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… Communicative, Interactive and Student-Centered…

THE TEACHING METHODS WE USE at Exceed may be new to you. In many countries, the role of the teacher is basically to talk (lecture), and the role of the students is to listen. Students are not expected to speak unless the teacher asks them a question. In classes like this, students often do a lot of memorizing – they memorize what the teacher has said, and memorize what they read in their books. In foreign language class, a lot of time is spent reading, translating, and learning the grammar rules. Students who understand the grammar are often considered to “Know” the language, even if they don’t speak it well .

THIS TRADITIONAL APPROACH TO LANGUAGE LEARNING is not what you find in our classrooms. The Exceed teacher acts less like an authority and more like an older “brother” or “sister” who is there to guide you. The Exceed teacher’s job is to get you (the student) to use the language. Another characteristic of the Exceed methodology comes from an understanding that both the teacher and the learner are responsible for learning. The teacher acts as a guide, providing opportunities for learning. However, you, the student, are the one who must learn. This means that you need to be actively involved; you must think about your learning, participate in all activities, and ask questions when you don’t understand.

AT Exceed Language Center, we don’t think memorization is very important. You may find it helpful to memorize a few things – for example, vocabulary, irregular verb forms, and spelling rules. On the other hand, we feel that practice is very important. Learning a new language is a skill, like playing a musical instrument. You need to practice in order to improve. This is why teachers give you a lot of opportunities to practice. It also explains why teachers ask you do a lot of work with a partner or in groups of three or four students, because working in small groups gives you more opportunities to speak.

OUR BELIEF IN THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICE is also shown in the way we teach grammar. Grammar, like vocabulary, is important in communication; students must learn grammar so they can communicate clearly with others. However, we don’t think it makes sense to spend a lot of time just learning grammar rules. We would rather describe a grammar rule briefly, then create situations where you can use the grammar in sentences of your own – and in real situations. When the purpose of an activity is to get you to practice using the language, your teacher may not correct all of your mistakes. But the teacher will correct you when the purpose is to improve your grammar.

THIS BRIEF EXPLANATION probably does not answer all your questions about how we teach. Sometimes you may get confused and want to know the purpose of what you’ve been doing. When that happens, ask your teacher! We want you to feel comfortable about what’s going on in your class because we know you will learn more English that way.

Good luck to you as you travel the path to English proficiency. Enjoy… and Learn!

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