Connected with my comments on what constitutes a successful lesson/teacher, is Earl Stevick's now famous riddle from his book, Memory, Meaning and Method:
"In the field of language teaching, Method A is the logical contradiction of Method B: if the assumptions from which A claims to be derived are correct, then B cannot work, and vice versa. Yet one colleague is getting excellent results with A, and another is getting comparable results with B. How is this possible?" (Stevick 1976: 104)
The riddle can be re--phrased in various ways: How come my successful lesson yesterday with class X , was a disaster with class Y today? How come the lesson I taught last year with a similar group flopped this year? etc. But the question remains, why does it work sometimes, whatever the method, and why not at other times? There is surely a something 'beyond method'.
Over to you.
Alan's now finished blogging on the site - check the Guest Writers page to see contributions from other guests.