Theories And English Approaches


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Approaches for teaching English; historical revision with good and bad points. Not complete, just a little missing. Enfoques para enseñar Inglés, con las ventajas y desventajas de cada uno. No está completo, solo falta muy poco.

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Theories And English Approaches

  1. 1. ENGLISH APPROACHES Orlando Nieto B.
  2. 2. TO REFLECT AND SHARE <ul><li>What theory of learning is behind your teaching practices? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the approach for teaching english you use most? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>What elements of the language are important to teach English to our students successfully? </li></ul>
  3. 3. BEHAVIORISM - Skinner
  4. 4. BEHAVIORISM - Skinner <ul><li>Development = Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Language = Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological development  process </li></ul><ul><li>which has its origin in the external. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on observable aspects of verbal behavior: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical events which precede speech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speech itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical events which follow speech </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoids speculation about internal processes. </li></ul><ul><li>Language is a copy of external world as a relatively passive record of associations of previous data. </li></ul>
  5. 6. INNATISM - Chomsky <ul><li>Human development = process that occurs in a natural way in terms of maturation of ‘innate’ structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Language = genetic program which unfolds and results in a level of complexity that does not reflect what is ‘outside’. </li></ul><ul><li>It develops as a ‘mental organ’ with congenital capacities and limits. </li></ul><ul><li>It implies mental representation of a generative grammar = Universal Grammar, thanks to a Language Acquisition Device (L.A.D.) </li></ul>
  6. 7. COGNITIVISM – CONSTRUCTIVISM (Piaget – Vygotsky) <ul><li>Emphasis on individual, and everything which cannot be understood as mere copy or reproduction (Bermeosolo, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Importance on what the individual brings; he discovers the world actively and ‘ constructs ’ knowledge of reality and language (Bermeosolo, 2001) </li></ul>
  7. 8. COGNITIVISM – CONSTRUCTIVISM (Piaget – Vygotsky) <ul><li>Development  Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Piaget : Intelligence, supported on experience but more on individual’s activity , through a process of constant ‘ equilibration ’ [disequilibration -accommodation – assimilation – equilibration] </li></ul>
  8. 9. COGNITIVISM – CONSTRUCTIVISM (Piaget – Vygotsky) <ul><li>Learning and development are not the same and not one before the other. </li></ul><ul><li>Vygotsky : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thinking and language have different genetic roots, which later join together. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>meaning is constructed in reference to others, representative of culture and history. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. APPROACH, METHOD AND TECHNIQUE APPROACH METHOD TECHNIQUE AXIOMATIC PROCEDURAL IMPLEMENTATIONAL “ Approach : a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language and the nature of language teaching and learning. It states a point of view; a philosophy; an article of faith” (Anthony, Edward) “ Method : an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts, and all of which is based upon, the selected approach. (Anthony, Edward) Technique : it is that which actually takes place in the classroom. A particular trick, stratagem, or contrivance used to accomplish an immediate objective. (Anthony, Edward) Axiom : an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth, and therefore not needing to be proved.
  10. 12. APPROACHES <ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul><ul><li>gradation and sequence of materials not based on realistic spoken speech </li></ul><ul><li>Exposed to unrealistic language [not communicative] </li></ul><ul><li>All statements used related to classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Real life connection expected later not in school. </li></ul><ul><li>DIRECT/NATURAL </li></ul><ul><li>aural-oral skills </li></ul><ul><li>rejected L1 </li></ul><ul><li>Reading and writing deferred = written symbol would confuse learners in use of sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>intensive immersion in L2 </li></ul><ul><li>emphasize effective language use. </li></ul><ul><li>Procedures accompanied language use with appropriate actions (vocabulary introduced by demonstration). </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar = inductive, no explanation. </li></ul>Beginnings XX Century Francois Gouin & Charles Berlitz
  11. 13. APPROACHES <ul><li>ORAL/AURAL </li></ul><ul><li>1st spoken language, then written </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary selection </li></ul><ul><li>Items are graded </li></ul><ul><li>Speech regarded as basis of language </li></ul><ul><li>Structure = heart of speaking activity </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers: models, manipulators [corrected, revised, etc.], looked for errors. </li></ul><ul><li>Visual aids [wall charts, flashcards, etc.] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gradation sometimes arbitrary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depends on level of teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special materials </li></ul></ul>1920s – 1930s Thornby Palmei British Structuralism - behaviorism
