The official website of educator & arts patron Jack C Richards

Direct & Indirect Approaches to Teaching Speaking

Question:

Submitted by Yanina Valdez, Argentina

What is the difference between direct and indirect approaches to speaking?

Professor Richards Responds:

An indirect approach to the teaching of speaking is one in which oral competence is acquired incidentally as a bi-product of engaging in communicative tasks. No specific aspects of speaking may be targeted. A direct approach is one in which specific aspects of speaking (e.g. turn taking, back-channeling) are targeted through focused instruction directed at these features.