According to Jim Scrivener, the teacher’s main role is to “help learning to happen,” which includes “involving” students in what is going on “by enabling them to work at their own speed, by not giving long explanations, by encouraging them to participate, talk, interact, do things, etc.” Broughton adds that “the language student is best motivated by practice in which he senses the language is truly communicative, that it is appropriate to its context, that his teacher’s skills are moving him forward to a fuller competence in a foreign language”. Briefly put, the students are the most active element in this process. The teacher is here not to explain but to encourage and help students to explore, try out, make learning interesting, etc. Though being essential, the aim of learning a foreign language according to modern methodology is still discussed, and there is a variety of possible aims. In his book Learning Teaching, Jim Scrivener claims, that nowadays a great emphasis is put on “communication of meaning”.
Jack C. Richards also highlights the communicative competence which is, as he defines it, “being able to use the language for meaningful communication” . Thus many professionals refer to this methodology as the Communicative Language approach. Another group of authors headed by Broughton propose a different idea. They point out that foreign languages are taught “not simply for the learner to be able to write to a foreign pen friend” but to broaden his or her horizons by introducing “certain ways of thinking 21 about time, space and quantity [and] attitudes towards” issues we have to face in everyday life. Briefly put, some people learn a foreign language most importantly to be able to communicate with foreign people and other people learn a foreign language above all to see the world from a different point of view, to discover new approaches to life or to find out about other cultures. Since modern methodology is aiming for something different, also the way to achieve the goal has changed.
As pointed out by Jack C. Richards, “attention shifted to the knowledge and skills needed to use grammar and other aspects of language appropriately for different communicative purposes such as making requests, giving advice, making suggestions, describing wishes and needs and so on” (Richards 8). Teachers’ methods, courses, and books had to be adjusted to new needs of the learners to fulfil their expectations. Instead of grammatical competence, communicative competence became the priority. Ronald V. White articulates three principles of modern methodology: firstly, “the primacy of speech”; secondly, an emphasis on “the centrality of connected text as the heart of teaching-learning process”; and thirdly, an “absolute priority of an oral methodology in the classroom” (White 11). Instead of memorizing grammatical rules and isolated vocabulary, modern methodology prefers to present contextualized language and to develop skills. Modern method is “student centered” method based on “help learning to happen”-role, communication, interaction, helping students to explore method.
These days, especially at private schools, we have great possibilities in what a teacher can do with the students, in terms of teaching methods and usage of all optional aids in the classroom. With this freedom in teaching we also have an enormous number of ideas to use. Since the time we spent with our students is very precious, teachers’ crucial task should be: comparing, analyzing and evaluating the methods they use to motivate the students and to make learning as effective as possible. A teacher must be aware of all advantages and disadvantages in using all types of methodologies. There is no one best or worst method or one method simply the best for everything and everybody. The central factor in the choice of methods is the learner’s need and character. A teacher must be a good pedagogy to see and understand all the students’ individual abilities. Some methods work for one person well, but the same one might not work for another person at all. Understanding the student help you choose the way of teaching.
Accessibility to education is one of the main advantages to present day education. In the past education was only for the wealthy. The poor were not given an opportunity to improve their lot in life. Females were also denied an education by virtue of the “fact” they would get married and so an education would be “wasted” on females. Children in most, if not all developing countries have mandatory education for all children, regardless of their abilities .In the past children with special needs were hidden away and forgotten. Society, in general tries to encourage developing nations to provide even basic education for its people. Modern society recognizes the importance of education. Today we realize that an education translates into opportunity and hope for the future. The ability to get an education, to foster creativity and curiosity, to seek answers will allow mankind to continue to grow.
Today we try to encourage all children to reach for their fullest potential. Teachers are better qualified. No longer can a child, barely in their teens, become a teacher. The one room classroom is fortunately a thing of the past. From the last decade the use of high tech equipment in the educational institutions is increased with a rapid rate. Now there are lots of modern gadgets which can be used for improving the teaching in the classroom. The computer, libraries and ready access to information have all contributed to the ability to learn outside of the traditional classroom. On line and distance education have changed the face of what a classroom is. Here is the list of most popular equipments that are used in modern teaching-
Use of computers or laptops with Wi-Fi connection in the classroom- This is the most important tool of modern teaching methods. Teacher demonstrates the subject on his laptop/computer which is connected to the laptops/computers of the students through wi-fi connection. This type of teaching is seen mostly in the higher education institutions which have good infrastructure.
Use of LCD projector in the classroom- Use of LCD screens in the educational institutions is becoming very common nowadays. Teacher prepares the power point slides and which are displayed on the LCD screen with the help of a projector. The projector can also be connected to a laptop/computer for displaying the relevant videos of the subject on the projector.
Use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom- Whiteboards are very interactive and provides the touch control of the computer applications. On whiteboard a teacher or student can draw, write or manipulate images so providing a very interactive and interesting platform. The main advantage of whiteboards is that it can show anything on it which can be seen on the computer. The other less popular modern teaching methods include-
Use of digital games in the classroom
Use of special websites or blogs for teaching in the classrooms
Use of microphones for delivering the lecture in the classroom
Merits of modern teaching methods-
Modern teaching methods have various advantages over traditional teaching methods. These merits can also be viewed as disadvantages of traditional teaching methods-
1) Modern teaching methods create more interest among the students with the help of interesting animations and videos.
2) Research has shown that use of visual media for teaching helps the students to understand the subject better and also helps students to memorize the concept for longer time.
3) With the help of modern teaching methods teacher can cover more syllabus in lesser time as they don’t have to waste their time in writing on the blackboard.
4) Videos and animations used in the modern teaching methods are more explanatory than the traditional blackboard methods.