When I was on the outside looking in, I don’t know if I fully appreciated just how much a true educator puts into their work. I wasn’t one with the mindset of “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” However, I didn’t understand or appreciate the level of dedication it takes to instill knowledge in others. Here, I’ll attempt to highlight deeper aspects of teaching that others on the outside might not realize.
Today, I decided to highlight framework. Framework is the way of approaching a language lesson. There are frameworks for skills lessons too, such as the receptive skills procedure, or the process and product writing approaches. Here, I wanted to talk about vocabulary, functional language, and grammar. One thing to note is that many teachers use a variety of frameworks and many of them are very similar. The following are a few I use fairly often or even mixed together.
PPP (Presentation – Practice – Production) This is one that many teachers are most familiar with. Of the widely-used approaches this has been around the longest. At its core, language is presented, students practice it, and then produce it. The target language is pre-selected by the teacher, syllabus, or book. Basically, it assumes that the language isn’t known by the students at their current level.
TTT (Test – Teach – Test) This is similar to PPP but with the key difference that the students’ knowledge is tested first. The benefit of this is that, after testing, the teacher can focus on the language that the learners don’t know. This approach is also more student driven than PPP because in the beginning it involves students working together. and perhaps even peer-teaching.
Task-Based Learning (weak and strong end) Currently, TBL is very popular among many teachers. The main difference between the weak and strong end TBL styles of teaching is the location of language focus (early and late). While it shares a lot of similarities with other frameworks, the essential difference is that students are focused on completing a task and achieving an outcome. Basically, the premise is that students are already capable of doing the task but after providing some necessary vocabulary and a native-speaker model, we can help them to do this task better.
These are by no means all of the frameworks, these are just a handful but I think it helps highlight just how many different ways we, as teachers, go about instructing students and how diverse we have to be in a classroom setting with different learning styles.