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The Pedagogical Problems with Language Immersion Programs

written by: Heather Marie Kosur • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/5/2012

The following article defines first language acquisition versus second language learning as well as explains the language teaching method of language immersion and the problems with language learning programs, including language software, that promise successful second language acquisition.

First Language Acquisition

Language acquisition is the process whereby children acquire their first languages. All humans (without exceptional physical or mental disabilities) have an innate capability to acquire language. Children may acquire one or more first languages. For example, children who grow up in an environment in which only English is spoken and heard will acquire only English as their first language. However, children who grow up in an environment in which both German and English are spoken and heard equally will acquire both German and English as their first languages. Acquisition occurs passively and unconsciously through implicit learning. In other words, children do not need explicit instruction to learn their first languages but rather seem to just "pick up" language in the same way they learn to roll over, crawl, and walk. Language acquisition in children just seems to happen.

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Acquisition (as opposed to learning) depends on children receiving linguistic input during the critical period. The critical period is defined as the window of time, up to about the age of twelve or puberty, in which humans can acquire first languages. Children must receive adequate linguistic input including phonology (speech sounds), semantics (vocabulary and

meaning), grammar (syntax or word order and morphology or grammatical markers), and pragmatics (use and context) and prosody (intonation, rhythm, stress) before the end of the critical period in order to acquire their first languages. If linguistic input is not adequate, children will never fully acquire language (as is the case of Genie, an abused and neglected girl who was discovered by authorities in 1970). Language acquisition cannot normally occur after the critical period because the brain becomes "hardwired" to the first language.

Second Language Learning

Language learning, in contrast to language acquisition, is the process whereby humans past the critical period learn second languages. All humans have the ability to learn additional languages although, just as with other areas of study like math or science, some people are

better at learning second languages than others. Older children and adults may learn one or more second languages. For example, a woman who acquired French as a child and learned English as an adult would have one first language (French) and one second language (English). Similarly, a man who acquired Japanese as a child and learned English and Spanish as an adult would also have one first language (Japanese) but two second languages (English and Spanish).

As opposed to acquisition, learning occurs actively and consciously through explicit instruction and education. In other words, older children and adults past the critical period need explicit teaching to learn their second languages. Language learning requires explicit instruction in speaking and hearing additional languages. For example, while children who acquire English as their first language just seem unconsciously and without instruction to "know" that most adjectives precede nouns in English, those same children as adults must be taught that most adjectives follow nouns in Spanish. The brains of first language English speakers have become "hardwired" to innately accept only an adjective-noun pattern; in order to successfully learn Spanish as a second language, those English speakers must consciously learn the different pattern of noun-adjective. Or rather, second language learners must "retrain" the brain to accept language systems outside the confines of the first language.

Language Immersion

Language immersion is a second language learning method in which language learners immerse themselves in the target (second) language. For example, Spanish language learners might plan a Spanish immersion experiencethrough an extended vacation to a Spanish- speaking country and communicate only with the Spanish language. Parents who want their children to learn French as a second language might enroll their children into a school with a

language immersion program that teaches all subjects (math, science, social studies) in the French language. The goal of language immersion is to create a linguistic environment that mimics the environment of first language acquisition. The idea behind language immersion is that, if all incoming (auditory) communication is in the target language, then students will eventually be compelled to use the target language for all outgoing (spoken) communication. The outcome of language immersion is language learning, not language acquisition.

Second Language Acquisition

The theory behind language learning programs (with Rosetta Stone as the most well-known) is that adults past the critical period can acquire language. Although some older children and adults can seemingly acquire languages in addition to their first, most people must learn

second languages. Such language learning programs fail to take into account that people learn second languages differently from the acquisition of first languages, by ignoring the differences between language acquisition and language learning. While all children before the critical period can innately acquire their first languages, most adults past the critical period must learn second languages through explicit education and instruction.

In addition to the problems with the claim of second language acquisition, many language learning programs also mistakenly claim to teach second languages through language immersion. For example, Rosetta Stone proclaims that its language learning programs help people learn second languages naturally by providing a "completely immersive environment" that recreates on the computer the childhood experience of "speaking instinctively by experiencing the world." Instant Immersion similarly claims to "immerse learners in authentic dialogue and traditions" through its language learning programs. However, authentic language immersion cannot happen through a computer program. Instead, real language learning through language immersion can only occur when language learners physically and mentally immerse themselves in a linguistic environment with adequate linguistic input from the target language. Computer software cannot replicate actual linguistic interactions.

The Roles of Language Learning Programs

Although second language learners cannot acquire languages through language learning programs, such learners can learn second languages through such programs. For example, the Learn English Now! program available through Transparent Language promises not only to

teach vocabulary and pronunciation through simulated English language conversations but also to reference English grammar. The Everywhere German Audio Course similarly provides explicit German language instruction including grammar and vocabulary lessons.

