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UNIT 3 - Methods and approaches

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UNIT 3 Second and Foreign Language methods and approaches The concept of method was defined by Anthony (1963) in a hierarchical way, that is: approach, method, and technique. An approach is a set of assumptions about the nature of language, learning, and teaching. Method is an overall plan for presentation of language based on a chosen approach. Techniques are specific classroom activities in line with a method, and hence, in harmony with an approach. A historical review of language teaching shows how the law of the pendulum works not only in nature (the change of the seasons from winter to summer), in human phenomena (the swings from war to peace), but also in the methods and approaches (from inductive to deductive study of grammar, from “chalk and talk” to the use of complex and expensive technological equipment) implemented in foreign and second language classrooms all over the world. In language teaching this law of the pendulum is seen as a cyclical pattern in which a new teaching methodology emerges about every quarter of a century. Each new method breaks from the old but at the same time takes with it some of the positive aspects of the previous paradigm. One of the best examples of the cyclical nature of methods is the Audiolingual Method that borrows tenets from its predecessor, the Direct Method, while breaking away entirely from the Grammar-Translation paradigm. Within a short time, however, ALM critics were advocating more attention to rules and to the "cognitive code" of language, which, to some, favoured a return to Grammar Translation. Communicative approaches to language teaching aim to help learners to develop communicative competence (i.e. the ability to use the language effectively for communication). A weak communicative approach includes overt teaching of language forms and functions in order to help learners to develop the ability to use them for communication. A strong communicative approach relies on providing learners with experience of using language as the main means of learning to use the language. In such an approach, learners, for example, talk to learn rather than learn to talk. In communicative approaches negotiation for meaning is critical. The teacher becomes a facilitator. Collaborative learning and peer interaction is important. Students and teacher select and organize curriculum contents.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 33 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: English
Producer: Manuel Pérez Gutiérrez
Director: Manuel Pérez Gutiérrez
Views: 315
Posted by: mapegu on Nov 1, 2008

An introduction of the main methods and approaches to foreign or second language teaching. The features and techniques of the Grammar-Translation, Direct, Audiolingual and Communicative Language Teaching are also presented in the videos which follow.

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