Comparing different teaching techniques

The Callan method is a constant speaking and listening English learning practice, which is sold as a fun and effective way to learn English.

Using carefully designed materials and simple, non-distracting lesson structures, it engages learners and supposedly develops their ability to understand, pronounce and speak English effectively.

There are a number of pros and cons to this teaching method. On the plus side, lessons structured in the Callan method technique require very little planning and preparation; so they’re very economical. For an inexperienced teacher there is very little to learn before commencing teaching and Callan method lessons involve constant interaction with students, with plenty of repetition. This means it can be very effective with beginners who are new to the English language; by forcing students to speak and constantly correcting pronunciation, it’s expected that Callan method students will quickly pick up the 2000 most commonly used words in the English language.

However, this method doesn’t offer a solid base for developing on to higher levels of English communication, and it’s certainly not the best teaching approach out there. It is restrictive and often quite tiring for both students and teachers, and it is very limiting of any flexibility of creative thought. Due to the simple delivery of these lessons, teachers do not need to be qualified to teach English; and seldom are – Callan method training takes only one week. As all the lessons are scripted, knowledge of grammar isn’t required – so you can see how learners using the Callan method may end up at a disadvantage.

It is certainly an interesting teaching method that many teachers enjoy, but not necessarily suited to everybody. Why not find a class on Youtube and see what you think? Would you feel comfortable teaching in this way? How about learning in this way?

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