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AIOU SOLVED ASSIGNMENT CODE 519 TEACHING OF ENGLISH
ASSIGNMENT No. 01 Teaching of English (519) B.Ed. Spring, 2016, Aiou solved assignment # 1 for B.Ed. course code 519 for the semester spring 2016 naming Teaching of English. This solved assignment 1 subject code 519 has five questions carrying equal marks and is offered to the B.Ed. students in spring semester.
Q. 1 Give the definition of the language. Explain its nature and functions. How can students learn best the phonetics, vocabulary and grammar of English language?
We all use language on a day-to-day basis; from the baby who cries and gestures for his bottle to the adult who writes long emails at work to express a thought to her co-worker. We learn language naturally and fail to think about the arbitrariness of the letters, words and symbols we connect into meanings. To each language, there are three fundamental characteristics, but each culture uses its language in a unique way.
Language is composed of signs. Linguistic signs include sounds, gestures or written symbols such as letters, pictures or shapes. When speaking, there is a sender, or a person who is communicating, and a receiver, or the person who is listening. The sender uses these signs to create a specific message. The important, and puzzling piece about these signs is that they are arbitrary, meaning they were created at a point in time but did not always exist, and then attached to a meaning.
Each sign in language has a specific meaning. If speaking, gesturing or writing a sign could mean more than one thing at a time, the receiver of the message would be confused about what the sender was trying to say. Although the signs are arbitrary, connecting them to a specific meaning allows humans to use these signs to express concrete thoughts, ideas and observations. The study of relating a sign to a meaning is called semantics.
The code of a language refers to the way signs and meanings are arranged through vocabulary and grammar. Through vocabulary and grammar, meaningful thoughts are combined into sentences, which can be made into paragraphs, speeches, conversations and other complex linguistic events. Syntax is another important event in language and refers to inflection. Using different inflections in their voices, two people can say the same thing while referring to two very different thoughts or emotions. One example of this is “I love your dress” said first in a straightforward manner and second with a sarcastic tone.
While all languages are said to be made up of these three fundamental characteristics, different cultures use language in entirely unique ways. Languages evolve constantly as the population of a culture evolves – new words are added, old words are removed and the words that already exist in that language are used in new ways. The way a community uses the language available to it distinguishes that culture from others and creates a sense of pride and unity.
There are several qualities that a good language teacher must have. To pass on knowledge to students, a teacher must be competent with the knowledge that she has. Secondly, a teacher must be willing to explore other types of learning styles to pass on knowledge and be ready to try different methods when one does not work. A good language teacher must be passionate about teaching language. Finally, a good language teacher should be able to assess the learning that her students have done and make changes based on those assessments.
A good language teacher must be competent. I his requires a lot of study on the part of the teacher. If you are a foreign language teacher, you must have mastered the language.you are teaching and the skills it takes to teach that language. As an English language teacher, you need to have a handle on the elements of English as well as having a background in education.
A good language teacher realizes there are several different learning methods. Some learn by hearing, some by seeing and some by speaking. Therefore, a good teacher will create a course that weaves together all of the garious learning techniques. A good teacher is also willing to explore the different ways of teaching language, even the experimental ones, to provide her students with the best chance to learn.
People do not teach for money or fame. People teach because they have a passion for their chosen subject and for passing on their knowledge to students. A passion for teaching is an important part of the teaching process.
A good language teacher is not only skilled at creating assessments for her class, but she can also use those assessments to figure out how successful her teaching methods are. The teacher who understands some things work better than others and some things do not work at all will be able to make changes in her own teaching methods.
A good language teacher is going to be a benefit to her students because she will provide them with a path to knowledge. A teacher who is good at her job will guide a student toward the most comprehensive understanding of which he or she is capable.
Origin and evaluation of language
Imagine that you are attending a corporate meeting about a new product. Even if this is your first such meeting, you know how to behave. You take your cues from the people around you and much of it seems like well-practiced ritual. There are no surprises about how you are dressed, the way’ you move and sit, the tone of your voice or the general flow of the proceedings. Some aspects, of course, are strictly of the moment: a rumbling of hunger in your stomach, a gestured request for the water pitcher, the poor ventilation that prompts you to loosen your jacket, your disagreement with a colleague’s opinion. Nevertheless, the interactions, the environment and the business at hand all seem smoothly integrated into a single event, the meeting about the product.
