A Review of Teaching English as a Foreign Language


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This lecture covers the whole English Language teaching from the early days up to Post-Method Era

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A Review of Teaching English as a Foreign Language

  1. 1. Blowing Winds, SHIFTING SANDSand nowThe Post-Method Era<br />Language Teaching and Learning in 21st Century:<br />A Reverie?<br />
  2. 2. PRESENTER:<br />Gholamabbass Shahheidaripour<br /> Freelance Teacher/Lecturer<br /> gshahheidary@yahoo.com<br /> Iran Language Institute Kerman Branch Kerman, Iran July25, 2008<br />
  3. 3. Languages are crucial for the future of our young people,our society and our economy.<br />
  4. 4. In the knowledge society of the 21st century language competence and intercultural understanding are not optionalextras, they are an essentialpart of being a citizen.<br />
  5. 5. Languages for ALLLanguages for LIFEThat is why the ILI must have a National LanguagesStrategy to transform the languages capability of the Nation.<br />
  6. 6. 21st century skills<br />Knowing more about the world<br />Thinking outside the box<br />Becoming smarter about new sources of information<br />Developing good people skills<br />Adding new depth and rigor to our curriculum and standardized exams<br />Reshaping the teaching force<br />Reorganizing who runs the schools.<br />
  7. 7. 21st Century Skills:Language Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age<br /> 21st Century Skills:Language Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age<br /> Digital Age Literacy<br /> Inventive Thinking<br /> Effective Communication<br /> High Productivity<br /> Digital Age Literacy<br /> Inventive Thinking<br /> Effective Communication<br /> High Productivity<br />
  8. 8. Factors Inducing Change in 21st Century<br />A broadening of the overall goals of Language learning to include social and cultural goods such as the development intercultural awareness<br />A general shift of perspective among methodologists and researchers from focusing on teachers and instructions towards learners and learning process<br />A broadening of theories of language learning to incorporate insights not only from applied linguistics, but also from cognitive psychology<br />The internationalization of teaching methods, aims and assessment, which has been influenced by such factors as the opening of Europe in the last decade of the 20th century, but also the work of the Council of Europe<br />The increasing opportunities offered by advances in communication technology, which has challenged the centrality of classroom-based teaching<br />
  9. 9. The Process for Bringing 21st Century Skills into Our Schools<br />LEARN : Research, reflect, discuss, debate, and argue<br />ADVOCATE : Set a GOAL worth striving for<br />FOCUS : a) Find the fit for our classes b) Make the commitment<br />ACTIVATE: a) Try things <br /> b) Make necessary system changes <br /> c) Get everyone ready<br />IMPACT : a) Implement with integrity <br />b) Celebrate, Reflect, Revise<br />
  10. 10. Can we really teach<br />languages?<br />
  11. 11. Learning and Teaching Philosophy TheoryPsychologyApproachMethodTechnique, design and procedure<br />
  12. 12. As fashions in language teaching come and go, the teacher in the classroom needs reassurance that there is some bedrock beneath the shifting sands. Once solidly founded on the bedrock, like the sea anemone, the teacher can sway to the rhythms of any tides or currents,<br />without the trauma of being swept away purposelessly.<br /> —WILGA RIVERS, 1992, p. 373<br />
  13. 13. Theories of Teaching in Language Teaching (Zahorik in Richards & Renandya 2002)<br />A. Science-Research Conceptions<br /> 1. Operationalizing Learning Principles<br /> 2. Following a Tested Model of Teaching<br /> 3. Doing What Effective Teachers Do<br /> B. Theory-Philosophy Conceptions<br /> 1. Theory-Based Approaches<br /> 2. Value-Based Approaches<br /> C. Art-Craft Conceptions<br />
