Types of Instructional Teaching Styles

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No matter what style of teaching you have there are a few factors that you need to consider. These factors play a major role in helping you determine the type of teaching styles that would be most effective for each student.

Here are the factors that you must consider to teach successfully;

The age of your students – If your student is in Kindergarten then you simply cannot use the discussion or lecture style of teaching. Similarly, games and activities may not work with a student who is studying for his/her Ph.D. You have to consider the age of your student before selecting the teaching method you want to use.

The purpose of learning – Every student has a different purpose for learning English; some want to improve their writing skills while others want to develop speaking skills to pass an IELTS exam. The purpose of learning is an important factor that will help you determine which teaching approach will be most effective.

The intellect level of your students – You may think that this is related to the age of the student but it is not! A 20-year-old student may not be a high school graduate or very bright and an 8-year-old may be smarted for his age group. Therefore, you must take their intellect level into consideration before deciding on a teaching method.

VIPKID has more than 500,000 students learning English as a Second or Foreign language. As a teacher, on VIPKID you will get students from different age groups, academic levels and with different learning styles. Therefore, it is quite possible that you may have to adapt and change your teaching style according to your students.

Every teacher has his or her own unique teaching style, which can be adjusted to the needs of individual students. It’s also normal to mix some traditional teaching styles with each other to create your own unique teaching style.  Teaching styles are really important to make sure students can understand and retain the content taught.

Overall, there are about 5 key types of instructional strategies that we will discuss in this article. The idea is that every style of teaching falls more or less into one of these buckets, and, of course, there is variation from teacher-to-teacher.

Let’s get into it.

Lecture Style Teaching

This teacher style is more suitable for higher education institutions, where students from different groups gather in a spacious, multilevel lecture halls (auditoriums), listen to the lecturer and take notes.

Besides, it is suitable only for specific disciplines. If we speak of pros and cons of lecture teaching method, it will hardly work with foreign languages, especially when teaching English to kids, due to lack of interaction.

For examples of teaching english to kids, see this article.

Coach Teaching Approach

This approach is similar to the lecture style teaching, but the difference is that the teacher also uses multimedia presentations, activities, and demonstrations.

This approach is suitable for exact sciences, such as math and physics, or natural sciences, such as chemistry and biology. However, it still will not work with languages, and it is difficult to cater to the individual needs of language learners in larger classrooms.

Activity Style of Teaching

In this type of teaching, the teacher plays the role of a facilitator who fosters self-learning, and helps the students to develop critical thinking skills to retain knowledge that leads to self-actualization.

This style encourages the learners to ask questions and helps them develop skills to find answers and solutions through exploration. It is perfect for teaching science and similar subjects. However, it challenges the teacher to interact with the students and prompt them toward discovery rather than lecturing facts and testing knowledge through memorizing, so it becomes more difficult to measure the learners’ success.

Group Teaching Methods

teaching styles

This teaching style implies group activities. It is perfect for lab lessons as well as language lessons, where the students need to discuss something in groups to practice a language that is not native for them.

The group method provides the guided discovery and inquiry-based learning that gives the teacher an observer role, inspiring the learners to work together and achieve common goals. The teacher acts more as a delegator or consultant rather than a traditional authority figure.

Integrated Teaching Style

This is a combined approach to teaching, which unites the teacher’s personality and interests with the needs of the students and curriculum-appropriate methods.

Teachers can tailor their styles to student needs. However, by using such a blended approach, the teachers can spread themselves too thin and avoid deep studying of specific subjects.

These styles of teaching are typically aimed at classroom teaching, but what if you would prefer to teach your students online?

Not all traditional types of instructional strategies word in an online classroom. For example, online teachers cannot walk around the classroom, observing the learners’ work and guiding them. So let’s find out which new teaching styles can be appropriate for a virtual classroom.

Discussions

Discussion belongs to online teaching styles that support learning and actively engaging the online students in the learning process. The students can ask questions and communicate their ideas while practicing analytical and cognitive skills.

Besides, many learners feel more comfortable when taking part in discussions online rather than in traditional classrooms.

Demonstrations

Demonstration is among the types of instructional strategies that are enhanced by virtual learning environment.

Online teachers can upload video demonstrations, which are recorded as Power Point slides with voiceover, to the learning management system (LMS), and the students can review those records as often as they need.

Simulations

Online instructors can deliver simulations in a realistic digital environment so the learners can remotely test their practical skills and knowledge. Even universities and colleges sometimes use such styles of teaching.

Nowadays, specialized LMS platforms allow the teachers to choose from a variety of scenarios that complement the course content.

Case studies

Case studies provide some of the best methods of teaching that give the students an active learning role while developing the problem-solving, research and cognitive skills.

When collaboratively used, these types of teaching enable online students to learn from each other. Case studies work well in online courses and do not require much preparation.

Games

Games increase student participation because they are more engaging and less stressful than other online teaching styles. To simplify the design process, the game-building applications can be integrated directly into the LMS.

For examples of games, see this article.

That’s all regarding the online types of teaching.

We hope that now you have a better understanding of what is a good teaching style for an online classroom and how you can use one to remain efficient and productive. Moreover, greater awareness of classroom-based methods of learning will help you succeed as an “offline” teacher as well.

These teaching styles are very important to help a student retain more.


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46 COMMENTS

  1. Good to think about, I would say that online VIPKID teaching styles are discussions, simulations (TPR), games, coaching especially with pronunciation, and integrated.

  2. I’m not sure I completely understand the “Demonstrations” with regard to uploading Power Point voice-over demo slides video to the learning management system, or LMS. Could teachers who have done this help me understand this better?
    Many thanks! 🙂

  3. Sorry if this post twice – computer issue the first time I attempted to post! I have taught online for over a decade. At first my style was coaching but over the years I have developed a mixture of styles. The style I select is dependent on the content to be taught.

  4. Article was informative, but did not focus enough on online education, in my opinion. It was more about styles that are not conducive to an online approach. I would like to have seen additional ideas and suggestions that combine the styles to be effective for teaching language in an online format.

  5. […] As a teacher, you can adapt this as a fun ESL game in your classroom or to teach English online in order to test the language skills of your students. For example, with the help of Taboo games, students can learn to use the synonyms and develop explanation skills. In this article, we will teach you how to play the Taboo game and adapt it to your teaching styles. […]

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