Scott Thornbury debates the pros and cons of a “presentation-practice-production” language teaching model.
The P-P-P is the method of teaching that most, if not all, novice teachers are trained to use. In my case, it was true. It gives you a sense of security. You know what to do. Lesson Planning is easy. A blank sheet of paper with the words, Lesson Plan”, as a title does not strike fear into your heart.
After a while though, it gets old. You begin to think there must be more to teaching than this. And you discover that you were right. There is more to teaching than this.
Yet when we find ourselves working with a novice, or a less able teacher, we reach to the shelf and pull out our PPP lesson plans. Quite simply put, we know they will work. Again and again, they work. And if you are in any way concerned with the quality of teaching, and need to ensure a standard of teaching, then you set this kind of teaching as the minimum accepted level of quality.
Of course, it is a great exercise to reflect on the pros and cons of the PPP, or any teaching model for that matter. If you know why you are doing, what you are doing (or not doing), then the chances are pretty high you will be doing it well.
The bottom line: reflection about your teaching practice is what great teachers do. It makes you better. In the video, Scott Thornbury, arguably one of the greatest teachers in ELT today, demonstrates how to go about reflecting. As you will see, he looks at both sides of the issue.
And the most important part comes next: He interacts with teachers from all over the world to get feedback. You see, although he is highly knowledgeable, he is willing to learn from others experiences.
You give a little, you get a lot back. Enjoy the video…