The preceding chapter, in discussing several aspects of language has suggested the complexity of this essentially human activity; whilst the detailed questions posed at the end of Chapter 2 imply a professional dimension no less complicated.
Clearly there are people who teach the English language successfully without professional training or rigorous language study, succeeding by virtue of those sensitive and sympathetic qualities which mark the natural teacher. There are also those whose training for and experience of other kinds of teaching is successfully transferred to language teaching. There are students of linguistics whose studies have provided such insights into English that they are better teachers thereby. Ideally, however, the professional English language teacher should have not only the required personal qualities, but also training in the disciplines and fields of study appropriate to the language teaching process. Training of this kind can be stated in terms of what the teacher should know and what he should do.
Even with the very wide range of educational settings in the world today, from kindergarten groups of twelve in Argentina to strictly audio-visual classes in Senegal, or traditionally taught university seminars in Japan, there are certain basic principles common to all good language teaching, principles derived from the interaction of aspects of those fields of study which contribute to the theory and practice of EFL teaching. The contributory areas of knowledge may be represented in Figure 3.