Language learning programs are legitimate means for learning second languages so long as the language instruction is explicit especially in the area of grammar education. However, once language learners learn second languages, language immersion programs like Rosetta Stone can help to review and reinforce language learning. For example, first-year Spanish students might use theRosetta Stone Latin American Spanish Online Language Learning program over the summer to practice the Spanish language before second-year classes begin in the fall.

Conclusion

First language acquisition differs from second language learning in that children acquire first

languages innately and passively while adults learn second languages actively through explicit education and instruction. Older children and adults past the critical period can successfully learn second languages through language immersion. However, many language learning programs that promise language acquisition through immersion fail to take into account the differences between first language acquisition and second language learning as well as the necessary linguistic environment for authentic language immersion. Nonetheless, language immersion programs can reinforce the learning that language learners gained through explicit second language education and instruction.

 

Differences Between First Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning -

 

by Thomas Parry

 

Summary : The piece is a two-fold investigation into second language learning; how it differs from first language acquisition and how knowledge of a first language can aid a teacher of a second language.

A Two Part Investigation:

1) A Critical Discussion of the Differences Between First Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning

2) How can Knowledge of a First Language (L1) Aid a Teacher of English as a Second Language?

Thomas Parry

Abstract: The piece is a two-fold investigation into second language learning; how it differs from first language acquisition and how knowledge of a first language can aid a teacher of a second language. Both investigations are literature searches and the research carried out is entirely secondary. A comparison is made between two opposing nationalities (Arab and Korean) and how language learning is affected from one peninsula to the other within the context of the question. In addition to this, the literature search criticises both first language acquisition and second language learning; pointing out the flaws and strengths of each and how they are relevant to an EFL teacher.

 
 

1)

A

Critical

Discussion

of

the

Differences

Between

First

Language

Acquisition and Second Language Learning

Since the 1960‟s, Linguists have debated the differences between first language acquisition and second language learning amongst themselves. This has lead to the emergence of two schools of thought: behaviourists (“nurture”) who put a lot of emphasis on learning syntax and Mentalists or Nativists (“nature”) who believe that a

second language can be learnt by emphasising the use of everyday language and the

use of Interlanguage. Both of these theories have their shortcomings: „A 'nativist' view assumes consciously or unconsciously that somehow L2 learning can and should be like learning our native language.[i] Whilst behaviorism can be severely limited as „students take in only some of what they are exposed to.[ii]

A child‟s cognitive development dictates that a child will be better suited to acquiring

its native language at an early age, rather than learning a second language later in life.

This is the first major criticism of the mentalist approach, „Any normal child,

regardless of his genetic or „racial‟ characteristics, will acquire the language of the community in which he is brought up.[iii] However, „L2 learning is not genetically triggered in any way unless the child grows up bi-lingually (in which case, it is not really L2 learning at all).[iv] Without a genetic trigger as incentive to learn a new language, the Communicative Language approach to teaching (favored by the majority of mentalist believers) can become partially ineffectual. A child will never resist the acquisition of its native language but second language learners will subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) resist learning a second language.

Syntax is a fundamental part of learning any language and neither behaviorists nor Mentalists have developed a satisfactory way to teach syntaxes to learners of second languages. A child acquiring its first language learns how to structure sentences

unknowingly and develops grammatical structures unconsciously. However, mentalists believe that syntax has to be learnt rather than acquired by second

language learners. Ellis argues that „Learners must engage in both item learning and system learning[v] and the Mentalist theory does not take into account item learning (an expression as an unanalyzed whole).

In conclusion, the differences between learning a second language and acquiring a native language are vast. There are motivational issues, differences in cognitive

development related to the child‟s age and huge differences concerning the syntax

and grammatical form. Neither Mentalists nor Behaviorists have developed a satisfactory teaching method for second language learners.

2) How can Knowledge of a First Language (L1) Aid a Teacher of English as a Second Language?

Knowledge of first language acquisition can be beneficial for the teacher of English and for students as well. Sheelagh Deller believes that knowledge of L1 acquisition „is useful for students to notice differences between their L1 and the target language, that when students use their L1 between themselves and with the teacher, it has a positive effect on group dynamics, and it allows students to give ongoing feedback about the course.[vi]Mentalists would also argue that L1 transfer is not “interference”, but that it is actually an induced cognitive practice, allowing students to better their L2.

