Published 16th April 2019
TEFL teachers constantly need to keep up to date with teaching methods and theories of learning and keeping an eye out for helpful articles is a great way to keep abreast of industry news and developments. Blogs and articles written by high-profile TEFL names such as Harmer, Thornbury and Krashen will help teachers stay up to speed with the latest in EFL research and bring best practices to the classroom and lessons.
This is a name you are likely to have come across on the front cover of many EFL teaching methodology books. Jeremy Harmer’s name is synonymous with TEFL as he literally wrote the book on it. His book The Practice of English Language Teaching is often used as the basis of TEFL courses and he also authored a popular How to… series of books that are particularly helpful to teachers. Nowadays he spends his time teaching and training teachers as well as presenting at international conferences.
Scott Thornbury is renowned for introducing the teaching methodology of Dogme into popular thought and he also authored the successful activity book Teaching Unplugged. Dogme methodology urges teachers to rely less on their textbooks and use their learners as the source of the lessons, ensuring the language is appropriate in terms of the content and level. In a nutshell, learners are taught what they need to learn when they need to learn it.
Thornbury also works as a teacher trainer and has written many books on TEFL which are used by teacher trainers and trainees alike.
This linguist and educational researcher is most famous for the set of hypotheses he has been developing and refining since the 1970s; the acquisition-learning hypothesis, the monitor hypothesis, the natural order hypothesis, and the affective filter hypothesis.
In essence, he believes that a language isn’t learned, it is acquired, meaning an explicit focus on language will help monitor output but cannot be responsible for learning. Learning is what happens subconsciously through sensory input, which needs to be a level above the learner’s ability level. The learner’s attitude towards the learning situation also plays a part in their own learning process.
If there are three names you need to get to know in this industry, it is these. While there are loads of other influential names in the TEFL field, Krashen, Thornbury and Harmer are arguably the most recognisable of them all.