I think most of you will agree with me that drilling can be boring and it is very old-fashioned. It is mechanical and it doesn’t promote any critical and creative thinking.
However, don’t you ever think they work with certain classes, students. I couldn’t catch yesterday’s eltchat but as I followed from the tweets, it was about whether to use the traditional methods or not.
Through years we’ve had many methods, some were the improved versions of the formers, some were completely new and some others, given brand new names, were similar to the ones that we discussed they became old-fashioned.
Do you throw the old books from your bookshelves to the dusbin when you buy the new ones? or do you always want to get rid of the old clothes when you do your spring cleaning? I still keep some although they won’t fit me anymore (but I have a daughter and fashion is something that repeats itself and vintage is always popular)
Personally I don’t want to be a teacher who encourages memorizing, drilling and mechanical work. Yet I belive there are times that we need them.
I have a group of year 10 students. Most of them have been learning English since kindergarten but they still can not write a proper paragraph. They have problems with the English structures. They think in the language they know and try to say the thing they want to say as in Turkish. Some of them solved their problems but others because of many other reasons still have problems. And these some of them are sometimes lazy to revise at home so we only have the class to make them learn.
When you try the new approaches and try to neglect the classic grammar teaching methods some students will complain that they don’t learn anything. Last week while I was trying to make my year 7 students to speak, one of them asked me ‘What are we going to learn today, teacher?. I said ‘we will just talk’. I recalled similar conversations. I believe PPP can still be used with teenagers and up to pre-intermediate level. Students will understand how the structure can be used when the teacher sets the scene, drills and lead them to guided production. However, it may be boring and useless for adults and higher levels. Whereas the other old techniques and approaches will work well with higher levels.
Unfortunately our students are used to learning things in analytic ways. Because still for some teachers the best student is the one who keeps a neat notebook, does homework regularly, sits at the desk and responds to the tasks the teacher has assigned. These students are trained to learn this way. We have to change the methods the other teachers use in order to have more flexible approaches in our efl classrooms. But I think this is another discussion topic.
Anyway,I also believe Dogme is a great challenge. I can’t call myself a dogmeist but there are times I do things which will lead me to dogme in near future. Yet, I have some questions in my mind. Can every teacher become a dogme teacher? I think it is not a question of being NEST or NNEST.
Don’t you think being ecclectic is a good way and will allow the teacher to be more flexible?
This post has just been editted for Marisa’s Blog Challenge: Tradition Revisited & Revamped