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Title: Approaches

Approaches Methods in Language Instruction
  • CH 21 TESOL other resources
  • READ 656
  • Dr. Schneider

  • 1) History of Language Teaching (LT)
  • 2) Nature of approaches to LT
  • 3) Major trends in 20th century
  • 4) Alternative approaches
  • 5) Trends in the 21 century

History of Language Teaching
  • Concerns of past teaching trends lead to
    current/new approaches
  • The shift in language learner populations and
    their needs from the 19th and early 20th century
    to today has lead to different LT approaches
  • In the 19th early 20th century, only the
    children of the rich received instruction in
    several languages
  • The most frequently taught languages then were
    Latin (church) and Old Greek (church, philosophy)
  • Neither of these languages were spoken by the
    general population for daily communication gt

History of Language Teaching
  • The most common teaching method for those
    languages taught in private settings or in
    boarding schools run by clergymen was the GRAMMAR
  • As the term indicates, the purpose for learning
    these dead languages was to translate old texts
    into the students L1 from L2 into L1
  • The purpose was not learning to speak, read and
    write these languages for personal communication
    purposes. Today, Language Learning has this
    purpose, not to learn to translate from one into
    the other language.(unless you become a
    professional translator)

History of Language Teaching
  • Since public schools required foreign languages
    other than Latin and Greek to be taught (mainly
    French and English in Europe and Spanish in the
    US), all children in public schools, not just the
    privileged ones were to learn FL
  • In Europe, this has been a trend since the
  • In the US, this became particularly important
    during the SPUTNIK SHOCK in the 60s when the
    Russians and not the Americans landed the first
    shuttle in space.
  • It was not until then that the US education
    system realized the need for FL instruction for
    as many students as possible. GLOBAL
    MARKETABILITY drove the shift

History of Language Teaching
  • A different purpose for learning another language
  • A political shift towards global marketability
  • Increased knowledge about how we learn (brain,
    individual differences in learning styles,
    emotions, learning disabilities)
  • A change in educational laws
  • Global political events demand an expansion
    toward different languages Russian (Sputnik,
    Cold War), chemical sciences (German),
    Imperialism (French, Dutch), War in the Near and
    Far east (Hebrew, Arabic)

History of Language Teaching
  • For overview of approaches within a timeline, see
    p. 184-186
  • Categories
  • Methods name and founders, characteristics,
    teacher and student roles, error treatment in the
    classroom and degree of use today

Nature of language teaching approaches
  • Approaches differ in the way they see L2
    identical or similar or different from L1
  • Currently, approaches are favored that provide a
    native-language learning-like environment and
    have learning in communicative contexts as main
    emphasis communicative competence and
  • There is a difference between LANGUAGE LEARNING

Nature of language teaching approaches
  • Every L2 learner is thought to have an innate
    Language Acquisition Device (LAD) that allows
    him/her to learn languages
  • Chomsky refers specifically to a universal
    grammar innate to individuals because they can
    produce an unlimited amount of language samples
    with a limited amount of language features
    available per language

Nature of language teaching approaches
  • Brain research in the late 20th century allows
    educators to adapt instruction to maximize
    efficient learning based on students unique
  • Brain research has also identified Language tasks
    that are predominantly located in the right or
    left hemisphere (see Saville-Troike, 2006)

Major trends in 20th century
  • 1) Grammar Translation Method (described in
    history part)
  • 2)The Direct Approach
  • 3) Natural Approach
  • 4) Audio-Lingual Method
  • 5) CALLA Cognitive Academic Language Approach

20th century trends Direct Approach
  • Founder(s) anti-translation method educators
  • Introduced in late 19th cent., early 1920s
  • Characteristics no L1 allowed, vocabulary and
    grammar taught inductively, indirectly in context
    and through fill in the blank exercises small
    group work, grammar instruction peripheral
    student centered topics

20th century trends Direct Approach
  • Teacher/student roles teacher models in context
    using L1 only teacher elicits students
  • Errors students are corrected esp. for correct
    pronunciation and grammar
  • Today outdated but fill-in the blank exercises
    are still common in FL//SL classes

20th century trendsNatural Approach
  • Founder(s) Krashen Terrell
  • Introduced in early 1980s
  • Characteristics L2 learning processes L1
    learning silent period respected, learning in
    meaningful context emphasized over grammar no
    explicit instruction common are situational
    games and problem-solving
  • Errors tolerated, accepted and expected,
    accuracy not key corrections are made by
    restating in correct form no explicit
    instruction student is to pick up correct forms

