The following lines are an attempt to reflect on what i regard as important groundsto teach languages especially English. In them, I will refer to basic methodologicalconcepts such as approaches, methods, techniques professional labels andlanguage and learning theories. These concepts are important because they willlight the practice of language teaching of those teachers who read them. Myobjective is to make English language teachers aware of the importance ofknowing them for language teaching practice.The first basic concept I want to start with is approach as an important theory forEnglish language teachers and approach as a level of teaching at educationalsettings. On the one hand, theorists refer to the term approach as a set ofcorrelative assumptions or beliefs of how language is best learnt and taught. Onthe other hand, they do it to show the different ways teachers approach thelanguage at the educational settings.An approach to language teaching has key components which make it necessaryto be understood and handled by teachers. These components are as follows:Approach, method and techniques. As stated some lines above the approach is theset of correlative assumptions or beliefs about how language is best learnt andtaught. The method is the way teachers organize the language content material(syllabus) and the techniques are activities teacher do in the language room.
On referring to the term approach as ways teachers have to approach thelanguage at educational settings, it can be said that most of the times they do it inthe same way as any other subject in the curriculum. This evident in thememorization tasks they give the students to do, the language instruction focusedon the forms of the language and the absence of communicative techniques. Sadlyfew teachers have grounded their teaching practice on the theories of languageand learning and as result we see more silent and bored language rooms thandynamic and alive ones where the learners use the language all the time of theinstruction.The second important component of the term approach is METHOD. This speaksabout the freedom the teacher has to organize the syllabus when teaching.Knowing this principle will set teachers free from teaching the contents as they arelined on the book grid.And the third component of the term approach is TECHNIQUES. This term actuallydeals with the activities teachers bring to the language room and the nature ofthem.
Secondly, the need of holding a professional label is the great importance forEnglish language teachers. This will tell them how to name the subject matteraccording to the educational context. The professional labels which give teacher aprofessional name are as follows:TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language)TESL (Teaching English as a second language)TESOL (Teaching English to students of other languages)TEAL (Teaching English as additional language)ELT (English Language teaching)On the third place we have language theories as another strong theoretical groundfor English language teaching. They are the structural view of language, thefunctional view of language and the interactional view. Each of these theories focuson particular aspects of the language. The structural view is the most traditional ofthe three language theories. It sees the language as set of well arranged-structured units of language for conveying meaning. This view of language focusesthe language instruction on grammatical operations (adding, shifting andtransforming), grammatical units (morphemes phrases and sentences), andPhonological units (Phonemes). It is my knowledge that this view alone does notfoster communicative competence.
The second language theory is the functional one. In contrast to the structural views, this sees language as vehicle to convey meaning and therefore it organizes the language by categories of functional meaning. The functional view covers the structural one and promotes a more significant learning of the forms of the language. The third theory of language is the interactional. This view is a cover all- term that fosters the use of language as an opportunity for making interpersonal relationships. As regards language learning theories they are six and match each language theory in particular. See the chapter below.STRUCTURAL VIEW OF LANGUAGE FUNCTIONAL AND INTERACTIONAL VIEWS OF LANGUAGEDeductive learning inductive learningAnalytic learning Experiencial learningHabit formation Naturalistic acquisition
Behaviourist theory Language use or language competenceFoster language learning by Focused on making the students aware of howstudying the rules and the language works, is that to say by the use of languagestructures To close I hope to have demonstrated the importance of these theories in English language teaching and the great and urgent necessity that English teachers practices are grounded on each of these theoretical grounds.