METHODS AND APPROACHES OF TEACHING ENGLISH
Many children learn several languages at a very young age. Language teaching involves many methods. All the available methods may be appropriate to different contexts. There is no one single method strongly recommended in the teaching of English since the level of the learners differ from one anothers. So, it becomes inevitable for a teacher to know the different methods of teaching & learning Awareness of variety of methods help him to apply the relevant method in his classroom successfully.
As a teacher the objective of teaching English must be achieved. Many children learn several languages at a very young age but some fail to learn even the basic English. A child acquires all the necessary skills in his mother tongue easily whereas it fails in the second language. The salient features which affect the learning of second language among the students are discussed below:
||Learning is the act of gaining knowledge and skill by study and from experience etc.,|
||It is done in a later stage.|
||Language learning is a conscious process|
||It involves the skills of reading, speaking and writing.|
||It need not be important in language learning.|
||Learning does not need motivation.|
||In learning, fluency is not guaranteed.|
||Learning is a conscious process in knowing the rules of the language.|
JIM CUMMINS’ INTER DEPENDENCE HYPOTHESIS
According to Jim Cummins’ a firm foundation in L1 is essential to master L2. Learning of mother tongue is a natural process. This natural process should be adopted in learning English as second language. L1 learning takes place in the early stages. So, the same process can be adopted in L2.
- Due attention on correct pronunciation and accent.
- Formation of speech habits should be paramount. (important)
- Formal Loud Reading.
- Avoid teaching of grammar.
- Life related words are introduced.
- Create exposure to language (L2) for communication.
- Create informal atmosphere in L2 classroom.
- Build up efforts for real life communication.
- Encourage learners to focus on the meaning or message, not on form.
- Be tolerant to errors. If correction is needed, do it incidentally.
METHOD, APPROACH, DESIGN & PROCEDURE
What is a Method?
A method refers to the overall plan for the proper presentation of language material. It is based on selected approach and procedure. It include three parts
What is an Approach?
An approach is concerned with the theory of the Nature of Language and Language Learning.
What is a Design?
- A Design concerns with the general specific objective of the course.
- A syllabus model
- Types of learning and learning tasks.
- Role of learners and teachers
- Role of learning materials.
What is a Procedure?
A procedure is the actual happening of the classroom techniques, practices and behaviours.
THE GRAMMAR – TRANSLATION METHOD
The (Grammar Translation Method) is a cross lingual technique. It is used in language learning. Grammar is given more importance in this method. Learners understand the grammar rules better. The exercises in this method put the learner into an active problem-solving situation. In the schools, the teachers often follow the traditional method of translation technique. It is an easy way to explain things. Great Indian leaders is the past had attained remarkable progress in this method. Reading and writing are the major focus. Vocabulary selection is based solely on the text used. The words are introduced through bilingual word lists dictionary and memorization. The grammar rules are presented. A list of vocabulary items is presented with their translation meanings. Translation exercises are prescribed. Grammar is taught inductively. Mother tongue is the medium of instruction.
Steps involved in Grammar Translation Method
- The teacher asks the students to read few lines from the text. He asks them to translate into L1 and he helps them with new words.
- The teacher answers all their questions in L1
- The students write the answers for the questions
- The answers are checked by them. Mistakes are corrected by the teacher. He speaks in L1
- The students are asked to translate the words listed into their L1. The teacher helps them in synonyms, Antonyms and Meanings for these words.
- The teacher works the grammar exercises and he presents grammar rules. The students do the exercises and translate the sentences into L1.
- The students translate the lines from the text into L1. They memorize the read out listed words and frame sentences for the vocabulary items.
- Students write a composition based on the passage.
This GTM was in use for 100 years from 1840 to 1940. It had its own drawnbacks.
- It failed to produce oral fluency in English.
- Students found the method boring as they had to memorize words and rules.
- It does not develop confidence among the learners.
- The use of L1 is more predominantin the class.
- No link between the text words and real life situations.
- The learner was unable to use English in day to day Communication
- This method focused only in reading and writing. Little attention is paid to speaking.
THE DIRECT METHOD
The salient features of the Direct Method are
- The use of everyday vocabulary and structures is the object of language teaching.
- The learner is expected to use the language to the outside situations.
- Oral skills are developed in this method. (Question-answer session, Interaction exercises and intensive drills). Speech habits are developed by initiation drill.
- Grammar is taught inductively
- It focuses on the second language learning in a natural way.
- Concrete meanings are taught through situational approach. The meaning of a word is not given in L1 & L2.
