English 345Week 2 Goals Develop an understanding of the history of language teaching methodology. Know some of the major characteristics of language teaching methods. Identify the theoretical background behind each method. Understand the complexity of finding the best methods.
The important issues are not which method to adopt but how todevelop procedures and instructional activities that will enableprogram objectives to be attained” (Richards, 1985, p. 42)Perhaps the best method varies from one teacher to another, butonly in the sense that it is best for each teacher to operate with hisor her “sense of plausibility” at any given time (p. 176)
Agenda• Your Voices: Critical responses to the readings• Discussion of Brown Chapter 1 and 2a) Classroom Observation: Your perspectives on the classroomb) History of Language teaching: An overview of the termsc) Grammar Translation Methodd) The Direct Methode) The Audiolingual Methodf) Cognitive Code Learningg) Community Language Learningh) Suggestopediai) Total Physical Response• Problemitizing the idea of “best methods” through Prabhu (1990)
Diana says…• In the second chapter of Brown, he focused on the methodology of language teaching and how it has changed and evolved over the years. After reading this chapter and Anthony’s definitions I now better understand the differences between methods and techniques. A method is the plan we use for systematic presentation of a language based on a specific approach and a technique is the activity in the classroom that is consistent with the method we are using (14). Those two definitions have been used for years. I thought it was beneficial that Brown also added more recent uses of what method means and the chart on page 16. The variety of the actual definition of ‘method’ is now something that I am curious about and want to understand more about. The grammar translation method seems very structured and traditional. When I think of this method I do not think of modern classrooms and lessons, but more of a strict lesson and I do not think that it is the most beneficial for students.
Danielle says…• One of the methods I found quite interesting was TPR, total physical response, developed by Dr. James Asher. I had never heard of it before and I think it could be a successful method if used in the right manner. It is a good way for students to get a feel for the vocabulary and not feel pressure to speak. Sometimes shy kids will feel intimidated within the first week of school because they are forced to participate. TPR is a way for students to listen to the language for some time before using it. It is very beneficial for kinesthetic learners but visual learners might have trouble grasping certain concepts if they arent written out. It is a method that one should consider incorporating but it isnt a theory I would follow completely.
Annie says…• It was interesting to see how many different varieties of these ideas were made throughout time until present day. I also liked to analyze the different learning methods and feel that my personal favorite was the “suggestopedia” that stated great quantities of material can be processed if the right learning conditions are given. I really agree with this idea because I know how I learn, and I am much more prone to developing and learning if I am in an environment in which I am comfortable in.
Nicolette says…• When looking through the chapters in our textbook by Brown, especially chapter two, a common theme I found was how in almost all of the methods talked about throughout the chapter they all value comfort, relaxation, listening, and support. When reading through Prabu’s piece then on there being no best method I could not help but think that comfort, relaxation, listening and support were all parts of a method that carries onto other methods like Prabu discussed….To me the best method, if there has to be one, is a mixture of all methods that include such things as comfort, relaxation, listening, and support, but then include what works within the context you are teaching. Everything in our learning differs depending on the person and the content. When in the article Prabu says “because it all depends,” it is true; it really does depend on a number of different factors (162).
David says…• I thought the Prabu article was an interesting and appropriate one to start of this class since it does focus on teaching methods in a language classroom. I think it is good and refreshing to know that there is not one single method that is the best or even a handful of them that are superior and could work every time. I also found it to be a bit overwhelming. As ESL teachers, nothing will be handed easily to us. We will always have new students coming in with different stories and from different backgrounds. Some teaching methods that worked in the past with one group of students might not work as well with a new group of students. I think the article did a good job of highlighting this and especially pointing out that there certainly is no, "best" method. The article states, "Nevertheless, we generally continue to assume, more or less consciously, that there is a method that is objectively the best, that it is in principle possible to demonstrate that fact, and that once demonstrated, the superiority of the best method will lead to its widespread acceptance in the profession…” Though a bit wordy, as was the entire article, I think this does a good job of explaining how some teachers are always searching for the best way of teaching, and once they think theyve found it, they can get rid of all other methods theyve tried and failed in the past. As humans, we are trying to find the "best", but this isnt going to work so well in pedagogy, such as there are so many other factors that come into play, especially in an ESL language classroom.