  14. 14. The Essential Skills of Teaching<br />A. Science-Research Conceptions<br /> . Understand the Learning Principles.<br /> . Develop Tasks and Activities Based on the Learning Principles.<br /> . Monitor Students’ Performance on Tasks to See the Desired Performance is being Achieved.<br /> B1. Theory-Based Approaches<br /> . Understand the Theory and the Principles.<br /> . Select Syllabi, Materials, and Tasks Based on the Theory.<br /> . Monitor your Teaching to See that it Conforms to the Theory.<br /> B2. Value-Based Approaches<br /> . Understand the Values behind the Approach.<br /> . Select only those Educational Means which Conform to these Values.<br /> . Monitor the Implementation Process to Ensure that the Value System is being maintained.<br /> C. Art-Craft Conceptions<br /> . Treat each Teaching Situation as Unique.<br /> . Identify the Particular Characteristics of each Situation.<br /> . Try out Different Teaching Strategies.<br /> . Develop Personal Approaches to Teaching.<br />
  15. 15. Chomsky (1965) rephrases Von Humboldt (1836) as follows:<br /> We cannot really teach languages: we can only present the conditions under which a language will develop spontaneously in the minds of the learners in its own way.<br />
  16. 16. Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.<br /> Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe<br />methodsbeliefs<br />Of about <br /> language language <br /> teaching learning <br />
  17. 17. Teacher<br /> Learner<br /> Language<br />
  18. 18. Teachers as Professionals<br />Characteristics of professionals (e.g. doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, etc): <br />•Extended period of advanced specialized training, etc…<br />•Autonomy– ability to exercise professional judgments and make own decisions, and take responsibility for them.<br />
  19. 19. Teachers as Practitioners (DEWEY)<br />Passive Practitioners<br />Reflective Practitioners<br />Transformative Intellectuals<br />
  20. 20. Teachers as Reflective Practitioners<br />•John Dewey (1933): How We Think. Teachers -not just transmitters of knowledge, but problem-solvers; creative, context-sensitive.<br />•Don Schon (1983): The Reflective Practitioner. <br />• Zeichner & Liston(1996): Reflective Teaching: <br /> An Introduction. <br />
  21. 21. Interactive ReflectionB. Kumaravadivelu(2003): <br /> Reflection should not be merely introspective, but interactive as well (involving students, colleagues, planners, etc.)<br />
  22. 22. Three Major Types of Interaction-Interaction as a Textual Activity -Interaction as an Interpersonal Activity -Interaction as an Ideational Activity<br />
  23. 23. A Reflective Practitioner (Zeichner and Liston, 1996):<br />• “examines, frames, and attempts to solve the dilemmas of classroom practice;<br />• is aware of and questions the assumptions and values he or she brings to teaching;<br />• is attentive to the institutional and cultural contexts in which he or she teaches;<br />• takes part in curriculum development and is involved in school change efforts; and<br />• takes responsibility for his or her own professional development”<br />
  24. 24. Method vs. Methodology<br />•Method= established methods conceptualized and constructed by experts in the field.<br /> •Methodology = what practicing teachers actually do in the classroom in order to achieve their (stated or unstated) teaching objectives.<br />
  25. 25. A Methodology that can readily be turned into teaching materials and textbooks and whose use requires no special training will generally be more readily adopted than one lacking these features.( The ILI Methodology)Richards & Renandya (2002)<br />
  26. 26. Methods: Assumptions, Values, and Beliefs<br /> 1. Methods serve as a foil for reflection that can aid teachers in bringing to conscious awareness the thinking that underlies their actions.<br /> 2. Methods offer teachers alternatives to what they currently think and do.<br /> 3. A knowledge of methods is a part of the knowledge base of teaching. Being a part of discourse community confers a professional identity and connects teachers with others.<br /> 4. Interacting with others’ conceptions of practice helps keeping teachers’ teaching alive—helps prevent it from becoming stale and overly routinized (Prabhu 1990).<br /> 5. A knowledge of methods helps expand a teacher’s repertoire of techniques—an additional avenue for professional growth and new philosophical positions.<br />
  27. 27. Language Teaching Methods: (Teacher-focused)<br />•Audiolingual Method <br />•Communicative Language Teaching<br />•Community Language Learning<br />•Competency-based Language Teaching<br />•Direct Method<br />•Grammar-Translation Method<br />•Natural Approach<br />•Oral & Situational Language Teaching<br />•Lexical Approach<br />•Silent Way<br />•Suggestopedia<br />•Task-Based Language Teaching<br />•Total Physical Response<br />
