New methods of teaching English in the modern classroom

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №10 - 2018

Author: Maznitsyna Natalya, Secondary school 137, Kazakhstan

While traditional methodologies such as the audio lingual and direct methods still offer useful elements, they’re clearly outdated in the modern classroom.

As we know that methodological approach in teaching foreign languages may be divided into three groups. They are passive methods, active methods and interactive methods.

If we speak here in the first place about the passive methods, it should be noted that in passive methods a teacher is in the center of teaching. He plays active role but the learners are passive. Control can be carried out by the way of questions, individual and control work, tests etc. In active methods learners are also active. Their role and activity is equal in the process of interaction. Learners may ask questions; express their ideas with a teacher. The last but it is in the first nowadays interactive method or approach is a modernized form of active methods. Interactive methods are the methods that involve co-education, i.e. collaborative learning: students and teacher are the subjects of learning [1; 14]. The main distinguishing feature of interactive teaching methods is an initiative of students in the learning process, which is stimulated by teacher from the position of assistant partner [2; 48].

Within the lesson of a foreign language, teachers use the following interactive methods and techniques:

Brainstorming; conferences / discussions; cluster; role-playing / business games; multimedia learning; business game; carousel; aquarium; the concept wheel; Brownian motion; decision tree; receiving a mental (intellectual) card; debates; jigsaw; cinquain; case-study; thick and thin questions; circles on the water; zigzag; case, mincer, basket; reasoned letter.

Brainstorming. It is technique for generating new ideas on a topic. This method stimulates creative activity of the learners in solving problems and expresses their ideas quickly. Teacher should listen to all utterances and not criticize them. Instead of this he inspires the learners to give as many variants of solving the problem as he (or she) can. At the end of brainstorming activity all the expressed utterances are written and then analyzed. Therefore, one of the main conditions of brainstorming is avoidance of criticism [2].

Icebreaker. This technique is used to create comfortable and friendly relationship between learners at the beginning of the lesson. The purpose is to remove communicational ,barrier and overcome some difficulties in communication.

Discussion. This type of interactive method requires studying teaching material on the theme before starting discussion. After having learnt the lexical-grammatical material on the theme the learners may start discussion. This method helps the learners consistently and logically expresses their ideas by presenting grounds for their utterances. The learners work in small groups and this improves their activity because every member of the group may express his/her ideas and takes part in the discussion.

Cluster/ mental map. Cluster can be used in all stages of teaching English to both young and aged learners. In presenting new words a teacher writes a new word on the blackboard. And then learners tell the words that can be used together with the given word. This method involves all the learners into active work and forms of motivation.

In a mental map the teacher clearly sets out the problem or issue that needs to be addressed. Such cards are diagrams, that represent various ideas, tasks, theses connected with each other and about the card allows us to cover the whole situation as well as keep a lot of information in the mind simultaneously in order to find the links between the individual sites, the missing elements, remember the information and be able to reproduce it even after a long time [1; 16].

Role playing. Role playing involves the learners into active work by positively influencing on their inner activity. This creates favorable conditions for cooperative work. Such atmosphere creates their motivation, personal potentials of inner activity and helps to form practical skills and habits.

Multimedia learning. This is the next innovative method. It is the combination of various media types as text, audio and video materials by the help of which teacher present information to the learners. By using information technology as an innovative teaching and learning strategy in a problem based learning teacher tries to motivate learners to active knowledge through real life problems.

Business games unlike other traditional teaching methods allow you to reproduce the situation more fully, to identify problems and their causes, to develop solutions to the problems, to evaluate each of them, to make a decision, and to determine the mechanism for its implementation.

Carpet of ideas is one of the methods of solving problems. It takes place in three stages. Students are divided into 3-4 groups. The first stage understands the problem. Participants are invited to answer the question why there is such a problem.

The group writes the answer on sheets of colored papers and then hangs on the poster "Carpet of Ideas. The second stage is the search for solutions. What can be changed? Each group offers its answers and writes them on sheets of colored paper.

The third stage is the individualization of activity. What I personally do to change the existing situation. The fourth stage is the evaluation of ideas. Individual decision making: what I can do to solve the problem and what I will try to do.

Carousel is an interactive method of work, in the process of which two rings are formed: internal and external. The inner ring is formed by the students sitting motionless, and in the outer ring the pupils change every 30 seconds. Thus, they manage to say a few topics in a few minutes and try to convince them that they are right.

Aquarium is a performance where the spectators act as observers, experts, critics and analysts. Several students play the situation in the circle, while the others observe and analyze it.

Brownian movement approach assumes the movement of students in the class with the purpose of collecting information on the proposed topic while working on the grammatical constructions studied. Each participant receives a list of questions-quests: «Interview your group-mates what subculture they belong to or share ideas with» or «Who can help teenagers cope with their problems?" The teacher helps formulate questions and answers and ensures that the interaction is conducted in English.

Jigsaw. Students are grouped in groups of 4–6 people to work on educational material, which is divided into logical and semantic blocks. The whole team can work on the same material, but each member of the group gets a topic that he develops especially carefully and becomes an expert in it. Meetings of experts from different groups are held, and then each one reports in his group about the work done. The students are interested in ensuring that their comrades conscientiously fulfill their task, this may affect the overall final evaluation. Reports on the whole topic are given to each student individually and the entire team as a whole. At the final stage, the teacher can ask any student in the group a question about the topic.

