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►16th century: Latin no longer the dominant international language of communication.
►Latin = a subject in the school curriculum
►The study of classical Latin and an analysis of its grammar and rhetoric became the model for foreign language study in the 17th and 18th centuries.
►By the 19th century, this approach had become the standard way of studying foreign languages. It was known as “the Prussian Method”. It dominated FLT from the 1840s to the 1940s.
►It was originally used to teach 'dead' languages and literatures such as Latin and Greek
►It is still used in situations where understanding literary texts is the primary focus of foreign language study and there is little need for a speaking knowledge of the language.
►This approach was based on the thought that mental discipline was essential for strengthening the powers of the mind
Claude Marcel (1793-1876) 1853. Language as a Means of Mental Culture and International Communication; or Manual of the Teacher and the Learner of Languages. London.
---. 1869. The Study of Languages Brought Back to its True Principles. New York.
►child language learnig as a model
► the importance of meaning
►reading to be taught before other skills
►language teaching should be located within a broader educational framework
Thomas Prendergast (1793-1896)
1864. The Mastery of Languages, or, the Art of Speaking Foreign Tongues Idiomatically. London.
►Children use contextual and situational cues to interpret utterances
►they use memorized phrases and routines in speaking
► The first structural syllabus, advocating that children be taught the most basic patterns.
François Gouin (1831-1886)
1880. The Art of Teaching and Studying Languages. Paris.
►He based his approach to teaching on his observations of children's use of language.
►He believed that language learning was facilitated through using language to accomplish events consisting of a sequence of related actions: the famous Gouin "series“.
►Emphasis on presenting new teaching items in a context that makes their meaning clear, using gestures and actions to convey meaning
I walk towards the door
I draw near to the door,
I draw nearer to the door
I get to the door
I stop at the door
The door moves
The door turns on its hinges
The door turns and turns
I open the door wide
I let go of the handle
I strech out my arm
I take hold of the handle
I turn the handle
I open the door
I pull the door
1886. The International Phonetic Association was founded and its International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) was designed to enable the sounds of any language to be accurately transcribed
Asociación Fonética Internacional
Foreign language study should begin with the spoken language of everyday life, and not with the relatively archaic language of literature.
The teacher’s first aim should be to thoroughly familiarize his pupils with the sounds of the foreign language. Towards this end he should use a phonetic transcription which will be employed exclusively in the early stages of the course without reference to conventional spelling.
The teacher’s second aim should be to introduce his pupils to the most common sentences and idiomatic phrases of the foreign language. With this end in view, his pupils should study consecutive texts –dialogues, descriptions and narratives– which should be as easy, natural, and interesting as possible.
In the early stages grammar should be taught inductively, complementing and generalizing language facts observed during reading. A more systematic study of grammar should be postponed to the advanced stages of the course.
As far as possible expression in the foreign language should be related by the teacher directly to ideas and other expressions in the language, and not to the native language. The teacher should take every opportunity to replace translation by references to real objects or pictures or by explanations given in the foreign language.
At a later stage, when writing is introduced, such written work should be arranged in the following sequence; first, reproduction of thoroughly familiar reading texts; second, reproduction of narratives orally presented by the teacher; and third, free composition. Written translations from and into the foreign language are considered to be appropiate only at the most advanced stage of the course.
Wilhelm Viëtor (1850-1918). 1882. Language Teaching Must Start Afresh. Henninger
Henry Sweet (1845-1912). 1899. The Practical Study of Language. A Guide for Teachers and Learners. London.
The result of "natural/naturalistic" language learning principles:
Lambert Sauveur (1826-1907). 1874. Introduction to the Teaching of Living Languages without Grammar or Dictionary. Boston.
F. Franke. 1884. Die praktische Spracherlernung auf Grund der Psychologie und der Physiologie der Sprache dargestellt (Practical Language Adquisition).
MaximilianBerlitz (1852-1921). 1882. Méthode pour l'enseignement de la langue française dans les écoles Berlitz. Boston.
• second language learning similar to first language learning
• a monolingual approach to teaching = no translation
• meaning coveyed directly through demonstration and action
☛The Direct Method: the best known: The Berlizt Method:
Successful in private schools
• Difficult to implement in public secondary schools.
♦native or with nativelike fluency teachers.
♦dependent on the teacher's skill, rather than on textbooks.
♦teachers were required to go to great lengths to avoid using the native tongue.
By the 1920s, use of the Direct Method in noncommercial schools in Europe had declined. In France and German, it was gradually combined with grammar-based activities.
1923. The Coleman Report