What is student centred teaching?

Student-centred learning allows students to actively participate in their learning.

In a student-centred classroom, the focus of activity is the student. This means that learners are encouraged to participate in a series of tasks including speaking, listening, writing and collaboration with other students.

Rather than sitting in class copying from a book, or listening passively to a teacher, student-centred learning encourages the student to be actively engaged in their learning, and can promote higher engagement and motivation in the classroom. Sounds good, right?

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What kind of methods might you use in a student-centred lesson?

  • Active learning is when students solve are given questions and problems to solve, as well as encouraged to come up with questions of their own. They may also explain, debate or brainstorm on their own or collaboratively during class.
  • Cooperative learning is when students work in teams on problems and projects, encouraging them to discuss and come up with solutions to themes raised in the lesson.
  • Inductive teaching is a method of teaching that involves learning about themes in the context of a problem that’s presented at the start of the lesson. The students would examine bits of information to see if they can find clear patterns, and develop their critical thought, inference and evidence gathering skills.

Student-centred methods are widely believed to be far better to straightforward teacher-centred instruction like rote learning, or the Callan method. It helps short-term mastery, depth of understanding and long-term retention as it encourages the students not only to produce the language, but to understand how and why they are able to.

As part of a TEFL qualification, potential teachers learn student-centred teaching and how to apply this in class.

View our full range of TEFL courses here.

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