i+1, engaging, incorporate new tech and books.
In essence, the TEFL method we learned on the CELTA is a mix of others but seems to claim to be a superior ‘blend’. It has bits of drilling, eliciting, mini-tasks and various bits n’ bobs from everywhere.
But in many countries none of these are done. I have seen at least a handful of EFL schools in Asia and Europe that don’t use the TEFL method, neither do government schools. Yet, they all produce students who pass exams and can perform in English at some level.
The TEFL method has attracted followers and similar ‘fun’ (a word that is associated far too often with TEFL for my liking, yes I’m an old fart) approaches have been created for teaching other languages.
Does it get better/worse at DELTA level?
He certainly does not conform to the ‘whirl-around-the-room” orthodoxy of ELT standards, and believe me I have sat through enough Cambridge DELTA assessors’ meeting to tell you that this is mostly the style that’s popular with them.
Marisa Constantinides, CELTA/DELTA tutor and the brilliant brains behind #ELTchat.
It would seem not, in fact it seems that fun and perhaps ‘whirling’ increases by the time you get to the DELTA. So, for the MA you probably need a brass band, a carnival and some professional dancers.
So, what does it all mean?
Is the TEFL method just a creation to entertain students and enable people with a 4 week certificate to teach?
Is it really the best way to teach any language?
I’ve heard of French and Spanish courses that use.TEFL methods as it is deemed the ‘most efficient’ or possibly entertaining so students enjoy themselves.
If the EFL method is the best then why aren’t people climbing on desks in primary/high school or is it only suitable for teaching languages. How about algebra running dictations?