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Guiding Principles of English Language Teaching (ELT)


Guiding Principles of English Language Teaching (ELT) Facilitated By: Daniel Lopez, Senior English Language Fellow Office of English Language Programs – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Guiding Principles of English Language Teaching (ELT)

Guiding Principles of English Language Teaching
  • Facilitated By
  • Daniel Lopez,
  • Senior English Language Fellow
  • Office of English Language Programs
  • United States Embassy, Mexico

Getting to know the facilitator
Below are 6 statements about me. Read each
statement and decide which three statements are
true and which three statements are
false Daniel..... 1. is related to Jennifer
Lopez. 2. is half Mexican. 3. is allergic to
chocolate. 4. lives in Washington D.C.
5. loves to hike
and ski. 6. speaks
What grammar points could be highlighted in this
What activity could we do next?
What purpose do these get-to-know-you
activities serve?
Why English is so hard to learn
  • Writers write, but fingers dont fing and hammers
    dont ham.
  • Buick doesnt rhyme with quick.
  • Iron how many syllables?
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the
  • The plural of tooth is teeth, so the plural of
    booth is???
  • If teachers taught, why didnt preachers praught?
  • How can a slim chance and a fat chance mean
    the same thing, while a wise man and a wise
    ass are opposites?

Daniels Top 10 Guiding Principles
  1. Professional development is an ongoing process.
  2. Both students AND teachers have to be motivated.
  3. Classroom materials have to be relevant and
  4. Experiential learning works wonders.
  5. Skill development must be integrated.
  6. Language Culture.
  7. Variety is the spice of life!
  8. Preparation is the key.
  9. Teachers need support from Coordinators and SEP.
  10. Teachers need support from each other.

1. Professional development is an ongoing
  • Benefits of Life-Long Learning
  • Teaching is a process of becoming that continues
    throughout life, never completely achieved, never
    completely denied. This is the challenge and the
    fun of being a teacher there is no ultimate end
    to the process. (Frances Mayforth)

2. Both students and teachers have to be
  • What are some DE-motivators for each?
  • What are the consequences?
  • What motivates YOU?
  • What motivates your STUDENTS?

3. Classroom materials have to be relevant and
  • Adapted to Local Reality
  • If no text, what then? REALIA!
  • Students are the experts of their own lives.
  • SAMPLE ACTIVITIES 4-Corners Drawing, 5-Finger
    Grammar, Back to Back,
  • Perfect Teacher, In the Ghetto Song

4-Corners Drawing

A favorite hobby Someone who is special to me
An interesting place Ive been to What animal I would be
What grammar points could be highlighted in this
What activity could we do next?
(No Transcript)
Back to Back What Am I Wearing?
  1. Two players stand and observe each other for a
  2. Then, have each turn around, back to back.
  3. Partner A describes what Partner B is wearing.
  4. Partner B then asks 3 questions concerning any
    information Partner A has not mentioned.
  5. Partner B then describes what Partner A is
  6. Partner A asks 3 questions.
  7. Partners turn around and talk about what they did
    not see.

What grammar points could be highlighted?
What activity could we do next?
What activity could students do for homework?
A Grab Bag of Communicative Techniques
  • Brainstorming
  • Interviews
  • Field Trips
  • Role Plays / Skits
  • Discussions / Debates
  • Small-Group Work
  • Telephone Conversations
  • Giving Directions
  • Which do you already use in your classes?
  • Videos / Film
  • Team Problem-Solving
  • Information Gaps
  • Giving Advice
  • Games
  • Commercials
  • Surveys / Questionnaires
  • Music / Songs

Example 3 The Perfect Teacher
  • INSTRUCTIONS - With a partner, put the following
    qualities in order, from 1 (the least essential)
    to 9 (the most essential).
  • ______ Maintains strong discipline and control.
  • ______ Knows his/her subject thoroughly, and
    keeps up to date.
  • ______ Really likes his/her students and
    socializes with them.
  • ______ Tries to give his/her students moral
  • ______ Tries to make lessons interesting and
  • ______ Shares his/her own ideals and experiences
    with the students.
  • ______ Treats all students fairly and does not
    have favorites.
  • ______ Makes the students work hard in and out of
  • ______ Encourages the students to think for

A little music goes a long way
  • You can find music all over the internet. Some
    popular sites are http//
  • and http//
  • You can download music for free using the
    freeware realplayer sp. Realplayer sp can be
    downloaded at http//
  • There are many websites for finding the lyrics to
    songs. Some popular sites are http//www.lyrics.c
    om/ http//

Elvis Presley 19351977
  • Elvis Presley was known as The King of Rock n
    Roll. He was born in a two-room house in
    Mississippi. The family was very poor. Elvis
    became one of the most successful recording
    artists of all time. He had 33 1 singles and
    made over 60 films. This song was recorded in

In the Ghetto Variations
  • Listen to the song and watch video.
  • Fill in the blanks (information gap activity).
  • In small groups, make a timeline of events in the
    order they happened Compare your timeline with
    another group.
  • Have a discussion about the effects of poverty in
  • What else??

