Background to Language Teaching STYLES and principles

 SLA Topics   Vivian Cook   SLL & LT Website

If I speak only one language, I can help my country as only one man. If I can use two languages, I can help as two men. But if I can use all nine languages, then I can work as nine men. Village elder, Eritrea

 

Assumptions of language teaching 
Tick the extent to which you agree or disagree with these assumptions

  Strongly     Agree  Agree Neither 
Agree nor 
Disagree
Disagree Strongly
Disagree

 1. Students learn best through spoken, not written language.

         

2. Teachers and students should use the second language rather than the first language in the classroom.

         

3. Teachers should avoid explicit discussion of  grammar.  

         

4. The aim of language teaching is to make students like native speakers. 

         

Principles of the twentieth century language teaching consensus

  1. Students learn best through spoken not written language.

  2. Teachers and students should use the L2 rather than the L1 in the classroom.

  3. Teachers should avoid explicit discussion of grammar

  4. Language should be learnt as a whole

  5. Language should be presented through dialogues and texts.

  6. Language consists of 4 skills.

 

Teaching Styles (styles questionnaire)

teaching style typical technique  idea of learning
academic textwork conscious understanding
explanation knowledge > use
audiolingual dialogues ‘habit formation’, S/R
  structure drills
social commun- icative information gaps learning by communicating
role-plays
information communicative Total PhysicalResponse (TPR) learning by understanding
traditional EFL presentation  studial and natural
substitution
others Community Language Learning learning by doing or experiencing
 

 

Styles and principles

Acad- emic Audio- lingual Social  com Info. com. Trad. EFL Other
speech before writing No Yes - - Yes -
use only the L2 in the classroom No Yes Yes Yes Yes -
explicit discussion of grammar should be avoided No Yes Yes Yes Yes -
language should be learnt as a whole not as separate aspects - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
language should be presented through dialogues and texts Yes/
No
Yes Yes Yes - Yes
language consists of four skills - Yes Yes Yes - -

 

The Multi-competence Model
(more info on Multi-competence Website)

‘… language teaching taboos, such as the mother tongue, grammar, the printed and written word, which have affected our teachers with over-sized guilt complexes, are nothing but superstitions handed down from one innocent victim to the next’ (Dodson, 1967, p.65).

 

Source: mostly Cook, V.J. (2008), Second Language Learning and Language Teaching, Arnold, 4th edition