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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

TSL3103 ELT : Comparing Teaching Methods

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TSL 3103 ELT 

Natural Approach

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

Audio-lingual Method (ALM)

Proposer/ advocator

Crashen & Terrell/ 1977
Charles Fries /1939
  Students can acquire the target languages in a natural and communicative situation.
  Be able to communicate with others in the target language in different situations
  Be able to listen, speak, read, and write in the target language, with emphasis on listening and speaking
Mother Tongue
No mother tongue
Both mother tongue and target language
  Less mother tongue
1.      Students acquire the target language in a natural and easy way.
2.      Teaching materials are designed very well. Students ca acquire language from easy to difficult, from simple to complex, and from concrete to abstract.
1.      Students have the opportunities to express their own thoughts and opinions.
2.      Students have the opportunities to communicate with each other in the classroom.
3.      Students can learn the culture of the target language because the teaching materials are related to the social environments.
4.      The communicative situation makes students reconstruct their knowledge and thoughts, so students can learn to fluently speak the target language more easily.
1.    Students can learn target language in natural order: listening—speaking—reading—writing.
2.    Students can speak the correct answers without thinking by overlearning.
1.      Students may use the target language fluently, but they cannot use it accurately.
2.      Teachers should collect various teaching aids and use them appropriately.
3.      Special teaching designs is necessary for the students with better abilities.
1.      It’s difficult for a nonnative speaking teacher who is not very proficient in the target language to teach effectively. Teacher training and certification are needed.
2.      Students’ pronunciation and grammatical knowledge is poor.
3.      It is difficult for teachers to evaluate students’ expression in the learning process.
1.      It fails to teach the long-term communicative proficiency.
2.      Structural linguistics didn’t tell us everything about language that we needed to know.
3.      It’s impossible and unnecessary to teach students without using native languages.
4.      It’s boring for students to overlearn the drills and it’s tiring for teachers to teach.
Teaching Aids
 Visual aids, such as pictures, maps, advertisement; games
(a)Interesting and meaningful materials, such as linguistic games, role plays, and problem solving materials.
(b) Technology—films, videos, TV, computers, can be used as teaching aids.
 Textbooks, drills, tapes, language labs

1.      5 important hypothesis
A.  the Acquisition-Learning H
Students acquire language subconsciously in the natural and communicative situations.
B.  the Monitor H
Students may call upon learned knowledge to correct themselves when they communicate, but that conscious learning has only this function.
C.  the Natural Order H
  The acquisition of grammatical structures proceeds in a predictable order.
D.  the Input (i+1) H
Students acquire language best by understanding input that is slightly beyond their current level of competence.
E.   the Affective Filter H
Student work should center on meaningful communication rather than on form; input should be interesting and so contribute to a relaxed classroom atmosphere.
2.      The teacher was the source of the learner’s input and the creator of an interesting and stimulating variety of classroom activities.
3.      Learners don’t need to say anything during the “silent period” until they feel ready to do so.
4.      Start with TPR commands.
5.      Use visuals, typically magazine pictures, to introduce new vocabulary.
6.      The focus in the classroom is on listening and reading abilities.
7.      No sentence patterns practice and no error correction during the process of acquisition.
1.      Language learning is learning to communicate. The primary function of language is for interaction and communication.
2.      Classroom goals are focused on all of the components of communicative competence and not restricted to grammatical or linguistic competence
3.      Students learn to use the appropriate language forms in the different places.
4.      Communicative activities include functional communicative activities and social interaction activities.
5.      Teachers are assistants, guides, counselors and group process managers.
6.      Students are expected to interact with each other rather than with the teacher.
7.      Learners should take the responsibility of the failed communication.
8.      Language is created by the individual through trial and error. Correction of errors may be absent or infrequent.
9.      Students can speak fluently but not accurately.
10.  Four language skills are practiced. Reading and Writing can start from the first day, if desired.
1.    New material is presented in dialogue forms
2.    There’s dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases, and overlearning.
3.    Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills.
4.    There’s little or no grammatical explanation. Grammar is taught by inductive analogy explanation.
5.    There is much use of tapes, language labs, and visual aids.
6.    It is based on Behaviorist psychology. Students’ successful responses are immediately reinforced and their errors are corrected immediately.
7.    The teaching sequences are aural training, pronunciation training, speaking, reading, and writing.
8.    Structures are sequenced by means of contrastive analysis and taught one at a time.



