The Practice of English
Approaches, Methods, Procedures
• APPROACH: an approach describes how we acquire language knowledge and gives
us guidelines about the conditions in which language learning will be successful.
• METHOD: putting approach to practice. Includes various procedures and
techniques to support the approach.
• PROCEDURES: an ordered sequence of techniques. EX: First you do this…then
you do that….
• TECHNIQUE: a type of activity, designed to support a procedure. EX: fill in te
Purpose and success depend on…
• DO THEY ACHIVE WHAT THEY SET OUT
• Derived from Behaviorism
• It based its theory in positive reinforcement
• Focused on grammatical and lexical mastery of the learned structures.
• Does not focus on students creating their own rules.
• Error making is not part of learning.
2. PPP (Presentation Practice Production)
• Teacher presents a situation that gives context to what is going to be taught.
• Students practice using reproduction techniques (individual or choral)
• Similarities with Audio-lingual drills.
• Production comes when students make sentences on their own using new
• Critics argue that it is clearly teacher centered, and linear.
3. PPP and alternatives to PPP
• PPP can be used in different ways.
• Keith Johnson offered the alternative of encouraging students into immediate
• Teachers can see if students have problems during production and need to return o
presentation or practice.
• Donn Byrne suggests that teachers can decide at which stage to enter the procedure.
4. Communicative Approach
• Dismisses the notion of language teaching focusing solely on grammar and
• Students use/learn language forms in a variety of contexts
• Believes in plentiful exposure to language will develop student’s knowledge and
skills. EX: realistic communication, role playing, etc.
• Purpose of activities are creating desire to communicate EX: buy a ticket, buy food,
• Focus on context rather than form.
• Critics argue that there is uncontrolled range of language use.
5. Task –based Learning
• Language is presented through tasks students must perform.
• Structures are not the main focus but solving the task using learned language.
• After task is completed , then the teacher can discuss the language learned.
• Willis suggests 3 stages: pre-task, task cycle, language focus.
• EX: conducting a survey to see the most common pets own by the students.
• Critics worry about it not being L2 beginner levels or for young learners,
6. Humanistic Approach
• Student centered classroom.
• Students are encouraged to make use of their own lives and feelings.
7. The Lexical Approach
• Believes that “language consists not only of traditional grammar and
vocabulary but of multi-word prefabricated chunks “ (Lewis 1997:3)
• Fluency is the result of the acquisition of prefabricated items which help
build any linguistic novelty or creativity.
8. Other popular approaches developed during
the 1970’s and the 1980’s
CLL (Community Language Learning)
• Students decide what they want to talk about.
• The facilitator stays outside the circle.
• students stay in circle and facilitator provides the correct statement if a
student says something in their own language.
• Teacher’s role is to facilitate rather than to teach.
• Teachers say as little as possible.
• The focus is that the learner himself discovers and creates language.
• Student centered.
• Teachers model sound while pointing to a phonemic chart.
• Teachers only use gestures or expressions to tell students what to do.
• Critics believe that teacher’s silence acts as a barrier rather that an incentive.
• Physical surroundings and atmosphere of the classrooms is important.
• Traumatic themes are avoided
• Teacher-student sympathy is vitally important.
• Suggestopaedia has 3 stages:
• Oral reviewing-presentation of new dialogue-concert session
TPR (Total Physical Response)
• Comes from the notion that L2 language learning is similar to that of the
acquisition of language in children.
• Language is directed in form of commands and performing actions.
• Students respond physically to the language they hear.
• Critics point out that this approach may only be helpful for beginners.
• Harmer, J. (2001) The Practice of Language Teaching, 3rd edition, US,
• Council of Europe and European Commission (2001) Methodology in
Language Learning T-kit, Strasburg, Council of Europe Publishing.