According to J. Scrievener, 2005, the modern teacher’s main role is to help students learn, by enabling them to work at their own pace, by giving short explanations and by encouraging them to actively participate, talk, interact and do things, during lessons. So, students are the most active in this process and they explore, try out, make learning interesting, with the help of their teacher. The development of society, over the past decades, has had a strong influence on teaching methods, which have changed, in order to reflect a better understanding of the children’s psychology, while dealing with and accepting the technological discoveries.
Some examples of teaching methods used by modern teachers, nowadays, may include:
1. Various approaches are used nowadays in the modern school, with the main purpose to create a relaxed atmosphere in class and to make lessons seem shorter and more interesting, with the use of: storytelling, games, presentations, individual assignments, group work, etc. These activities increase students’ attention span and give individual the opportunity to learn English by using his/her skills and talents. For example, students who are good orators are also remarkable storytellers, the team-leader type are remarkable at games, while introverts prefer individual assignments.
2. New technological devices, such as smart phones, speakers, online videos, interactive whiteboards, projectors, educational software, CD players, PCs are used in schools with the purpose of enhancing, developing and updating the learning process. This method can be a subject of debate due to its disadvantages, such as distraction of students, over-use of modern technology, less use of handwriting and paper-back books, on the one hand and to its advantages, such as: the possibility for parents to check their children’s grades online and the large variety of activities, to be done, in a short period of time.
3. Active learning is a method that encourages students to think for themselves, talk to each other and share the acquired information, through peer instruction, discussion groups and finding solutions to problems by collaborating. Although some teachers might argue that this method can create chaos in class, due to the fact that students can get very loud and might disobey them, others consider it a beneficent innovation for students, who can learn better and get inspired for future education.
4. A desire method consists in formulating the introduction of lessons in such way, that the students should be able to acknowledge what they can gain from the content of a lesson and therefore be more willing to listen to the teacher.
5. VAK teaching is a method that describes learners’ styles as visual, auditory or kinesthetic, also known as VAKT (visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile). The people with a visual learning style can efficiently process information in a visual form; the ones with an auditory learning style understand things while listening and the people with a kinesthetic/ tactile learning style learn best through touching and movement. Characteristics of auditory learners include: talking to oneself, moving one’s lips and reading out loud, possible difficulties with tasks that involve reading and writing; visual learners fall under two categories: visual-linguistic, with a preference for written language tasks, that involve reading and writing and visual-spatial, who prefer using videos, charts and other visual materials, in the process of learning, while kinesthetic/ tactile learners prefer touching things and moving around, during a lesson and easily lose their concentration if they are involved in tasks that stimulate their learning style.
Modern Pedagogy has had to keep up with the modern fast developing society and world, so changes had to be made in order to improve the process of teaching and learning English. Here are some examples of Modern Learning Strategies:
1. Crossover Learning takes place in informal places (museums, trips, school clubs, etc) and addresses the learners’ day-to-day interests, through connections that work both ways.
2. Context-Based Learning happens while visiting a place or reading a book, due to a context, which is not limited in the space and time of a classroom, so learners are able to create a context, by having contact with the surrounding environment, by having conversations, by writing down things and by bring changes to objects nearby.
3. Incidental Learning happens without intention or a plan and does not involve a teacher, but it can be quite useful when learning a foreign language, because it is linked with the use of mobile devices, in daily activities, by students, who can, later, use the unintentionally acquired knowledge in class.
4. Adaptive Teaching is a strategy that uses information about each student’s past and present learning, in order to personalize the learning content and can be used in classroom activities or in online lessons, offering learners control over their study pace.
5. Learning through Argumentation gives students the opportunity to compare and contrast their ideas with their peers, helping individual deepen their learning. Thus, teachers can start important debates in classrooms, in which students are encouraged to ask questions with an open end and to make remarks, using specific language or vocabulary, with the purpose of learning how to wait for their turn, how to listen actively and how to give constructive answers to other people.