What is the best teaching method for learning English?
According to academic research, linguists have demonstrated that there is not one single best method for everyone in all contexts, and that no one teaching method is inherently superior to the others.
Also, it is not always possible - or appropriate - to apply the same methodology to all learners, who have different objectives, environments and learning needs.
"Applying the most appropriate method for that learner's specific objectives, learning style and context."
An experienced professional language teacher always adopts the Principled Eclecticism approach, deciding on the most suitable techniques and applying the most appropriate methodology for that learner's specific objectives, learning style and context.
Methods of teaching English have developed rapidly, especially in the previous 40 years. It is important that language learners and training managers, as well as teachers, understand the various methods and techniques so you are able to navigate the market, make educated choices, and boost your enjoyment of learning a language.
Each teaching method is based on a particular vision of understanding the language or the learning process, often using specific techniques and materials used in a set sequence. The main methodologies are listed below in the chronological order of their development:
- Grammar Translation - the classical method
- Direct Method - discovering the importance of speaking
- Audio-lingualism - the first modern methodology
- Humanistic Teaching Approaches - a range of new holistic methods applied to language learning
- Communicative Language Teaching - the modern standard method
- Principled eclecticism - fitting the method to the learner, not the learner to the method
Each of the methods above is summarized individually on a separate page, including an overview of the various methods grouped under the category Humanistic Teaching Approaches and an explanation of the most common method currently - Communicative Language Teaching.
The final section on Principled Eclecticism includes a useful ten-point guide for teachers and language students on the best teaching and learning techniques.