Approach, method, technique, design, and procedure are terms often used interchangeably in language teaching, but they have different meanings and roles in language teaching. Understanding these terms and their differences is crucial for language teachers to develop a comprehensive understanding of language teaching methods and methodologies.
An approach is a set of principles and beliefs about the nature of language and language learning that guides the design of language teaching methods and materials. An approach provides the theoretical framework for language teaching and influences the selection of teaching methods, materials, and activities. Examples of language teaching approaches include communicative language teaching, task- based language teaching, and the lexical approach.
A method, on the other hand, is a set of procedures or techniques used to teach a language. A method is a practical application of an approach that includes specific techniques, procedures, and materials to achieve the goals of language teaching. Examples of language teaching methods include grammar- translation, audio-lingual, and direct methods.
Technique refers to a specific activity or exercise that is used to achieve a particular language learning goal. Techniques are the smallest unit of teaching, and they are often used within a method. Examples of language teaching techniques include role-playing, storytelling, and drilling.
Design refers to the overall plan or structure of a language course or syllabus. Design decisions are based on the approach and method chosen and take into account factors such as the learners’ needs, goals, and interests. Design decisions include the choice of materials, sequencing of activities, and assessment strategies.
Procedure refers to the specific steps or stages of a lesson or activity. Procedures are the smallest unit of teaching within a method and are designed to achieve specific language learning objectives. Examples of language teaching procedures include pre-teaching vocabulary, presenting a grammatical structure, and guided practice.
In summary, understanding the differences between approach, method, technique, design, and procedure is crucial for language teachers to develop a comprehensive understanding of language teaching methods and methodologies. Each term plays a different role in language teaching, and a well- designed language course should take all of these factors into account.