Initially, amongst novice students, L1 is not transferred into L2 as students are afraid

to try new things and rely on direct requests (for example: may I have a particularly for apologies, refusals and requests. This was the case in Korea, where

______

),

novice students were very quiet and would only use previously memorised templates to communicate in English. However, as the students progressed they would translate directly from their native language, Korean, and this would result in grammatical

problems (for example: „eraser, give it to me‟ as opposed to „please give me the

eraser.‟) However, positive effects were also derived from the transferral of L1 to L2. Korean „learners of English have been found to avoid the use of relative clauses because their languages do not contain equivalent structures. These learners [Koreans] make fewer errors in relative clauses than Arabic learners of English.[vii]

Though teachers can be aware of how L1 was acquired, it is not always possible to replicate the conditions and, therefore, provide a utopian environment for the students to learn a secondary language. In fact, it is nearly impossible to do this. Disregarding motivational problems and the major problem, that a primary language has already been learnt, it is usually just impractical to replicate the conditions that a native language was acquired in. „For most people, the experience with an L2 is fundamentally different from their L1 experience and it is hardly conducive to acquisition. They usually encounter the L2 during their teenage or adult years, in a few hours each week of school time.[viii]Therefore, despite knowledge of L1

acquisition, it

is

not

always

practical

to

use

this knowledge to improve L2

acquisition.

The role of consciousness is an important factor in L1 acquisition and, according to Krashen, can also play a role in L2 learning. Krashen believes that L2 can still be acquired to a certain extent, and does not necessarily have to be studied. However, though this may be true to a very limited extent and in an immersed environment, for the vast majority of L2 learners, Schmidt‟s theory „that learning cannot take place without noticing - the process of attending consciously to linguistic features in the input.[ix], applies. Limited L2 acquisition does occur, this was evident in Korea, however, the majority of L2 learning takes place consciously.

Knowledge of L1 acquisition can be useful to an English Language Teacher however; it is only useful to a certain extent. Students that do not use a specific grammatical

structure in their native language (for example Koreans who do not use relative

clauses) will be better suited to learning that specific grammar rule, as they won‟t try

to translate it directly from their native language. Also, it is possible for students to acquire a limited quantity of L2 subconsciously (though this should never be relied

upon

by

an

English

language

teacher).

[ii] Harmer, Jeremy, ‘The Practice of English Language Teaching’. Longman (4 th edition) 2007. Page

50

[iii] Lyons, John, ‘New Horizons in Linguistics’. Penguin Books 1970. Page11

 

[v] Ellis, rod, ‘Second Language Acquisition’ Oxford University Press 1997. Page 13

[vi] Harmer, Jeremy, ‘The Practice of English Language Teaching’. Longman (4 th edition) 2007. Page

133

[vii] Ellis, rod, ‘Second Language Acquisition’ Oxford University Press 1997. Pages 51-52

 

[viii] Yule, George, ‘The Study of Language’ Cambridge University Press (3 rd Edition) 2006. Page 163

[ix] Ellis, rod, ‘Second Language Acquisition’ Oxford University Press 1997. Page 55

 

Bibliography

Ellis, Rod, ‘Second Language Acquisition’, Oxford University Press 1997 Harmer, Jeremy, ‘The Practice of English Language Teaching’, Longman (4 th edition) 2007 Lyons, John, ‘New Horizons in Linguistics’, Penguin Books 1970 O’Neil, Robert, http://www.btinternet.com/~ted.power/esl0412.html’. Internet Source, April 1998

Yule, George, ‘The Study of Language’, Cambridge University Press (3 rd Edition)

2006

About Author

Thomas Parry is a lecturer at a leading Middle Eastern university and holds an MA in TESOL.

 
   
       

1.

Consider the whole person: You should take into consideration who the student is.

1. Consider the whole person: You should take into consideration who the student is.

Know different aspects of the individual.(Student’s psychology, social background, etc.) Consult with the guiding and class teachers (Check with the other teachers his progress). Don’t grade only by looking at his learning English.

  • 2. Language learning is both forming habit and also utilizing the the student’s innate

capacity for language as a rule governed creative activity.(By Noam Chomsky) Cognitive school of psychology: using the student’s innate capacity for the language.

The student uses his creative mental power.

  • 3. Keep the students involved. Try to have a student centered class as far as

possible. Keep the appropriate ratio of teacher talk and student talk. The minimal

requirement: Teacher talking time 50%, student talking time 50%. (Traditional class is a teacher centered class, modern class is a student centered class.)

  • 4. Language learners learn to do by doing. Items of language should be practiced.

Practice is extremely important in foreign language learning. Practice, especially drilling, helps with habit formation.

  • 5. Teach all 4 language skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing. Listening and

reading are receptive, speaking and writing are productive skills. All four language skills should go hand-in-hand. They should be integrated. All people understand far more than they can produce. The child has the more following order in acquiring the four skills. Listening-Speaking-Reading-Writing.

