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I know about Total Physical Response and I think that it has all the elements that good (beginner level) language teaching should have. Sadly, I haven't had a chance to participate any TPR sessions in any language.

Btw. there's another good teaching method, which has a confusingly similar acronym: TPRS – Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling.

Then there's "task-based teaching".

They all share some basic features: parsing input for meaning, context-dependence, concreteness, communicating to achieve some extralinguistic purpose instead of just "demonstrating/exemplifying this and that feature of the language", having a strong aural component and so on. This isn't by coincidence.

I think that language teachers should in general acquaint themselves more with the concurrent research results. Knowing the basic principles of how brain learns languages gives teacher the expertise to assess, tweak and choose teaching methods. Not to say that the researchers know everything about it either, but they certainly know a lot more than 50 years ago, yet I feel that much of the teachers' knowledge and preferred teaching methods are decades behind.

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