You are on page 1of 16

CURRCULUM AND DIDACTIC APPLIED TO ENGLISH I METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES Aim of the subject Marianne Celce-Murcia (1980) argued that

t we need a historical perspective to evaluate innovations effectively. Foreign language teaching e perienced !any changes in the "0th century and since the turn of the !illenniu!# it has found itself caught up in the co!ple technological and cultural develop!ents $rought a$out $y glo$ali%ation. &erhaps# !ore than ever# it is i!portant to have a clear perspective on the develop!ent and interrelationship of the different language teaching approaches. 'uch a perspective is greatly needed for evaluating the !any so-called innovations and new !ethods $eing descri$ed in (ournals# lectures and wor)shops. *he ai! of this su$(ect is to fa!iliari%e you with the leading !ove!ents which have deter!ined !any of the features of the !a(or teaching !ethods. *he infor!ation contained in the different chapters will allow you to re-e a!ine the appropriateness of certain techni+ues in their own conte t and to consider the different ideas advocated in educational philosophy and pedagogical theory, these were developed in order to satisfy $oth the specific de!ands or re+uire!ents of the period in which they flourished# and the specific conte t of the people who adopted the!. - helpful preli!inary i!age to offer is that of teaching as co!ple dra!a on a stage. .f each of the !any features of teaching is represented $y a character# there will $e !any characters on the stage# $ut they !ay $e given different na!es# not all will have )ey parts# and so!e !ay not tal) at all# /ifferent dra!atists would write different plays with the sa!e characters. *he sa!e !ight $e said of 0nglish language teaching. *here !ay $e co!!on features of teaching at all ti!es in history# $ut each period decides on different leading pans# and different na!es for characters. Characters tal) in different ways at different ti!es# though they !ay all $e tal)ing a$out (in our case) teaching. .n this su$(ect we shall $e e ploring a nu!$er of approaches or styles of teaching# not see)ing to $e definitive# nor to declare that we )now the 1$est2 ways of teaching 0nglish.

E !"# Metho$s% -pproach# Method and *echni+ue. *he gra!!ar translation !ethod. *he /irect Method *he 3eading Method 4ral -pproach or 'ituational -pproach. *he audio lingual !ethod 5 -udiolingualis! (6')

Rece&t metho$s *he *otal &hysical 3esponse. 'ilent 7ay. Co!!unity 8anguage 8earning. 'uggestology or 'uggestopedia. *he 9atural -pproach.

Commu&ic ti'e ((!o ch *he Co!!unicative approach. *he 8e ical approach and tas)-$ased 8earning. *he Cognitive -cade!ic 8anguage 8earning -pproach (C-88-). *he 'ituational -pproach (:rit). 8anguage .!!ersion. Content and 8anguage .ntegrated *eaching (C8.8) C-88. /istance 8earning.

/uring this su$(ect we shall $e developing an awareness of the fact that our discourses a$out teaching 0nglish are different fro! the things that we actually do in the classroo!# and that this gap $etween tal)ing a$out and doing can $e pro$le!atic in our wor)# and could $enefit fro! $eing narrowed. INTRODUCTION )*)* I& se !ch of (!ofessio& " " be"

9o other discipline see!s to $e so !uch concerned a$out !ethodology as that of *eaching 0nglish as a Foreign or 'econd 8anguage (*0F8 or *0'8). *he notion of !ethodology see!s to hold a particular fascination for teachers of 0nglish. For !any language teachers adherence to a particular !ethod see!s to $e part of their professional identity# and yet for all its history of heated de$ate and upheaval (is 1gra!!ar2 in or out of fashion this year;)# !ethodologists still do not really have any definitive answers for teachers. 9owadays# there e ist controversies in our profession ranging fro! the search for a reasona$le language teaching !ethodology to the search for an appropriate professional na!e. *he following na!es and acrony!s have $een suggested as professional la$els and have gained relatively per!anent acceptance, + TE,L (*eaching5*eachers of 0nglish as a Foreign 8anguage), used in educational situations where instruction in other su$(ects is not nor!ally given in 0nglish. + TESL (*eaching5*eachers of 0nglish as a 'econd 8anguage), used in educational situations where 0nglish is the partial or universal !ediu! of instruction for other su$(ects. + TEAL (*eaching5*eachers of 0nglish as an -dditional 8anguage), used in parts of Canada in lieu of *0'8 to stress the $enefits of first-language !aintenance. + TESOL (*eaching5*eachers of 0nglish to 'pea)ers of 4ther 8anguages), a cover-ter! for teachers wor)ing in any of the a$ove situations.

