DIDACTIC: The skill to teach a foreign language in 2022
DIDACTIC: THE WAY THROUGH TO IMPARTING EDUCATION IN 2022
Learning all about Didactic in an Interview with the TLH team. Having all your questions about this fancy term answered in one place, in one go. Let’s begin.
What does Didactic mean? What is the Didactic Method of Teaching?
Didactic has various definitions. If we were to explain it in lay man’s terms, we could understand it with “how something should be taught”. It’s a skill set that could be applied to various educational subsets and is not restricted to languages.
Didactic, however, has its methods and principles. The didactical approach is very well structured and designed. “It’s not the same as going into a class clueless and teaching students just about anything without a predefined plan”. So before one actually starts to teach, one needs to learn to teach. Think of it like getting to know a person that you’ve just met. Would you invite them home right away? No, it starts with a very formal conversation. You take one step at a time, starting with hello, good morning and so on to the point where you are close enough to invite them over for lunch or dinner. And when we talk about these steps with reference to teaching a foreign language, each step has a learning objective, wherein you as a learner, experience and gain something with each step in your journey of learning. TLH has a team who not only holds expertise in the languages but also acquire necessary training of teaching, i.e Didactic skills. The Didactic Method of teaching is yet lesser known to many and it is undoubtedly far more impactful than the conventional method of teaching.
Why is the implementation of Didactic important?
Didactic forms the core of basic understanding and foundation of learning. It even follows the guidelines of Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). It is a very structured methodology with mostly a set pattern but at the same time it is infused with various online tools that make the classes more lively and engaging. When you use the didactic method of teaching in class, each topic precisely proceeds in 3 phases: Building on pre-existing knowledge, Brief introduction to the current topic and Application of the newly acquired knowledge. If it is not implemented from the very beginning, there exists a possibility of not achieving the learning objectives. The challenges one might face if the learning objective isn’t achieved are immense. Without didactic, one tends to lose the motivation soon enough. Didactic channels the knowledge perceived by the learner and then trains and programs the mind to think in the targeted foreign language. This avails students the implementation of the acquired knowledge in their day to day lives.
How is the Didactic Method of teaching different from the Conventional Method of teaching?
There is a significant difference between both these methods. It is important to know how we perceive the conventional method of teaching. If you try teaching a foreign language with a conventional approach, you would expect a teacher walking into a class, writing down the grammatical lessons and the students copy it down and the whole class is kind of a monologue. Moreover, in this setup, you would realise that this then becomes a translation oriented course. Conventional Method is “spoon feeding” the students where they put very little of their brain to use. The Didactic Method on the other hand, provokes the students to be more creative with their thoughts and to be more willingly participative in class. A didactical approach is a very go from “easy to hard” and “known to unknown” approach. For instance, if a word is not understood or remains misunderstood to a particular student, then the didactical approach is that it is conveyed through its usage in different sentences and the meaning of the word isn’t provided directly to the student unlike in conventional methods of teaching.
What are some examples of Didactic Method and how do you implement it in your teaching?
Some examples of exercises would include “Pattern drills” and “Chunks”. They’re interactive exercises which we incorporate in classes to make them more fun and engaging. These exercises not only strengthen the logical reasoning and cognitive abilities of students but also help massively in building confidence. Exercises like these ensure a healthy learning environment, wherein it evokes Peer interactions and gives the students the scope to improve by learning from other’s mistakes. We believe in implementing the Didactic Method from the very beginning. It is necessary to have a bilingual approach in the initial phase. We use at least 30% English and 70% German in the early classes for A1. The goal is to make each word and sentence understood and therefore we even use gestures for better understanding. We make use of a lot of online learning tools, for instance, we use Peardeck which enables the students to practise their writing skills in an online class, we use fun websites like Skribbl that helps vocabulary building and so on. We also claim to be flexible in our courses and hence we record each class and if a student is unable to attend for whatever reason, he/she doesn’t miss out on learning. At TLH, you’re not losing out much on “Physical classrooms”