Review of English Teaching Methodologies: Obstacles of Implementing New Methods in Iran

Shafaei, Azadeh
December 2008
E-proceedings of the International Online Language Conference (I;2008, p222
Conference Proceeding
Language education usually takes place at a language school. There are many methods of teaching languages. Some have fallen into relative obscurity and others are widely used; still others have a small following, but offer useful insights. While sometimes confused, the terms "approach", "method" and "technique" are hierarchical concepts. An approach is a set of correlative assumptions about the nature of language and language learning, but does not involve procedure or provide any details about how such assumptions should translate into the classroom setting. Such can be related to second language acquisition theory. A method is a plan for presenting the language material to be learned and should be based upon a selected approach. In order for an approach to be translated into a method, an instructional system must be designed considering the objectives of the teaching/learning, how the content is to be selected and organized, the types of tasks to be performed, the roles of students and the roles of teachers. A technique is a very specific, concrete stratagem or trick designed to accomplish an immediate objective. Such are derived from the controlling method, and less-directly, with the approach (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Different methods of learning came after GTM, such as the Direct Method, the Oral Approach or Situational Language Teaching; Audio-Lingual Method came after these methods, the alternative methods that include Total Physical Response, the Silent Way, Community Language Learning, Suggestopedia, and Competency-Based Language Teaching. The current communicative methods include Communicative Language Teaching, the Natural Approach, Cooperative Language Learning, Content- Based Instruction, and Task-Based Language Teaching. The main purpose of this paper is to review the existing methodologies in this area and then to focus on Iran educational society. Furthermore the obstacles and barriers for conducting new methods in Iran educational system are investigated and probable solutions for improving the existing situation are proposed.


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