I’m sure I saw Scott Thornbury once talking about an EFL teacher that had told him, “I don’t need any of this new stuff in my class. I’m completely happy with my TEFL methodology”
It’s an interesting point, isn’t it? Of course, there’s the old adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. If you’ve got a class full of happy, talking students and they are passing their exams (if relevant to your situation), do you really have to be trying to incorporate new ideas into every lesson?
I quite like to use video in and out of class (in a Connected Classroom Russell Stannard kinda ‘video for homework’ way) and I do take an interest in techy stuff that can be found on tefltecher, Nik Peachey and teachertrainingvideos.com. But I can take it or leave it – I pick the stuff I like and leave the rest. Of course, this is only looking at the technological side of things and barely considering the tip of the iceberg re different methodologies/theories/thinking that I could bring to my lessons.
I saw this infographic below about the effectiveness of computer games in TEFL and it made me wonder… I have never been into computer games and wouldn’t know the first thing about utilising them in a lesson. Surely any attempt to do so would end up in me looking like an old fart. Yes, I know that I could get all TEFLy and get the students to collaboratively decide on how to use games in class – but would my class of A1 pensioners really be into that?? It almost blew their minds when I showed up with a laptop with a video lesson.
We cannot teach the whole aspect of language – we are not the parents of our students – so there is always some degree of selection going on in terms of content and the way it is presented.
1. Is it a TEFL crime to say, “I’m happy with the way I teach”… at least for the moment – maybe I’ll have another look again in 3 months time! 🙂
2. Is there any proof that integrating a new approach in class and putting students outside of their comfort zone will improve their L2 output?
3. When your feedback and student results are great, do you have to keep changing (your methodology) for change’s sake? Does that make you a better teacher?
4. More importantly, does trying out ‘new stuff’ in class (that you’re probably not expertly accustomed to) provide improved learner outcomes?
I don’t know – I’m asking!