Approaches, methods, procedures, and techniques
Approach : this refers to “theories about the nature of language and language learning that serve as the source of practices and principles in language teaching”. It offers a model of language competence. An approach describes how people acquire their knowledge of the language and makes statements about conditions which will promote successful language learning.
Method : a method is the practical realization of an approach. Methods include various procedures and techniques as part of their standard fare.
Procedure : a procedure is an ordered sequence of techniques. A procedure is a sequence which can be described in terms such as first you do this, then you do that… Smaller than a method and bigger than technique.
Technique : a common technique when using video material is called “silent viewing”. This is where the teacher plays the video with no sound. Silent viewing is a single activity rather than a sequence, and as such is a technique rather than a whole procedure.
A term that is also used in discussions about teaching is “model” – used to describe typical procedures, usually for teachers in training. Such models offer abstractions of these procedures, designed to guide teaching practice.
The Grammar – Translation Method
This is a method that has been used by language teachers for many years.
At one time it was called Classical Method,since it was first used in the teaching of the classical languages,Latin and Greek.
Earlier in this century,it was used for the purpose of helping students read and appreciate foreign language literature.
Classes are taught in the students’ mother tongue,with little active use of the target language;
Vocabulary is taught in the form of isolated word lists;
Elaborate explanations of grammar are always provided;
Reading of difficult text is begun early in the course of study;
Little attention is paid to the content of text,which are treated as exercises in grammatical analysis.
Audio-lingual methodology owes its existence to the Behaviourist models of learning using the Stimulus-Response-Reinforcement model, it attempted, through a continuous process of such positive reinforcement, to engender good habits in language learners.
Audio-lingualism relied heavily on drills like substitution to form these habits.
Habit-forming drills have remained popular among teachers and students, and teachers who feel confident with the linguistic restriction of such procedures.
Presentation, Practice, and Production
A variation on Audio-lingualism in British-based teaching and elsewhere is the procedure most often referred to as PPP, which stands for Presentation, Practice, and Production. In this procedure the teacher introduces a situation which contextualises the language to be taught. The students now practice the language using accurate reproduction techniques such as choral repetition, individual repetition, and cue-response drills
The Communicative Approach
The communicative approach or Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is the name which was given to a set of beliefs which included not only a re-examination of what aspects of language to teach but also a shift in emphasis on how to teach!
These methods developed in the 1970s and 1980s as humanistic approaches to remove psychological barrieis to learning.
Community Language Learning
– students sitting in a circle
– a counsellor or a knower
– making the utterance
The Silent Way
– the teacher says as little as possible
– interacting with physical objects, especially with Cuisenaire rods
Total Physical Response (TPR)
This method is developed to reduce stress people feel while studying foreign languages. Learners are allowed to speak when they are ready.
1. Using commands to direct behaviour
2. Role reversal
3. Action sequence
1. The students’ understanding of the target language should be developed before speaking.
2. Students can initially learn one part of the language rapidly by moving their bodies.
3. Feelings of success and low anxiety facilitate learning.
4. Language learning is more effective when it is fun.
5. Students are expected to make errors when they first begin speaking. Teachers should be tolerant of them. Work on the fine details of the language should be postponed until students have become somewhat proficient.