Have you ever found looking for strategies that are not just trendy but grounded in solid empirical evidence? As we guide our students toward proficiency and communicative and cultural competence, the importance of evidence-based teaching cannot be overstated. But how can we integrate these evidence-based approaches efficiently, given our time constraints and the often lengthy research materials?
Let’s take a look at the crucial role of evidence-based teaching with some ideas for navigating the sea of research. Along with this you’ll also see concrete examples of how to easily integrate research-backed strategies into your language classroom.
Why Evidence-Based Teaching
- Maximizing Impact: Evidence-based teaching is like a well-illuminated path in the dense forest of language education. It ensures that the strategies we employ are not just a shot in the dark but are grounded in empirical evidence. Embracing evidence-based approaches enables us to make the most significant impact on our students’ language proficiency.
- Time Efficiency: In the busy lives of educators, time is an invaluable resource. Evidence-based teaching allows us to make informed decisions swiftly. Instead of wading through an overwhelming sea of teaching methods, we can focus on what research shows to be effective.
Where can we access this valuable research without getting lost in a time-consuming quest for evidence? The good news is that there are accessible avenues. Consider attending conferences, workshops, webinars, or tuning into the World Language Classroom Podcast. Engaging with social media can also provide insights, but be sure to vet your sources. Trust content that is grounded in research and empirical findings rather than anecdotes of personal experience, which, while honest, may not be universally applicable to teaching practice.
Examples For Implementing Evidence-Based Teaching
Grammar and Structures
- Ellis’s (2002) research suggests that grammar instruction is more effective when it is meaningful, contextual, and communicative. Rather than rote memorization, students benefit from grammar lessons that connect to real-life language use.
- Implementation: Provide students with texts or conversations that naturally feature the target grammar point. This aligns with Ellis’s research and fosters a deeper understanding of the grammar point within authentic language use.
- Krashen’s Input Hypothesis (1985) serves as a foundation in language acquisition research. It underscores that language learners progress when they understand input slightly more advanced than their current level.
- Implementation: Tailor your lessons to provide students with comprehensible input. Utilize context, visuals, and scaffolding to ensure their understanding and engagement with the language while maintaining a focus on meaning and communication.
As we navigate language education evidence-based approaches serve as our guide toward proficiency growth with efficiency and purpose.
Ellis, R. (2002). The Place of Grammar Instruction in the Second/Foreign Language Curriculum. In E. Hinkel & S. Fotos New Perspectives on Grammar Teaching in Second Language Classrooms (pages 14-34). Routledge: London
Krashen, S. D. (1985). The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications. Longman.