ELT Approaches and MethodsCurriculum: is the embodiment of a program of learning and includes philosophy, content, approach and assessment. Designs for carrying out a particular language programA syllabus: is an outline and summary of topics to be covered in an education or trainingcourse. It is descriptive (unlike the prescriptive or specific curriculum). A syllabus is often either set out by an exam board, or prepared by the professor who supervises or controls the course quality. It is usually given to each student during the first class session so that the objectives and the means of obtaining them are clear. A syllabus usually contains specific information about the course, such as information on how, where and when to contact the lecturer and teaching assistants; an outline of what will be covered in the course; a schedule of test dates and the due dates for assignments; the grading policy for the course; specific classroom rules; etc. Sometimes, syllabus is a name used in UK to refer to the curriculum US.Approach: are views about the nature of language and how we learn it, which in turn gives a philosophy about language teaching and orientation to teachers. An approach informs the theories about the nature of language and language learning, which is the source of what to do in the language classroom and provide reasons for doing them. It describes how language is used and how its constituent parts interlock. It also makes statement about the conditions which will promote successful language learning. Theoretical positions and beliefs about the nature of language, the nature of language learning, and the applicability of both to pedagogical settings.Method: A practical realization of an approach, in specifies what types of activities, roles of teachers and learners, and what materials will be helpful as well as offering some models of syllabus organization. Methods may include the specification of procedures and techniques. Methods are also defined as detailed specifications of what and how to teach based on a specific approach. It goes more into detail as the syllabus, learning activities, and teaching techniques.A generalized set of classroom specifications for accomplishing linguistic objectives.Procedures: A string of related activities or an ordered sequence of techniques, such as the procedures of ‘running-dictation’. It informs the teacher in a language such as, “first, you do this, then… after that… finally…”Techniques: Any of a wide variety of exercises, activities, or devices used in the language classroom for realizing lesson objectives. It is a single activity that may be used in the procedure, such as ‘silent viewing’ where the teacher plays a video without sound in teacher’s lesson plan of ‘a movie class’. 1. Classical method: Emerged due to the increasing need to learn the Greek or Latin. Aims not to learn the language per se, but to be literate in Greek Uses translation, rule-learning, doing exercises, and studying lists of words from dictionaries. 2. Grammar Translation Method: It is a direct successor or adaptation from the classical method. In other words, it’s still a classical method but applied in the language classroom, and hence highly reliable. At that time, there were no theories of language learning that prevailed. It was only seen as a way to gain a mastery over reading proficiency in another language, which is why translation was the primary method used. Provides easy grading because the tests are objective. Requires little teaching expertise, just need to know the tidbits about the grammar of a language. Theory-less. Class is conducted in L1. Vocabulary is learned in a form of list and isolation Lots of heavy reading, even at early levels. No attention is given to the contexts of the texts (or content), everything is purely grammatical analysis (form). Lengthy intricate explicit grammar rules are taught, followed by examples in sentences and translations exercises from L2 to L1 and vice versa. Language is learned at a sentence level.
Not much attention is paid to speaking, pronunciation, or any communicative ability.3. Series method: a. Developed by Francois Gouin after learning the hard way that language is best learned through the immersion and actual use of it, rather than memorizing lists of vocabularies and rules. b. A method that taught students directly (no translation) and conceptually (without explicit grammar rules and explanation). c. It is called a ‘series’ because the way the teacher presents the language is done in a series: I walk toward the door. I draw near the door. I get to the door. I stop at the door. d. Using language that is easy to comprehend, stored, recalled, and related to reality.4. Direct method: a. Was actually derived from ‘Gouin’s Series method’, only came to be known a generation after its successor. b. Is a counter-act against the disappointment that many felt with Grammar-translation method c. Mirrors how children acquire their first language: lots of oral interaction, spontaneous use of language, little or no analysis of grammatical rules. d. Even if there was grammar to be taught, it is taught inductively. e. No more translation; back then lots of native teachers were travelling worldwide teaching English, meaning that the class was conducted exclusively in L2. f. Every day (familiar and immediately useful) vocabulary is taught. g. Sentences are now exemplified in a meaningful way through demonstrations, objects, and pictures; there is an effort for contextualization. h. Listening comprehension and speech are now taught. i. Correct pronunciation and grammar were emphasized. j. But language learning is still restricted at a sentence level. k. For it to work, it needs a teacher with nice personality l. Also come under criticism that it lacks theoretical grounding. m. Quite expensive, and not applicable to large classes5. Audiolingual Method: Mainly used in the US, triggered by World War 2: massive language classes done in a short time. It provided an impetus of intensive classes focusing on aural or oral skills. Originally it came to be known as ‘the army method’ and by 1950s its name changed to Audiolingual method. Practically the same, but it’s the one applied in the classroom rather than for the armies. It was a transformation or reformation from direct method. Habit formation: grounded by a theory of behaviorism. Uses heavy drills to achieve its end, and use substitution drills as an alternative Provides rapid language success within a short period of time. Roughly follows the PPP pattern; using a ‘stimulus-response-reinforcement’ procedure. Any new material is presented in a dialogue form. The grammar is taught inductively though these dialogues. Vocabulary is limited but learned in context (of the dialogue). The emergence of usage of language labs, tapes, and visual aids. Very little use of mother tongue. Language is manipulated, and the content is disregarded. Students are limited to know and produce only what is learned in class, in real life situation this means that they would not be able to communicate effectively, and widely in a variety of different situations. Mastery over a native-like pronunciation is sought High dependency on memorization Accuracy is highly sought after, mistakes should be abolished! Still, language is learned at the sentence level, not much attention is paid to the communicative goal. The method has often been criticized for its deeply rooted ‘habit-formation’ theory; language is not something that we learn through parroting alone, and that mistake is also a normal part of learning!