20th century trends Natural Approach
  • Teacher-student roles T is in control, models
    and encourages imitation in communication-based
    activities, relaxed learning environment as in L1
    acquisition period S generates meaning out of
    context L2 use only to copy natural learning
    environment, authentic materials films,
    magazines, flyers
  • Today common

20th century trendsAudiolingual Approach
  • Founder(s) Charles Fries
  • Introduced in 1940s
  • Characteristics based on behaviorist view of
    language learning only L1 is used, listening
    precedes speaking, reading and writing Language
    Laboratories key feature in which students repeat
    communicative phrases after native speaker model
    on tape
  • Materials used audio-tapes (later video tapes,
  • Errors corrected, expected and tolerated

20th century trendsAudiolingual Approach
  • Student/Teacher rolesT models and students
    repeat entire phrases and sentences in contextual
    situations after teacher and in role plays
  • Today still used in parts, listening labs
    replaced today by multi-media computer material
    that offers oral and visual as well as
    kinesthetic-tactile keyboard responses from

20th century trends CALLA
  • Founders Chamot OMalley
  • Started in early 1980s
  • Characteristics main goal is that students reach
    communicative competence in L2 in meaningful
    context only
  • Student/Teacher Role like Natural Approach
  • Errors accepted, expected, tolerated and
    corrected indirectly when misunderstandings occur
  • Today infused into FL/SL instruction

Alternative Approaches
  • Common approaches
  • 1) Total Physical Response
  • 2) The Silent Way
  • 3) Community Language Learning
  • 4) Suggestopedia
  • 5) Whole Language
  • 6) Multiple Intelligences
  • 7) Neurolinguistic Programming
  • 8)Competency-based language learning

Alternative Approaches Total Physical Response
  • Founder(s) Asher
  • Introduced in early 70s
  • Characteristics learner responds orally while
    using entire body in informal learning
  • Comprehension precedes speech and writing
  • Sentenced-based
  • Grammar, vocab are taught through context cues

Alternative Approaches Total Physical Response
  • ERRORS tolerated, expected, only major ones that
    lead to miscommunication corrected all
    correction in context
  • Teacher/student roles T plans and directs
    activities, S observes and volunteers through
    action, not actual lang. production, only when
  • Today still used esp. while learners are in
    silent period of absorbing new L

Alternative Approaches The Silent Way
  • Founder(s) Caleb Gattegno
  • Introduced in 1970s
  • Characteristics lessons planned around
    grammatical structures and vocabulary themes
    teacher remains as silent as possible and
    facilitates students access of L1 knowledge to
    apply to L2 by using color-charts, items and
    Cuisenaire rods
  • Error treatment accepted and corrected through
    modeling with tools (e.g., grammar

Alternative Approaches The Silent Way
  • Teacher/Student roles students model what
    teacher models, silent, receptive learning
    allowed because focus is understanding the
    linguistic structures of L2
  • Today partially used in Peace Corps or other
    settings where no common language is available

Alternative Approaches Community Language
  • Founder(s) Charles Curran
  • Introduced in 1950s
  • Characteristics based on a counseling model in
    which learners give support to each other in
    solving a problem also referred to as
    humanistic approach because learners feelings
    and pre-knowledge is used for L2 learning L1 and
    L2 are used oral-based focusing on fluency
    rather than accuracy

Alternative Approaches Community Language
  • Teacher/Student roles info is shared in L1 and
    translated into L2 by teacher, student repeats
    and shares info in L2 with another student
  • Today rarely used because of translation issue

Alternative Approaches Suggestopedia
  • Founder(s) Bulgarian Psychiatrist Lozanov
  • Introduced in 1970s-80s
  • Characteristics puts learner in relaxed,
    yoga-like state with calming music (Baroque) and
    soothing environment (plants)
  • Teacher/Student roles teacher reads in L1 and L2
    and learners absorb information, implicitly take
    in L2 vocab and structure, no explicit
    reflections allowed

Alternative Approaches Suggestopedia
  • Errors not corrected at all, tolerated
  • Today sometimes used in initial stages where L1
    and L2 can be used

