The Oral Approach and
Situational Language Teaching
English Education Department
Harold Palmer and A. S. Hornby attempted to
develop a more scientific foundation for an oral
approach to teaching English than was evidenced in the
• Vocabulary control
In the 1920s and 1930s, several large-scale
investigations of foreign language vocabulary were
• Grammar control
From 1922 until World War II, Palmer was directed
toward developing classroom procedures suited to
teaching basic grammatical patterns through an oral
The Oral Approach and Situational
The main characteristics of the approach are:
1. Language teaching begins with spoken language.
2. The target language is the language of the classroom.
3. New language points are introduced and practiced
4. Vocabulary selection procedures are followed to ensure that
an essential general service vocabulary is covered.
5. Items of grammar are graded following the principle that
simple forms should be taught before complex ones.
6. Reading and writing are introduced once sufficient lexical
and grammatical basis is establish.
• Theory of Language
The theory of language underlying Situational
Language Teaching can be characterized as a type of
• Theory of Learning
The theory of learning underlying Situational
Language Teaching is type of behaviorist habitlearning theory.
to teach a practical command of the four basic skill of
language, goals it shares with most method of
• The syllabus
• Types of learning and teaching activities
• Learner roles
• Teacher roles
• The role of instructional materials
Davies et al. likewise give detailed information about
teaching procedures to be used with Situational
Language Teaching. The sequence of activities they
propose consists of the following:
1. Listening practice
2. Choral imitation
3. Individual imitation
5. Building up to a new model
7. Subtitution drilling
8. Question-answer drilling
Procedures associated with Situational Language
Teaching in the 1950s and 1960s were an extension
and further development of well-established
techniques advocated by proponents of the earlier
Oral Approach in the British school of language
• Parts of the lesson
– Oral practice
– Reading of material on the new structure, or
» Pittman (1963: 173)
1. When is the revision needed? (aprilia)
2. Is there a relationship between Palmer, Hornby, and
the other applied linguists about the systematic
principles and the characteristics of the approach?
3. Is it necessary for the students to understand
grammatical structures in listening practices? (Rini)
4. What are the weaknesses of the procedures when
teacher implements in the classroom? (Anies)
5. Which one of the procedures is the most useful?