  • 6. Grade the learning tasks. Items should be presented according to the order of

ease. It shouldn’t be too rigid grading. There should be Structural and Vocabulary

grading Functional-Notional Approach.

(A matter of presenting syllabus. They

introduce all of them at the same time. Language material should be presented in the order of function and notion.Formal:

Informal : Open the door please.

Can/could

you

open

Will you open the door please?

the

door?

Would

you

mind

opening

the

door

please?

Would you open the door please? Would you be so kind enough to open the door?

  • 7. All learning should be functional and have meaning for the students in terms of

their needs and life values. Start with their experiences.

  • 8. Go from the known to the unknown. Build on what the students know either in their

native language or in English. Compare and Contrast where possible.Similar points in L1 and L2 are easy to learn. As a principle, try to have as meaningul language

material as possible. Present Perfect is difficult to teach, because there is no equivalent, no counter part in Turkish.

  • 9. Go from the concrete to the more abstract.

10. Teach only one thing at a time. Don’t teach vocabulary and structure at the same time. Teach a new grammatical pattern with the known vocabulary items. While teaching new vocabulary items, use known grammatical patterns in your illustrated sentences. 11. It is easier to learn a thing correctly the first time than to have to relearn it. Here it is important to emphasize that the teacher should have a good command of the language material which he presents and practices in class. To have to relearn something that is learned incorrectly before is much more difficult than to learn it correctly the first time. Turkish should be used in rule explanation. Do not pour upon your student all your Grammar knowledge. In Grammar teaching both Inductive-Rule Teaching and Deductive-Rule Teaching approaches should be used students can also discover the rules themselves.

12. Rules are essential in language learning. But knowing the rules just as an intellectual activity is not enough. All the native speakers of a language know the language rules subconsciously. What is needed is the use of language by the students for communicative purpose both in spoken and written form of language. The degree of emphasis attached to rules in language learning will be different

depending on the age of the students. Adults are more rule-oriented and they need to study them.

  • 13. Teach first those language patterns which will be the most useful in manipulating

other language items.

  • 14. Teach beginning (elementary) students only the forms most frequently used in

normal speech. Help them realize that there may be more than one way of expressing the same ideas. But in the beginning, teach then only one form. e.g. The most commonly used request pattern is: Please open the door, Open the door

please.

  • 15. Errors will naturally occur in language learning. It is not necessary to correct

every error. Be selective in error correction. Be gentle in error correction. Errors are a natural, necessary, and inevitable part of learning. Never interrupt your student while he is talking or reading for a correction. Wait until he finishes his part of talking or reading. Gentle correction should be a principle. Correct only common mistakes. Mistake is the wrong use of language, although you know the correct form. Error is a wrong use but the correct form is not known. Be selective in error correction. Common errors ocur because of the difference between L1 and L2. best way to correct the errors is to give a mini-presentation. In communicative situations what they speak is important than how they speak.

  • 16. Provide Review since language learning is spiral. Do not teach ib isolated blocks.

But teach in spiral fashion. For example different functions of the present continuous form of the verb should be taught at different levels by reviewing the known functions.

Review will make

it possible

to

tight

a

new item

to

the

thing already learned.

I am leaving İzmir now. (at the moment of speaking)

I

am

leaving

İzmir

tomorrow.(It

 

is

going

to

take

place

tomorrow)

(The same form but different meanings and functions).

  • 17. Recognize individual differences. All students learn at differnt roles. In every

class there will naturally be slow, average, and bright students. Give opportunity to all the students to participate in class activities. Do not let the bright students

monopolize. You can give bright students difficult tasks to keep their interest alive. To form mixed ability groups we should do anything possible not to foster the feeling of impriority.

18. Items that are similar to language items in the student’s own language will be easy to learn in the case of differences between the native language and the target language learning will be more difficult. Consequently more time and practice will be needed. There is a transfer theory (Audio Lingual Approach). Foreign students

transfer. He uses his L1 habits in learning and using L2. ıf two points are similar in

L1 and L2 they are easy to learn. If two points are different such things are difficult to

learn.

They

constitute

problems.

Two

kinds

of

mother

tongue

interference:

positive

interferencenegative interference.

Before the teacher present the

new item

he will anticipate the problems by

the

contrastive analysis. Audio-Linguistics beleive that great majority of problems

occur because of the differences between Turkish and English.

19. Keep the pace alive. Provide a variety of activities. Class activities should not go at a monotonous rate. There will be boredom and little or no learning. The activities should go dynamically not monotonously. If the students are not interested with the activity, stop that activity. Any game which fixed into your present project can be used.

