English Language teaching methods
Ворухайло М. А. English Language teaching methods // Молодой ученый. 2015. №19. С. 564-569.
There is no doubt that English has become a universal language. Nowadays, English is used by at least one billion people around the world, either as a first or as a second language. Therefore, it is very much considerable to me to be a professional teacher who is aware of the modern methods of teaching English language as a foreign language. No one can ignore the need and the value of methods for teaching English as a foreign language or even as a second language. Students are different in their needs. Some students learn visually, others orally; others have shorter attention skills and all come from different backgrounds. To meet all their needs, it is necessary to use a wide range of methods. Some methods teacher may do with the help of different resources or create them by alone based at teaching experience.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language is vital especially in the developing countries in which English is considered to be a foreign language. [5, с. 230] It is clear that people need better opportunities that they can only get with a good group of English. In Kazakhstan people who want to learn English have a great number of abilities to know this language.
For teachers very important to listening good spoken English at your level of understanding will improve all aspects of your speaking, since we normally learn our first language by first listening and hearing it spoken by others. If you can understand English-language movies and programs, then listen to news and documentary programs, whose presenters tend to speak well. For easier work, practice listening to English instructional CDs, mp3s or computer software, at home or at a school language auditory. You can also find English-language radio, TV and instructional materials on the Internet. In the modern world we have much more opportunities to rich a language.
Effective, modern methods of teaching listening skills get everything from interactive exercises to multimedia resources. Listening skills are best learned through simple, understandable activities that focus more on the learning process than on the final product. Whether you are working with a large group of students or a small one, you can use any of the following examples to develop your own methods for teaching students how to listen, write, read and speak well.
Language education may take place as a general school subject or in a specialized language school. There are many methods of teaching languages. Some have fallen into history and others are widely used; still others have a small following, but offer useful. [4, с. 52]
Contribute insights that may be absorbed into the generally accepted mix.
Uses of modern technology in classroom teaching is very useful for learners. There are a lot of capacity to make a teaching process easy and productive. [5, с. 231]
Nobody can deny that technology has improved education. Educators have also dramatically adjusted their teaching methods in response to new technology over the years. Many schools now carefully consider cost and application when debating how to best use new technology. Unfortunately, in Kazakhstan schools’ teachers use computers or another technologies very rarely. Most of the lessons are classical. As the result pupils who finish school cannot understand oral speech or have another problems with foreign language.
But what can help to the teacher to improve the level of pupils? It’s Teacher-Centered Technology. Gadgets that are used strictly by teachers are designed to enhance presentations, help with book keeping or assist with outside communications. Projection devices have become more affordable and now are nearly standard in many classrooms. Interactive whiteboards, although still expensive, provide an instant interface between the classroom and cyberspace, allowing teachers to transform lectures into real-time multimedia presentations. Sometimes it is difficult to teachers to learn how to use new technologies at lessons, but it should try and after some time it will be interesting for both teachers and children. Although providing laptops for every student in the classroom is still cost-prohibitive for most school districts, wireless mobile labs can be used in group projects. These devices connect directly to the school's Internet access, and the signal is relayed to laptops that can be distributed to students. Individual word processors are now also becoming more affordable as well as smaller, hand-held devices such as personal digital assistants that can be hot-synced to the teacher's computer.
- Advantages of Classroom Technology
Gadgets in the classroom can create a more interesting, interactive environment that students are mostly already familiar with outside school, except in the poorest districts. If schools strive to keep current with technological trends and budget their priorities, then the learning that takes place becomes more relevant and meaningful to students. Computer literacy and knowledge of major software programs is no longer reserved for higher educational systems or special trade schools in today's society. [1, с. 296]
- Disadvantages of Classroom Technology
Besides being cost-prohibitive, the constant maintenance and upgrading of classroom technology can put a strain on time that should be devoted to teaching and learning. Also, not all teachers are as tech language as they should be, especially when it comes to solving hardware problems. Hiring tech specialists to work in school districts is difficult because the business world often offers more lucrative opportunities. [1, с. 296]
Technology grants and charitable foundations exist for needy districts. Apple initially cornered the market on educational uses for technology because of its more user-friendly systems. Apple still is the preferred choice for many educators because of the discounts and special options it offers to its clients. Because of many crossover software packages that have been developed, Macintosh and Microsoft environments are gaining equal access into modern classrooms. Which platform educational decision-makers choose, the future remains unpredictable, and today's good buy may end up on tomorrow's junk heap of outdated technology. [4, с. 53]
Method you use for teaching listening keeps a few key instructional tips in mind that will help both you and your students to improve the learning process. One, keep your expectations simple, as even the most experienced listener would be unable to completely and accurately recall the entirety of a message. Two, keep your directions accessible and build in opportunities for students not only to ask clarifying questions, but also to make mistakes. Three, help students navigate their communication skills by developing activities appropriate to their skill and confidence level, and then strengthen their confidence by celebrating the ways in which they do improve, no matter how small.
