238- Approaches to ELT


Aims of the course: 

This course aims to make the students familiar with the following:

  • Basic theories of learning and language learning
  • Approaches to language teaching and learning
  • Approaches to curriculum and syllabus design in English language teaching
  •  English language teaching methodologies (both classical and new)
  • Theories behind English language teaching methodologies


Course Materials:

Brown, H.D. (2000) Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (1986) Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching.  Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

Richards, J.C & T.S. Rodgers (1986). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP.

Selected articles and chapters from various books.


All students are expected to read the assigned materials before each week’s session in order to join the class discussions. You will find a reflection form of 2 pages attached to the course outline. Please have 9 copies of the form for yourselves. You will be asked to fill in those forms for each method before it is discussed in class. Make sure that you submit your reflection forms after each session that involves the discussion of a method.

Groups of students (4 - 5) will be assigned to demonstrate the 9 methods that will be covered in class within 20 minutes. The presentations will be of an interactive nature and will follow the principles outlined in Larsen-Freeman. 

            The students will work in groups of 4 in order to create their own ELT method using the language teaching theories, approaches and methods. The groups should state the principles, techniques, teacher and student roles, materials and syllabus of their method. All of the groups will present their work in a poster in the last class meeting.

            You will be asked to write a review on an article/a chapter in the course pack; an outline for the reviews will be submitted later.

Active student participation is essential in every phase of this course.


Weekly schedule:


Content (Chapters to be covered)

Week I

Feb. 26

Introduction to the course

An overview of language teaching (past and present)

Week 2

March 5

Approach, Method and Technique/ The nature of approaches and methods in FLT (R&R)

Week 3

March 12

Schools of Thought in SLA  (Brown, Ch. 1)

Method: Grammar- Translation Method (GTM)

Week 4

March 19

Theories of First Language Acquisition (Brown Ch. 2)

Method: The Direct Method

Week 5

March 26

Age and Acquisition (Brown Ch. 3)

Method: Audio-Lingual Method (ALM)

Week 6

April 2

Theories of Human Learning

Method: Community Language Learning (CLL)

Week 7

April 9

Methods: Suggestopedia

The Silent Way

Total Physical Response (TPR)

Week 8

April 16


Week 9

April 23

National Holiday

Week 10

April 30

Krashen’s Influence on SLA

Method: The Natural Approach

Week 11

May 7

Styles and Strategies (Brown Ch. 5)

Personality Factors (Brown Ch. 6)

Week 12

May 14

Sociocultural Factors in FLL (Brown Ch.7)

Communicative competence; Brown Ch. 9

Method: Communicative Language Teaching or The Communicative Approach (CA)

Week 13

May 21

The weakness of CA

Some other approaches: Lexical Approach, Content-based Language Teaching, Task-based Language Teaching

Eclecticism in Foreign LT

Week 14

May 28

Projects to be presented


Evaluation & Grading:

a.       Mid-Term                                                         30%

b.       Presentation of Methods                                   10%

c.       Project (Designing an ELT Method)                   10%

d.       Final Exam                                                        30 %

e.       Article Review                                                  10%

f.       Reflection forms                                               10%