A cinquain is a specific type of poem. It has five lines, but they do not rhyme. Each line has a set number of syllables:

Line 1 - One word, also the title;

Line 2 - Two adjectives that describe the word in line one;

Line 3 - Three words that give more information about the subject;

Line 4 - Four words that show emotion about the subject - individual words or a phrase / sentence;

Line 5 - Synonym of the title or a word very similar to it.

A cinquain typically has vivid imagery and is an attempt to express a specific mood or emotion.

A decision tree is a decision support tool that uses a tree-like model of decisions and their possible consequences, including chance event outcomes, resource costs, and utility. It is one way to display an algorithm that only contains conditional control statements [4; 42].

For such techniques as Bloom`s Cube learners will need an ordinary paper cube, on the sides of which it is written: - Name it. -Why. –Explain. –Suggest. Think of it.

- Share. At the first stage the theme of the lesson is formulated. The theme should be closely connected with the questions to be answered. At the second stage the teacher throws the cube. The dropped face will indicate: what type of question should be asked. It is more convenient to be guided by the word on the verge of a cube - the question should begin with it.

Case-study is training specific situation specially developed on the basis of factual data for subsequent analysis in the classroom. In the case study students learn to work in «a team», to analyze and to make management decisions. A case is a complex phenomenon and it should contain the most realistic picture and the specific facts and have a stable set of characteristics. Each case should include the following aspects: the problem, conflict, role, event, and activity, temporal, and spatial. The students’ task is to understand the proposed situation, a description of which reflects not only the practical problem, but also updated previously digested complex knowledge, articulates and characterizes the problem and develops an algorithm of activity that leads to the problem solution.

Thick and Thin Questions. Thick questions begin with: Why...How come...I wonder...What would happen If..? Learners could not answer that question with one word. The answers are long and involved and need to be researched. These are so called Special questions. Thin questions can be answered with a number or a simple Yes, or No fall in this category. These are so called General questions.

The concept wheel can be effectively used at the challenge stage. Students need to choose synonyms for the word located at the center of the conceptual wheel and write the sectors of the wheel.

Circles on the water. This method is a universal mean to activate the knowledge of students and their speech at the beginning of the lesson. The main word may be connected with study, concept or phenomenon. This word is written in a column and for each letter can be selected nouns, verbs, adjectives or phrasal verbs [3; 17].

Zigzag. This technique is used when it is necessary to work with a lot of information at the lesson. At the first stage the class is divided into equal parts and each learner receives his or her special task. Each learner works with his or her individual task. At the next stage learners with the same tasks are formed into groups, discuss their tasks and choose the best one. At the third stage they go back into their first groups and present their parts of the work in a better way. During the last stage each member presents his or her abstract one by one forming the whole text or paragraph.

Case, Mincer, Basket. This technique is used at the end of the lesson at the stage of reflection. Learners must choose one of three things. Learners can decide what they will do with information given at the lesson. Case means that everything can be used by learners in future. Mincer must be chosen by learners if they want to repeat information once more. Basket means that all information should be thrown into the basket.

Reasoned letter. This technique is also used at the end of the lesson at the stage of reflection. Within a few minutes learners express their own thoughts on the topic or may give advice to the hero in any form [5; 8].

Table 1. Analysis of effectiveness of strategies used in the implementation of interactive learning

Table 2. Analysis of effectiveness of strategies used during the stages of the lesson

Figure 1. Dynamics of productivity of training of students of a Municipal Public Institution «a multidisciplinary middle school ¹37» in grades 6-8 of academic years 2015-2018

Each teacher is able to come up with and implement in the educational process effective methods and methods of organizing speech interaction of students in a foreign language lesson. Many of these techniques I use in my lessons.

It should be noted that all interactive methods and techniques

• to make knowledge more accessible;

• to learn how to formulate their own opinion, to express their thoughts correctly, to build evidence of their point of view, to be able to argue their point of view, to lead the discussion;

• to learn how to listen to the other person, to respect an alternative view;

• to simulate different situations and resolve them jointly, to enrich their life experience;

• to learn how to build a constructive relationship in the group, to determine their place in it, to avoid conflict, to resolve them, to reach compromise, to seek to the dialogue;

• to analyze accounting information, to take an imaginative approach to the educational process;

In conclusion the using of different types of interactive teaching methods to improve training of future education specialists contributes to the formation of high-quality specialist, able to quickly and correctly make decisions in difficult situations, as well as independence, initiative and competitive at the labor market.


1. Diller, Karl Conrad (2005). The Language Teaching Controversy. Rowley, Massachusetts: Newbury House. ISBN 912066–22–9. §11

2. Dzhumatayeva A.D. Using of interactive teaching methods for the development of self-dependence of students //Teacher of the Republic, 2006.

3. Fries Ch. C. Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language. Ann Arbor, 1947.

4. Kaikenova K. Interactive forms and methods of training of civil servants: Textbook. Astana, 2008.

5. Littlewood. W. Communicative Language Teaching. An Introduction. Cambridge. CUP. 1981.

6. Palmer H. Scientific Study and Teaching of Languages. London, 1922.

7. Richards G. C. and Rodgers Th. S. Approaches and Methods in Language teaching. USA, 1993.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №10 - 2018

About journal
About KAFU

   © 2022 - KAFU Academic Journal