History of the English Language

English Classes

Language learning in English classes has evolved enormously over the last year hundred years. There is now absolutely no reason why your English class can’t be both fun and effective, professional and friendly.

There was a time when the language learning classroom would be synonymous with drudgery and tedium, lists of unconnected sentences to be translated from mother tongue to target language or vice versa. The grammar translation method worked for some people but clearly left a lot to be desired. An obvious complaint would be that the method simply didn’t equip the student for the real life use of a language with all its unpredictability and nuances. This coupled with the fact that the method could hardly be viewed as stimulating!

Whilst there have been many methodologies that have found favour over the years, let’s fast track to the present and look at what holds sway now. These days the favoured methodology is most often described as the ‘Communicative Approach’. As the name suggests, this methodology recognises the paramount importance of communication in language use and that actively using the language, even at very low levels, is the prime objective.

This method, greatly influenced by research into second language acquisition, clearly shifts the emphasis of the English language class to a very student centred approach where the teacher provides stimulating and varied lessons which seek to build student confidence and maximise student opportunity to practise whatever language points are introduced. This means that in an SGI English class today,  there is consistently work on pronunciation and fluency as well as communicative activities (role-plays, everyday situations etc) that help prepare students for ‘real-life’ use of English!. An altogether more appetising prospect than what you would have been served in the ‘old days’!