+ ELT (0nglish 8anguage *eaching)# a !ore neutral# cover-all ter! which avoids the issue of conte t. )*-* .h t $o /e me & b# the te!ms ((!o ch0 metho$ &$ tech&i1ue2 A b!ief "oo3 t the ELT "ite! tu!e* 0dward -nthony (19<=) identified three levels of organi%ation in language teaching# which he ter!ed approach# !ethod# and techni+ue. *he arrange!ent is hierarchical. *he organi%ational )ey is that techni+ues carry out a !ethod which is consistent with an approach... >A& ((!o ch is a set of correlative assu!ptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning. -n approach is a io!atic. .t descri$es the nature of the su$(ect !atter to $e taught... >Metho$ is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language !aterial# no part of which contradicts# and all of which is $ased upon# the selected approach. -n approach is a io!atic# a !ethod is procedural. 7ithin one approach# there can $e !any !ethods... >A tech&i1ue is i!ple!entational - that which actually ta)es place in a classroo!. .t is a particular tric)# stratage!# or contrivance used to acco!plish an i!!ediate o$(ective. *echni+ues !ust $e consistent with a !ethod# and therefore in har!ony with an approach as well (-nthony 19<=,<=-?) -ccording to this !odel# an approach to language teaching is so!ething that reflects a certain theory and $eliefs a$out language and language learning. *his ter! is the $roadest of the three. - !ethod is a set of procedures@ a syste! that spells out e actly how to teach a language (what particular s)ills and content to teach). Methods are !ore specific than approaches $ut less specific than techni+ues. - techni+ue is a classroo! device or activity and thus represents the narrowest ter! of the three. 'o!e techni+ues are widely used and found in !any !ethods (i!itation and repetition)@ others are specific to or characteristic of a given !ethod. -nthonyAs proposal was si!ple and co!prehensive# $ut failed to give sufficient attention to the nature of a !ethod itself. Be does not !ention the roles of

teachers and learners assu!ed in a !ethod# for e a!ple# nor the role of instructional !aterials or the for! they are e pected to ta)e. For 3ichards and 3odgers (198<) -nthonyAs proposal of an analysis of language-teaching practices was a point of departure@ however# they preferred to consider A!ethodA as an u!$rella ter! for the specification and interrelation of theory and practice# and therefore they preferred to use the ter!s approach# design# and procedure. Following -nthony# the first level in the syste!# approach Crefers to theories a$out the nature of language and language learning that serve as the source of practices and principles in language teaching.C (3ichards D 3odgers 198<11<) *he second level in the syste!# design# is the level of !ethod analysis that A specifies the relationship of theories of language and learning to the selection and organi%ation of language content (sylla$us)# to the types of tas)s and learning activities# and to the roles of learners# teachers and !aterials within the !ethod. *he third level# procedure# co!prises the classroo! techni+ues and practices that are conse+uences of particular approaches and designs. Finally# the ter! !ethod refers to a language-teaching philosophy that contains a standardi%ed set of procedures or principles for teaching a language that are $ased upon a given set of theoretical pre!ises a$out the nature of language and language learning. *he syste! is illustrated in the figure $elow. For !ore infor!ation# see A((e&$i4 )*)% 'u!!ary of ele!ents and su$-ele!ents that constitute a !ethod according to 3ichards and 3odgers (198<,"8).