20. Teach with examples. Examples speak louder than language explanation. Examples can help the students learn much better than complicated explanations. 21. Make legitimate use of mother tongue. Use it at the right time and in the right dose. You must avoid overuse of mother tongue clarifying abstract vocabulary items. In teaching grammatical items while giving the instructions if they are difficult we can use Turkish.

22. Relate form to meaning and contextualize. All class activities should be meaningful. Meaning should always be in the foreground. Whatever activity the students are involved in, the students should be able to understand the meaning of what they hear, say, read, or write. Teach new vocabulary items or a grammatical pattern or pronunciation in context. In teaching vocabulary give the meaning and

pronunciation. Smallest context is a sentence meaning arises out of the situation. We can use dialogues, anectodes in the spoken form as context.

  • 23. Assign tasks in class. Involve the students as much as possible. A variety of

tasks can be assigned in class.

  • 24. Give students a feeling of confidence and success and encourage them.

Education should be geared on success. When the grading time comes at the first

cemester, if there is a student on borderline, pass him.

  • 25. Assign as homework what the students can do by themselves.

  • 26. Use Audio-visual aid as much as possible.

  • 27. Teach well before you test. Students often fail because of poor teaching, poor

testing, poor evaluation of the exams.

Principles of Language Teaching Video Related Posts:

Tags: principles of language teaching and learning Post Published: 17 June 2010 Author: admin Found in section: Education Tags: principles of language teaching and learning

The Two Approaches to the Teaching and Learning of a Second Language

Currently more and more people are viewing second language

learning from

cognitive perspective. But actually there are two cognitive approaches to the teaching and learning of second language: the cognitive code theory proposed by Carroll and the cognitive approach proposed by Anderson and Skehan, or we can define them as traditional (or structurist) cognitive approach and the information- processing cognitive approach.

The two approaches have similarities in several ways. First, they emphasize the importance of cognition in language learning, relate language learning to the internal process within the individual when dealing with the environmental stimulus, and investigate internal psychological structure of the learner and how they change. In a word, they investigate language learning through the cognitive abilities of the learner.

Second, they both make contrast between a focus on learners' similarities and a focus on learners' differences and this naturally leads to the discussion of foreign language aptitude, the construct which accounts for the variation in language- learning ability. when the information-processing cognitive researchers distinguish among the three information-processing stages of input, central processing, and output, it is striking that different components of aptitude which were identified forty years ago (Carroll & Sapon, 1958) can be linked to the three stages.

Yet their differences are obvious, and these stem from the differences between structurist cognitive psychology and information- processing cognitive psychology. for Chinese teachers, the two kinds of theories are often confusing, because they were introduced into china with the same name without distinction, and the traditional cognitive approach may have been the common proactive in china. But since new achievements in second language acquisition theory have brought new concepts and ideas to language learning, it is necessary to distinguish the information- processing approach from the cognitive code approach. Their differences lie in their different backgrounds, their respective rationales; their different propositions their different instructional principles and procedures. This article is written to sketch out

the two different accounts of language learning and to recognize main shift towards the acceptance of a processing perspective.

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Resources

Online Resources: Digests September 2001 Issue Paper

Language Teaching Methodology

Theodore S. Rodgers, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii Background

Language teaching came into its own as a profession in the last century. Central to this phenomenon was the emergence of the concept of "methods" of language teaching. The method concept in language teachingthe notion of a systematic set of teaching practices based on a particular theory of language and language learningis a powerful one, and the quest for better methods was a preoccupation of teachers and applied linguists throughout the 20th century. Howatt's (1984) overview documents the history of changes of practice in language teaching throughout history, bringing the chronology up through the Direct Method in the 20th century. One of the most lasting legacies of the Direct Method has been the notion of "method" itself.

Language Teaching Methodology Defined

Methodology in language teaching has been characterized in a variety of ways. A more or less classical formulation suggests that methodology is that which links theory and practice. Theory statements would include theories of what language is and how language is learned or, more specifically, theories of second language acquisition (SLA). Such theories are linked to various design features of language instruction. These design features might include stated objectives, syllabus specifications, types of activities, roles of teachers, learners, materials, and so forth. Design features in turn are linked to actual teaching and learning practices as observed in the environments where language teaching and learning take place. This whole complex of elements defines language teaching methodology.