In this diploma work presented some of the well-known modern methods of teaching English language.
You can also teach listening skills through audio segments of radio programs, online material, instructional lectures and other audio messages. You should model this interactive listening process in class with your students, and then instruct them to repeat the exercise on their own way. First, tell students to prepare for listening by considering anything that they will want to learn from the plot of the audio segment. Once they have written down or shared these ideas, then play the audio segment, allowing the students to take notes if helpful. Then repeat this activity but instruct students to not take notes until the end of the audio segment. You can use shorter or longer audio segments, and you can choose more easy or more harder material for this type of exercise.
This method is based on the principles of behavior psychology. It adapted many of the principles and procedures of the Direct Method, in part as a reaction to the lack of speaking skills of the Reading Approach.
New material is presented in the form of a dialogue. Based on the principle that language learning is habit formation, the method fosters dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases and over-learning. Structures are sequenced and taught one at a time. Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills. Little or no grammatical explanations are provided; grammar is taught inductively. Skills are sequenced: Listening, speaking, reading and writing are developed in order. Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context. Teaching points are determined by contrastive analysis between Level 1 and Level 2. There is abundant use of language laboratories, tapes and visual aids. [5, с. 232] There is an extended pre-reading period at the beginning of the course. Great importance is given to precise native-like pronunciation. Use of the mother tongue by the teacher is permitted, but discouraged among and by the students. Successful responses are reinforced; great care is taken to prevent learner errors. There is a tendency to focus on manipulation of the target language and to disregard content and meaning.
Hints for Using Audio-lingual Drills in Teaching
1. The teacher must be careful to insure that all of the utterances which students will make are actually within the practiced pattern. For example, the use of the verb “have” should not suddenly switch to “have” as a main verb.
2. Drills should be conducted as rapidly as possible so as to insure automaticity and to establish a system.
3. Ignore all but gross errors of pronunciation when drilling for grammar practice.
4. Use hand motions, signal cards, notes, etc. to cue response. You are a choir director.
5. Use normal English stress, intonation, and juncture patterns conscientiously.
6. Material should always be meaningful. If the content words are not known, teach their meanings.
7. Intersperse short periods of audio-segment (about 10 minutes) with very brief alternative activities to avoid difficulties and boredom.
8. Introduce the audio-segment in this way:
a. Focus (by writing on the board, for example)
b. Exemplify (by speaking model sentences)
c. Explain (if a simple grammatical explanation is needed)
9. Don’t stand in one place; move about the room standing next to as many different students as possible to spot check their production. Thus you will know who to give more practice to during individual drilling. [7, с. 7]
10. Use the «backward buildup» [8, с. 1] technique for long and/or difficult patterns.
- in the cafeteria tomorrow
- will be eating in the cafeteria tomorrow
- Those boys will be eating in the cafeteria tomorrow.
11. Arrange to present drills in the order of increasing complexity of student response. The question is: How much internal organization or decision making must the student do in order to make a response in this drill. Thus: imitation first, single-slot substitution next, then free response last.
Using this method in Kazakhstan: This method is often used by teachers of primary school teachers and universities. Unfortunately, in the secondary and high school, this method is rarely used. The method is very well developed perception and understanding of a foreign language at the listening. Students can through listening material apply the acquired skills in life.
The typical structure of a chapter employing the Audio-Lingual-Method usually standardized as follows:
1. First item was a dialog in the foreign language to be memorized by the student. The teacher would go over it the day before.