the Acquisition-Learning H
“Acquisition” is a unconscious and intuitive process of constructing the system of a language. “Learning” refers to a process in which conscious rules about a language are developed.  Learning cannot lead to acquisition.
the Monitor H
  Conscious learning can function only as a monitor or editor that checks and repairs the output of the acquired system.
the Natural Order H
  The acquisition of grammatical structures proceeds in a predictable order. Errors are signs of naturalistic developmental processes and during acquisition, similar developmental errors occur in learners, no matter what their mother tongue is.
the Input (i+1) H
  People acquire language best by understanding input that is slightly beyond their current level of competence. If an acquirer is at stage or level “i”, the input (s)he understands should contain “i+1.”  Input should neither be so far beyond their reach nor so close to their current stage.
  The ability to speak fluently cannot be taught directly; it emerges independently in time.
the Affective Filter H
  The learner’s emotional state or attitudes as an adjustable filter that freely passes, impedes, or blocks input necessary to acquisition. Three kinds of affective or attitudinal variables are: (1) motivation, (2) self-confidence (3) anxiety. The best acquisition will occur in environments where anxiety is low and defensiveness absent.

Direct Method

Natural Approach


1.      It emphasized that the principles underlying the method were believed to conform to the principles of naturalistic language learning in young children.
1.        It is believed to conform to the naturalistic principles found in successful second acquisition.


DM focuses on:
1.        Teacher monologues
2.        Direct repetition
3.        Formal questions and answers
4.        Accurate production of target language sentences
NA focuses on:
1.        Exposure input
2.        Optimizing emotional preparedness for learning
3.        Listening & Reading

Total Physical Response (TPR)

Community Language Learning (CLL)