Resources Online Resources: Digests September 2001 Issue Paper Language Teaching Methodology Theodore S. Rodgers, Professor Emeritus,

Schools of Language Teaching Methodology

Within methodology a distinction is often made between methods and approaches, in which methods are held to be fixed teaching systems with prescribed techniques and practices, whereas approaches represent language teaching philosophies that can be interpreted and applied in a variety of different ways in the classroom. This distinction is probably most usefully seen as defining a continuum of entities ranging from highly prescribed methods to loosely described approaches. The period from the 1950s to the 1980s has often been referred to as "The Age of Methods," during which a number of quite detailed prescriptions for language teaching were proposed. Situational Language Teaching evolved in the United Kingdom while a parallel method, Audio-Lingualism, emerged in the United States. In the middle-methods period, a variety of methods were proclaimed as successors to the then prevailing Situational Language Teaching and Audio-Lingual methods. These alternatives were promoted under such titles as Silent Way, Suggestopedia, Community Language Learning, and Total Physical Response. In the 1980s, these methods in turn came to be overshadowed by more interactive views of language teaching, which collectively came to be known as Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Communicative Language Teaching advocates subscribed to a broad set of principles such as these:

Learners learn a language through using it to communicate. Authentic and meaningful communication should be the goal of classroom activities. Fluency is an important dimension of communication. Communication involves the integration of different language skills. Learning is a process of creative construction and involves trial and error. However, CLT advocates avoided prescribing the set of practices through which these principles could best be realized, thus putting CLT clearly on the approach rather than the method end of the spectrum. Communicative Language Teaching has spawned a number of off-shoots that share the same basic set of principles, but which spell out philosophical details or envision instructional practices in somewhat diverse ways. These CLT spin-off approaches include The Natural Approach, Cooperative Language Learning, Content-Based Teaching, and Task-Based Teaching. It is difficult to describe these various methods briefly and yet fairly, and such a task is well beyond the scope of this paper. However, several up-to-date texts are available that do detail differences and similarities among the many different approaches and methods that have been proposed. (See, e.g., Larsen-Freeman, 2000, and Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Perhaps it is possible to get a sense of the range of method proposals by looking at a synoptic view of the roles defined for teachers and learners within various methods. Such a synoptic (perhaps scanty) view can be seen in the following chart.

TEACHING METHODS AND TEACHER & LEARNER ROLES

Method

Teacher Roles

Learner Roles

 

Context Setter

Imitator

Situational Language Teaching

Error Corrector

Memorizer

Audio-lingualism

Language Modeler Drill Leader

Pattern Practicer Accuracy Enthusiast

Communicative Language Teaching

Needs Analyst

Improvisor

Task Designer

Negotiator

 

Commander

Order Taker

Total Physical Response

Action Monitor

Performer

 

Counselor

Collaborator

Community Language Learning

Paraphraser

Whole Person

 

Actor

Guesser

The Natural Approach

Props User

Immerser

Suggestopedia

Auto-hypnotist

Relaxer

Authority Figure

True-Believer

Figure 2. Methods and Teacher and Learner Roles

As suggested in the chart, some schools of methodology see the teacher as ideal language model and commander of classroom activity (e.g., Audio-Lingual Method, Natural Approach, Suggestopedia, Total Physical Response) whereas others see the teacher as background facilitator and classroom colleague to the learners (e.g., Communicative Language Teaching, Cooperative Language Learning). There are other global issues to which spokespersons for the various methods and approaches respond in alternative ways. For example, should second language learning by adults be modeled on first language learning by children? One set of schools (e.g., Total Physical Response, Natural Approach) notes that first language acquisition is the only universally successful model of language learning we have, and thus that second language pedagogy must necessarily model itself on first language acquisition. An opposed view (e.g., Silent Way, Suggestopedia) observes that adults have different brains, interests, timing constraints, and learning environments than do children, and that adult classroom learning therefore has to be fashioned in a way quite dissimilar to the way in which nature fashions how first languages are learned by children. Another key distinction turns on the role of perception versus production in early stages of language learning. One school of thought proposes that learners should begin to communicate, to use a new language actively, on first contact (e.g., Audio-Lingual Method, Silent Way, Community Language Learning), while the other school of thought states that an initial and prolonged period of reception (listening, reading) should precede any attempts at production (e.g., Natural Approach).

What's Now, What's Next?

The future is always uncertain, and this is no less true in anticipating methodological directions in second language teaching than in any other field. Some current predictions assume the carrying on and refinement of current trends; others appear a bit more

science-fiction-like in their vision. Outlined below are 10 scenarios that are likely to shape the teaching of second languages in the next decades of the new millenium. These methodological candidates are given identifying labels in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek style, perhaps a bit reminiscent of yesteryear's method labels.

  • 1. Teacher/Learner Collaborates Matchmaking techniques will be developed which will link learners and teachers with similar styles and approaches to language learning. Looking at the Teacher and Learner roles sketched in Figure 2, one can anticipate development of a system in which the preferential ways in which teachers teach and learners learn can be matched in instructional settings, perhaps via on-line computer networks or other technological resources.

