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Methodology topic

(for American major students receiving a teacher's degree)

  1. Communicative language teaching
    1. There is no one to one correspondence between form and function. Explain what it means and give an example.
    2. List the five most important characteristics of the Communicative Approach.
    3. Give a definition of "accuracy" and "fluency". What is their significance within a communicative framework?
    Reading
    • Thompson, G. (1996) Some misconceptions about communicative language teaching. ELTJ Vol. 50/1 January 1996
    • Nunan, D. (1987) Communicative Language Teaching: Making it work. ELTJ Vol. 41/2, April 1987
    • Doggett, G. (1986) Eight approaches to language teaching, based on Larsen-Freeman, D. (1986) Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching, OUP Oxford
  2. Coursebooks and Syllabuses
    1. What is a multi-dimensional syllabus?
    2. Write 5 questions you would want to ask yourself before you choose a coursebook for a particular group of students
    3. What is the difference between a functional syllabus and a structural one?
    Reading
    • Grant, N. (1990) Making the Most of your Textbook. Longman.
    • Chapter 1: Students, teachers and textbooks. pp. 10-18; Chapter 9: Choosing and evaluating textbooks. pp. 118-129.
    • Ur, P. (1996) A Course in Language Teaching. CUP. Module 12: The syllabus pp.176-179.
  3. Class management
    1. List some problems which may emerge during pairwork and groupwork. Give ideas for prompting/dealing with each one.
    2. Give some examples to show how class management and discipline problems may be related.
    3. List a number of possibilities for a teacher to ensure that the students understand her instructions (e.g. when setting up an activity).
    Reading
    • Gower, R. and Walter, S. (1983) Teaching Practice Handbook. Chapter 3: Classroom management. pp. 31-35.
    • Townsend, B., Coping with difficult students. PET
    • Paine, M., Groupwork: guidelines for success. MET
  4. Evaluation and assessment
    1. What are your main considerations when you prepare a classroom test? List at least 4 criteria you would use to check the test before giving it to the students.
    2. What is the difference between a norm-referenced and a criterion-referenced testing?
    3. What is the ideal relationship between testing and teaching?
    Reading
    • Ur, P. (1996) A Course in Language Teaching. CUP. Module 3: Tests. pp. 33-42, Module 17: Giving Feedback. pp. 242-253.
    • Hughes, A. (1989) Testing for Language Teachers. CUP. pp. 1-6, 9-22.
  5. Developing listening skills
    1. What are authentic materials? What justifies their inclusion in the teaching programme even at early levels? What are some of the disadvantages?
    2. List at least three arguments against the following statement: "Listening is a passive skill."
    3. What is the difference between extensive and intensive listening?
    Reading
    • Ur, P. (1996) A Course in Language Teaching. Part III, Module 8, pp. 103-120, CUP, Cambridge.
    • Underwood, M. (1989) Teaching Listening Comprehension. Part 2. pp. 30-93. CUP, Cambridge.
    • Sheerin, S. (1987) Listening comprehension: teaching or testing? ELTJ Vol. 41/2, April 1987
  6. Developing reading skills
    1. Give three different techniques for students to predict what a reading passage is about.
    2. Explain the difference between skimming and scanning.
    3. Give a list (5 items) of difficulties Hungarian students cope with in reading English.
    Reading
    • Grellet, F. (1981) Developing Reading Skills CUP pp.3-26
    • Harmer, J. (1998) The Practice of English Language Teaching Longman Chapter 10.1-10.4
    • Ur, P. (1996) A Course in Language Teaching CUP Module 10: Teaching reading pp.141-158
  7. Developing Speaking Skills
    1. In what ways does a teacher need to prepare students for a free speaking activity?
