Plenary talk at IATEFL TTEd SIG International Conference 'The Journey from Input to Interaction in English language teaching', 25 April 2015
Abstract: I began with a critical examination of whether and, if so, why a 'post-method condition' has arisen. I suggested (partly on the evidence of this conference) that both methods and over-dependence on questionable science are still dominant, and that to deconstruct over-reliance on the 'method' concept and other forms of outside 'expertise', one way forward may need to lie, paradoxically perhaps, in a better appreciation of the past -- this would include greater appreciation of past cases of teacher agency and of applied linguistic approaches which do not involve 'applicationism'. Concrete suggestions for moving beyond methods have been rare, so I also explained and illustrated some possible approaches to the development of what might be called 'contextually appropriate methodology' or 'post-method pedagogy' – via sharing of locally defined successes, engagement in realistic, autonomy-oriented teacher-research, context-sensitive teacher education, non-hierarchical interaction between academics and teachers, and collaboration within teacher networks.
Some related resources and links:
- Warwick ELT Archive 'Hall of Fame' pages
- We talked about excessive faith in 'methods' like Audiolingual Method and Communicative Language Teaching. For a new view of the history of methods, see this article, written with A.P.R. Howatt
- A short history of ELT (talk)
- Here are the names of the theorists I mentioned as influential in the 'post-methods movement': B. Kumaravadivelu; N.S. Prabhu; Alastair Pennycook; Adrian Holliday; Robert Phillipson; Suresh Canagarajah.
Learner and Teacher Autonomy
- An article referring to the concept of 'teacher-learner autonomy'
- Definitions of learner autonomy and teacher-learner autonomy: Powerpoint slides (as pdf)
- A brief article about learner autonomy
- Learner autonomy in large classes in Pakistan
- Learner autonomy in a large class in Cameroon
- Talk on 'Student feedback': Video
- Teacher-research project in Chile
- Chapter on teacher-research project in Chile, written with Tom Connelly and Paula Rebolledo: Chapter 5 in this book
- Resources for teacher-research
- A recent interview about some of the themes I addressed
- Teachers Research! Posters, Talks, Discussions
- Resources and networking for teachers of English in difficult circumstances
- Recent article on 'teacher agency' in difficult circumstances
- A talk about why learner autonomy might be particularly appropriate in difficult circumstances, in developing country contexts
- Talk by Harry Kuchah Kuchah (Cameroon) at the Manchester IATEFL conference on 14 April (on 'Teaching in Difficult Circumstances'): Video