  28. 28. The myth of method<br />1. ‘There is a best method out there ready and waiting to be discovered’.<br /> 2. ‘Method constitutes the organizing principle for language teaching’.<br /> 3. ‘Method has a universal and a historical value’.<br /> 4. ‘Theorists conceive knowledge, and teachers consume knowledge’.<br /> 5. ‘Method is neutral, and has no ideological motivation’.<br /> 1.‘There is a best method out there ready and waiting to be discovered’.<br />
  29. 29. Some Questions to Ask about a Method<br />1. What are the method’s ‘Big Ideas’?<br />2. What are the Theoretical underpinnings behind the method?<br />3. How much ‘engagement of the mind’ does the method expect?<br />4. Is the method deductive or inductive in approach?<br />5. Does the method allow the use the L1in the classroom? (Some methods shun it at all cost.)<br />6. Which of the four skills are given more emphasis in the method?<br />7. How much importance does the method give to ‘authenticity of language’?<br />
  30. 30. Causes of Methods’ Demise<br />1. Methods are too prescriptive, assuming too much about a context before the context has been identified.<br />2. Methods are quite distinctive at the early beginning stages of a language course and rather indistinguishable from each other at later stages.<br />3. It was once thought that methods are could be empirically tested by scientific quantification to determine the best one but ….?<br />4. Methods are laden with what referred to as ‘interested knowledge’—the quasi-political or mercenary agents of their proponents(linguistic imperialism). <br />
  31. 31. The PainIsGoodfor YouMETHOD!<br />
  32. 32. Currently, EFL/ESL teachers are encouraged to explore what works and what does not work in a certain ELT context, using what Brown(2007) calls an enlightened and eclectic approach/ method. (This has a lot of Pro’s and Con’s.)<br />
  33. 33. Learner-focused Language Learning<br />Learning Strategy Training<br /> -Good Language Learner<br /> -Autonomy<br /> 2. Cooperative Learning<br /> -Collaborative or Social Skills<br /> 3. Multiple Intelligences<br /> (Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Body/Kinesthetic, Musical/Rhythmic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Verbal/<br /> Linguistic)<br />
  34. 34. Language Learning: Linguistic Content<br />1. Task-based Instruction<br />2. Content-based Instruction<br />3. Participatory Approach<br />4. The Whole Language Approach<br />5. Competency-based Language Teaching<br />6. Neurolinguistic Programming<br />
  35. 35. Post-method Pedagogy:some proposals<br />•Stern’s Three-Dimensional framework (1992): (i) the L1-L2 connection, <br /> (ii) the code-communication relationship, (iii) the explicit-implicit option.<br />Strategy = ‘intentional action’, Technique= ‘practical action’.<br />•Allwright’s ‘Exploratory Practice’ framework (2003 etc.)<br />
  36. 36. Core Principles for Teachers’ Plans and Instructional Decisions (Baily 1996)<br /> -- Engage all learners in the lesson.<br /> -- Make learners, and not the teacher, the focus of the lesson.<br /> -- Provide maximum opportunities for students’ participation.<br /> -- Develop learner responsibility.<br /> -- Be tolerant of learners’ mistakes.<br /> -- Develop learners’ confidence.<br /> -- Teach learning strategies.<br /> -- Respond to learners’ difficulties and build on them.<br /> -- Use a maximum amount of student-to-student activities.<br /> -- Promote cooperation among learners.<br /> -- Practice both accuracy and fluency.<br /> -- Address learners’ needs and interests.<br />
  37. 37. Brown’s(2001) Teaching by Principles:Integration and Interaction<br />Cognitive Principles:<br /> 1. Automaticity<br /> 2. Meaningful Learning<br />3. The Anticipation of Reward<br /> 4. Intrinsic Motivation<br /> 5. Strategic Investment<br /> B. Affective Principles:<br />6. Language Ego<br /> 7. Self-Confidence<br />8. Risk-Taking<br />9. The Language-Culture Connection<br /> C. Linguistic Principles:<br />10. The Native Language Effect<br /> 11. Interlanguage<br /> 12. Communicative Competence<br />
  38. 38. Maintaining an environment for first-class Language Teaching and Learning<br />Principle 1: An atmosphere of intellectual excitement<br />Principle 2: An intensive research and knowledge transfer culture permeating all teaching and learning activities <br />Principle 3: A vibrant and embracing social context <br />Principle 4: An international and culturally diverse learning environment <br />Principle 5: Explicit concern and support for individual development <br />Principle 6: Clear academic expectations and standards <br />Principle 7: Learning cycles of experimentation, feedback and assessment <br />Principle 8: Premium quality learning spaces, resources and technologies <br />Principle 9: An adaptive curriculum<br />