2. There were then questions in the foreign language about the dialog to be answered by the students in the target language.
3. Often a brief introduction to the grammar of the chapter was next, including the verb(-s) and conjugations.
4. The mainstay of the chapter was «pattern practice», which were drills expecting «automatic» responses from the student(s) as a noun, verb conjugation, or agreeing adjective was to be inserted in the blank in the text or during the teacher's pause. The teacher could have the student use the book or not use it, relative to how homework was assigned. Depending on time, the class could respond as a chorus, or the teacher could pick individuals to respond. It was really a sort of «memorization».
5. There was a vocabulary list, sometimes with translations to the mother tongue.
6. The chapter usually ended with a short reading exercise. [2, с. 5]
Using this method in Kazakhstan: due to weaknesses in performance on language learning as a set of habits, audio-lingual methods are rarely in the primary method of instruction today. However, elements of the method still survive in many textbooks.
Another helpful resource for teaching listening skills are video materials, including short sketches, news programs, documentary films, interview materials, and dramatic and comedic material. There are plenty of ideas to use when trying to teach English with the help of videos. For the young learners also appropriate use educational cartoons which can relax child and teach something new or repeat previous theme in a kid’s way. As with audio materials, select the size and length of the video materials based on the skill level of your students. With your students, first watch the segment without any sound or without translation by yourself and discuss it together. Tell the students to identify what they think will be the content of the story that they watch. Then, watch the video material again, this time with sound, allowing students to take notes if helpful for their skill level. After the completion of the video materials, you can have students write a brief summary of the material, or you can take time to discuss as a group how the video material compares with the students' expectations.
Using this method in Kazakhstan: using videos in English class is a very helpful and stimulating method to motivate your students to get the most of the subject. All learners like this method. The method is very well developed perception and understanding of a foreign language at the listening. Also at the secondary school this method drops out of the teaching curriculum.
The oral approach was developed from the 1930s to the 1960s by British applied linguists such as Harold Palmer and A. S. Hornsby. They were familiar with the Direct method as well as the work of 19th century applied linguists such as Otto Jesperson and Daniel Jones but attempted to formally develop a scientifically-founded approach to teaching English than was evidenced by the Direct Method. [4, с. 54]
A number of large-scale investigations about language learning and the increased emphasis on reading skills in the 1920s led to the notion of «vocabulary control». It was discovered that languages have a core basic vocabulary of about 2,000 words that occurred frequently in written texts, and it was assumed that mastery of these would greatly use reading comprehension. Parallel to this was the notion of «grammar control», emphasizing the sentence patterns most-commonly found in spoken conversation. Such patterns were incorporated into dictionaries and handbooks for students. The principle difference between the oral approach and the direct method was that methods devised under this approach would have theoretical principles guiding the selection of content, gradation of difficulty of exercises and the presentation of such material and exercises. The main proposed benefit was that such theoretically-based organization of content would result in a less-confusing sequence of learning events with better contextualization of the vocabulary and grammatical patterns presented. Last but not least, all language points were to be presented in «situations». Basis on this point led to the approach's second name. Proponent claim that this approach leads to students' acquiring good habits to be repeated in their corresponding situations. Teaching methods stress PPP (presentation (introduction of new material in context), practice (a controlled practice phase) and production (activities designed for less-controlled practice)). [4, с. 55]
Although this approach is all but unknown among language teachers today, elements of it have had long lasting effects on language teaching, being the basis of many widely-used English as a Second or Foreign Language textbooks as late as the 1980s and elements of it still appear in current texts. Many of the structural elements of this approach were called into question in the 1960s, causing modifications of this method that lead to Communicative language teaching. [4, с. 56]
Using this method in Kazakhstan: However, its method basis on oral practice, grammar and sentence patterns still finds widespread support among foreign language teachers where teaching curriculum are still heavily based on grammar.
Directed practice has students repeat phrases. This method is used by U. S. diplomatic courses. It can quickly provide phrasebook-type knowledge of the language. Within these limits, the student's usage is accurate and precise. However the student's choice of what to say is not flexible. [6, с. 2]
This method places great stress on correct pronunciation and the target language from outset. It advocates teaching of oral skills at the expense of every traditional aim of language teaching.