  • 2. Method Synergistics Crossbreeding elements from various methods into a common program of instruction seems an appropriate way to find those practices which best support effective learning. Methods and approaches have usually been proposed as idiosyncratic and unique, yet it appears reasonable to combine practices from different approaches where the philosophical foundations are similar. One might call such an approach "Disciplined Eclecticism."

  • 3. Curriculum Developmentalism Language teaching has not profited much from more general views of educational design. The curriculum perspective comes from general education and views successful instruction as an interweaving of Knowledge, Instructional, Learner, and Administrative considerations. From this perspective, methodology is viewed as only one of several instructional considerations that are necessarily thought out and realized in conjunction with all other curricular considerations.

  • 4. Content-Basics Content-based instruction assumes that language learning is a by-product of focus on meaning--on acquiring some specific topical content--and that content topics to support language learning should be chosen to best match learner needs and interests and to promote optimal development of second language competence. A critical question for language educators is "what content" and "how much content" best supports language learning. The natural content for language educators is literature and language itself, and we are beginning to see a resurgence of interest in literature and in the topic of "language: the basic human technology" as sources

of content in language teaching.

  • 5. Multintelligencia

The notion here is adapted from the Multiple Intelligences view of human talents proposed by Howard Gardner (1983). This model is one of a variety of learning style models that have been proposed in general education with follow-up inquiry by language educators. The chart below shows Gardner's proposed eight native intelligences and indicates classroom language-rich task types that play to each of these particular intelligences. The challenge here is to identify these intelligences in individuallearners and then to determine appropriate and realistic instructional tasks in response.

INTELLIGENCE TYPES AND APPROPRIATE EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES

 

Intellegence Type

Educational Activities

 

Linguistic

lectures, worksheets, word games, journals, debates

Logical

puzzles, estimations, problem solving

Spatial

charts, diagrams, graphic organizers, drawing, films

Bodily

hands-on, mime, craft, demonstrations

Musical

singing, poetry, Jazz Chants, mood music

Interpersonal

group work, peer tutoring, class projects

Intrapersonal

reflection, interest centers, personal values tasks

Naturalist

field trips, show and tell, plant and animal projects

 

Figure 3. (Adapted from Christison, 1998)

  • 6. Total Functional Response Communicative Language Teaching was founded (and floundered) on earlier notional/functional proposals for the description of languages. Now new leads in discourse and genre analysis, schema theory, pragmatics, and systemic/functional grammar are rekindling an interest in functionally based approaches to language teaching. One pedagogical proposal has led to a widespread reconsideration of the first and second language program in Australian schools where instruction turns on five basic text genres identified as Report, Procedure, Explanation, Exposition, and Recount. Refinement of functional models will lead to increased attention to genre and text types in both first and second language instruction.

  • 7. Strategopedia "Learning to Learn" is the key theme in an instructional focus on language learning strategies. Such strategies include, at the most basic level, memory tricks, and at higher levels, cognitive and metacognitive strategies for learning, thinking, planning, and self-monitoring. Research findings suggest that strategies can indeed be taught to language learners, that learners will apply these strategies in language learning tasks, and that such application does produce significant gains in language learning. Simple and yet highly effective strategies, such as those that help learners

remember and access new second language vocabulary items, will attract considerable instructional interest in Strategopedia.

  • 8. Lexical Phraseology

The lexical phraseology view holds that only "a minority of spoken clauses are entirely novel creations" and that "memorized clauses and clause-sequences form a high proportion of the fluent stretches of speech heard in every day conversation." One estimate is that "the number of memorized complete clauses and sentences known to the mature English speaker probably amounts, at least, to several hundreds of thousands" (Pawley & Syder, 1983). Understanding of the use of lexical phrases has been immensely aided by large-scale computer studies of language corpora, which have provided hard data to support the speculative inquiries into lexical phraseology of second language acquisition researchers. For language teachers, the results of such inquiries have led to conclusions that language teaching should center on these memorized lexical patterns and the ways they can

be pieced together, along with the ways they vary and the situations in which they occur.

  • 9. O-zone Whole Language

Renewed interest in some type of "Focus on Form" has provided a major impetus for recent second language acquisition (SLA) research. "Focus on Form" proposals, variously labeled as consciousness-raising, noticing, attending, and enhancing input, are founded on the assumption that students will learn only what they are aware of. Whole Language proponents have claimed that one way to increase learner awareness of how language works is through a course of study that incorporates broader engagement with language, including literary study, process writing, authentic content, and learner collaboration. 10.Full-Frontal Communicativity We know that the linguistic part of human communication represents only a small fraction of total meaning. At least one applied linguist has gone so far as to claim that, "We communicate so much information non-verbally in conversations that often the verbal aspect of the conversation is negligible." Despite these cautions, language teaching has chosen to restrict its attention to the linguistic component of human communication, even when the approach is labeled Communicative. The

methodological proposal is to provide instructional focus on the non-linguistic aspects of communication, including rhythm, speed, pitch, intonation, tone, and hesitation phenomena in speech and gesture, facial expression, posture, and distance in non-verbal messaging.