  12. 14. APPROACHES <ul><li>GRAMMAR-TRANSLATION </li></ul><ul><li>From teaching of Latin </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned with written language of literature. </li></ul><ul><li>Taught in L1 . </li></ul><ul><li>Texts accompanied by list of vocabulary with L1 translation . </li></ul><ul><li>Gives basic foundation to build communicative skills later. </li></ul><ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul><ul><li>Boring? </li></ul><ul><li>not communicative </li></ul><ul><li>ignores speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of grammar = learning about the lang. Not to use the language. </li></ul>1950s – 1960s Structuralism
  13. 15. APPROACHES <ul><li>AUDIOLINGUALISM (Comeback of Direct Method) </li></ul><ul><li>USA in WWII, to train personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Small groups; highly motivated </li></ul><ul><li>Language = mastering building blocks and rules by which these elements combine from ‘sound’ to ‘sentence’. </li></ul><ul><li>Language is behaviour [S - R - R] </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanical habit formation through repetition. </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogues and drills . Mimicry and memorization. </li></ul><ul><li>Accurate pronunciation and control of structure = paramount. </li></ul><ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul><ul><li>difficulty of transferring to real communication </li></ul><ul><li>learners could not say what they wanted </li></ul><ul><li>Neglects useful language for structurally complex . </li></ul><ul><li>Ignores ‘ meaning ’ </li></ul>1960s Structural Linguistics Behaviourism
  14. 16. APPROACHES <ul><li>T.P.R. (Total Physical Response) </li></ul><ul><li>Based on LISTENING. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical actions reinforce comprehension of basic items. </li></ul><ul><li>Carry out instructions physically performing. </li></ul><ul><li>If environment fun, activities can be motivating and fun </li></ul><ul><li>Asher = it should be used with other methods </li></ul><ul><li>Many learners respond well to kinaesthetic activities </li></ul><ul><li>Activities can serve as memory aid </li></ul><ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul><ul><li>Unlikely that teacher sustain lesson for more than 20 mins </li></ul><ul><li>Teach only imperatives </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult beyond ‘beginners’ </li></ul><ul><li>Questionable relevance of some lang. </li></ul><ul><li>Could work with few learners, problematic in a large class. </li></ul>This method was suggested in the 1960s by James Asher. He thought memory improved with physical movement!!!
  15. 17. APPROACHES <ul><li>NOTIONAL-FUNCTIONAL </li></ul><ul><li>D.A. Wilkins [’72] = work with communicative meanings needed to express and understand effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Language categorized: </li></ul><ul><li>notions and functions </li></ul><ul><li>Communicative focus allows use of ‘complex’ structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: introducing yourself, making requests, offering, apologizing. </li></ul><ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in deciding the order of functions presented. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem : wide range of grammatical structures for basic functions. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher levels.? </li></ul>
  16. 18. APPROACHES <ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of syllabus without direction </li></ul><ul><li>a sense of communication for communication's sake </li></ul><ul><li>ACCURACY in grammar is sacrificed </li></ul><ul><li>COMMUNICATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in more meaningful, authentic language use. [opposite to AUDIOLINGUALISM] </li></ul><ul><li>Activities where learners communicated and where tasks are completed by interaction with other students [rather than accurate use of form] </li></ul><ul><li>More communicative focus to begin communicating in English from first class </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces teacher talking time and maximizes opportunities for communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on more authentic contexts with communicative value. </li></ul>1970s – 1980s
  17. 19. APPROACHES <ul><li>LEXICAL APPROACH </li></ul><ul><li>Lots in common with communicative approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Examines how lexical phrases , play important role in producing fluent speech. </li></ul><ul><li>First coined by Michael Lewis </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental principle: &quot; language consists of grammaticalized lexis, not lexicalized grammar ”: far more language generative power . </li></ul><ul><li>WEAKNESSES </li></ul>This 1990s approach is basis of Mineduc’s Progam. It will be explained at length later.
  18. 20. GRAMMAR-BASED PROGRAM <ul><li>PRESENT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TO BE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OTHER VERBS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PAST </li></ul><ul><ul><li>REGULAR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IRREGULAR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PRESENT PROGRESSIVE </li></ul><ul><li>PAST PROGRESSIVE </li></ul><ul><li>PRESENT PERFECT </li></ul><ul><li>PAST PERFECT </li></ul><ul><li>SIMPLE FUTURE (WILL) </li></ul><ul><li>FUTURE WITH ‘GOING TO’ </li></ul><ul><li>FIRST, SECOND THIRD CONDITIONALS </li></ul><ul><li>PASSIVE VOICE </li></ul><ul><li>MODAL VERBS </li></ul>
  19. 21. Write to us! ingles Programa Inglés Abre Puertas
  20. 22. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION <ul><li>“ Ingles Abre Puertas ” </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Sheehan </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes the curricula and programs for each level </li></ul><ul><li>Based on ‘ corpus linguistics ’ and lexical approach </li></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>Typical examples: </li></ul><ul><li>British National Corpus with over 100 million words (90 million written texts and 10 million spoken texts) </li></ul><ul><li>COBUILD Bank of English Corpus with over 300 million words (spoken and written) </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge International Corpus with over 100 million words (spoken and written) </li></ul>A ‘ corpus ’ (pl corpora ) is a large collection of spoken or written texts stored on a computer.