Method
-pproach /esign

&rocedure

,i5u!e )*)% 3elevant ele!ents of a teaching5learning syste! 'ource, 3ichards 198E11?. .n their opinion the three ele!ents help us understand the differences and si!ilarities $etween one !ethod and another $y showing how these ele!ents are interrelated in language-teaching practices, - !ethod is theoretically related to an approach# is organi%ationally deter!ined $y a design# and is practically reali%ed in procedure (198<,1<) - nu!$er of other ways of conceptuali%ing approaches and !ethods in language teaching have $een proposed. Mac)ey# in his $oo) 8anguage *eaching -nalysis (19<E)# ela$orated perhaps the !ost well-)nown !odel of the 19<0s# one that focuses pri!arily on the levels of !ethod and techni+ue. Mac)eyAs !odel of language teaching analysis concentrates on the di!ensions of selection# gradation# presentation# and repetition underlying a !ethod. .n fact# despite the title of Mac)eyAs $oo)# his concern is pri!arily with the analysis of te t$oo)s and their underlying principles of organi%ation. Bis analysis fails to address the level of approach# nor does it deal with the actual classroo! $ehaviours of teachers and learners# e cept as these are represented in te t$oo)s. )*6* Some i&5!e$ie&ts of " &5u 5e te chi&5

.n this section we will loo) at what goes into !ethods and how these ingredients can $e !i ed and processed differently to produce $oth the well-)nown 1off the shelf2 !ethods and the 1ho!e-$a)ed1# idiosyncratic teacher versions. *o so!e e tent this is consistent with the idea that in the "1 st century we have arrived at the AeclecticA stage# where practitioners and theorist have largely given up on the idea of a universally applica$le approach. *hese characteristics can $e used as criteria for discussion of so!e of the $est )nown 08* !ethods# as we will see in the ne t chapters. 7e will now loo) at so!e varia$les in !ore detail. 4ur goal is to ena$le you to $eco!e $etter infor!ed a$out the nature# strengths# and wea)nesses of !ethods and approaches so that you will $e a$le to (udge the! !ore effectively.

He!e is

"ist of im(o!t &t ' !i b"es%

- &erceived goals of language learning. - /ecisions a$out what is to $e taught. - :eliefs a$out the nature of language. - :eliefs a$out the process of language learning5ac+uisition. - -!ount of prescription for teachers. - -ttitudes to different classroo! techni+ues and activities. - *he role and nature of !aterials. - *he relative roles of teachers and learners. - -ttitude to the use of learners 1native language (81) in the classroo!. - -ttitude to error. - :eliefs a$out evaluation and assess!ent. Following the ter!inology proposed $y 3ichards and 3odgers we have included the language theory $ehind each !ethod or approach discussed in this su$(ect and# whenever possi$le# the learning theory $ehind it. )*7* At the "e'e" of 8A((!o ch9 )*7*)* :e"ief bout the & tu!e of " &5u 5e* .n analysing approaches to languages teaching it is evident that an i!portant !ethodological varia$le is the attitude to language itself. .n so!e !ethods language is treated as a su$(ect which can $e approached in the sa!e way as@ any other su$(ect on the curriculu!# perhaps as a $ody of factual infor!ation to $e digested and !e!ori%ed. More recently language has co!e to $e viewed as an aspect of hu!an $ehaviour and !ethods have changed to acco!!odate this. 8et us $riefly focus then on the three !ain trends in language theory that fra!e the different !ethods and approaches discussed in this su$(ect,

; The <!st# and the !ost traditional of the three# is the structural view# the view that language is a syste! of structurally related ele!ents for the coding and decoding of language. *he target of language learning is seen to $e the !astery of ele!ents of this syste!# which are generally deFned in ter!s of phonological units (e.g.# phone!es)# gra!!atical units (e.g.# !orphe!es# phrases# sentences)# gra!!atical operations (e.g.# adding# shifting# (oining# or transfor!ing ele!ents)# and le ical ite!s (e.g.# function words and structure words). -s we will see in Chapter "# the -udiolingual Method e!$odies this particular view of language# as do conte!porary !ethods such as *otal &hysical 3esponse and the 'ilent 7ay# $oth of which will $e e plored in then. b; The seco&$ view of language is the :ritish functional view# which considers language as a vehicle for the e pression of functional !eaning. *he co!!unicative !ove!ent in language teaching su$scri$es to this view of language this theory goes $eyond the gra!!atical characteristics of language and e!phasi%es $oth the se!antic and co!!unicative di!ension. Firth stated that, *he linguist has to study the 1te t2# i.e.# the corpus of utterances# (a) in their linguistic environ!ent or conte t# i.e.# in relation to surrounding language ite!s# and ($) in their conte t of situations# i.e.# in relation to non-ver$al constituents which have $earing on the utterance# such as persons# o$(ects and events. (.n 'tern, 198=# p. 1=8) *he functional view leads to a speciFcation and organi%ation of language teaching content $y categories of !eaning and function rather than $y ele!ents of structure and gra!!ar. 7il)ins2 9otional 'ylla$uses (19?<) is an atte!pt to spell out the i!plications of this view of language for sylla$us design. - notional sylla$us would include not only ele!ents of gra!!ar and le is $ut also specify the topics# notions# and concepts the learner needs to co!!unicate. Balliday also ela$orated his own linguistic !odel# $ased on the theories of Firth and# together with other authors# he