- Abstract meanings are taught through association of ideas.
- Both oral and listening skills are taught.
- Translation method is avoided.
- Good pronunciation is aimed at.
- Writing skill is secondary.
The Direct Method was introduced in France and Germany. In the U.S., it is known as Berlitz Method. The main aim of this method is to help the students to speak the target language (L2) fluently and correctly.
In this method, a short text is presented and difficult words are explained in L2 to the learners. The understanding is tested by questioning and the students learn grammar rules on their own. Question-answer sessions, interaction exercises, intensive classroom drills, dictation, free composition, pronunciation are done in the classroom to develop and strengthen L2.
- Its procedures and techniques were difficult.
- Teachers had difficulty in explaining the difficult words.
- Fluency in L2 is necessary.
- No selection and grading of vocabulary and structures.
- It was a success in private language schools but not in public secondary schools.
- There was less time and less opportunity available in the classroom.
THE BILINGUAL METHOD
Dr.C.J.Dadson developed the Bilingual method. This method needs L1 and L2. The approach begins from Bilingual and becomes monolingual at the end. The teacher uses both mother tongue (L1) and the target language (L2) in the classroom. This may be considered as a combination of the Direct Method and the Grammar Translation Method.
The principles followed in this method are:
- Any Foreign Language or Second language can be learned with the help of L1.
- Mother tongue is not used as Translation.
- Teacher only uses L1 in the class room
- Students are not allowed to use their mother tongue.
- Sentence is the unit of teaching
- L1 is used by the teacher to achieve his communication or explanation.
- Teacher gives meanings in L1 for meaningful parts or sentences.
- When the students achieve sufficient communicative proficiency, L1 is withdrawn by the teacher.
PROCEDURE / STEPS IN TEACHING
- First the teacher reads out a dialogue to the class. The students listen to the teacher with their books closed.
- The students repeat the lines with the teacher with their books opened in the second reading.
- The teacher gives sentence wise or meaningful parts wise L1 equivalents (meanings)
- The teacher says each sentence of the dialogue twice with L1 version (meanings)
Teacher: Would you give me your book?
Teacher: (Gives L1 version)
Teacher: Would you give me your book?
Teacher: (Directs the students to repeat the sentence)
- The focus is on the grammatical structures not on the day-to-day conversation
- The teacher must be proficient (fluent) in L1 and L2.
- It does not follow any set theory
- Students become dependent on their mother tongue
- The methods and procedures are not different
S.O.S (The Structural-Oral-Situational approach)
The SOS approach was officially accepted by the Madras Presidency in 1950. Till 1990, the SOS has been practiced in schools in South India. It is a communication of certain aspect of the Direct Method, oral and Audio Lingualism. The basic importance features of this approach are:
- Learning a language is not only learning its words but also the syntax
- Vocabulary is presented through grades.
- The four skills of (LSRW) Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing are presented in order.
- Sentence patterns exist and can form the basis of a language course.
- Class room teaching and learning are made enjoyable.
- Concrete linguistic items are taught through Demonstration
- Abstract ideas are taught through association.
- It helps to develop learners competence in the use of structure in L2.
TEACHING OF ADJECTIVES
Practical Application: Use of small + so + such + Noun/s
- The books are small and thin.
- The books are so small that I can put three of them in my pocket.
- These are such small books that I can put three of them in my pocket.
Similar sentences are presented by the teacher.
- The situations are not real-life situation.
- The teacher had to carry a lot of TLM’s
- Explanation of abstract ideas is very difficult
- It is viable only in the elementary level
- The approach has been found inadequate and ineffective.
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
CLT is a functional approach to language learning. In 1972, this language course was proposed in Europe. The main aim is to develop the communicative competency of the learner. His need of understanding and expressing in the L2 is the main focus of this method.
OBJECTIVES OF CLT:
- To produce effective communicative competency in learners.
- The focus is on meanings and functions of the language.
- More importance on the learner and his learning.
- Language is acquired in CLT.
- The teacher is a facilitator in language acquisitions.
- Involve the learner in the learning process thro’ problem solving, tasks, participation and interaction.
- All the four LSRW skills are equally treated.
It is an eclectic approach. CLT involves many classroom activities like group work, pair work, language games, role play, question-answer sessions. It is not confined to any set of text books. The learners are mostly introduced task based and problem solving situations.
- No single uniform method is prescribed
- Different techniques are followed in the process of learning
- Several roles are assigned to the teachers.