It’s not a secret that there is a variety of methods which can be used for teaching. We’ve already written about different ones such as Michel Thomas or Paul Pimsleur methods. Anyway, there’s always something to add. Let’s talk about the Callan method. It’s supposed to be fast, fun and effective. Let’s find out what its secret is.
The method consists of twelve stages. It can be used both with adults and kids, General and Business English, and is available both in English and Spanish. Their official website is callan.co.uk. The method is based on a communicative approach. Each lesson lasts for 50 mins and has a special structure. During every lesson, students learn some new English and revise the language they learned earlier. They are doing listening and speaking practice about 70% of the time, but there is also a little reading and writing. As a result, a student is supposed to remember how to speak and to be able to speak automatically.
The Callan Method has 12 stages. Stage 1 is for complete beginners, and Stage 12 is for advanced students.
It’s always better to see how it works, so you may watch the video to get the first impression of it.
There are 4 steps which are not supposed to be avoided in the Callan method:
— focused talk
This is pretty simple, you just need to organize a “question — answer” talk which is based on vocabulary & grammar revision.
— reading out loud
It’s really important to pay attention to student’s pronunciation and intonation.
The aim is to practice writing skills using structures which are already known after speaking exercises.
— something new
Finally, it’s time for new words and structures. But this is not typical teaching, but something special. You’ll find details below.
What do you need as a teacher?
Firstly, you need to be able to speak fast. This method teaches to understand natural speech (which is fluent and quick).
Secondly, correct, but don’t scold your students. Remember, you’re a friend, not an enemy. Copy their mistake and make it right then. With the Callan Method, the teacher corrects all students’ mistakes the moment students make them. The teacher corrects by imitating (copying) mistakes and then saying the correct pronunciation/form of the word.
Finally, forget about translating. The aim is to teach students to understand a speaker without translating. Sorry, Google, but we must refuse your help.
Can I include anything from the method, not just copying it?
Sure, you may try to use some elements while teaching. I suppose it works both with individuals and groups, offline and online. The total method is really suitable for kids (they like to repeat, you know — just check how it works ). And the best option is to forget about translating unknown words directly from English into the students’ native language as it teaches them not to think outside the box and to wait for ready answers.
Tastes differ, so we’ve noticed different opinions of teachers while reading their comments on special platforms. Some teachers suppose that they don’t support the idea of teaching students to speak automatically, saying that speaking should be an informed process. We’ve also found about students complaints (some of them noticed a headache and told it was extremely hard and boring). Finally, there are those who say you need special abilities in order to achieve a high result (e.g. sense of the language). Finally, it’s not possible to analyze how effective the method is without trying.
Have you ever tried the Callan method or some elements of it? Leave your comments below.