offered a linguistic $ase for language teaching (Balliday# Mclntosh and 'trevens, 19<G). 'ee Chapter G for an account of BallidayAs research. 'tern has !atched the ter!s that 8inguistics has generated, L &5ue 'yste! Code 8anguage Co!petence For! P !o"e 6se Message Ier$al :ehaviour &erfor!ance Function

7e could say that while 8inguistics in general had $een e clusively interested in the ele!ents of the first colu!n and had e cluded the rest (considering that they did not $elong to a CscientificC study# or $ecause they did not constitute the CessenceC of language# etc.)# the functional view too) the first step towards the study of language reflected in the concepts in the right colu!n, these ele!ents would constitute the study core of the so-called Clanguage sciencesC (By!es, 19?G). *his change of orientation would allow a !ore fruitful focus in language teaching# which $eca!e !ore concerned with using the language (functionalis!) than with )nowing the linguistic syste! (structuralis!). Hou will see in later chapters how the de$ate $etween structuralis! and functionalis! affected !ethodological proposals in the develop!ent of !ethods and approaches.

-s !any linguists started to distance the!selves fro! an a$stract# structural view of language study# they started to ta)e social and situational conte ts# as well as the attitudes of the spea)ers# into consideration. - series of new disciplines arose# under new la$els and with new study techni+ues# which tried to relate the study of language to the outside world and to the sociological conte t of the spea)ers. *hese new disciplines were synta # se!antics and prag!atics. - clear definition of each of these fields is provided $y Hule, S#&t 4 is the study of the relationships $etween linguistic for!s# how they are arranged in se+uence# and which se+uences are well-for!ed (Hule 199?, G) Sem &tics is the study of the relationships $etween linguistic for!s and entities in the world@ that is# how words literally connect to things. 'e!antics analysis also atte!pts to esta$lish the relationships $etween ver$al descriptions and states of affairs in the world as accurate (true) or not# regardless of who produces that description (i$id.) P! 5m tics is the study of the relationships $etween linguistic for!s and the users of those for!s (...) one can tal) a$out peopleAs intended !eanings# their assu!ptions# their purposes or goals# and the )inds of actions (for e a!ple# re+uests) that they are perfor!ing when they spea) (i$id.). .n one way or another all these disciplines $egan to +uestion several aspects of language use to which the gra!!atical theory of 'aussure or Cho!s)y# for instance# could not give an appropriate answer. *hese disciplines# together with &sycholinguistics# 'ociolinguistics# and others have contri$uted to a $etter understanding of language use in the last two decades. *hey have focused on the pro$le!s of !eaning# of psychological processes that lead to the production and understanding of a !essage# of the way a conversation is organi%ed and wor)s# and of the role of paralinguistic and non-ver$al ele!ents in co!!unicative e changes. .t was not until the 1980s# though# that all these disciplines $egan to wor) in the sa!e direction and at the sa!e pace# integrating their contri$utions and offering a new !odel that reJects the view of language as co!!unication.