    2. A student makes the same mistake several times during a free speaking groupwork activity. What would you do and why?
    3. List some steps you might take to encourage a `silentí class to begin speaking in English.
    Reading
    • Blair-Kerr, H. (1993) Developing Communication Strategies Practical English Teaching March 1993 TL 16/16
    • Scott, W. A. & Ytreberg , L.H. (1990) Teaching English to Children Longman. pp. 33-49
    • Ur, P. (1996) A Course in Language Teaching CUP Module 9: Teaching Speaking pp.120-137
  8. Developing Writing Skills
    1. Briefly describe a communicative writing activity and state what makes it communicative.
    2. Describe the phases of the writing process.
    3. Describe the difference between the teacherís reaction to learner mistakes in (a) a grammar activity in the workbook; (b) a composition about some personal experience.
    Reading
    • Hedge, T. (1988) Writing OUP. pp.5-15, 19-26, 89-101, 145-153, 161-165
    • Ur, P. (1996) A Course in Language Teaching CUP Module 11: Teaching Writing pp. 159-174
  9. Focus on Structures
    1. What can make a grammar point difficult for learners? List at least 3 factors.
    2. List the steps of a possible procedure for presenting a new structure?
    3. What is meant by discovery techniques?
    Reading
    • Bolitho, R. and Tomlinson B. (1980) Discover English. Introduction. pp.1-2.
    • Harmer, J. (1991) The Practice of English Language Teaching. Longman,
    • Chapter 6: Introducing new language structures. pp 56-91.
    • Scrivener,J. (1994) Learning Teaching. Heinemann, Working with Language (pp.114-138.)
    • Ur, P. (1998) A Course in Language Teaching, Module 6: Teaching Grammar, pp. 75-89.
  10. Focus on Vocabulary
    1. What does mastery of a vocabulary item mean? List the six most important aspects.
    2. List the advantages and disadvantages of asking students to translate words between L1 and L2.
    3. There is an inevitable difference between the students' passive and active vocabulary. List 3 implications for teaching.
    Reading
    • Scrivener, J. (1994) Learning Teaching. Heinemann
    • Chapter 7. pp. 73-92.
    • Ellis, G. and Sinclair, B. (1989) Learning to Learn English. CUP.
    • Student's Book pp. 28-29, Teacher's Book pp. 63-65
    • Ur, P. (1998) A Course in Language Teaching, Module 5: Teaching Vocabulary, pp. 60-74.
  11. Working on Pronunciation
    1. Argue for or against the teaching of the phonetic transcription (a) in a primary school class of 9-10-year olds (b) in a secondary school class of 14-year olds.
    2. Your students have difficulty in pronouncing the word thermodynamics. They mispronounce the th and the y and they put the stress on the wrong syllable. What procedure do you follow to correct the mistakes?
    3. What is (a) backchaining; (b) a minimal pair drill; (c) a recognition test?
    Reading
    • Gower & Walters (1983) Teaching Practice Handbook Heinemann pp. 164-168
    • Lewis & Hill (1992) Practical Techniques for Language Teaching LTP Chapter 6
    • Harmer, J. (1991) The Practice of English Language Teaching Longman pp. 21-22
  12. Course and Lesson Planning
    1. What is the difference between overall lesson objectives and stage aims?
    2. What are the main components of a lesson plan?
    3. Give three different types of homework and for each one say how it can be linked to what happens in the classroom.
    Reading
    • Scott, A. W. & Ytreberg, L. H. (1990) Teaching English to Children Longman Chapter 8 pp. 97-107
    • Harmer, J.(1991)The Practice of Language Teaching. (2nd ed) Longman. Chapter 5. Teaching the Productive Skills. pp. 30-38, Chapter 12. Planning pp. 256-276.
    • Scrivener, J. (1994) Learning Teaching. Heinemann. Chapter 4. Activities and lessons. pp. 30-38, Chapter 5. Planning. pp. 44-59
    • Ur, P. (1996) A Course in Language Teaching. CUP. Module 1: Effective presentations pp. 11-18., Module 15: Planning lessons pp. 213-227.

last edited on Thu Mar 20 10:15:52 CET 2003, by peter.szigetvari@elte.hu