The Via Lingua approach to training
The pedagogical approach promoted by Via Lingua is best characterized by the following criteria:
An appreciation of group dynamics
The trainer is aware of how groups work and the stages that they need to go through in order to work effectively. This is a very important factor in determining how successful individual trainees will eventually be on the course. Effective groups do not happen by chance; the style and process which are utilized by the trainer directly influence success.
Training sessions are managed in such a way that you will be required to take an active part in your own education. Sessions are characterized by a high percentage of interactive activities where you will be required to consider situations / concepts / questions through performing a set of tasks. The cycle of "doing", "reflecting", "hypothesizing" and "testing" is employed in all aspects of the course. Throughout this process, you will be encouraged to make reference to the pre-course experiences of yourself and others in the group.
The trainers recognize that the ideas and concepts which are explored with trainees should be firmly grounded in an awareness of established pedagogical research and practice. Reference will be made during the sessions and in recommended reading tasks to the theoretical base underpinning the content of input sessions.
Trainers are fully aware of the limitations of a short intensive course and are, therefore, conscious of the need to provide you with practical guidelines, tips, strategies, materials and models which they can utilize in the classroom.
Whenever practical, trainers model teaching approaches and activities which you will be able to replicate in the TEFL classroom. This may be in the form of instruction giving, the use of pairs and small groups, the management of feed-back sessions or strategies for introducing and exploring areas of grammar.
Opportunities for practice
Many of the input sessions will provide you with the opportunity to test out new ideas and insights through peer teaching activities.