Alternative Approaches Whole Language
  • Founder(s) Kenneth Yetta Goodman, Frank Smith
  • Introduced in 1980s
  • Characteristics no explicit instruction, all
    instruction in L1 comprehension precedes all
    learning, every content presented in context
    through which student implicitly picks up
    detailed feature and patterns of L2 WHOLE to
    PART or TOP-to BOTTOM processing of L

Alternative Approaches Whole Language
  • Teacher/Student roles T supports, models but
    does not teach directly students learn through
    observation, personal trial error (invented
    spelling, writing) cooperative learning,
    authentic literature
  • Errors tolerated, indirectly corrected without
  • Today still in use

Alternative Approaches Multiple Intelligences
  • Founder(s) Gardner Goleman
  • Introduced in 1990s
  • Characteristics intelligences go beyond
    academics, including music, art, kinesthetics,
    and social-emotional intelligence/maturity and
    allow students to learn with all learning
    channels and develop interpersonal and
    intrapersonal skills through explicit practice in
    a social curriculum intelligences can be
    learned, are not a genetic gift only

Alternative Approaches Multiple Intelligences
  • Teacher/Student roles teachers (1) awakesn
    intelligence, amplify strengths, teach with and
    for these strong intelligences in small groups,
    discussions, transfer new info to outside world
    individualized learning through project work
    similar to gifted talented projects (student
    choice, multisensory, research-based, theme-based
  • Errors noted and corrected in context of
    individuals intelligences
  • Today used widely in schools that allow for such

Alternative Approaches Neurolinguistic
  • Founder(s) Grindler Bandler
  • Introduced in mid 70s
  • Characteristics is a set of general
    communication techniques originally used by
    therapists to improve rapport with clients. The
    world is perceived through 5 senses and this
    perception is reflected in the language we use
    training includes imaginary positioning into
    contexts allow dreams to come true in L2
    envision place you want to be and what you want
    to do

Alternative Approaches Neurolinguistic
  • Teacher/Student roles T asks students to
    envision a situation in which they experience a
    sentence using only L2. Students respond to T
    questions while imaging eating sth. T gives
    language structure and S repeat it several times
    while being encouraged to feel the situation as
  • Errors corrective feedback, not explicit, errors
    tolerated, seen a part of learning
  • Today for adult learning used

Alternative Approaches Compentency-Based
Language Teaching
  • Founder(s) Auerbach
  • Introduced in 1970s
  • Characteristics teach work-related L2 language
    needs response to standards movement in US
    topics, job-related, interviews outcomes made
    explicit and are assessed
  • Teacher/Student roles S follow T instruction in
    L2 and practice under guidance
  • Errorsnoted and explicitly corrected to reach
  • Today mainly for adult ELLs

21 Century trends
  • 1) Communicative Language Teaching
  • 2) Cooperative Language Learning
  • 3) Content-Based Instruction
  • 4) Task-Based Instruction

21 Century Trends Communicative Language
  • Founder(s) Wilkins, Widowson (Brit.)
  • Introduced in 1960-70s in GB
  • Characteristics systematic attention to
    communicative functions and struc-tures of L2
  • Teacher-student rolesT helps S in any way that
    motivates learning specifies lang. that
    students are to use S struggles his way into
    L2 through communicative practice of presented
    structures in contextual settings

21 Century TrendsCooperative Language Learning
  • Founder(s) Dewey, Piaget, Vygotzky-based
  • Introduced in 1960/70s
  • Characteristics collaborative learning group
    approach transferred in to L2 learning all
    L2-based pair-think, share activities,
  • Teacher-student roleS work in cooperative groups
    to reach commonly set goal by T

21 Century TrendsContent-Based Instruction
  • Founder(s)
  • Introduced in 1980s
  • Characteristicslearning most successful if
    content is meaningful gt topics must be
    student-centered in L2 learning by doing using
    authentic materials
  • Teacher-student role S work in teams guided by
    teacher to assure learner-centered activities in

21 Century TrendsTask-Based Language Teaching
  • Founder(s)
  • Introduced in 1980s-90s
  • Characteristicsfocus on process of L2 learning
    rather than product real, meaningful
    communication topics sequenced from less to more
  • Teacher- student roleT offers comprehensible
    input so that S can practice in meaningful
    context towards an explicitly set task

  • Richards, J. Rodgers, T. (2001). Approaches and
    methods in language teaching. Cambridge Language
    Teaching Library. New York, NY Cambridge
    University Press.