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Four parts of simplified student-directed EFL methodology

Page history last edited by Nelson Bank 1 year, 9 months ago



Session Title:  Simplified Student-directed Teaching Methodology for Second Languages






In this session we will practice in teacher and student roles the four parts of a simplified student-directed vocabulary-based teaching methodology for English as a Foreign Language (can be applied to many other second-language teaching/learning contexts). The four parts of this teaching methodology are Vocabulary, Pronunciation, Grammar, and Conversation. The Pronunciation section uses sounds from Standard American English; the Grammar section is simplified to Parts of Speech; Simple, Compound, and Complex sentences, and 12 verb tenses. We will go over the grammar items for partial mastery only.

This methodology was developed for Primary (lower Primary and upper Primary), junior high (grades 7 to 9), and high school (grades 10-12).  It can be used in college classes as a standalone method or as a supplement to adopted texts.  For lower Primary grades (1-3) only Part 1 (Vocabulary) is used; for upper Primary (grades 4-6) Vocabulary and Pronunciation are studied; junior high uses Parts 1 and 2, as well as Part 3 - Grammar; and all four parts are practiced in senior high school (grades 10-12).





Target audience:

Target audiences for this session are current English teachers in non-English-speaking countries, and English-teacher trainers.





Week 1:

13-19 Jan. 2019

Week 1 of this session will consist of introductions by session participants, on the EVO web pages, and the simple exercise of choosing ten vocabulary items in participants' L1 and the translation of these items to English. If English is the L1 of a participant, they will choose another proxy language to serve as L1. I will ask participants to make a list of the ten words down the left margin of a blank sheet of paper, in their L1, and translate each word to English, adding those words to a second column next to L1 words. I will explain on our communication platform, Yahoo Group NELCC, that in a classroom situation of their own, with, say, 30 students, each student will choose one word in the L1; students will share their word with the rest of the class so that each student has a list of the whole class's 30-item compiled lexicon.

The second part of the classroom exercises for session participants' students will be to alphabetize the columns, first using L1 and taking the English word with each item, and then alphabetize to another list the words in English, again taking the L1 word along with each word in English. The result will be a simple bilingual micro-dictionary. I will ask session participants to come up with an exercise that they will assign in their classrooms that will lead to the internalization of the words in English. Each session participant will have his/her own vocabulary-learning exercise(s).


Suggested readings:




Week 2: 

20-26 Jan. 2019

Week 2 deals with Pronunciation of the words in English generated by students in Week 1. A simplified phonemic alphabet is introduced consisting of 36 sounds of Standard American English. I will probably record videos of the sounds, a few at a time, on several videos and post them to YouTube and Youku or Tudou for China. The sounds are: /a, ae, e, I, i/; /(aw), (uh), (eu), u, o/; /y, w/; /p, t, k, b, d, g/; /m, n, l, r/; /s, (ch), (sh), z, (j), (zh)/; /f, h, (th-voiceless), v, (ch-German), (th-voiced); /ng, nk/. Sounds in ( ) have their own symbol but I have not included the grapheme here yet. Also in the pronunciation scheme there is a liaison sign which will be an arc with the ends going downward over two vowel phonemes to show a diphthong, and an accent mark to show syllable stress in a word (only main stressed syllable will have an accent mark). So the word 'carbon' will be /kárb(eu)n/.

Then students in the classroom will transcribe the class lexicon into phonemic notation, but session participants will transcribe their ten chosen words in English, into phonemic notation. The transcription is not as cut & dry as it may seem, especially for vowel sounds, e.g. /kárb(eu)n/ or /k(aw)rb(eu)n/.



Week 3: 

27 Jan.-2 Feb. 2019

Week 3, Grammar, is the easiest, as each participant will be assigned one part of the grammar section. The Grammar section will include Parts of Speech – Verb, adverb, noun, adjective, pronoun, conjunction, article, preposition, and interjection; simple, compound, and complex sentences; and 12 verb tenses – simple present, simple past, simple future; present progressive, past progressive, and future progressive; present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect; and present perfect progressive, past perfect progressive, and future perfect progressive. Session participants will each choose one of the above parts of grammar, and write up a short explanation and a sentence containing it.  So there will be about 24 different report topics.



Suggested reading:




Week 4:

3-9 Feb. 2019

Conversation:  Session attendees will write dialogs in English which might approximate conversations that their students will engage in using class-generated lexicon, learned Pronunciation, and learned Grammar.


Week 5: 

10-16 Feb. 2019

Catch up for Weeks 1-4. Comments from participants about the session, with suggestions for improvement.







Name (last, first)

Email address

Location (country of residence)

Biodata (not more than 50 words)  


BANK, Nelson 



b. St. Louis MO, grew up in Mexico City, primary Lycèe Franco Mexicain, high school American School, BA Philosophy University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, MA Linguistics University of Texas at El Paso 2009

Teach high-school Spanish Texas, EFL Mexico and China






















Comments (1)

Siroj Qudratov said

at 12:05 pm on Nov 8, 2018


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