  39. 39. 7/23/2008 10:09 AM<br />Slide number 39<br />
  40. 40. Heightened Awarenesses Witnessed in L2 Profession in Waning Years of the 20th Century:<br />An awareness that there is no best method out there ready and waiting to be discovered;<br />An awareness that the artificiality created dichotomy between theory and practice has been more harmful than helpful for teachers;<br />An awareness that teacher education models that merely transmit a body of interested knowledge do not produce effective teaching professionals; and<br />An awareness that teacher beliefs, teacher reasoning, and teacher cognition play a crucial role in shaping and reshaping the context and character of the practice of everyday teaching. <br />
  41. 41. Post-Method Pedagogy MUST:a) Facilitate the advancement of a context-sensitive language education based on a true understanding of local linguistic, sociocultural, and political particularities; b) Rupture the reified role relationship between the theorists and practitioners by enabling teachers to construct their own theory of practice; and c) Tap the sociopolitical consciousness that participants bring with them in order to aid their quest for identity formation and social transformation. Treating learners, teachers, and teacher educators as explorers, I discuss their roles and functions in a post-method pedagogy. <br />
  42. 42. Post-Method Main Assumptions:<br />1. Particularity  where, when and to whom<br />2. Practicality  applicable in real situation<br />3. Possibility  socially, culturally and politically appropriate<br />
  43. 43. Post-Method Education’s Three Broad Projects:<br />1. Macrostrategy Projects<br />2. Microstrategy Projects<br />3. Exploratory Projects<br />
  44. 44. MAIN PURPOSE:<br />To Facilitate <br /> the growth <br /> and development of teachers’ own theory of practice.<br /> (Kumaravadivelu, 2006)<br />To teach is to be full of hope.<br /> (Larry Cuban, 1989)<br />
  45. 45. Kumaravadivelu(2003):‘Macro-strategic’ Framework<br /> • Theory-neutral and method-neutral<br /> • ‘Macro-strategies’:General plansderived from currently available theoretical, empirical, and pedagogical knowledge related to L2 learning and teaching; broad guidelinesbased on which teachers can generate their own location-specific, need-based ‘micro-strategies’or classroom procedures.<br />
  46. 46. Raising cultural consciousness<br />Practicality<br />Particularity<br />Possibility<br />Activating intuitive heuristics<br />Facilitating negotiated interaction<br />Integrating language skills<br />Integrating language skills<br />Minimizing perceptual mismatch<br />Fostering language awareness<br />Contextualizing linguistic input<br />Maximizing learning opportunities<br />Ensuring social relevance<br />
  47. 47. Macro-strategies<br />1.Maximize learning opportunities<br /> •Teaching as a process of creating<br /> and utilizing learning opportunities;<br /> teachers as planners and mediators<br /> of learning.<br />
  48. 48. 2.Facilitate negotiated interaction<br />• Meaningful learner-learner and learner-teacher interaction, where learners have freedom to actively initiate and navigate talk, not just react and respond to it.<br /> • Textual, interpersonal and ideational functions.<br />
  49. 49. 3.Minimize perceptual mismatches <br />• Cognitive, communicative, linguistic,<br /> pedagogic, strategic, cultural,<br /> evaluative, procedural, instructional<br /> and attitudinal mismatches between<br /> teacher’s and learners’ perceptions<br />
  50. 50. 4. Activate intuitive heuristics <br /> • Provide enough language<br /> data for learners to discover and <br /> infer underlying rules of form and<br /> function for themselves.<br />
  51. 51. 5.Foster language awareness <br /> •Draw students’ attention to<br /> less obvious properties of L2 to<br /> promote learning<br /> (where necessary). <br />
  52. 52. 6.Contextualize linguistic input<br />• Discourse features <br />need to be<br />contextualized <br /> instead of introduced in<br /> isolated and discrete fashion.<br />
