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Pyramid Approach in Foreign Language Teaching


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Pyramid Approach is a new method in teaching foreign languages. It places students on a hypothetical diagram and further encourage them to reach the top of the pyramid using Socratic Method.

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Pyramid Approach in Foreign Language Teaching

  1. 1. Pyramid Approach in Foreign Language Teaching Dr. Ibrahim Koncak International Ataturk Alatoo University
  2. 2. Fundamental Question • How can an ideal teaching be achieved or can it be achieved?
  3. 3. Three Factors to Success in teaching & Learning • Teachers – Methodology – Experience • Students – Homogeneous – Heterogeneous • Educational Environment (School, Classrooms, Internet etc.)
  4. 4. We all want the ideal! • Teachers want ideal students, ideal environment. • Students want ideal teachers and ideal environment. • Administrators want ideal teachers, students, and ideal environment. But it always lacks in some form or other.
  5. 5. What is Pyramid Approach (PA)? • It is an attempt to find an ideal teaching methodology. • A hypothetical pyramid like diagram on which students are placed hypothetically based on their learning habits, language levels and motivation capacities. • It aims to develop heterogeneous class with gradual progress to homogenous one in terms of motivation, knowledge and learning habits.
  6. 6. How does it work? • Target Language is the main goal, all others are instruments to reach that goal, that is using the language and using it in class. • It uses Socratic Method, question-answer method. • Questions goes to those who are likely able to answer them. The easiest question goes to the weakest; the most difficult one goes to the ablest. ( Do not ask questions if you anticipate there will be no answer!)
  7. 7. How does it work? • PA aims to develop a classroom environment with students more or less the same interest, motivation, knowledge and ability. • It requires whole approach and work with all in class. • The goal of the teacher is to develop above mentioned skills from the bottom of the pyramid to the top.
  8. 8. Example Listening Activity • Situation: On the recording a lady and gentleman customers are talking at the hotel Lobby. • Question 1: Who were talking? ( Ask this question the weakest student in class. If he cannot answer prompt; man or woman? ) • Question 2: Where are they talking? ( Ask this to next weakest student. If no answer provide options At hotel or Cinema ) • Question 3: What are they talking about? • Question 4: What did she ask from him? ………………………………………… • Question 12: Why did she implied that she knows his wife? ( This implied question is asked to the student at the top of the pyramid ) • Question 13: What are their occupations? ( This question is asked to the student at the bottom of the pyramid to complete the cycle and check the if the activity was followed by all in class )
  9. 9. Steps • Identify students’ learning skills, previous achievements, educational background, their level in target language • Place them on pyramid • Prepare activities and class plans accordingly • Line up questions according to the levels of students • If necessary conduct individual sessions
  10. 10. Difficulties to apply • It takes time to identify students’ abilities, especially if you are teaching first time to given class. • Time taking and requires focus on detail. • It may be hard for beginners (fresh teachers) to apply. • It is a new teaching approach and should be developed with experimental work.
  11. 11. SOURCE • For more information; Koncak I (2016), Pyramid Approach in English Teaching. Alatoo-Academic Studies, No:4, pp.123-127
  12. 12. Thank you for your attention!