Approaches, beliefs and methods.
Definitions of pedagogy.
“Method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical
concept” (Oxford dictionary)
“Art, science or profession of teaching” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
“the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of teaching” (Wikipedia)
What is teaching?
How do theories of learning connect with teaching practices?
Freire on the banking model of education
The blank slate or tabula rasa (Aristotle)
Filling a pail or lighting a fire?
Methods, methodologies and beliefs
Macaro (2003) uses the four way stretch diagram to represent the polarisation of
theories of language acquisition:
The horizontal axis represents the polarisation between theories of language input. Implicit input
arises from natural exposure and sub-conscious processing, explicit from teaching and conscious
processing. The vertical axis represents the concept of how language input is processed. Nativist
implies that language learning is an innate skill, interactionist that language is a specialised form
of knowledge that is acquired through interaction with the environment. He adds this observation:
―Of course polarizations are never absolute and theories as well as individuals place
themselves on various stages along the continuum of these axes.(p22)
Where are you?
At the transmission end of this continuum tutors would have positivist views that
learning is achieved through the transmission of objective reality. They would see
mastery and internalisation of language structure and form to be the learner’s goal.
At the interpretation end, the tutor is concerned to train the learner to become
autonomous in language acquisition, more in tune with a constructivist view.
“teachers change in areas they are already primed to change, and
this priming depends on their individual characteristics and prior
experiences, which shape their view of the classroom, their students
and themselves as teachers. […] Accordingly, attempts to influence
teachers’ behaviour will have an impact only in areas where the
input in valued and salient to the individual, and where it is
congruent with, and interpretable within, the teacher’s own world of
thought and action.”
Pennington, M. 1996. In Freeman, D. and Richards,J.C. (eds). Teacher learning in language
Teaching is a complex, situated activity
Must take account of:
Distance between L1 and the FL
Students prior learning, experiences and expectations
Constraints imposed by institutional context
Nature of assessments and course requirements
Characteristics of individuals, group dynamics
(adapted from Klapper, 2006. p122. Understanding and developing good practice.
Language teaching approaches
Sees language as a deductive process, conducted largely through writing.
Direct association of objects/concepts with L2, avoids use of L1
Uses audio drills and learning dialogues to train speakers
Communicative Language Teaching: (CLT – strong vs weak)
Chomsky. Emphasis on communication of messages
Form-focused Instruction (FFI; FonF;FonFs)
Draws learner attention to linguistic form/s
Task-based Instruction (TBI)
Meaning based activities closely related to learners’ actual communicative needs
Lewis’ Lexical Approach
•Intensive and extensive listening and reading in the target
• First and second language comparisons and translation—
carried out chunk-for-chunk, rather than word-for-word—
aimed at raising language awareness.
• Repetition and recycling of activities, such as summarizing
a text orally one day and again a few days later to keep words
and expressions that have been learned actively.
• Guessing the meaning of vocabulary items from context.
• Noticing and recording language patterns and collocations.
•Working with dictionaries and other reference tools.
•Working with language corpuses created by the teacher for use
in the classroom or accessible on the Internet
Lewis proposes a new model:
The seven hypotheses for constructivist language learning
(Chapelle, 1998) :
•The linguistic characteristics of target language input need to be made
•Learners should receive help in comprehending semantic and syntactic
aspects of linguistic input
•Learners need to have opportunities to produce target language output
•Learners need to notice errors in their own input
•Learners need to correct their linguistic output
•Learners need to engage in target language interaction whose structure
can be modified for negotiation of meaning
•Learners should engage in L2 tasks designed to maximise opportunities
for good interaction
In small groups, study the provided examples of teaching materials designed for
French teaching. What can you deduce from these about:
Approach to language teaching and learning?
Beliefs of teachers using such materials?
The methods employed in using/creating such materials?
Can you recall your own experience of language learning in school? What would
you replicate and what would you seek to change?
Post modern? Post methods?
Autodidacticism: learning in the YouTube age
SOLE: self-organised learning – Sugatra Mitra’s Hole in the Wall project
Old theories, new contexts (See Wheeler, 2015. ch 4. Learning with e’s) Affordances
of technologies giving new contexts and possibilities.
Connectivism: (Siemens, 2002)
Heutagogy: (Hayes,S. and Kenyon,C. 2000) another way to describe learning more
suited to contemporary life?