Amanda…• The article by Prabhu argues that there is no best language-teaching method to use. One of the statements that is made is that different methods are best for different teaching context, but later the author goes on the say that this idea still raises too many questions since we would then be looking for the best method for each teaching context. According to Prabhu, it all comes down to the idea of the teacher’s sense of plausibility. A teacher’s sense of plausibility is “how learning takes place and how teaching causes or supports it” (Prabhu 172). The author concludes that the best method varies from one teacher to another but only when the teacher is operating with “his or her own sense of plausibility at any given time” (Prabhu 175). I like the author’s idea of plausibility and also agree with the argument that there isn’t one best method. A teacher should use whatever teaching method they believe helps their students benefit the most.
Your questions….Lisa asks:• How do we go about choosing a pedagogic method, or do we have to choose?Bethany asks:• What does it look like when a good teacher transfers theory and research into teaching a classroom of students? Is there really one best method or is it always changing based on the learners? How does a teacher know which theories and methodologies will most benefit his/her students?
Reflections on Ms. Lee’s class in South Korea• What’s going on this this class? What are some of her pedagogical choices?• Is language learning taking place? Why? Why not? How do you know?• What would you have done differently?
Group work on unpacking thetheories behind each methodPlease get into group of four. Define the characteristics of onemethod in detail. Discuss: the theory of learning, language andthe teacher role, and what you feel about the applicability ofthis method into your future teaching context(s).• Grammar Translation Method• Direct Method• Audiolingual Method• Silent way• Suggestopedia• Total Physical Response• Community Language Learning
The Grammar TranslationMethod• The goal of teachers: Able to read literature written in the target language. Students need to learn grammar rules and vocabulary of the target language. Learning L2 is a good “mental gymnastics”• The role of the teacher: Authority in class. Teachers as information providers.• Theory of learning: Translation in the target language. Grammar is learned deductively through memorization of grammar rules.• Theory of language and culture: Literary language considered superior to spoken language. Culture consisting literature and fine arts.
Some techniques… • Provide explicit grammar rule of a literary text • Reading comprehension questions • Antonyms/Synonyms • Fill-in-the-blanks • Memorization, rote learning • Pick a grammatical point or two contained in the literary text. Provide explicit grammar rule. Design exercises that require your students to apply the rule to some different examplesSource: Larsen-Freeman (200X).Techniques and principles in language teaching. Oxford University press
Some questions…• Do you believe that a fundamental reason for learning a language is to be able to read literature written in the target language?• What underlying principles of learning do you agree with?• What are some of the techniques of GTM will be useful in your own teaching? Why?
The Direct Method• The role of teacher: Director of the class activities. The teacher and the students are like partners in the learning process.• Theory of learning: no translation is allowed. Grammar is taught inductively. An explicit grammar rule is never given. Students should learn to think in the target language. Students should self-correct the mistakes.• Theory of language and culture: Language is viewed as spoken, not written. Students study common everyday speech. Students study the culture consisting of the history and geography of the people who speak the target language. Students’ native language should not be used.
Some techniques…• Read aloud: Student taking turns reading sections of a text.• Conversation practice: The teacher asks students questions in the target language, which the students have to understand.• Dictation Teacher reading the text three times. 1) Students only listen 2) students write down what they hear 3) students check their work.• Map drawing
Some questions…• Do you agree that the goal of target language should be to tech students how to communicate in the target language?• Does it make sense that students native language should not be used?• What do you think about self-correction?• Is dictation a worthwhile activity?• What techniques of the Direct method would you consider adopting?
The Audiolingual Method• Goals of the teacher: Encourage students to use language communicatively mainly though dialogues. Students should learn the language automatically without stopping to think. Forming new habits in the target language.• Roles of the teacher: Orchestra leader, directing and controlling the language behavior.• Theory of learning: Imitation and repetition. Explicit grammar rules are not provided. Learning is habit formation,• Theory of language/culture: Influenced by descriptive linguistics. Everyday speech is emphasized. Speaking and listening receive the most attention. Culture teaching consists of teaching everyday behavior and lifestyle.• Role of students’ L1: No use of L1. The habits of L1 interfere students attempts to learn L2.Key words: mimicry, memorization, dialogues, repetitive drills, habitformation
Some techniques…• Dialog memorization: Students memorize the dialogue, and take roles in the dialog.• Use of minimal pairs: Students are asked to perceive the difference between the two words and later be able to pronounce. E.G. ship/sheep, uncle/ankle, fur/for, live/leave• Complete the dialog: Selected words are erased from a dialog students learned. Students complete the dialog by filling the blanks with missing words.
Some questions:• Should errors be prevented as much as possible?• Is a dialogue a useful way to introduce new material?• Which of the principles of ALM are acceptable to you?