What grammar points could be highlighted?
What activities could we do next?
What activity could students do for homework?
Some Possible Challenges of CLT
  • One or more students dominate the conversation.
  • You find yourself doing almost all of the
  • Students are too shy or speak too quietly.
  • The students become so embroiled in a
    controversial topic that the atmosphere becomes
  • The students lapse into their native language.
  • The group is too large, and the levels are mixed.
  • Any attempt at error correction inhibits the
  • Does not fit into the established curriculum.
  • It takes too much time effort to prepare.

4. Experiential learning works wonders.
(No Transcript)
  • People generally remember
  • 10 of what they read.
  • 20 of what they hear.
  • 30 of what they see.
  • 50 of what they hear and see.
  • 70 of what they say or write.
  • 90 of what they say as they do something.
  • What would help them remember 100?

EXAMPLE Students can teach each other how to do
Chinese Proverb
  • Tell me, I forget.
  • Show me, I remember.
  • Involve me, I learn.

Collaborative and Task-Based Learning
  • Discussion Questions (Shaping, Module 4)
  • These 2 video segments showed examples from a
    class of young learners and also university-level
    students. Which of the activities would work well
    for both age groups? What kind of adjustments
    might be necessary?
  • How were the principles of experiential education
    being utilized in these examples?
  • What skills were being practiced in these

5. Skill development must be integrated.
  • How often do you talk without listening?
  • How often do you write without reading?
  • Which of the 4 skills are most difficult to
  • Which are given the most emphasis in your class?

Using Language Communication Skills
  • Can you listen?
  • Can you speak?
  • Can you write?
  • Can you read?

In Can you grammar?
English Language Learning is not just a study of
form Rather, it is the use of form in
context! REMEMBER While awareness of language
forms such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation,
and spelling facilitate proficient use of the
primary skills...our emphasis should always be on
meaningful communication!
Knowledge of Language forms(grammar) overUse
of Language(communication)?
What happens when we emphasize
(No Transcript)
Read the text below then answer the questions
  • Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  • Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
  • All mimsy were the borogoves,
  • And the mome raths outgrabe.

What was it like? What were the slithy toves
doing? Where did they do this? How were the
borogoves described? What did the mome raths do?
How did you do?
How about these questions What does brillig
mean? Is the wabe a nice place to be? Can you
draw a borogove? Why did the mome raths
outgrabe? Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe All mimsy
were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Now, how did you do? Which was harder? Why?
Grammar Awareness Activity
  1. Begin with a two or three word sentence.
    Examples I ran. or Close the door.
  2. Ask students to expand it with one word.
  3. Ask students to expand the new sentence with a
    specific grammatical structure. Examples with
    a prepositional phrase, with an adjective, or
    with a clause that answers the question WHY?
  4. See how long you can make the sentence through
    expansions with specified grammatical terms.

  • Running Dictation Text
  • The oldest person is a fisherman.
  • The 50-year-old lives above the doctor.
  • Ms. Lee is the youngest person.
  • Two people are 40 years old.
  • The youngest person lives on the 5th floor.
  • The 20-year-old lives on the 4th floor.
  • Mr. Edwards lives on the 2nd floor.
  • The teacher is one year younger than the person
    on the 4th floor.
  • The person who lives below Mr. Edwards is a
  • Mrs. Smith is an accountant.
  • Mr. Hudson lives immediately above a woman.
  • The teacher is one year younger than the

Activity Five people with five different jobs
live in this apartment building. Use the clues to
complete the chart and answer this
question What floor does Mr. Mason live on?
      1st floor        
Floor Name Age Job
How can dictations be communicative? What did
you notice about this dictation? How is it
different from dictations that are often done in
What grammar points could be highlighted?
What activity could we do next?
What activity could students do for homework?
Shaping Module 3 Discussion Questions
  1. What language skills were used? What activities
    were used to integrate them?
  2. What was the teacher doing?
  3. How would you adapt this activity for a larger
  4. What are some possible follow-up activities? What
    might come before?
  5. How might you evaluate student work?