6. Cognitive Code Learning: Is a twin of audiolingual method but it has an added ‘grammar’ learning in it, or a combination of audiolingual and grammar translation method put together. Deductive approach is used: children subconsciously acquire a system of rules. However, learners are dulled by endless repetitive rules.7. Community Language Learning: Sees the students as a group in need of certain therapy and counseling. The social dynamics of the group is of primary importance. Language learning is seen as a community with everyone sitting in a circle sharing an equal status, no more teachers dominating the class. The teacher’s presence is no longer a threat, controlling the class, but acts as a true counselor, providing guidance and help of what the students need. The aim of learning is for students to develop a dialogue-like activity in L1. The ‘knower’ stands outside the circle, providing necessary translation for the students. Once the students accurately say the L2 translation, the teacher records the utterance. This sequence is repeated and ‘replied’ by other students, forming a conversation. Any mistakes, noted during the actual production would then be used as a source of feedback at a later stage in the classroom. Because everything comes from the students, it is inherently interesting. One downside to this method is that the teacher needs to be quite skilled at translating.8. Suggestopedia: Developed by GeorgiLazanov Concerns itself with the physical apparatus or condition of the class: the chair, the table, the board, the walls, etc. Uses invented name, and acts in a child-parent relationship with the teacher. Traumatic topics avoided. Has the view that language learning can only be facilitated if learners are in a relaxed ‘brain’ condition. Makes use of affective factors; to have their affective filter lowered, students must be in a relaxed state, sitting in comfortable chairs, listening to baroque music. Sadly not all teachers have access to these kinds of luxuries. The class may end in a period of silence.9. The Silent Way: a. As its name suggests, the teacher is silent, giving more time for students to talk and discover the language patterns for themselves. b. Founded by Caleb Gattegno. c. Teacher may only talk during the first few stages in the classroom, where he models what the students should say. d. Teacher takes a back seat; students are in the driving seat. e. Enhances ss’ cognitive depth. f. Uses Cuisenaire rods as a tool for pronunciation class or to introduce new vocabulary, verbs, and syntax (such as rule- ordering), so that teachers says as little as possible – even for feedback it remains minimal. g. The method is considered to be too harsh, because students need to be guided by the teacher in the correction, especially in the beginning phase of a lesson. Also the relationship with the teacher is a bit too distant. h. Students may end up struggling for hours, discovering the patterns themselves when actually teacher’s instruction could save the time! i. As with any other classrooms, too much reliance on one method could send students to boredom. All the Cuisenaire rods, after their use in a prolonged period, would be tedious, and thus this calls for an integrated method, to tie up its lose ends.