c; The thi!$ 'ie/ of " &5u 5e can $e called the interactional view. *he view of language as co!!unication is a co!ple one. - )ey concept to understand is that of language as action# that is# Cwe do things with wordsC@ this idea arises fro! the theory of Cspeech actsC developed $y language philosophers such as K.8. -ustin (19<") and K.3. 'earle (19<9). *hey advocated that language is !uch !ore than the trans!ission of infor!ation or !eaning (.ocutionary act)# since it also e presses an intention (illocutionary act) and produces an effect on the listener (perlocutionary act). *his view sees language as a vehicle for the reali%ation of interpersonal relations and for the perfor!ance of social transactions $etween individuals. 8anguage is seen as a tool for the creation and !aintenance of social relations. -reas of in+uiry $eing drawn on in the develop!ent of interactional approaches to language teaching include interaction analysis# conversation analysis# and ethno!ethodology. .nteractional theories focus on the patterns of !oves# acts# negotiation# and interaction found in conversational e changes. )*7*-* :e"iefs bout the (!ocess of " &5u 5e "e !&i&5= c1uisitio& -s regards language theory# we are concerned with a !odel of language# co!petence and an account of the $asic features of linguistic organisation and l language use. -s regards learning theory# we are concerned with an account of the central processes of learning and an account of the conditions $elieved to pro!ote successful language learning. *hese principles !ay or !ay not lead to a !ethod $y the!selves (see Co!!unity 8anguage 8earning or *otal &hysical 3esponse). *he actual process involved in ac+uiring5learning a language is one of the issues that has caused the !ost de$ate concerning language teaching# and it is a de$ate which continues to the present day. For this reason we have devoted an entire su$(ect of the course to this topic ('econd 8anguage -c+uisition). 9evertheless# we will analyse those issues in language ac+uisition that are directly related to the different !ethods and approaches discussed in this su$(ect. *heories of language learning have inJuenced decisions as to the opti!al location of classroo! activities on continua li)e the following,

; De$ucti'e***************************i&$ucti'e *he advent of the cognitive approach !eant a change of direction fro! teaching the structures of the language (deductive) towards !a)ing the learner aware of how the language wor)s (inductive)# thus avoiding the direct study of gra!!atical rules.

b; A& "#tic******************************e4(e!ie&ti " /uring the last two decades there has $een a de$ate a$out the convenience of adopting an analytical point of view (focused on the foreign or second language) versus an e periential point of view (focused on co!!unication). Fro! the 1980s co!!unication has $eco!e a co!!on strategy in the foreign or second language (8") classroo!. c; H bit fo!m tio&****************& tu! "istic c1uisitio& *he $ehaviourist theory of learning# so popular in the 19E0s and 19<0s# was $ased on repetition and !e!orisation techni+ues. .n contrast# LrashenAs Monitor *heory (1981) distinguished $etween Cac+uisitionC as an unconscious process si!ilar to the process of learning an 81# and ClearningC as the conscious )nowledge of for!al linguistic rules and how these wor). *he concern for )nowing how a spea)er ac+uires his5her linguistic co!petence had already $een raised $y Cho!s)y and his psycholinguistic theories, he re(ected the $ehaviourist view of language learning and focused his studies on the discovery of language learning processes# asserting that, - *he process of learning an 8" is si!ilar to that of learning an 81. - *he process of linguistic ac+uisition responds to a !echanis! of contrasting Bypotheses with real language use@ !ista)es show that rules are $eing internali%ed. /espite his a$ove proposals# Cho!s)y fa!ously voiced the following dou$ts a$out the relevance of his wor) for language teaching,

. a!# fran)ly# rather sceptical a$out the signiFcance# for the teacher of languages# of such insights and understanding as have $een attained in 8inguistics and &sychology. 'urely the teacher of language would do well to )eep infor!ed of progress and discussion in these Felds# and the efforts of linguists and psychologists to approach the pro$le!s of language teaching fro! a principled point of view are e tre!ely worthwhile# fro! an intellectual as well as a social point of view. 'till# it is difficult to $elieve that either 8inguistics or &sychology has achieved a level of theoretical understanding that !ight ena$le it to support a 1technology2 of language teaching. (Cho!s)y# 19<<) .ronically# however# Cho!s)yAs ideas are cited as the sti!ulus for !any a develop!ent in language teaching since the !id-19<0s. .t goes without saying that no approach to language teaching can have any credi$ility without Fr! foundations in a theory of how language is learnt# for this will infor! decisions on all aspects of any language teaching progra!!e. )*>* At the "e'e" of ?metho$?

