The Benefits and Challenges of Tesol Methodology

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“This is NOT A LECTURE COURSE. It is an intensive, hands-on, interactive program filled with practice sessions. We specialize in practical methodology and NOT theory. Sessions are enthusiastic, dynamic, energetic and filled with humour.” (CIE Website, 2007) These are the interest-arousing words of Harry Cotton found printed on the CIE website. Dr. Cotton is a pioneer in the field of advanced TESOL methodology and language acquisition. The techniques taught in the CIE TESOL course are based on his research into language acquisition methodology and represents the methods that are proven and field tested during his 45 years of teaching experience. Why would an English teacher or a would-be English teacher be interested in the CIE TESOL methodology? “This is because the English language teaching tradition has been subjected to a tremendous change, especially throughout the twentieth century. Perhaps more than any other discipline, this tradition has been practised, in various adaptations, in language classrooms all around the world for centuries. While the teaching of Maths or Physics, that is, the methodology of teaching Maths or Physics, has, to a greater or lesser extent, remained the same, this is hardly the case with English or language teaching in general.” (Thanasoulas, 2002) But why learn TESOL methods from Canadian Institute of English? This is because the Canadian Institute of English has been the fore runner in establishing and redefining the teaching methodologies. Their dynamic and versatile methodology reflects that. And there is a serious need for TESOL methods which are purposeful. Why?

According to Morehouse (2007), Director of Teach International, an Australian company offering TESOL courses, “English is considered the global language for business and technology. It is the most studied second language in the world (about 418 million people study English!). Indeed, the demand for English teachers around the world is unprecedented. Globalisation of business, travel and tourism, the internet, entertainment, and academic education means that the need for people everywhere to speak English has never been greater.”

Over the last decade, the demand for qualified English teachers has risen. Most employers now seek out people who have completed at least some basic training in teaching English and people who have an understanding of what is required once they enter the classroom.

Can Harry Cotton's intensive, hands-on, interactive program effectively equip a teacher with practical skills to be a first-class teacher? Can the CIE TESOL techniques be effectively employed to assist students learn a language? I am convinced that the answer is a resounding 'YES' on both counts. In fact, I believe that possessing a CIE TESOL certificate will definitely open the door to countless teaching opportunities, such as teaching in language schools, government schools, in-company classes and private tuition.

In this paper, I will examine 3 CIE TESOL methods and investigate their benefits and implementation challenges.

CHAPTER 1: Communicative Approach: Featuring the “Biological Database”


“Where does communicative language teaching come from? Its origins are many, insofar as one teaching methodology tends to influence the next. The communicative approach could be said to be the product of educators and linguists who had grown dissatisfied with the audio lingual and grammar-translation methods of foreign language instruction. They felt that students were not learning enough realistic, whole language. They did not know how to communicate using appropriate social language, gestures, or expressions; in brief, they were at a loss to communicate in the culture of the language studied. Interest in and development of communicative-style teaching mushroomed in the 1970s; authentic language use and classroom exchanges where students engaged in real communication with one another became quite popular.

In the...
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