10. Total Physical Response: a. This method was developed out of a theory in psychology which states that language can easily be retained if learners are involved in some kind of psychomotor activity. b. Links learning to psycho-motor activities; uses bodily movement as a respond to what the teacher instructs. c. Other theories have also been injected into this one method: the first one is first language acquisition which says that as a child begin to learn the language they would first get the aural input from their parents, and these listening comprehension phase would soon be followed by a series of ‘do-it’ psychomotor activities. Another idea that is put to work is that the right-brain function (the motoric) must precede the left brain processing (the language). This is due to the fact that most second language learners are coping with anxiety, and by providing these ‘right-brain’ motoric activities, it was hoped that they would be relaxed, and stress-free so that it maximizes the language input gained in the class. d. Starts with teacher -> s, then s ->ss, but students shouldn’t instruct others before they are ready to do so. e. Works well for kinesthetic students. f. Not applicable for advanced students. g. As with other techniques, it will need to be integrated, learners also need to be spontaneous and use unrehearsed language to prepare them to communicate effectively in the real world outside the class.11. The Natural Approach: Is an applied approach from Krashen’s theories of second language acquisition, developed by Krashen’s colleagues, Tracy Terrel. Production is delayed until learners are ready for it. And the conditions needed to get students ready for ‘the emergence of speech’ includes: relaxed atmosphere (affective filter is lowered), and that there needs to be a great deal of ‘input’ that takes place in the class – an input that is slightly beyond learner’s current level of English, this is what is referred to as ‘the silent period’. To sum up, there three known stages to this approach: o Pre-production: learners are silent, listening to what the teacher has to say. This is to develop students’ listening comprehension skills. o Early production stage: learners produce the language, but the focus is on meaning so, little or no correction is given by the teacher o Production / Freer activity: this is where the ‘heart of the activity’ lies: role plays, dramas, and all other big projects. Teacher will still not correct as much, as the main aim is on meaning. Meaning-focused not form-focused The ‘speech emergence’ has been criticized as not everyone has the same pace, and therefore their moment of ‘producing the language’ differs. The input hypothesis assumes that students will make use ‘only’ the input they hear from the teacher, how can teacher be so adamantly confident that these are the kinds of languages that will be used throughout the communication games?12. Notional-Functional Syllabus: Used in UK, in 1970, with focal attention given to language functions such as: giving permission, apologizing, disagreeing and agreeing. This would later be used as a precursor to CLT. This is a stark contrast to the structural syllabus which orders the sequence of materials to be learned according to the grammar bit of the language. This NFS is a reaction to the structural one, and shifts its focus now on the pragmatic purposes of the language rather than its structure. This is why this is not viewed as a method; it’s more like an approach or a syllabus-organization. Notion refers to the general and specific idea. In its more general sense, it’s the abstract concepts such as time, space, and quantity -> of which we use language to express thought and feeling. The specific side refers to things like personal identification, travel, health and welfare, education, shopping, services, and free time. Because this is a syllabus, it does not specify or give directions of how these sequences of functional materials are used in the class, this is what makes it different from CLT. CLT designates the how to teach, or gives specification of sets of strategies for getting messages across.
13. CLT: a. Is an approach that comprises of different methods strung together, a collection of theories of SLA that ‘seemed to have worked’ in the past. It’s not a method. b. Mainly aims to improve students’ ability to communicate. c. The focus is on spoken communication – namely the functions such as agreeing / disagreeing, how to apologize, to invite, etc. But at the same time giving attention to written grammar. d. Proponents of CLT say that it’s vitally important that students be exposed to and have the opportunity to use the language. e. Centers around the belief that language learning will take care of itself when students are engaged in a meaningful task that enables them to communicate with others f. Deep end CLT: no materials control, no teachers’ intervention, the drive is on communication g. Typical CLT activities include things like role-playing, debate, or information gap, where the attainment of successful communication is of paramount importance, and accuracy comes second. h. These activities are said to resemble real life, meaningful activities. i. Is rather sided to native speakers who could provide feedback to students at will, disparaging non-native counterparts who might not have the ability to correct students’ ‘real-time’ uncontrolled range of language use. j. Might also clash with those who have the cultural expectation of teachers teaching or spoon-feeding students. Differences between CLT and Audiolingual method:Views that language is learned through trial and error; mistakes are Views that language is learned through habit formation, errors should bepart of learning process abolished at all costFluency AccuracyCommunicative competence Linguistic competenceFocus on meaning Focus on formThe goal is to enable students to communicate effectively in L2; The goal is to master the language by studying rules, sound patterns,effective communication is sought words; overlearning or mastery of the language is soughtDrillings are peripheral Drillings are its main techniqueGrammar is taught to achieve its communicative end Grammar is not taughtCommunicative activities may begin anytime Communicative activities are given only after oral practice drills.Mother tongue use is allowed, and used as the last resort Mother tongue use is prohibited.Comprehensible pronunciation is ok. Native-like pronunciation is sought after.The role of the teacher is to facilitate, guide, and motivate students. Teacher controls the class. The six interconnected hallmarks of CLT: 1. The goal should be to enable students towards communicative competence, which include grammatical, discourse, sociology, and strategic competence that intertwine with pragmatic competence. 2. The techniques used in the classroom must be able to engage learners in the pragmatic, functional, and authentic language use for meaningful purposes. Focus on form may be needed to meet the pragmatic goal, but not the end by itself. 3. Students ultimately have to be able to use the language both in the productive and receptive skills in unrehearsed contexts outside the classroom. 4. Students should be given opportunities that focus on their own learning process through an understanding of their own styles of learning, and development of appropriate strategies for autonomous learning. 5. Accuracy and Fluency are complementary. But there are times when accuracy must step aside so that students are not necessarily interrupted in their engagement with meaningful communicative activities. 6. The teacher is no longer seen as the fountain of all knowledge, but rather the one, who encourages, motivates, facilitates, and guides students to enable them to communicate effectively through interaction with others. This seems to be in line with what W.B. Yeats about education, in which he states that ‘education is not the filling up of a pile, but the lighting of a fire’.
