Guided discovery, also known as an inductive approach, is a technique where a teacher provides examples of a language item and helps the learners to find the rules themselves.

Teacher in Colombia listening to a student

It can be compared to didactic instruction, where the teacher sets out rules for students and then asks them to practice.

The learners are shown a problem page containing various examples of the second conditional 'If I were you,…..'. They identify the structure and then the rules for making it.

In the classroom
Guided discovery is regarded by many teachers as an important tool. It encourages independence, makes learning more memorable, and if analysis is done in groups is a meaningful communicative task. It is important, however, to understand that some learners are resistant to this approach.

Further links:

Research and insight

Browse fascinating case studies, research papers, publications and books by researchers and ELT experts from around the world.

See our publications, research and insight