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Title: Learning and Teaching English
Posted By: Natalie Aoun
Date Posted: 30/07/2010

To our readers,

This is a short article focusing briefly on teaching styles, the stages of teaching together with some useful teaching tips and ending with a basic explanation of what learning entails.

To learn English is to…
actively make a decision to acquire
new skills, knowledge, values,
preferences or understanding
When learning English…
  • It is initially a rote-learning process of absorbing
    knowledge, which is then selected, applied, analysed,
    synthesised & evaluated, leading to deep internalised learning.
  • Due to the gap in output between what you want to say
    and what you can say, trial and error is necessary to
    test and replace incorrect hypotheses through production
    output & error correction.
By learning English…
  • You allow yourself to be exposed to
    new cultures,behaviours, and mind frames
  • You permit your short-term memory
    to beginprocessing information
After learning English…
  • Learning enters the long-term memory following
    habitual practice.
  • A constructivist stage is reached through personal
    self-initiated assessment and repair
  • Automised knowledge, communication, and interaction
    takes precedence
  • A modified learning environment is entered, to
    maintain the learning process
When teaching English…
  • teachers motivate, guide, and positively
    reinforce the learning.
  • teachers help learners to succeed in
    achieving a goal.
  • teachers enhance learners’ critical
By teaching English…
  • teachers, as facilitators, guide learners through the
    process of absorbing language whilst taking into consideration
    learner backgrounds and interests
  • teachers have the opportunity to diagnose and correct learner
    errors through teacher-initiated corrections and feedback,
    and assess learners’ progress holistically
After teaching English…
  • teachers feel satisfaction in knowing
    that they have equipped learners with a
    vast range of skills, and
To teach English is to…
  • Expose learners to the language, literature,
    and cultural diversity of Britain
  • Stimulate learners’ senses and utilise
    their individual talents using
    multiple intelligences theory


Teachers should employ a variety of the following teaching styles:

  • Nurturing: Teachers focus on the interpersonal elements of learners’ learning by listening, getting to know them, and responding to their emotional and intellectual needs
  • Social Reform: Teachers tend to relate ideas explicitly to the lives of the learners
  • Apprenticeship: Teachers provide learners with authentic tasks in real work settings
  • Developmental: Teachers value learners prior knowledge and utilise this so as to develop increasingly complex ways of reasoning and problem solving
  • Transmission: Teachers focus on content and determine what learners should learn and how they should learn it; feedback is a direct result of learners errors


  • Teachers should endeavour to develop learners raised awareness concerning multiple meanings and interpretations of common vocabulary and concepts.
  • e.g the verb “take” in English has 42 separate meanings, 12 idiomatic expressions, and 14 phrasal verbs, as well as a plethora of collocations, compounds, and derivatives!
  • Teachers ought to attempt to make their lessons as interesting as possible – teaching through systematic storytelling can help contextualise isolated linguistic terms from textbooks and make them more meaningful, as well as providing learners with an opportunity to experience how language is used in its natural context – learners dashing off in the midst of a dull lesson must be avoided at all costs!

And here is a thought for all you teachers out there:


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