According to this method, printed language and text must be kept away from second language learner for as long as possible, just as a first language learner does not use printed word until he has good grasp of speech.
Learning of writing and spelling should be delayed until after the printed word has been introduced, and grammar and translation should also be avoided because this would involve the application of the learner's first language. All above items must be avoided because they hinder the acquisition of a good oral proficiency.
Lessons begin with a dialogue using a modern conversational style in the target language. Material is first presented orally with actions or pictures. The mother tongue is NEVER, NEVER used. There is no translation. The preferred type of exercise is a series of questions in the target language based on the dialogue or an anecdotal narrative. Questions are answered in the target language. Grammar is taught inductively-rules are generalized from the practice and experience with the target language. Verbs are used first and systematically conjugated only much later after some oral mastery of the target language.
Advanced students read literature for comprehension and pleasure. Literary texts are not analyzed grammatically. The culture associated with the target language is also taught inductively. Culture is considered an important aspect of learning the language.
The direct method, sometimes also called natural method, is a method that refrains from using the learners' native language and just uses the target language. It was established in Germany and France around 1900 and is best represented by the methods devised by Berlitz and de Sauzé although both claim originality and has been re-invented under other names. [3, с. 11]
The direct method operates on the idea that second language learning must be an imitation of first language learning, as this is the natural way humans learn any language — a child never relies on another language to learn its first language, and thus the mother tongue is not necessary to learn a foreign language. This method places great stress on correct pronunciation and the target language from outset. It advocates teaching of oral skills at the expense of every traditional aim of language teaching. Such methods rely on directly representing an experience into a linguistic construct rather than relying on abstractions like mimicry, translation and memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary. [3, с. 11]
According to this method, printed language and text must be kept away from second language learner for as long as possible, just as a first language learner does not use printed word until he has good grasp of speech. Learning of writing and spelling should be delayed until after the printed word has been introduced, and grammar and translation should also be avoided because this would involve the application of the learner's first language. All above items must be avoided because they hinder the acquisition of a good oral proficiency.
The method relies on a step-by-step progression based on question-and-answer sessions which begin with naming common objects such as doors, pencils, floors, etc. It provides a motivating start as the learner begins using a foreign language almost immediately. Lessons progress to verb forms and other grammatical structures with the goal of learning about thirty new words at the lesson. [3, с. 11]
Using this method in Kazakhstan: direct method is appropriate for the target audience above average. This method allows you to «dive» in the target language. Lessons are conducted using this method improve the perception of the target language. In our country, this method is suitable for universities, specialized schools and colleges. Apply it to a regular school is not fully appropriate in view of not enough stock of vocabulary and grammatical knowledge of students.
Communicative language teaching, also known as the Communicative Approach, emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. Despite a number of criticisms it continues to be popular, particularly in Europe, where constructivist views on language learning and education in general dominate academic discourse. [6, с. 4] Although the 'Communicative Language Teaching' is not so much a method on its own as it is an approach.
The term «Communicative Language Teaching» (CLT) means different things to different teachers. To some teachers, it simply means a greater emphasis on the use of the target language in the classroom, and in particular, a greater emphasis on orality. To other teachers, communication entails the exchange of unknown information between interlocutors. And finally, some teachers understand communication in the most global, anthropological terms, that is, as a cultural-bond system for making meaning. Despite their various definitions of CLT, all the module instructors seem to advocate for a communicative approach.
The Communicative Method is in reality an umbrella term — a broad approach rather than a specific teaching methodology, and has now become the accepted 'standard' in English language teaching.
Communicative Language Teaching is a natural follow-on from the reaction during the 70s against previous methods which over-focused on teaching grammatical structures and template sentences, and which gave little or no importance to how language is actually used practically.
The Communicative approach emphasizes the ability to communicate the message in terms of its meaning, instead of concentrating exclusively on grammatical perfection or phonetics. Therefore, the understanding of the second language is evaluated in terms of how much the learners have developed their communicative abilities and competencies.
In essence, it considers using the language to be just as important as actually learning the language.