Counseling Learning Method

Proposer/ advocator

Asher/ 1964


 Be able to respond physically to the sentences made in the target language.
  To get the language competence and performance by asking questions.
Mother Tongue
No mother tongue
  Both mother tongue and the target language
1.        It provides rapid and rather permanent language gains on early levels, so students can remember the learned vocabulary for a long time.
2.        Students respond actively and feel interested in the learning processes.
3.        It’s easy for teachers to teach students verbs.
1.        Each student lowers the defenses that prevent open interpersonal communication.
2.        The anxiety caused by the educational context is lessened by means of the supportive community.
3.        The teacher’s presence is not perceived as a threat, but as a counselor.
1.        It’s difficult to teach the abstract content with TPR
2.        Students’ pronunciation is poor.
3.        Teachers have to do obvious actions carefully or students would be confused and be misled by the unnecessary hints.
4.        TPR has been an experimental model with volunteer students; its, not useful for the inactive students.
5.        TPR is especially effective in the beginning levels of language proficiency, but then loses its distinctiveness as learners advance in their competence.
1.        The counselor-teacher can be too nondirective. Some intensive inductive struggle is a necessary component of second language learning. Learning “ by being told” is much better.
2.        Translation is an intricate and complex process that is often “easier said then done.” If subtle aspects of language are mistranslated, there could be a less than effective understanding.
3.        The training is required for an ideal knower. (s)he would have a perfect command of the foreign language and would have to be professionally competent in both psychology and linguistics.
4.        It has limitations in a large-group situation with one teacher.
5.        There’s a need for clients who speak a common language.
Teaching Aids
  No text. Body language and practical materials.
  Various materials for different purposes; colored coded signals; tapes; recorders
1.        Based on 3 important hypothesis:
(A)  the Bio-program H
Children, in learning their first language, appear to do a lot of listening before they speak, and their listening is accomplished by physical responses.
(B)   the Brain Lateralization H
Motor activity is a right-brain function that should precede left-brain language processing—speaking.
(C)   Reduction of Stress H
An important condition for successful language learning is the absence of stress.
2.        Imperativedrills are the major classroom activity in TPR.
3.        Commands are easy first, and then become more and more complex.
4.        Students are listeners and performers.  They do a lot of listening and acting until they master the commands. They are required to respond both individually and collectively.
5.        Students respond to the commands physically. No verbal response is necessary.
1.        The sense of belonging needed by both students and teachers.
2.        Both teachers and students have the responsibility for the learning activity.
3.        In a good knower-client relationship, there quickly develops a warm, sympathetic attitude of mutual trust and respect. The client emulates the language and person of the knower; the knower is fulfilled and enriched through the counseling-teaching experience.
4.        More important to learners is the freedom and initiative they are permitted.
5.        The most basic ingredient in CLL is a mutual interest, respect and concern of teachers for students and students for students.
6.        A group of ideas concerning the psychological requirements for successful learning are collected under the acronym—SARD. (S-security, A-attention and aggression, R-retention and reflection, D-discrimination)
7.        The teaching procedure:
(a)   The students sit in a circle, and the teacher(s) is(are) outside the circle.
(b)  During the first stage, a tape recorder is normally used. The only voices taped are those of the student-clients when they are speaking in the target language.
(c)   The students initiate the conversation in their native language and the knower Translates it into the target language. They then repeat in the target language what they have heard the knower said.
(d)  Students assist each other and they use the teacher when there is a need. The knower provides translation only when someone signals by raising his/her hand.
(e)   Color coded signals are used. If red is flashed, an error has been made. If amber, there is a more suitable idiom and a better way. If green, the utterance is acceptable. Blue indicates native expertise.
8.        Students’ developmental stages:
(a)The “Embryonic Stage”
    Students are totally dependent on the teacher.
(b)               The “Self-assertion Stage”
    The student-clients begin to show some independence and tries out the language.
(c) IThe “birth Stage” 
    The students speak independently. They are most likely to resent what they feel unnecessary assistance from the knower.
(d)    The “Reversal Stage”
They are secure to take correction.
(e)     The “Independent Stage”
Interruptions are infrequent. They occur for enrichment and improvement of style.

The Silent Way

Suggestopedia / Suggestology

Proposer/ advocator

Gattegno/ 1972

Lozanov/ 1978

  Let students use the target language to express their own thoughts and feeling independently and develop the ability to correct their errors by themselves
  Conduct the many negative “suggestions” or fears which inhibit learning feelings of incompetence and fear of making mistakes, and make students learn the target language in a relaxing atmosphere.
Mother Tongue
  Both mother tongue and the target language
Both mother tongue and the target language
1.        Learning is facilitated if the learner discovers or creates rather than remembers and repeats what is to be learned.  The learners should develop independence, autonomy and responsibility.
2.        Learners in a classroom must cooperate with each other in the process of solving language problems.
3.        Teachers provide single-word stimuli, or short phrases and sentences once or twice, and then students must refine their understanding and pronunciation themselves.
4.        Teachers utilize a set of Cuisinere rods—small colored wooden rods of varying lengths to introduce vocabulary, verbs and syntax, especially about the spatial relationships and related prepositions as well as every aspect of language ranging from comparisons to tense, the conditional and the subjunctive.
5.        Teachers use a series of colorful wall charts to introduce pronunciation models, grammatical paradigms.
6.        The teacher is silent as much as possible, and make students work out solutions themselves.
7.        Four language skills are emphasized and students are encouraged to read and write the sentences they have heard and spoken.
8.        Students correct the errors themselves and teachers view these errors as the responses to the teaching and give students some hints and help.
1.        In a relaxing atmosphere with carpeted floor, easy chairs and classic music –Baroque, integrated the use of music, the element of lecture and theater, through the reputation of the method and the instructor, students’ language competence, confidence and wills to communicate are reinforced.
2.        Students are encouraged to be as “childlike” as possible, yielding all authority to the teacher.
3.        Every student is provided a new name and a new role within the target language on the first day of class. They live with a new identity rather than struggle with a foreign language. The new names also contain phonemes from the target language culture that learners find difficult to pronounce.
4.        The dialogues are presented to the students in three phases:
(a)  explicative reading
(b)  intonational reading
(c)  concert
5.        Students engage in interaction activities to review the material and involve new utterances as much as possible.
6.        The teacher maintains a solemn attitude towards the session and shows absolute confidence in the method.
1.        Students interact not only with teachers but also with each other.