References

Christison, M. (1998). Applying multiple intelligences theory in preservice and inservice TEFL education programs. English Teaching Forum, 36 (2), 2-13. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind. New York: Basic Books. Howatt, A. (1984). A history of English language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and principles in language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pawley, A., & Syder, F. (1983). Two puzzles for linguistic theory: Native-like selection and native- like fluency. In J. Richards & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Language and communication. London:

Longman. Richards, J., & Rodgers, T. (2001). Approaches and methods in language Teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This digest was prepared with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Library of Education, under contract no. ED-99-CO-0008. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of ED, OERI, or NLE.

Roles of a Teacher in the Classroom

By Jennifer VanBaren, eHow Contributor

 
 <a href=Print this article A teacher has many roles than just teaching information to her students. Teachers play vital roles in the lives of the students in their classrooms. Teachers are best known for the role of educating the students that are placed in their care. Beyond that, teachers serve many other roles in the classroom . Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, become role models, and listen and look for signs of trouble . 1. Teaching Knowledge o The most common role a teacher plays in the classroom is to teach knowledge to children. Teachers are given a curriculum they must follow that meets state guidelines. This curriculum is followed by the teacher so that throughout the year, all pertinent knowledge is dispensed to the students. Teachers teach in many ways including lectures, small group activities and hands-on learning activities. Creating Classroom Environment o Teachers also play an important role in the classroom when it comes to the environment. Students often mimic a teacher's actions. If the teacher prepares a warm, happy environment, students are more likely to be happy. An environment set by the teacher can be either positive or negative. If students sense the teacher is angry, students may react negatively to that and therefore learning can be impaired. Teachers are responsible for the social behavior in their classrooms. This behavior is primarily a reflection of the teacher's actions and the environment she sets. o Sponsored LinksFree Cover Letters Free Cover Letter Templates. Create A Free Cover Letter In Mi nutes! " id="pdf-obj-23-14" src="pdf-obj-23-14.jpg">
 

A teacher has many roles than just teaching information to her students.

Teachers play vital roles in the lives of the students in their classrooms. Teachers are best known for the role of educating the students that are placed in their care. Beyond that, teachers serve many other roles in the classroom . Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, become role models, and listen and look for signs of trouble.

Teachers play vital roles in the lives of the students in their classrooms. Teachers are bestclassroom . Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, become role models, and listen and look for signs of trouble . " id="pdf-obj-23-27" src="pdf-obj-23-27.jpg">

1.

Teaching Knowledge

 

o

The most common role a teacher

plays in the classroom is to teach knowledge to

plays in the classroom is to teach knowledge to

children. Teachers are given a curriculum they must follow that meets state guidelines. This curriculum is followed by the teacher so that throughout the year, all pertinent knowledge is dispensed to the students. Teachers teach in many ways including lectures, small group activities and hands-on learning activities. Creating Classroom Environment

o

Teachers also play an important role in the classroom when it comes to the environment. Students often mimic a teacher's actions. If the teacher prepares a warm, happy environment, students are more likely to be happy. An environment set by the teacher can be either positive or negative. If students sense the teacher is angry, students may react negatively to that and therefore learning can be impaired. Teachers are responsible for the social behavior in their classrooms. This behavior is primarily a reflection of the teacher's actions and the environment she sets.

o

 

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Role Modeling

o

Teachers typically do not think of themselves as role models, however, inadvertently they are. Students spend a great deal of time with their teacher and therefore, the teacher becomes a role model to them. This can be a positive or negative effect depending on the teacher. Teachers are there not only to teach the children, but also to love and care for them. Teachers are typically highly respected by people in the community and therefore become a role model to students and parents.

o

Mentoring Mentoring is a natural role taken on by teachers, whether it is intentional or not. This again can have positive or negative effects on children. Mentoring is a way a teacher encourages students to strive to be the best they can. This also includes encouraging students to enjoy learning. Part of mentoring consists of listening to students. By taking time to listen to what students say, teachers impart to students a sense of ownership in the classroom. This helps build their confidence and helps them want to be successful .

Mentoring Mentoring is a natural role taken on by teachers, whether it is intentional or not.successful . " id="pdf-obj-24-18" src="pdf-obj-24-18.jpg">

Signs of Trouble

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Another role played by teachers is a protector role. Teachers are taught to look for signs of trouble in the students. When students' behaviors change or physical signs of abuse are noticed, teachers are required to look into the problem. Teachers must follow faculty procedures when it comes to following up on all signs of trouble.

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