Comparative Teaching Methodologies It would seem as though everyone has
It would seem as though everyone has their own customized method of teaching; however when these philosophies are reduced some fundamental trends emerge. Since any person's perception and interpretation would individualize these fundamental methodologies (especially once put into practice) I will attempt to focus on the more concrete objective bases of these notions. The specific methodologies I will be discussing include: The Grammar Translation Approach, The Direct Method, Community Language Learning, The Audio- Lingual Method and the Functional-Notional Approach. Grammar-Translation This approach dates back to the late 19th century and was primarily geared towards teaching dead languages- Latin and Greek. The name of the approach insinuates the method, translating grammar. By translating words and sentences the specific trends of the structure become apparent. The repetition of essentially deciphering, many times, excerpts or readings, students begin to accrue a fundamental comprehension of the studied language. While syntax is important, the method fails to acknowledge application and production of speech. Perhaps this method targets a specific type of learner and neglects others; nonetheless, it is safe to say that grammar is important. Many approaches have branched off this traditional method, such as the Consciousness-Raising method, which suggest that 'there are features common to most or all which can be used to form a ´core conception´ of consciousness-raising and it is these elements which the writer will identify through examination of various writers´ work on the concept.' (1) Direct Method This approach was established as a reaction to the Grammar- Translation method, and resulted in essentially a new school of thinking. This new school of thinking, also know as the Berlitz Method, used only the target language in the classroom. It focuses on what the Grammar-Translation method did not, primarily oral communication. It emphasizes meaning rather than translation, devised to simulate a similar condition as to when one learns ones' native language. Students begin to inductively understand the syntax of the targeted language. Community Language Learning This method was influenced by, once again, another psychologist theory. Carl Roger stressed the importance of affective factors in the learning process. Other clinical counseling techniques were then applied to teaching. These techniques encourage an environment in which students are treated and looked upon as members of a community. This community first establishes trust and friendship taking into account personal feelings, interrelations, intellect and educational desires. Teachers take on the role as, essentially, a counselor aiding students with the new language. With time and repetition students will become more dependent on themselves and not the teacher's aid. Audio-Lingual Method This method is based on similar behavioral psychology principals, learning language is habitual. With this added component linguistic patterns and habit-forming concepts stressed repetition and dialogue amongst the classroom. Explanation of syntax is deemphasized. The method utilizes multimedia such as videos and tapes to help produce correct sound. This has had good short term results, but failure in long term competency has contributed to its decline, similar to the psychology. Functional-Notional This method, which arose in the 1970's as again a rebellion from the more traditional approaches, it takes on a functional approach to language. Global concepts of language are broken down into units understood from communicative situations. Teachers are sensitive to the specific needs of the students; moreover what setting they will be utilizing the language in. Based on this, the teacher then provides the student with the ability to communicate and interact in a real-world setting. They create settings and situations that they may encounter in real life. Communication and interaction is emphasized, but grammar, reading and writing are also taught. Although these methodologies differ in approach and style, they all have something in common. They provide you with a dynamic picture of the many things that need to be addressed in the classroom. Perhaps many times teachers incorporate all of these methodologies, but have a tendency to favor one and use that as their foundation. With this said, in my naive opinion, grammar-translation seems like a good concrete foundation in pursuing a language.
Sources 1. http://www.cels.bham.ac.uk/resources/essays/Moritoshi2.PDF. 2. http://www.nthuleen.com/papers/720report.html 3. www.onestopenglish.com/section.asp'catid=59430&docid=146406 - 42k ' 4.http:www.sil.org/lingualinks/Literacy/ReferenceMaterials/GlossaryOf LiteracyTerms/WhatIsAReadingApproach.html 5. http://www.englishraven.com/method_direct.html