6. Language Culture
  • Hablar dos idiomas es vivir dos vidas.
  • Bilingual Bicultural?
  • What is language for? (conveying meaning and
    perception, describing the world,
    self-expression, recalling the past, thinking)
  • Culture is a system of beliefs, values, and
    assumptions about life that guide behavior and
    are shared by a group of people. It is
    transmitted from generation to generation, either
    explicitly or implicitly.
  • (Source Building Bridges A Guide to
    Cross-Cultural Understanding, Peace Corps World
    Wise Schools, 2003)

How Culturally Aware Are You?
  • True or False I Know That Culture Influences
  • 1. How close people stand to one another.
  • 2. How to deal with problems conflict.
  • 3. Whether to give a soft or sturdy handshake.
  • 4. How to say no.
  • 5. How loudly or softly someone speaks.
  • 6. When to be casual and when to be formal.
  • 7. What are appropriate topics for discussion.
  • 8. When to make eye contact.
  • 9. How to praise and/or criticize someone.
  • 10. What time to arrive for an appointment.

A Sampling of Activities
  • Proverbs / Idioms
  • Survey/Questionnaires
  • Articles Body Rituals Among the Nacirema
  • Values Clarification The Drawbridge
  • Rites of Passage Comparisons
  • Debates
  • Role-Plays
  • Global Speak
  • Games Value Topics
  • Simulations Chispa and Pandas
  • Storytelling
  • Model UN
  • Scenarios / Foreign Observations
  • Songs / Poetry
  • Case Studies (ESP)
  • Coat of Arms

English Proverbs (and the values they represent)
  • Time is money.
  • Dont cry over spilt milk.
  • Youve made your bed, now sleep in it.
  • Dont count your chickens before theyve
  • The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  • If at first you dont succeed, try, try again.
  • Theres more than one way to skin a cat.
  • Punctuality
  • Practicality
  • Personal responsibility
  • Practicality
  • Competition
  • Work Ethic
  • Creativity / Problem-Solving

  • True or False
  • All Americans
  • are like the tourists you see in Cancun?
  • are tall with blue eyes?
  • eat hamburgers?
  • drive big cars?
  • always agree with US foreign policy?
  • speak English as their native language?
  • (Is there any such thing as a typical Mexican?)

Counteracting Stereotypes
  • Avoid Making Broad Generalizations
  • Go Deeper! Look under the surface
  • Increase Awareness of Self Others
  • Be Objective (watch language patterns implicit
    judgments / ethnocentrism)
  • Actively Question Sources (Media?)
  • Challenge False Interpretations
  • Dont Take It Personally
  • Role Model Practice What You Preach!

Top 8 Cross-Cultural Skills(According to
Richard Kohls)
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Non-Judgmentalness
  • Flexibility
  • Curiosity
  • Tolerance for Ambiguity
  • A Sense of Humor
  • Low Goal/Task-Orientation
  • An Ability to Fail

7. Variety is the spice of life!
  • Not all students are the same (learning styles
    visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile,
    emotional) Its all about BALANCE!
  • Learner-centered vs. Teacher-centered
  • The importance of small group work
  • Teacher Facilitator

  • Learner-Centered
  • Teacher-Centered
  • The main objective is to convey information.
  • Philosophical View Language is a system of
    repeated habits.
  • Learner role is passive.
  • Methodology lectures, demonstrations, drills,
    reading aloud, largely deductive (show tell).
  • The main objective is to change behavior.
  • Philosophical View Language has to be practiced
  • Learner role is active.
  • Methodology question answer, problem-solving,
    small-group tasks, largely inductive.

Which are these activities?
  • Students take turns reading aloud.
  • Students read silently.
  • Discussion in pairs.
  • Whole class discussion.
  • SS prepare a role-play in small groups.
  • Students present their role-play.
  • SS copy information from the board.
  • Teacher Centered
  • Learner Centered
  • Learner Centered
  • Teacher Centered
  • Learner Centered
  • Teacher Centered
  • Learner - Centered

What is the Teachers Role in a Learner-Center
  • Introduce topics/discussion questions
  • Pre-teach vocabulary
  • Moderate/Facilitate
  • Nudge/ Suggest
  • Focus discussion
  • Focus on form and accuracy (error correction)
  • Play devils advocate

Discussion Questions
  • How are the two lessons the same? How are they
  • In which class would you prefer to be a student?
    The teacher?
  • Which lesson outline gives more students the
    opportunity to participate? How so?
  • Which lesson do you think would be harder for the
    teacher to plan? Why?
  • How many minutes of each is learner-centered?
  • What are some of the challenges of using a L-C
    approach? How can you overcome them?

