Student Centered vs Teacher Centered Learning

Student Centered Teaching

Student Centered vs Teacher Centered Learning

I’m all about student centered classrooms, perhaps due to the influence of my CELTA trainers and the DELTA course. The other reason is that studies have shown that lectures are the least effective way to transmit information and that students retain very little of that information even minutes later. In a second language, I’d guess that even less is transmitted because probably not 100% of it was even understood in the first place. It’s for these reasons that I strive to create student-centered classrooms for at least 95% of any given class.

Student Centered Teaching: What Does this Look Like?
Teaching in a student-centered way means that most students are engaged most of the time, either with some material or with each other and that I quite rarely lecture. I try to create activities that make it easy for students to actively participate in class and learn the material. Even discovering new grammar or vocabulary is possible through a process of discovery rather than me just telling them. Students compare answers with each other, instead of me feeding them the right ones.

The teacher is more of a guide down the path of language discovery, rather than the all-knowing guru. 


What Does a Teacher-Centered Classroom Look Like?
In a teacher-centered classroom, the teacher is kind of a performer, up on stage doing their thing. Students in Korea love this style of teacher and for good reason!  It’s actually so easy just to let all these words pass you by, passively and if no response is expected, then there is really no incentive to even actively listen. However, teacher-centered teaching is also ineffective and not useful for student’s language development, which in theory is what I’m getting paid to do. So, student-centered teaching for me all the way!

The Teacher is more of a performer, rather than a facilitator.


39 student centered ESL speaking activities and games:
39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults

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