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)
Ryann says…• Teachers are continuously making choices in their classroom either consciously or subconsciously. I thought this was a very interesting way to begin the book because it encourages us as pre-service teachers to find the connections that must be made between the research and pedagogical approaches we have studied and our classroom; how to implement these methods into practice. As a senior, I am beginning to consider this more and more each day. How are the theories and research I have studied in my years at Illinois State going influence my classroom? Should we ever stop being students? How can we as teachers stay up-to-date on these approaches long after graduation?
Ryann writes..• The Article There Is No Best Method- Why? By Prabu further explores the nature of methods in language-teaching. This article states that in language teaching there may be no one best method for every classroom, but how this statement is not an end to the debate- but the beginning. The author states that many times professionals conclude that “there is no best method” to simply end a debate on methods. Stating that the best teaching method “depends” implies that there is a method that is best for different teaching contexts. We should be encouraging a further pedagogical debate.
Aurelie says• As educator we tend to be on a search for what is best for our students, what methods we can use to help them achieve. So as new methods of learning language developed, they were used, analyzed, and criticized. The parts deemed most successful were kept in hopes that overtime a perfect method can be devised. But as Prabhu mentioned in her article just because we blend “what is true of each method does not mean that it has any more truth that any other methods” (167). Just because we blend certain aspect of a method we see truth/ successful, it does mean we have created the perfect method. Before this week’s reading, I always believed that if I retrieve different components of different methods I deemed truth, then I would be getting closer to achieving the unrealistic task of created the perfect method for all learners. But that is not the case anymore. Combining different parts of different methods only creates another method that “shares some concepts with other methods” (168)
Aurelie writes…• We often think that a good method is one that works and the bad one is one that does not, but reading this article helped me realized that is not the case. It is not about good or bad, rather it is about if the method is “active, alive and operational to create a sense of involvement” for both parties (173). If we believe to have found the perfect method, we tend to stop evolving, renovating or even update our methods, and overtime we become robotic and the very perfect method we thought to have developed deteriorates. With time, the perfect method starts failing.• I completely agree with Prabhu, too often we use the term “there is no best method” to run away from a heated debate or to avoid confrontation. Often, expressions like these are often praise because there are looked upon as going to the next level. But what is the purpose of going to the next level to just quickly end the discussion? And for too long and I agree with that. But on the other hand, it seems that if I was to engage in a discussion about learning strategies and methods, the conversation would be infinite because the learning strategies and methods are endless. So how do you end such conversation? Is there such think as ending a conversation that deals with language learning strategies?
Curt writes…• Brown gives numerous examples within vast assortment of different methods that have been popular over the past century of language instruction. One such method listed, which has drawn out my curiosity is the “suggestopedia” by Bulgarian psychologist, George Lozanov. This method utilizes the Baroque form of pre-classical music; Bach and Handel are two of the better known composers of that musical era. Also, Mozart from the Classical Period is often specifically cited for this type of memory retention aid for learning as well. The purpose of this music with its 60 beats per minute facilitates a type of “relaxed concentration” that opens the brain to a greater degree of information absorption and retention. The use of a specific type of music to “calibrate” the human mind into an opened relaxed state has been applied to language learning with results that seemed, according to Scovel (1979), directed at memorization than overall comprehension.
Jori says…• Some of the problems between the methods determined whether they could be used within certain classrooms or not. For example, direct method worked best in private schools and small classrooms. In this case, it is going to be very difficult to make that method work in a public school that has twenty kids in it. With suggestopedia, the problem was the students were required to memorize information, which did not allow them to comprehend the language. In any classroom, memorization cannot be the only factor or a big factor of how the students are going to learn a language. My mind was spinning throughout this chapter about, well if all of these methods don’t work, then what method does work?? After thinking about that question for awhile, I realized that there is never going to be one right method. We are going to have different students every year that are all going to be different learners, which will change the way we have to teach them.
Melissa writes…• Everyone has different needs that cannot be fulfilled by using only one method. Students around the world have different languages, sociolinguistic and cultural backgrounds, attitudes, opinions and learning experiences. Each child has a different learning style, personality and psychological processes that affect the way they learn. Teachers, as well, have different ways of teaching and academic background, there is no one way of doing things. Every person has a different way of perceiving an idea or even a lesson. As Prabhu describes it: "The important issues are not which method to adopt but how to develop procedures and instructional activities that will enable program objectives to be attained?" (Prabhu, 165). I like this phrase because it emphasizes the importance of research, and to think pedagogically about how to develop the appropriate lesson and be able to effectively teach every diverse student. Teachers need to try to avoid mechanical teaching and focus more on sense of plausibility by being consciously aware of the variety of resources, such as other teachers and specialists, as well as using what they learned in school, their past teaching experiences and their own opinions in the classroom. If the teacher is passionate and involved, the students will be too.
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 2-3. 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.• 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.
• The learner is seen as passing through five psychological stages as learning progresses (from childhood to adulthood):1. Birth : the learners know nothing of the target language, and arecompletely dependent on the knower for everything they want to say.2. Self : the learners start to get an idea of how the language works and touse it for themselves, but still seek the knower’s help. They may, forinstance tell the knower what they want to say directly in the targetlanguage, looking to the knower only for confirmation or correction.3. Separate Existence : they start to use the language without referring tothe knower, and may even be resentful of his/her attempts to help.4. Adolescence : learners continue to express themselves independently,but may be aware of gaps in their knowledge, and start to turn back to theknower.5. Independence : learners can continue their learning independently.They no longer need the knower, and may start to act as counsellors forless advanced students.
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.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TebzFxkXRPE
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=4rL-iuIO- YQ&feature=related• www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7Rw0mZa7pE&feature=relmfu
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
Assignments and reminders• Please make sure you are on the class blog!• Sign-up for the discussion facilitation.• Reading and writing about next week’s articles.