Here are some articles about the major language teaching methods and approaches.
Dogme is a communicative approach to language teaching that was initiated by Scott Thornbury in his article, “A Dogma for EFL”. Dogme advocates a kind of teaching that doesn’t rely on published textbooks but relies on conversational communication that occurs in the classroom between teachers and students. The name of the approach comes from an analogy to the Danish Dogme 95 film movement which intended to “cleans cinema of an obsessive concern for technique and rehabilitate cinema which foregrounded the story and the inner life of characters.” According to Scott …
The ecological approach in language learning highlights the comprehensive development of language skills within context. Like organisms living in an environment, speakers interact in a context “to integrate into and to influence their discourse community.” In this perspective learners are not viewed only as brains to be filled with structures and vocabulary, but also as whole persons living and moving in a specific environment.
To learn more about this approach check out
this article about the Ecological Approach to Language Teaching
or this interesting post by Scott Thornbury: E is for Ecology
Since the publication of the “Lexical Approach” by Michael Lewis in 1993, Language teaching practices have been widely reviewed and discussed. So what are the features of the Lexical Approach? Is it a revolution in the profession of language teaching or just an evolution? What are its claims? How can it be implemented in the classroom?
Theory of language
The Chomsky’s notion of a native speaker’s output consisting of an infinite number of “creative” utterances is at best a half-truth. In fact prefabricated items represent a significant portion of a native speaker’s …
The natural approach developed by Tracy Terrell and supported by Stephen Krashen, is a language teaching approach which claims that language learning is a reproduction of the way humans naturally acquire their native language. The approach adheres to a communicative approach to language teaching and rejects earlier methods such as the audiolingual method and the situational laguage teaching approach which Krashen and terrell (1983) believe are not based on “actual theories of language acquisition but theories of the structure of language ”
The Natural Approach vs the Direct Method
Although The Natural …
As the language theories underlying the Audiolingual method and the Sitiuational Language Teaching method were questioned by prominent linguists like Chomsky (1957) during the 1960s, a new trend of language teaching paved its way into classrooms. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) Which is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages, emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. It is also referred to as “Communicative Approach”. Historically, CLT has been seen as a response to the Audio-Lingual Method (ALM), and as an …
Content based instruction (CBI) is a teaching approach that focuses on learning language through learning about something. Although CBI is not new, there has been an increased interest in it because it has proven very effective in ESL and EFL programs around the world.
What is Content based Instruction?
Content-based teaching differs from traditional language classes because language comes second to the content. In other words, the teacher runs a course on current affairs, or American history, or fiction writing, through which students also learn English. It’s important to note that English …
The Oral Approach or Situational Language Teaching is an approach developed by British applied linguist in the 1930s to the 1960s. While it is unknown for many teachers, it had a big influence on language courses till the 1980s. Textbooks such as Streamline English (Hartley and Viney 1979) was designed following the SLT approach principles.
The Oral Approach or Situational Language Teaching is based on a structural view of language. Speech, structure and a focus on a set of basic vocabulary are seen as the basis of language teaching. This was …
Total Physical Response is a language teaching method which is based on the assumption that the coordination of speech and action will boost language learning. It was developed by James Asher in the 70s. He drew from a variety of areas, including psychology, learning theory and humanistic pedagogy.
According to the trace theory of memory in psychology, the more often and intensively a memory is traced, the stronger the memory association will be and the more likely it will be recalled. The retracing can be verbal through repetition and/or in association …
The origin of Suggestopedia
Suggestopedia is a language teaching method developed by the Bulgarian psychologist, Georgi Lozanov (see picture on the right.) Like Community Language Learning and the Silent Way Method, Suggestopedia is an innovative method that promises great effective language learning results. Lozanov claimed that by using this method one can teach languages approximately three to five times as quickly as conventional methods.
The name of Suggestopedia is from the words “suggestion” and “pedagogy.” It is a set of learning recommendations derived from Suggestology, which Lozanov describes as “a science … …
The Silent Way
The Chomskyan criticism of the theories upon which the audiolingual method was founded led to an interest in not only the affective factors but also on the cognitive factors. While Community Language Learning, drawing from Carl Roger’s philosophy, focused on the importance of the affect, new methods were developed in the 70s to highlight the cognitive domain in language learning. The Silent Way is one of these innovative methods. In Fact, Caleb Gattegno, the founder of the Silent Way,devoted his thinking to the importance of problem solving approach …
The following definitions are mainly based on works by H. Douglas Brown (1987) and Richards and Rodgers (1986)
The word “methodology” is frequently used when “method” would be more accurate. Methodology refers to more than a simple set of methods. It is the rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study. In language teaching, methodology means the study of pedagogical practices in general, including theoretical implications and related research. It includes what is involved in how to teach.
The level at which assumptions and beliefs about language and language learning …
Background of the CLL
As the Chomskyan linguistic revolution turned linguists and language teachers away from the audiolingual method which focused on surface structure and on rote practice of scientifically produced patterns to a new era where the deep structure is paramount, psychologists began to see the fundamental importance of the effective domain. So innovative methods of language teaching were developed during the 70s to redress the shortcomings of the audiolingual method. One of these methods came to be known as Community Language Learning.
CLL differs from other methods by which languages …
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The Audio-Lingual method of teaching had its origins during World War II when it became known as the Army method. It is also called the Aural oral approach. It is based on the structural view of language and the behaviorist theory of language learning.
The audiolingual approach to language teaching has a lot of similarities with the direct method. Both were considered as a reaction against the shortcomings of the Grammar Translation method, both reject the use of the mother tongue and both stress that speaking …
The Direct Method, also called Natural Method, was established in Germany and France around 1900. It appeared as an answer to the shortcomings of the Grammar Translation Method. It is a method for teaching foreign languages that uses the target language, discarding any use of mother tongue in the classroom. As teachers became frustrated with the students inability to communicate orally, they began to experiment with new techniques. The idea was that foreign language teaching must be carried out in the same way people learn their mother tongue!
Translation is …
The Grammar Translation Method is an old method which was originally used to teach dead languages which explains why it focuses mainly on the written form at the expense of the oral form. It was designed according to the faculty psychology approach which was very popular during the 18th and 19th century. It contended that ” mental discipline was essential for strengthening the powers of the mind”. The way to do this was through learning classical literature of the Greeks and Romans.
Use of mother tongue.
Vocabulary items are taught in the …