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The Eclectic Approach

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    When it is time to teach a foreign language, teachers have a variety of approaches, methods and techniques they can choose to make learning and teaching process successful. Each approach, method and technique can help educators to reach their goal, depending on what they want to make students accomplish. Therefore, Teachers must have clear what are the purposes they want to achieve, as well as, the aims of the lesson and activities they are going to do in the classroom. However, teachers think that it is not possible to teach foreign languages in just one single way, since every approach has limitations. As a result, a new method came to light, the Eclectic Approach, which is the one is going to be explain in this assignment, was proposed as a reaction to the profusion of teaching methods in 1970s and 1980s and the dogmatism often found in the application of these methods.


    According to Saqid (2012) the word eclectic can be defined as selecting or choosing from various sources. In the field education, especially in teaching language, it refers to a kind of method. This method was advocated in the beginning of 1990’s and became fashionably popular these days. Rivers (1981), who is the main proponent of this method, points out that the eclectic approach allows teacher “to absorb the best techniques of all the well known language teaching methods into their classroom procedures, using them for the purposes for which they are most appropriate”.

    That is, the eclectic is composed of material gathered from various systems, doctrines, or sources; and it simply utilizes the best of all educational models. On the other hand, Freeman (2000) and Mellow (2000) both have used the term principle eclecticism to describe a desirable, coherent, pluralistic approach to language learning teaching; which deals with the combination of different methods of teaching and learning approaches, and involves the use of a variety of language learning activities, each of which may have very different characteristics and objectives, depending of the learners´ needs in the teaching process.

    Characteristics of the eclectic method.
    This technique requires a curriculum that is creative, innovative, and imaginative. This approach is broad and may include every kind of learning activity and saves learners from monotony. It is more appropriate for Pre School learning but not less beneficial in the class rooms. It is helpful in all kinds of skills in stimulating a creative environment and gives confidence to the learners. In this approach children discovers and instill good ways of learning. It keeps student involved in the learning without stress and fears.


    The eclectic approach is safe thanks to the use of variety ideas and procedures from different existing approaches and methods, which it will increase the chances of learning taking place. This approach has interest involves, since teachers need to use different techniques to hold the learners’ attention. It is diverse because learning/teaching contexts require different methodologies. It is flexible since teachers can adapt their activities in each lesson depending on the learners´ needs. İt maximizes child’s passions for learning and accommodates child’s learning style It accomodates disabilities and it adapts to needs and abilities of learners.

    It can result unsuitable because there is any guide on what approaches and methods can be combined, what are the aspects and the basis; that is, there is no organization to carry out the learning-teaching process.


    The roles of teachers are going to depend on the different methods she/he uses in the classes. First of all, teachers have to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their students; then based on that, they have to design classes and activities, which adapt to their students’ needs. So, taken into account this, the roles of the teacher is going to be acting as an observer, designer, planner, guider, facilitator and entertainer; which uses his authority to conduct the class and make the process of teaching and learning systematic. By contrast, the role of the learner is going to be demonstrating their knowledge and understanding, skills, attributes and capabilities through their participation in teaching/learning activities; and be cooperative and communicative with each other. 4. DESIGN, DESCRIBE AN ACTIVITY BASED ON THE THEORY YOU CHOOSE. EXPLAIN THE AGE, LEVEL OF THE AUDIENCE AND PUPORSE OF IT.

    Read the following text and answer the questions below. After that, share your answers with your classmates and correct any mistake.

    The Lady with the Lamp

    Florance Nightingale was a young girl, in the early part of the nineteenth century. At that time, the hospitals were not as good as they are now. The doctors and nurses were not trained about healing wounds. Many poor soldiers died because of this in result of war. So she wanted to be a nurse. But her
    father did not want that. He sent Florance to travel many countries. She did not forget and visited hospitals. She worked in convents where nurses were trained. She worked in the hospital and improved the system. She worked day and night. She looked after the wounded soldiers. She used to walk around the hospital with a small lamp. So the hospitals became clean and nurses were much more skillful. She stayed at hospital till the end of the war and saved hundreds of lives. That’s why today, nurses all over the world remember “The Lady with the Lamp”


    a. Who was Nightingale?
    b. Are hospitals today better or worse than in Florance Nightingale’s times? c. Why did many soldiers die?
    d. Did her father wanted his daughter to be a nurse?
    e. Why did she want to learn about nursing?
    f. What she did for the improvement of the system of hospitals? g. Why she was called “The Lady with the Lamp”?
    h. Did you like the text? Why?

    In this activity there is a blend of different methods, such as the task-based lesson, lexical method, communicative method and structural-situational method; which will allow learners to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills; and which will help teacher to carry out the teaching/learning process in a effective way. It is perfectly designed to teenagers or adult at the intermediate level, since it only requires a little of analysis and know most of the words in the text, to answer the questions. It purpose is to make students to remind what previously read; teach unconsciously the use of past simple tense, teach new vocabulary; develops analysis and comprehension skills; and promote the interaction and exchange of information among students.


    Teaching English is a process that requires of the combination of various
    methods and approaches, which will help them to teach English effectively; it is a process that only can be achieve through the eclectic method. The eclectic method allows teachers the use of techniques and activities from a range of language teaching approaches and methodologies. He/she decides what methodology or approach to use depending on the aims of the lesson and the learners in the group. Through this method, teachers can have the freedom of designing and evaluating different types of classroom lessons. Also, they may opt for combining two or more approaches; in such way, they can discover his own. But it just can be done when teachers have experienced with some of the approaches and put them into their teaching, hence assess their effectiveness. In the same way, this method allows learners to have a clear vision what they are learning, and it allows to blend the practices of listening, speaking, reading and writing in teaching/learning process; which will be achieved through multiple tasks, high interaction, lively learning, objective correlative and fast results; in order to do a unique process.


    BROWN, D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language. San Francisco. University: Longman.

    SAQIB, A. (2012) Eclectic Approach of Teaching. [On line]. 11 de Octubre de 2013. Taken from:

    LARSER AND FREEMAN. (2011). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    SHAKIR, M. (2011). Eclectic Approach in Teaching English. [On line]. 11 de Octubre de 2013. Taken from:

    PRAVEEN, C. (2013) The Eclectic Method- Theory and Its Application to the

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