An inductive approach to teaching language starts with examples and asks learners to find rules.

Teacher walking between students in a classroom

It can be compared with a deductive approach that starts by giving learners rules, then examples, then practice.

Learners listen to a conversation that includes examples of the use of the third conditional. The teacher checks that the students understand the meaning of its use through checking learners' comprehension of the listening text, and only after this focuses on the form, using the examples from the text to elicit rules about the form, its use and its pronunciation.

In the classroom
Inductive approaches to presenting new language are commonly found in course books, and form part of a general strategy to engage learners in what they learn. Some learners may need introduction to inductive approaches since they may be more familiar, and feel more comfortable, with a deductive approach.

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