NCLRC Home
Essentials Home
What Language Teaching Is
Teaching Goals and Methods
Planning a Lesson
Motivating Learners
Assessing Learning
Teaching Grammar
Teaching Listening
Teaching Speaking
Teaching Reading
Teaching Writing
Teaching Culture

 

Teaching Goals and Methods

Method: Learner-centered Instruction

In language classrooms in the United States, instruction focuses on the learner and the learning process. The instructor creates a learning environment that resembles as much as possible the one in which students learned their first language. Students participate in the learning process by establishing learning goals, developing and choosing learning strategies, and evaluating their own progress. In the classroom, students attend to models provided by the instructor (input) and then build on those models as they use language themselves (output). Classroom activities incorporate real-world situations.

Learner-centered instruction encourages students to take responsibility for their own language skill development and helps them gain confidence in their ability to learn and use the language. Teachers support students by devoting some class time to non-traditional activities, including teaching learners how to use learning strategies (see Motivating Students), how to use available tools and resources, and how to reflect on their own learning (see Assessing Learning).

Many U.S. students have had experience with learner-centered instruction and expect it to be used in their classrooms. Students who are accustomed to more traditional teacher-centered instruction may resist the learner-centered model at first because it expects them to be more involved in the learning process. However, when they discover that learner-centered instruction enables them to develop real-world language skills while having fun, they usually become enthusiastic participants.

For further discussion of learner-centered instruction, see Models of Language Teaching in What Language Teaching Is.

 

[TOP]

 

 

 

 

POPUP: COMPARISON OF TEACHER-CENTERED AND LEARNER-CENTERED INSTRUCTION

 

 

 

 

BACK TO GOAL: COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE

ON TO GUIDELINES FOR INSTRUCTION

©2003, 2004 The National Capital Language Resource Center, Washington, DC | site map | about NCLRC | contact NCLRC