Approach, Method and Technique in Language Learning • An approach is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning. It describes the nature of the subject matter to be taught • Method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language materials. While an approach is axiomatic (self-evident, unquestionable), a method is procedural • A technique is implementation – it takes place in the classroom.
Theory of language • There are three theoretical views of language: • The structural view • The functional view • The interactional view • The structural view is the most traditional. • The language is the system of structurally related elements for the coding of meaning. • Elements of this system are phonological units, grammatical units, grammatical operations and lexical items
The functional view sees the language as a vehicle for the expression of functional meaning. • This theory emphasizes the semantic and communicative dimension rather than merely the grammatical characteristics of language • The interactional view sees the language as a vehicle for the realization of the interpersonal relations and for performance of social transactions between individuals
Although specific theories of the nature of language may provide the basis for a particular teaching method, other methods derive primarily from a theory of language learning • A learning theory underlying an approach or method responds to two questions: • What are the psycholinguistic and cognitive processes involved in language learning? • What are the conditions that need to be met in order for these learning processes to be activated?
Teachers may develop their own teaching procedures, informed by a particular view of language and a particular theory of learning • Theory does not dictate a particular set of teaching techniques and activities. What links theory with practice is called DESIGN
Design is the level of method analysis in which we consider: • Objectives – what a method sets out to achieve • The syllabus –content choice and organization • Types of learning and teaching activities – activities that focus on grammatical accuracy may be different of those that focus on communicative skills • Learner roles – the design of instructional system will be considerably influenced by how learners are regarded • Teacher roles – some methods are totally dependent on a teacher as a source of knowledge and direction, others see the teacher’s role as consultant or a guide for learning
The Oral Approach and Situational Language Teaching • Developed by British applied linguists Harold Palmer and Albert Sidney Hornby form the 1930s to 1960s • Neither term is commonly used today, but the impact has been long-lasting • Due to the influence of the Direct Method they attempted to develop a more scientific foundation for an oral approach to teaching English
One of the first aspects of their method design was the role of vocabulary • Parallel to this was a focus on the grammatical content of a language course • Palmer emphasized the importance of developing classroom procedures suited to teaching basic grammatical patterns through an oral approach • He saw grammar as the underlying sentence patterns of the spoken language
In 1929 a reading-based approach to foreign language teaching for use in American schools and colleges was recommended • This emphasized teaching the comprehension of texts • Teachers taught from books which contained short reading passages in the foreign language • There were lists of vocabulary • Rapid silent reading was the goal • Focus was not on grammar
The entry of US into WW II had a significant effect on language teaching in America • The government commissioned American universities to develop foreign language programs for military personnel (army needed interpreters, assistants, translators fluent in other languages) • It was called ASTP – Army Specialized Training Program
Characteristics of the ASTP: • To attain conversational proficiency • There were no textbooks • They used “informant method” – the native speaker (the informant) was the source of phrases and vocabulary and he provided sentences for imitation • Students were gradually involved into guided conversation with the informant • Structure of the course: 10h per day, 6 days a week • a course lasted 6 weeks
The Army Method attracted considerable attention • The methodology of The Army Method, like the Direct Method, derived from the intensity of contact with the target language • It convinced a number of prominent linguists of the value of an intensive, oral – based approach to the learning of foreign language
As America has emerged as a major international power, there was a growing interest in studying English • Thousands of foreign student entered USA to study in universities, and they required training in English before they could begin their studies • These factors let to the emergence of the American approach to ESL, which by the mid-50s had become AUDIOLINGUALISM
Design • Audiolingualist supported the speech-based instruction (oral proficiency is the primarily concerned objective) and rejected the study of grammar or literature as the goal of teaching • Objectives • Short-range objectives: training in listening comprehension, accurate pronunciation, recognition of speech symbols such as graphic signs and ability to produce those symbols in writing • Long-range objectives: to gain knowledge of a second language as a true bilingual, and to gain ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations
The syllabus • Audiolingualism uses a structural syllabus which is composed of the key items of phonology, morphology and syntax • Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are taught respectively • Types of learning and teaching activities • Dialogues and drills basically form the practices of Audio-lingual classroom
Drills • Repetition: the student repeats the utterance aloud as soon as he has heard it • Inflection: one word in an utterance appears in another form when repeated. I bought a ticket – I bought the tickets • Replacement: One word in an utterance is replaced by another Helen left early – She left early • Restatement: the student rephrases an utterance and addresses it to someone else according to instruction Tell him to wait for you – wait for me
Drills: • Completion: The student hear an utterance that is complete except for one word, then repeats the utterance in completed form. I’ll go my way, and you go… - I’ll go my way, and you go yours • Transposition: a change in word order is necessary when a word is added I’m hungry (so)- So am I I’ll never do it again (neither) – Neither will I • Expansion: when a word is added it takes a certain place in the sequence I know him (hardly) – I hardly know him
Drills: • Contraction: A single word stands for a phrase or clause Put your hand on the table – Put your hand there • Transformation: a sentence is transformed by being made negative or interrogative or through changes in tense, voice, aspect… He knows my address – He doesn’t know my address • Integration: Two separate utterances are integrated into one They must be honest. This is important. – It is important that they be honest. • Rejoinder: the student makes a appropriate rejoinder to a given utterance Thank you – You’re welcome
Drills: • Restoration: the student is given a sequence of words that have been culled from a sentence but still bear its basic meaning. He uses these words to restore the sentence to its original form Students / waiting / bus – Students are waiting for the bus.
Learner roles • Learners are organisms that can be directed by skilled training techniques to produce correct responses • Learners play a reactive role by responding to stimuli • They have little control over the content, pace, style of learning • They are not encouraged to initiate interaction because it may lead to mistakes • Learners do not always understand the meaning of what they are repeating
Teacher roles • The teacher role is central and active • It is a teacher-dominated method • The teacher models the target language, controls the direction and pace of learning • Language learning is seen to result from active verbal interaction between the teacher and the learners • Failure results only from the improper application of the method (teacher didn’t provide sufficient practice, or student didn’t memorize essential patterns)
Instructional materials: • They assist the teacher, they are teacher-oriented • A student textbook is not often used in elementary phases of a course where students are listening and repeating • In later stages of learning, student textbooks provide texts of dialogues and cues needed for drills and exercises • Tape recorders have central role (especially if the teacher is not a native speaker), and language laboratory may be essential
Take a look at the Handout 3 and discuss the following questions: • What are the goals of teachers who use the AL Method? • What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the students? • What are some characteristics of the teaching/learning process? • What is the nature of student-teacher interaction? What is the nature of student-student interaction? • How are the feelings of the students dealt with? • How is the language viewed? How is culture viewed? • What areas of language are emphasized? • What is the role of student’s native language? • How is evaluation accomplished? • How does the teacher respond to student errors?
The decline of Audiolingualism: • Students were often found to be unable to transfer skills acquired through Audiolingualism to real communication outside the classroom • Students found the experience of studying through ALM to be boring and unsatisfying