I'd like to strat a thread on some basics about language teaching as I get the impression that we work from all kinds of differerent theoretical and methodological backgrounds. Are PGCE students taught the basics of second language learning theory and approaches these days? Have they learned about, for example, direct/natural method, the traditional British oral/situational approach, the audio-lingual approach of the 1940s to 1960s, the functional-notional approach? Have they evaluated the merits and demerits of the grammar-translation approach? Because I do wonder on what many of us base our practice. I'll come clean. I was taught using the Mark Gilbert oral approach ( a kind of structured, situational direct method) . This was reinforced when I did my PGCE and later MA at London University. This approach made theoretical sense to me. It had a rationale and seemed to work in practice, at least with relatively able children.Over the years I have stuck to it to a large degree (and many teachers use this approach, even if they cannot put a name to it), though I have become more pragmatic and am happy to dip into grammar-translation, especially at A-level, and many aspects of the communicative approach. I do feel that I have a "method" and I know why I am using it. I also know that are many ways to skin a cat and that teachers should use what works. But I do think we should have that theoretical underpinning to justify what we do. Any thoughts?