Students Learn Best When
  • they are involved in the design of learning and
    given the chance to make choices.
  • their needs are addressed.
  • a conducive learning environment is established.
  • the course material builds upon what they
    already know.
  • the topic is of direct relevance and utility to
    their lives.
  • the learning process is an active and engaging

8. Preparation is the key.
  • Lesson Planning / Learning Objectives
  • Environment time, materials, space, etc.
  • Evaluation (rubrics) http//rubistar.4teachers.o
  • Academic Calendar
  • Syllabus Design / Curriculum

(No Transcript)
The Three Levels of Planning
  • Program Planning Consists of developing a
    curriculum and content map for the entire year.
  • Unit Planning Medium-range plans corresponding
    to the extension of each learning segment
    considered in the long-term planning.
  • Lesson Planning Daily actions that reflect the
    different parts of the medium-range plans or unit
  • (Cortesão and Torres, 1994)

3 Stages of a Lesson
  • attracts learners attention
  • connects new content to what they already know
  • checks for comprehension
  • asks learners to use new content in context

Good Learning Objectives Should
  • Ask learners to use information/skills theyve
  • Be seeable, hearable, and holdable.
  • Tell specifically what learners will do.
  • Be achievable in one lesson.
  • Describe a result that requires higher level

What grade (A through F) would you give the
following objectives?
  • D (no application)
  • B (connected to real life, requires higher-level
  • C (no connection to a curricular goal)
  • D (too general, not achievable in 1 lesson)
  • A
  • 1. Learners willknow about present-perfect.
  • 2. Predict the training needed for their chosen
  • 3. Take turns while working in groups.
  • 4. speak clearly in perfect English.
  • 5. Write a timeline and use it to tell a story.

Jose Manuels Super Slide
Action Words Related to BT
Which level are these activities?
  • Making a poster
  • Multiple choice quiz
  • Classifying objects
  • Making a list
  • Role-Play
  • Creating a commercial
  • Repeating after the teacher
  • 3 Application
  • 2 Comprehension
  • 4 Analysis
  • 1 Knowledge
  • 3 Application
  • 5 Synthesis
  • 0 - Does not require ANY level of thinking!

The Process of Critical Thinking
Does the lesson plan include
Preparation, presentation and evaluation?
A variety of learner-centered activities?
Creative, higher-level thinking activities?
Activities for students with different learning styles?
I did a good job of
I need to do a better job of
9. Teachers need support from Coordinators and
  • Supervisors need training too (giving/receiving
    feedback, how to conduct classroom observations)
  • Mentoring is about one person helping another to
    achieve something. More specifically, something
    that is important to both of them. It is about
    giving help and support in a non-threatening way,
    in a manner that the recipient will appreciate
    and value and that will empower them to move
    forward with confidence towards what they want to
    achieve. Mentoring is also concerned with
    creating an environment in which one person can
    feel encouraged to discuss their needs and
    circumstances openly and in confidence with
    another person who is in a position to be of
    positive help to them.
  • (Source Pelletier, Carol. A Handbook of
    Techniques and Strategies for Coaching Student
    Teachers. Allyn Bacon, 1995.)

What Are Features of an Effective Supervisor?
  • Clarifies Expectations
  • Non-Judgmental (constructive criticism)
  • Two-Way Communication (dialogue)
  • Assesses Needs
  • Encourages staff to identify their own areas of
  • Links feedback to wider ELT and educational
  • Positively Reinforces Creativity and Best
  • Delegates Responsibility
  • Holds Teachers Accountable
  • Follows up
  • What else??

10. Teachers need support from each other.
  • Sharing (collaboration, best practices)
  • Solidarity (teacher associations)
  • Submissions (FORUM)

Here they are againDaniels Top 10 Guiding
  • Professional development is an ongoing process.
  • Both students AND teachers have to be motivated.
  • Classroom materials have to be relevant and
  • Experiential learning works wonders.
  • Skill development must be integrated.
  • Language Culture
  • Variety is the spice of life!
  • Preparation is the key.
  • Teachers need support from Coordinators and SEP.
  • Teachers need support from each other.
  • Which resonated the most with you?

Some Final Thoughts
  • People who have positive feelings about English,
    and are in a supportive environment, are more
    likely to learn faster.
  • People learn at different rates, but everyone
    must ultimately take responsibility for his/her
    own learning.
  • L1 interference in inevitable, but you are not
    helping your student(s) by speaking to them in
    Spanish. Just make sure to adapt your language to
    their abilities.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher
explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires. William Arthur
It is noble to teach oneself it is still nobler
to teach others. Mark Twain
  • A teacher affects eternity he can never tell
    where his influence stops.
  • - Henry Brooks Adams

  • Harmer, Jerry. The Practice of English Language
    Teaching. Longman, 1988.
  • Larsen-Freeman, Diane. Techniques and Principles
    in Language Teaching. Oxford University Press,
  • Paulston, Christina and Mary Bruder. Teaching
    English as a Second Language Techniques and
    Procedures. University of Pittsburgh, 1976.
  • Teaching and Learning Are Lifelong Journeys, Blue
    Mountain Arts Collection, 1999.
  • Woodward, Tessa. Models and Metaphors in Language
    Teacher Training. Cambridge University Press,

Thank You and Good Luck!
  • Contact Information