Is TEFL (purist) way of doing things relevant to contemporary ESL learning and in particular to learners in Thai schools? Are the methodologies outdated or need to reviewed and do they transfer effectively to a structured English program. Such teaching methods as:
!. Not giving grammar structure rules on the board and making everything a game or activity when the course book you are working with in most schools will state the structure (S + 'to be (past simple) + V + ing) as a way of forming tense which from experience tells us is the most effective way of presenting, practising and producing deep learning in this part of grammar.
2. Another Tefl "rule" being that no teacher should translate or transliterate words when presenting new vocabulary due to the "Primary Language Interference Theory" which is only a theory and has not been truly tested until recently and is now being looked at with some interest. Students are encouraged to use Thai/English dictionaries so why can't the teacher say the Thai word for 'inconvenient' or 'unfortunately' if that word is judged suitable instead of stressing through the planning and delivery of presenting the word. We could argue that this method is lazy on the part of the teacher and it definitely is if the ESL teacher is virtually transliterating the whole lesson or even phrases in Spanish or especially Thai as these do not transfer well and it is lazy and wrong to have the primary language used ( other than the odd one word or short phrase) during second language lesson.
3. "Do not state the object/focus/heading of the lesson just let them find out"? Mainstream teacher training firmly backs and strongly promotes the AFL (Assessment For Learning) approach giving the learners as much of an idea or 'road map of where we are going, why we are going there and what we should find when we get there. Why does this method not transfer to Tefl teaching and learning?
Does a balance need to be found in both mainstream and Tefl, ESL methodologies. From experience of teaching all sectors, levels and age groups it would seem that the drilling of dialogue lines 3 times (TT, TS, ST, SS) is not fun at all for all concerned and mostly not necessary unless we are working with hotels with absolute beginners which it seems the current thinking or methods in Tefl deem it only suitable for these sectors. Again does it transfer effectively to the school or structured (English for Life) program?
Is it for self preservation reasons that current Tefl methods state these rules and promote this 'tunnelled vision" way of looking at teaching and leaning.
Any thoughts, defences, discussions, reasons or anything constructive would be appreciated.
KEEP TEFL OUT OF THE DINOSAUR GRAVE !!!!!