14. Task-Based Instruction: a. Puts task at the center of one’s methodological focus. b. A task here is simply defined as an activity in which meaning is primary; there is a problem to solve and relationship to real-world activities, with an objective that can be assessed in terms of an outcome. Tasks can be: target task (uses of language in the world beyond the classroom), and pedagogic task (those that occur in the classroom). c. There is some communication problem to solve; these tasks reflect the tasks that students are likely to face outside the class. d. Makes the performance of meaningful tasks as central to the learning process. e. Learners will learn the language just as likely when they are engaged in meaningful task-based activities that promote the successfulness or the completion of these tasks rather than the learning of the language itself. f. Some view that it is hard to pin down what exactly is TBI. g. Uses a ‘deep-end’ strategy; students are first given a task to perform so that teachers can diagnose what to improve on in another related sequence of activities that follow. h. Another way of using TBI is: pre-task (introduction), task cycle (doing the task, report to the class), and language focus (feedback, or further reinforcement language practice)15. The lexical approach: a. Language learning is no more rule-generated, but a matter of exposing oneself to a plethora of pre-fabricated lexical chunks such as: “I have got to go”, “May God bless you”, “I bet my bottom dollar that…” b. Some examples of lexical approach is the ‘interposition’ of adverbs, or rearrangement of words. c. Vocabulary should be acquired, not taught. d. Thornbury views that learners will still have to master the core rules if they were to exploit the usefulness of these chunks, or it may end up as learning endless chunks without having something to anchor them to. “all chunks but no pineapple’16. Learner-centered instruction: a. The opposite of teacher-centered instruction. b. The techniques must be those that focus on learners’ need, styles, and goals, and that some control is given to the student. Students now have a sense of ‘ownership’ of their learning and thereby add to their intrinsic motivation. c. Techniques that would allow some creativity and innovation. d. Techniques that enhance students’ competence and self-worth. e. Curriculum that looks at the input of learners, and do not presuppose goals in advance. f. Students take a more active role in learning, rather than seen as a passive bystanders waiting for the knowledge to be poured in from the teacher. g. In learner-centered instruction, we take accounts of learner’s personal interests, their needs, their creative growth, and their self-worth.17. Cooperative and collaborative learning: a. To be contrasted with the notion of learning being ‘competitive’. b. Usually involves the characteristics of learner-centered above. c. Research has shown that such ‘cooperative learning’: enhances students’ self-esteem, promoting intrinsic motivation, lowering anxiety and prejudice. d. One of the things teacher must consider is: students’ over-reliance on their first language, the different backgrounds of learners’ learning styles, personality differences. e. The two doesn’t mean the same. In cooperative learning, everything is directive prescriptive and largely depends on the socially constructed exchange of information between learners. In collaborative learning, students work with the ‘more capable others’ such as peers, teachers, to get some guidance and help. This has been seen to cut across the usual hierarchies of students and teachers.18. Interactive learning: Communicative competence embodies the interactive nature of communication. This will compel us to create opportunities for genuine interaction in the classroom. Some characteristics of interactive learning include: the use of group work, authentic input, the production of language should be genuine as well as the target of audience (for writing), performing tasks that prepare students to use the language ‘outside’
The theoretical foundation that underpins interactive learning is Michael Long’s interaction hypothesis that learners will enhance their language if they were to interact with others, not just receiving input such as proposed by Krashen.19. Whole language education: This is based on reading research which assumes that: (a) the importance of literacy is as paramount as the oral skill, (b) language is seen holistically rather than separately, (c) there is a relationship between oral and written language. Some characteristics of this whole language education include: holistic assessment, authentic language, cooperative learning, student-centered learning, meaning-centered language, and the integration of ‘four-skills. This WLE is sees as the way one should educate, rather than an approach by itself. It’s not a recipe or an activity that can be put in our lesson plan, it’s an educational way of life. Whole language education implies that language is not the sum of its many parts. This is evidenced by our first language acquisition where children perceives ‘wholes’ before its ‘parts’ -> this assumes that teachers could use the ‘top-down’ strategies.20. Content-based instruction: a. The integration of content learning with language teaching aims: the concurrent study of language and subject matter, with the form directed by the content material. b. This may result in a surge of intrinsic motivation, and empowerment since students are focused on subject that matters to their lives. c. Learners learn the content or the message of the (reading) text while at the same time they are learning the language. Language is now seen as a vehicle to the understanding of the many interesting messages found in the reading text.