  53. 53. 7. Integrate language skills <br /> • Language skills are essentially <br /> interrelated and mutually reinforcing.<br /> The traditional separation of skills is<br /> more logistic than logical. <br />
  54. 54. 8. Promote learner autonomy<br /> • Help learners learn how <br /> To learn, equip them with the<br /> necessary cognitive (etc.)<br /> strategies, and help them take<br /> responsibility for their own<br /> learning.<br />
  55. 55. 9.Ensure social relevance<br /> • Understand learning <br />purpose and language use<br /> in the local social context<br />
  56. 56. 10.Raise cultural consciousness<br />• Global cultural consciousness, <br /> not just<br /> awareness of L2 culture<br />
  57. 57. Micro-strategies<br /> •Classroom procedures that are designed to realize the objectives of a particular macro-strategy, keeping in mind the learners’ needs, wants and lacks, and their current level of language ability. [see examples in Kumaravadivelu2006]<br />
  58. 58. In short, the framework seeks to provide a possible mechanism for classroom teachers to begin to theorize from their practice and practice what they theorize.<br />
  59. 59. The framework, <br /> then,<br /> seeks to transform classroom practitioners into strategic thinkers, strategic teachers, and<br /> strategic explorers who channel their time and effort in order to <br />
  60. 60. post-method pedagogists:<br /> • reflect on the specific needs, wants, situations, and processes of learning and teaching;<br /> • stretch their knowledge, skill, and attitude to stay informed and involved;<br /> • design and use appropriate micro-strategies to maximize learning potential in the classroom; and<br /> • monitor and evaluate their ability to react to myriad situations in meaningful ways.<br />
  61. 61. Post-Method Condition signifies three interrelated Attributes:<br />It signifies a search for an alternative to method not an alternative method. (a Bottom-up Process)<br />It signifies Teacher autonomy (self-observe, self-analyze, self-evaluate.)<br />It is principled pragmatism (how classroom practices can be shaped or reshaped.)<br />
  63. 63. Next Steps?!<br />
  64. 64. Three broad and overlapping Strands of Thought Emerging from our Discussion<br />The Traditional Concept of Method with its Generic Set of theoretical Underpinnings<br />Unpredictably Numerous Learning and Teaching Needs, Wants, and Situations<br />The Primary Task of In-Service and Pre-Service Teacher Education to Create Conditions for Present and Prospective Teachers to Acquire the Necessary Knowledge, Skill, Authority, and Autonomy to Construct Their Own Pedagogic Knowledge i.e. reflect, stretch, design, monitor, and evaluate …<br />
  65. 65. References<br />•Allwright, R. L. 2003. ‘Exploratory Practice: Rethinking practitioner research in language teaching’ . Language Teaching Research, 7, 113-141.<br />. Brown, H.D. 2000, 4th ed. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Longman.<br />. _________. 2001. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. Longman.<br />.Carter, R. & Nunan, D. 2001. The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. CUP.<br />. Doughty, C. J. & Long, M. H. 2003. The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Blackwell.<br />. Ellis, R. &Barkhuizen, G. 2005. Analysing Learner Language. OUP.<br />. Kaplan, R. B. (ed.). 2002.The Handbook of Applied Linguistics. OUP.<br />.Kumaravadivelu, B. 2003. Beyond Methods: Macro-strategies for Language Teaching. Yale University Press.<br />•_______________. 2006. Understanding Language Teaching: From Method to Post-method. Lawrence Erlbaum.<br />•Larsen-Freeman D. 2000. Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. OUP.<br />. Lindsay, C. & Knight P. 2006. Learning and Teaching English. OUP.<br />. McDonough, S. 2002. Applied Linguistics in Language Education. Arnold.<br />•Mackey W.F. 1965. Language Teaching Analysis. Indiana Univ. Press.<br />•Richards J.C. & Rodgers T. 2001. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. CUP.<br />. __________ &Renandya, W.A. 2002. Methodology in Language Teaching. CUP.<br />•Schon, D. 1983. The Reflective Practitioner. <br />•Stern H.H. 1992. Issues and Options in Language Teaching. OUP.<br />. Widdowson, H. G. 2003. Defining Issues in English Language Teaching. OUP.<br />•Zeichner, K. M., & Liston, D.P. 1996. Reflective Teaching: An Introduction. Lawrence Erlbaum.<br />
  66. 66. Many Thanks to Those Who Made this Possible!ANDThose Who Encouraged and Tolerated Me!<br />