For a long time there have been so many different languages in the world that people have always been learning them in order not only to communicate but also in order to improve economical, political issues between countries. Nowadays knowing a foreign language is vitally important demand of the century. That’s why there are a great number of approaches in teaching foreign languages. Even we can see it in our own country. Our educational authorities are paying too much attention in order to develop the foreign languages. As an example we can see World Language University. The university is being reconstructed and it is being better equipped than before. Teaching foreign languages is being promoted widely not only at universities but also in other places such as at schools, at work places to have versatile professionals in the society. Nowadays teaching foreign languages includes ideas which range from using conventional, but well- proven methods, to integrating innovative techniques and means of learning process organization, which appeared owing to the emergence of new technologies and resources, mainly focused on worldwide communication, easy access to knowledge, a greater role of the learner in their progress and of the language in one’s career development. Therefore, a lot of methods are used and here some mostly used methods are given:
The Direct Method- here the learner only speaks in the target language emphasizing on good pronunciation but grammar is not important here.
Grammar-translation- the learner follows grammar rules, enlarges his/her vocabulary mostly by translation but little effect in speaking
Audio-lingual-. new language is first heard and extensively drilled before being seen in its written form
The structural approach- here especially grammar is learned in one order thoroughly.
Suggestopedia- the theory underlying this method is that a language can be acquired only when the learner is receptive and has no mental blocks
Total Physical Response (TPR)- it works by making the learner respond to simple commands such as «Sit down», «Open the door», «Come here».
Communicative language teaching (CLT)- the aim of this method is to enable the learner to communicate effectively and appropriately in the various situations she would be likely to find herself in.
The Silent Way
The reason why it is called like this is that the aim of the teacher is to say as little as possible so that the learner can be in control of what he wants to say. The mother tongue is not used.
Community Language Learning
There should be no blocks between teacher and student in this method because of attempts to build strong personal links between them. There is much talk in the mother tongue which is translated by the teacher for repetition by the student. As we see, all these methods have advantages and disadvantages. So teachers should try to involve all of them while conducting lessons. Furthermore, there should be learning environment which is connected with all range of components and activities within which learning happens. According to T. Warger, G. Dobbin, «The term learning environment encompasses learning resources and technology, means of teaching, modes of learning, and connections to societal and global contexts». Teachers should specify a language environment that provides «optimal» conditions for teaching effectively a foreign language at universities, taking into consideration particular physical, cultural and language contexts.
Globalization and informatization of this quick going century have resulted most difficulties in teaching a foreign language and the increasing prominence of languages for effective communication in the global arena is knowing how to model a language course into the educational environment so that students’ skills in a foreign language grow in a way that enhances their education, language and personal development and matches their general field of expertise; how to design and apply teaching materials and tasks; what relevant resources to choose that improve the learners’ ability to interact with people from other cultures in a foreign language. Nowadays for all university students it is very essential that the content of teaching a foreign language includes related themes and problems, and is aimed at the acquisition of not only various types of knowledge but also some specific target skills. They include study skills, critical thinking, communication skills, cognitive skills, self-reflection skills, and individual and team-work models of communication. Indeed, the main goal of modern educational system is to bring up a sophisticated and versatile professional who can effectively and independently work in any uncertain, complex context in the modern community. So today the competence-based approach has been accepted according to which learning a foreign language is an essential element in the wide range of target competencies which should lead the learner towards the development of a communicative competence. We can see it as a framework comprising grammar / linguistic competence (knowledge of grammar rules, lexis and phonetics), pragmatic competence (the ability to use language appropriately in different social situations), strategic competence (knowledge of how to get out a message in a variety of circumstances). Moreover, social-cultural competence (knowledge of national culture and behavior, national mindset and values etc.) also can be added. It is based on linguistic competence, which has always been and still is the cementing foundation of the ability to use a foreign language in an appropriate way.
There have been a lot of study in the field of second language acquisition and as it had its systematic origins in the 1950s and 1960s one of the most outstanding scholars Gass states it as a young field. It is the study of how we are able to learn languages and an understanding of it is important in order to know how to teach effectively.. The phenomenon in the methodology of teaching foreign languages is known as ‘de-automation of the skill’. Because of little attention, lack of practice, fatigue, highly emotional state, high tempo of work etc. automated skills can fail,. That’s why, they have to be reautomated again. The actualization may be observed only when the learners involve their own knowledge and get enough experience through practice. In this way learners can acquire the language independently without teachers.
At the end of the article it would be great to mention that thanks to the great attention to the teaching second language the interest in learning foreign languages is rising dramatically nowadays. There are enough opportunities for the youth to enhance their knowledge and find their place in the community.
- Richards, Jack C.; Theodore S. Rodgers (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0–521–00843–3.
- Horst and J. M. Pearce, “Foreign Languages and the Environment: A Collaborative Instructional Project”, The Language Educator, pp. 52–56, October, 2008