1.  Students are willing and able to communicate in the target language and students learn the target language in a relaxing atmosphere.
2.   Easy grammatical explanation helps students learn the target language more easily.
1.        Teachers must know their teaching objectives clearly and make use of the teaching aids effectively.
2.        Students may be confused with the symbols of the colored wooden rods.
3.        Students waste too much time struggling with a concept that would be easily clarified by the teachers’ direct guide.
4.        It is difficult for teachers to evaluate students’ progress in their learning process.
1.        Students don’t concentrate on the language learning because eof the music.
2.        Students’ speech is somewhat inaccurate grammatically and phonologically.
3.        All students need to share a common native language.
4.        Teachers must be proficient not only in the target language but also I students’ native language.
5.        Not all teachers are skilled in acting, singing and choosing the appropriate music and not all students can appreciate the music.
Teaching Aids
Cuisinere rods, phonic charts, transparencies
A carpet, sofas, classic music tapes, flowers and pictures

Grammar-Translation Method (G-T)

Direct Method
 (Natural Method)

Proposer/ advocator

  To learn a language in order to read its literature or in order to benefit from the mental discipline and intellectual development that result from foreign language study.
  Students can understand the target language without translation
Mother Tongue
Both mother tongue and the target language
No mother tongue
1        Students learn the target language indirectly.
2        Students just learn the knowledge of books not the common language, so they may have trouble applying their knowledge to the real social situations.
3        Students have poor listening and speaking ability because they seldom practice listening and speaking.
1.        It overemphasizes and distorts the similarities between naturalistic first language learning and classroom foreign language learning and it fails to consider the practical realities of the classroom.
2.        It lacks a rigorous basis in applied linguistic theory.
3.        It requires teachers who are native speakers or who have native like fluency in the foreign language. It is largely dependent on the teachers’ skill, rather than on a textbook, and not all teachers are proficient enough in the foreign language to adhere to the principles of the method.
4.        Sometimes a simple brief explanation in the students’ native tongue would have been a more efficient route to comprehension.
1        With translation of the native language, students can read and write the target language I an easy and meaningful way.
2        Students can learn the grammars of the target language with a systematic and correct way.
1        Students can learn the target language directly and systematically.
2        Students can pronounce correctly.
3        Students can learn to use both the written form and oral form of the target language.
4        Students can have interest in learning.
Teaching Aids
Textbooks and grammar books
Pictures and articles related to the textbooks
1.        Reading and writing are the major focus; little or no systematic attention is paid to speaking or listening.
2.        Vocabulary is based on the reading text used, and words are taught through bilingual word lists, dictionary study and memorization.
3.        The sentence is the basic unit of teaching and language practice.
4.        Accuracy is emphasized.
5.        Grammar is taught deductively.
6.        The student’s native language is the medium of instruction.
1.        Classroom instruction is conducted exclusively in the target language.
2.        Only everyday vocabulary and sentences are taught.
3.        Oral communication skills are built up in a carefully graded progression organized around question and answer exchanges between teachers and students in small-intense classes.
4.        New teaching points are introduced orally before students see the written form.
5.        Concrete vocabulary is taught through demonstration objects and pictures; abstract vocabulary is taught by association of ideas.
6.        Both speech and listening comprehension are taught.
7.        Correct pronunciation and grammar are emphasized; grammar is taught inductively.
8.        Students have to offer the interesting materials to draw students’ curiosity to learn the target language.

source: scribd
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