  22. 24. ‘ Corpus linguistics ’ is the study and analysis of these corpora of written and spoken texts, using a variety of programs (such as concordancers )
  23. 25. What does analysis of corpora tell us ? <ul><li>What ‘words’ really are </li></ul><ul><li>Word Frequency </li></ul><ul><li>Collocation </li></ul><ul><li>Lexicography </li></ul><ul><li>What language really is </li></ul>It provides information about:
  24. 26. Word Frequency Why is this important ?
  25. 27. <ul><li>top 3 words: 11.5% of all word tokens* </li></ul><ul><li>top 10 words: 22% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 50 words: 37% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 100 words: 44% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 1000 words: 74% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 2000 words: 80% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 3000 words: 85% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 10000 words: 93% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>_________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Look at this sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>He told her that he wanted to see her again. </li></ul><ul><li>The sentence contains 10 tokens , and 8 types . </li></ul>
  26. 28. <ul><li>top 3 words: 11.5% of all word tokens* </li></ul><ul><li>top 10 words: 22% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 50 words: 37% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 100 words: 44% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 1000 words: 74% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 2000 words: 80% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 3000 words: 85% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>top 10000 words: 93% of all word tokens </li></ul><ul><li>_________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Look at this sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>He told her that he wanted to see her again. </li></ul><ul><li>The sentence contains 10 tokens , and 8 types . </li></ul>
  27. 29. The ‘top’ 3 words: 11.5% <ul><li>Spoken English: </li></ul><ul><li> the I you </li></ul><ul><li>Written English: </li></ul><ul><li> the to and </li></ul>
  28. 30. The ‘Top’ 50 words: 37% <ul><li>the of and to a </li></ul><ul><li>in that is was it </li></ul><ul><li>for he as with be </li></ul><ul><li>on I his at by </li></ul><ul><li>had this not but from </li></ul><ul><li>have are which her she </li></ul><ul><li>or you they an were </li></ul><ul><li>there been one all we </li></ul><ul><li>their has would when if </li></ul><ul><li>so no will him who </li></ul>
  29. 31. Words from the ‘Top’ 400-500 list <ul><li>problems feet sat parents </li></ul><ul><li>shall today ask show </li></ul><ul><li>business coming education poor </li></ul><ul><li>ago certainly view stood </li></ul><ul><li>months boy living countries </li></ul><ul><li>rest usually hours start </li></ul><ul><li>class difficult wife city </li></ul><ul><li>bad minutes road longer </li></ul><ul><li>police friends late started </li></ul><ul><li>area death further table </li></ul><ul><li>held area </li></ul>
  30. 32. The importance of vocabulary <ul><li>2000 words is recognized as the absolute minimum a language learner needs – the ‘survival’ level </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Knowing’ 2000 words means that about 80% of a text will be understood (or 1 in 5 words will be unknown) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Knowing’ 10,000 words means that 93% of a text will be understood – this is the ideal target for a language learner   </li></ul>
  31. 33. What are the implications? <ul><li>Vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>development </li></ul><ul><li>is the key to </li></ul><ul><li>communication - </li></ul><ul><li>NOT grammar !!!!! </li></ul>
  32. 34. Summarizing the Implications <ul><li>Language learners need to learn as many words as possible as soon as possible (initial 2000 word target, with 10,000 words as ideal longer-term target) </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary development will have to be given much more prominence in language teaching than it receives now </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary teaching will (probably) have to be much more explicit and systematic than it is now </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers will have to develop their own expertise in vocabulary development principles and techniques, so that they can provide appropriate introduction, storage and retrieval activities for their students </li></ul>
  33. 35. Summarizing the Implications <ul><li>Perhaps, a huge ‘mental shift for many teachers whose teaching careers have been dominated by the idea that language is ‘ lexicalized grammar ’, and not what it actually is: ‘ grammaticalized lexis ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps, too, teachers will have to learn (if they do not know) what is happening in the field of research and development in lexis (´corpus linguistics´) and the necessary terminology to talk about vocabulary </li></ul>
  34. 36. CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>Teachers should have practices based on at least one central Theory of Learning. </li></ul><ul><li>English teachers should have a guiding Approach - A set of principles about teaching including views on  method , syllabus , and a philosophy of language and learning, with theoretical backing with practical applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Methods, techniques and assessment are influenced by the election of an approach, and they should not contradict it. </li></ul>
  35. 37. CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>In our practices “there must be an emphasis on communicative activities which improve the students’ ability to communicate, but there is also place for controled presentation of more [structuralist] input and semi-controled language practice” (Harmer: 1991: 43). </li></ul><ul><li>The approach could be ‘ ecclectic ’. </li></ul>
  36. 39. BIBLIOGRAPHY <ul><li>Bermeosolo Bertrán, Jaime. Psicología del Lenguaje: Fundamentos para Educadores y Estudiantes de Pedagogía . Chile: Universidad Católica de Chile, 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>Edward, Anthony. “Approach, Method and Technique”. English Language Teaching, 17 (January, 1963), 63-67. </li></ul><ul><li>Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching . UK: Longman, 1991. </li></ul><ul><li>Ur, Penny. A Course on Teacher Training. Practice and Theory . UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003. </li></ul>