.n the following chapters we will $e analysing the different !ethods and approaches and will $e considering the various aspects that characterise the!. )*>*)* The objecti'es of metho$

Most 1off the shelf !ethods include so!e infor!ation a$out the sylla$us to $e followed and the learning o$(ectives to $e achieved. /epending on the goals of language learning# decisions !ay include whether to, - focus on language-using s)ills@ - focus on )nowledge a$out language@ - Focus on specific situational a$ilities@ - focus on general co!petence@ - include aspects of the culture and5or literature of the target language co!!unity. )*>*-* The !o"e of " &5u 5e &$ 5! mm !

7e will refer to how language content is selected and organi%ed within the !ethod or# in other words# the sylla$us !odel incorporated $y the !ethod. 7e will also have a loo) at the different types of learning tas)s and teaching activities the !ethod advocates. *his is perhaps the varia$le in which !ethods can !ost easily $e seen to differ as this is the interface $etween !ore theoretical principles and practice in the classroo!. *echni+ues and activities are the trade!ar)s of !ethods. )*>*6* The !o"es of "e !&e!s &$ te che!s -gain we can often see +uite radical differences $etween approaches in the way teacher and learner roles are speciFed. 9aturally so!e aspects of teacher role will depend not so !uch on the !ethod as on the e pectations of the learners# the institution and society. *eacher role can also $e culturally deter!ined. *he !ost i!portant distinction we find in learner roles is whether learners are seen as passive e!pty vessels to $e Flled fro! the 1fountain of wisdo!1# -the teacher-# or whether learners are seen as active deter!iners of their own learning who need little !ore than guidance and support fro! their teacher. )*>*7* The !o"e of i&st!uctio& " m te!i "s *his is another characteristic $y which differing approaches are easily identified, a +uic) Jic) through any collection of language teaching !aterials should $e sufFcient to uncover its !ethodological provenance. 7hile a te t$oo) !ay $e the cornerstone of one !ethod# other !ethods !ay re+uire teachers to select or produce their own !aterials according to the current needs of their students# $ut within certain guidelines# and yet other !ethods# for e a!ple Counselling 8anguage 8earning# !ay consider it unnecessary to have any !aterials other than those the learners the!selves produce. )*@* A fe/ &otes o& the subject

7ithin each chapter our ai! has $een to present a co!prehensive picture of a particular approach or !ethod. 'o!e of these !ethods5approaches have $een !ore popular than others. 'o!e of the !ethods e a!ined in the following chapters include an e tensive historical $ac)ground@ when this is considered to

$e less relevant# we have stressed linguistic# psychological or educational traditions.

A((e&$i4 )*) Summ !# of e"eme&ts &$ sub+e"eme&ts th t co&stitute


* *he general and specific o$(ective of the !ethod b* - sylla$us !odel. - Criteria for the selection and organi%ation of linguist and5or su$(ect !atter content. c* *ypes of learning teaching activities. and

metho$

- Linds of tas) and practice activities to $e e!ployed in the classroo! and in !aterials. $* 8earning roles. - *ypes or learning tas)s set for learners. * *he general and speciFc o$(ectives of the !ethod -n account of the nature of language proficiency. -n account of the $asis unit of language structure. - /egree of control learners have over the content of learning. - &atterns of learner grouping that are reco!!ended or i!plied. - /egree to which learners influence the learning of others. *he view of the learner as a processor# perfor!er# initiator# pro$le! solver# etc. *eacher roles.

Classroo! techni+ues# practices# and $ehaviours o$served when the !ethod is used.

b* - *heory of the 9ature of language learning. -

- 3esources in ter!s of ti!e# space# and e+uip!ent used $y the teacher. - .nteractional patterns o$served in lessons. - *actics and strategies used $y teachers and learners when the !ethod is $eing used.

-n account of the psycholinguist and cognitive processes involved in language learning. e* -n account of the conditions that allow for success use for these processes

- *ypes of functions teachers fulfil. - /egree of teacher influence over learning. - /egree of which the teacher deter!ines the content of learning. f* *he role !aterials. of instructional

- &ri!ary function of !aterials. - *he for! !aterials ta)e (e.g. te t $oo)s# audio-visual) - 3elation for !aterials to other input. - -ssu!ptions !ade teachers and learners. a$out