TA: Short & Simple

What for do we need one more approach?
Traditionally, language teachers were responsible for teaching languages. Despite numerous differences between current approaches, there is one thing in common - all of them aim at the development of language skills of students. Unfortunately, this is no longer enough. The responsibilities of a modern language teacher must stretch beyond the traditional language domain. Successful communication today calls for a wide range of competence often referred to as transversal or meta-subject competences. As well as teachers of other disciplines, the language teacher is supposed to help students develop these new competences.
Is there anything new about the idea of developing meta-subject competences?
There is nothing new about the idea. Yet, today it is possible to speak of a specific approach that makes it possible to do it in the classroom. The TA teaches students to successfully deal with problems in various fields and thus become genuinely creative.
Creativity and problem-solving sound attractive. But doesn't everyone speak about it today?
Yes and no. People do speak about these notions, the question is what they understand under them. In most cases, students are just encouraged to be creative. Unlike other approaches, the Thinking Approach teaches students HOW to be creative. We let students master specific tools for thinking which help them to arrive at solutions usually referred to as 'creative' ones. This is what makes the TA stand apart.
What are the tools for thinking?
The tools are models of thinking. These are special patterns of how creative solutions can be found which are based on the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) developed by Genrich Altshuller. Today, TRIZ grows into the General Theory of Strong Thinking (OTSM-TRIZ) - a science which deals with methods of problem-solving irrespective of the field.
Thinking skills are good, however there is a programme I am supposed to keep to.
If you start using the TA, it doesn't mean you have to give up your programme. The TA has a module structure, therefore it can be easily incorporated into most syllabi. Moreover, the TA easily integrates with many other approaches to language teaching. As to the additional time necessary for thinking skills, it is often an illusion. Acquisition of effective thinking strategies facilitates learning. As a result, students are able to cover the material much faster.
How can I personally benefit from the Thinking Approach?
The Thinking Approach has been developed since the end of 1990s. Initially being known in Latvia in the context of English language education, it is now being far beyond Europe and in the context of various subjects. As a teacher, you can try TA materials in your classroom. As a researcher, you can study the efficacy of the TA in the context of teacher and / or student competence development. As a policy maker or manager, you can bring the approach to your country or organisation. And, finally, as a publisher, you can make TA materials available to educators in your context. Irrespective of the group you belong to, you can easily contact us for more information. 
Can I see samples of the TA activities?
Yes, you can. You can take a look at grammar materials at this website, systems of tasks to texts  and other interesting materials for the language classroom at our site for language teachers, materials for various subjects at TA teacher development platform and TA materials for family learning available at our website for parents. 

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