Chomskian revolution in 1970s: There should besome conscious awareness to “deep structure oflanguage”1) Community language Learning2) Suggestopedia3) The Silent Way4) Total Physical Response5) The Natural Approach
Community LanguageLearning• Developed by Charles Curran who studied adult learning.• Role of the teacher: Language counselors who treat students like a whole person.Stage 1,2,3: the teacher focuses not only on language but alsoon being supportive of learners in the learning process.Stage 4: teacher can now focus on accuracy.• Theory of learning: Students use their L1. Target language is given in chunks. Chunks are recorded. Transcript of the conversation is made, and L1 equivalences are written. Transcription becomes the primary text.• Theory of language/culture: Language is for communication. At the beginning the focus I son building trust and creating a shared identity.
Some techniques…• Tape recording student conversation: Students says an utterance in his/her L1. The teacher gives the student the translation. Each chunk is recorded. After conversation is recorded, it can be replayed.• Transcription: the teacher transcribed the recorded language. Each student is given an opportunity to translate his/her utterances. Students can copy the transcript after it’s been written on the blackboard. The transcript provides a basis for future activities.
Suggestopedia: Affective-humanistapproachDrawing on Lazano, Soviet psychological researcher’s work,suggestopedia focuses on extrasensory perceptions and create arelax state for learning foreign languages.• Role of the teacher: authority in the classroom. Students must trust the teacher to feel more secure.• Theory of learning: learning occurs though suggestions, when learners are deeply relaxed• Theory of language: memorization of a meaningful text. Non- verbal messages are important while interpreting the linguistic messages.• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFHPUFguJa0
Some techniques…• Classroom set-up: Bright and cheerful.• Role play• Choose a new identity• Peripheral learning (by putting up signs and posters)
Silent Way• Role of the teacher: Teacher as an engineer who provides exercises to a) teach b)test c) get out of the way• Theory of learning: Learning through building language blocs through pronunciation. Discovery learning which accompanied by physical objects. Rely on what sounds students already know from their knowledge of L1. Teachers lead students to associate the sounds of the target language with particular colors.• Theory of language: language specific sound-color chart. Pronunciation is taught early on.. Teacher starts with what the students know and builds from one structure to the next.• http://www.youtube.com/watch v=85P7dmPHtso&feature=related
Total Physical Response• Roles of the teacher: director of all student behavior.• Theory of learning: Modeling. The teacher issues commands to students, then performs the actions with them.• Theory of language: Vocabular and grammar structures are emphasized over other areas. Embedded with imperatives. Spoken language is emphasized over written language.• Role of students’ L1: usually introduced in L1. After the introduction, L1 is rarely used. meaning is made through movements.• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkMQXFOqyQA
Some techniques…• Using commands to direct behaviors• Action sequence
There’s NO best method—WHY?• Good teaching as an activity in which there is a sense of involvement by the teacher.• Teachers need to operate with some personal conceptualization of how their teaching leads to desired learning This conceptualization may rise from 1) teachers’ past experiences as a learner and as a teacher, 2) exposure of one or more methods while training as a teacher, 3) what a teacher thinks and knows about other teachers’ actions
TEACHERS’ SENSE OFPLAUSABILITY:• It’s when teachers’ sense of plausibility is engaged in the teaching that the teacher can be said to be involved. When the sense of plausibiity is enagaged, the teaching is productive.• It’s not about a good or a bad method but whether it is active, alive or operational enough to create a sense of involvement for both the teacher and the student• “The enemy of bad teaching is not a bad method, but overroutinisation”• The method, from this point of view, is not good or bad, but has more or less pedagogic power to influence teachers’ subjective understanding of teaching (p. 175)
The myths of methods1. There is a best method out there ready and waiting to be discovered—the implementation of any method should take into account language policies, teacher profiles and learning needs and variations.2. Methods constitutes the organizing principle for language teaching— method is too inadequate to explain the complex process of language learning and teaching. The uncritical acceptance of method has mislead to believe us that method has the capacity to cater all learners.3. Method has a universal and ahistorical value—learners across the world learn languages for the various reasons and follow different paths.4. Theorists conceive knowledge and practitioners consume knowledge— Teachers do not simply follow the principles. Teachers develop and follow context specific sequence of activities.Canagarajah (1999) called for a pedagogy in which members of the peripherycommunities will have the agency to think critically and work out ideologicalalternatives that favor their own environments
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