The Communicative Language Teaching method has various characteristics that distinguish it from previous methods:
- Understanding occurs through active student interaction in the foreign language
- Teaching occurs by using authentic English texts
- Students not only learn the second language but they also learn strategies for understanding
- Importance is given to learners' personal experiences and situations, which are considered as an invaluable contribution to the content of the lessons
- Using the new language in unrehearsed contexts creates learning opportunities outside the classroom
As the method is a broad approach to teaching English, rather than a rigid series of activities, there are some popular misconceptions of what CLT involves. Learning a language is interactive, co-operative, learner-centered and content-based, but the approach does not mean that learning a second language involves just 'conversation'.
The most common educational model applied in the context of the Communicative Method is the Functional-Notional approach, which emphasizes the organization of the syllabus. This breaks down the use of language into 5 functional categories that can be more easily analyzed: personal (feelings, etc.), interpersonal (social and working relationships), directive (influencing others), referential (reporting about things, events, people or language itself), and imaginative (creativity and artistic expression).
These 5 broad functions are then delivered by the teacher in the classroom using the '3 Ps' teaching model, which stand for Presentation, Practice and Production.
The Silent Way is a discovery learning approach. The teacher is usually silent, leaving room for the students to explore the language. They are responsible for their own learning and are encouraged to interact. The role of the teacher is to give clues, not to model the language.
This method begins by using a set of colored rods and verbal commands in order to achieve the following:
- To avoid the use of the vernacular.
- To create simple linguistic situations that remain under the complete control of the teacher
- To pass on to the learners the responsibility for the utterances of the descriptions
- the objects shown or the actions performed.
- To let the teacher concentrate on what the students say and how they are saying it, drawing their attention to the differences in pronunciation and the flow of words.
- To generate a serious game-like situation in which the rules are implicitly agreed upon by giving
- meaning to the gestures of the teacher and his mime.
- To permit almost from the start a switch from the lone voice of the teacher using the foreign language to a number of voices using it. This introduces components of pitch, timbre and intensity that will constantly reduce the impact of one voice and hence reduce imitation and encourage personal production of one's own brand of the sounds.
- To provide the support of perception and action to the intellectual guess of what the noises mean, thus bring in the arsenal of the usual criteria of experience already developed and automatic in one's use of the mother tongue.
- To provide duration of spontaneous speech upon which the teacher and the students can work to obtain a similarity of melody to the one heard, thus providing melodic integrative schemata from the start.
Using this method in Kazakhstan: Method Silent Way is the most favorite by teachers which audience of learners higher than Intermediate. This is because students have enough language skills for independent performance of tasks aimed at writing, listening, speaking. Also, through this method teacher may understand how students use grammar, new words (adjectives, explanation, verbs) and how they understand each other.
Blended learning combines face-to-face teaching with distance education, frequently electronic, either computer-based or web-based. It has been a major growth point in the ELT (English Language Teaching) industry over the last ten years. [6, с. 9]
Some people, though, use the phrase 'Blended Learning' to refer to learning taking place while the focus is on other activities. For example, playing a card game that requires calling for cards may allow blended learning of numbers (1 to 10).
In modern schools often found of this method of learning a foreign language. This method is similar to the method of learning a foreign language through the game.
1. Harner Jeremy. The practice of English language teaching. L. — New York, 1991.-296p.
2. University Antwerpen James L. Barker lecture on November 8, 2001 at Brigham Young University, given by Wilfried Decoo. §5, 7.
3. Diller, Karl Conrad (2005). The Language Teaching Controversy. Rowley, Massachusetts: Newbury House. ISBN 912066–22–9. §11
4. E. ter Horst and J. M. Pearce, “Foreign Languages and the Environment: A Collaborative Instructional Project”, The Language Educator, pp. 52–56, October, 2008.
5. Joshua M. Pearce and Eleanor ter Horst, “Overcoming Language Challenges of Open Source Appropriate Technology for Sustainable Development”, Journal of Sustainable Development, 11(3) pp.230–245, 2010.
6. Content: Methods and Approaches to English language teaching Source: Wikipedia Date Modified: 07.10.2008, §1, 2, 4, 5, 9.
7. University Antwerpen James L. Barker lecture on May, 2011 at Brigham Young University, given by Wilfried Decoo. §7
8. Caroline Laidlow, Trawelling through time (2000) ISBN 0–7513–3178–3, p.1