Visual symbols and numbers
As unified as the event might seem, your participation has required you to understand information of many different kinds, communicated in widely different forms, such as written and spoken language, body language, group behavior, numbers, visual symbols, pictures and slides, charts, electronic sounds, an analog clock on the wall, and a physical model of the product. How did these vastly different forms of communication come to be, and how have they developed over the course of human life on earth? What do they reflect about our genetic and cultural heritage?
What is language? We will use the word language broadly to mean any system of communication; any system for transferring information from one party to another. This would include “body language” and mathematics, not simply the customary notion of speech or writing. Likewise, we won’t restrict the idea of communication only to humans; there are many examples of communication among animals, and also between humans and objects such as clocks or computers.
People use languages to express their experience. However, each language is uniquely adapted for expressing only certain parts of our experience and is less effective for describing other parts. We cannot completely describe a painting in words, or describe emotions with numbers. And because experiences differ widely from one culture to another, we cannot completely express the concepts and nuances of one culture in the languages of another. For example, the Ohlone Indians of the western United States, who had a stable population for 5,000 years before the Spanish arrived, had no word for “famine,” presumably because they had never experienced that condition.
To refine the notion of language further, we call symbolic a language that represents information in the abstract, outside of its immediate context. For example, we can understand the word “five” as a symbol for a group of ideas that have to do with quantity, size, order or appearance, regardless of whether we are counting, measuring, comparing or describing anything at the moment.
Symbolic languages can be multi-layered or interactive in complex ways. Consider the symbolic complexity of a system like Morse code, which is transmitted as auditory signals. The signals represent our alphabet and can be translated directly into letters or written down in Morse notation and translated later; the letters represent the sounds of spoken language, which can be combined to form words, which in turn stand for ideas; and so on. We will discuss symbols more specifically in the sections below, but for now the point is simply that using a symbolic language adds abstraction and extra dimensions when we express our experience.
Episodic Experience and Behavioral Language
Our most basic type of awareness can be called episodic. This is when we perceive our immediate environment and events as they are occurring, without reflection. This simple awareness in humans probably Corresponds to a similar kind of experience in other animals and early hominids. We often use behavioral language to communicate this kind of experience, either intentionally or unintentionally. For example in the corporate meeting, unbuttoning your jacket shows others that you feel uncomfortably warm, whether you are aware you have done this or not. A gesture toward the water pitcher indicates a request, frowning and shaking your head may indicate disagreement.
Representations of emotional states
When primates and other animals use behavioral language, they communicate information that pertains to the here-and-now, such as warnings, requests, commands, mating desires and emotional states. This immediate behavioral language is not symbolic in the sense of being used outside its immediate context. Many species have languages for warning each other of danger, but these would not be considered symbolic communication unless they could also be used to express danger in the abstract, for example to report about past events, formulate plans or teach skills. Humans, on the other hand, can quite readily use the very same actions symbolically that they used behaviorally during an event.
As far as we know for sure, animals in the wild only communicate behaviorally about immediate experience. However, we do know that some primates can communicate abstractly with humans; apes who have been taught sign language can communicate about past events, future plans and abstract ideas with their trainers, as well as interpret pictures, enjoy humor, make up nicknames, and other human-like mental skills. We don’t know whether they have any kind of symbolic language native to their own species that would allow them to communicate these kinds of ideas in the wild.
There is a distinction between what individuals can think about and what they can communicate. How and how much do those two activities affect each other? It seems unlikely that a gorilla would develop a vast new set of mental skills simply by learning sign language, so it seems reasonable that she already could think about some concepts she could not communicate. She might also have learned some new modes of thinking in the process of learning the new language. For parties to communicate they must share a common language and enough overlapping experience to be understood? Once the language is established, it can broaden an individual’s experience so that new thoughts can be conceived, these thoughts can enable others, in a cyclical process.
Q. 2 Explain the fourfold linguistic aims of teaching English. What kind of teacher would be most suitable to teach English to the children at initial stage? (20)
An English as a second language (ESL) curriculum is designed to teach non-native speakers to communicate proficiently in English. Curricula contain lessons, activities and assessments that teachers of English can use in their classrooms. Most ESL (also known as ESOL and EFL, among others) curricula are developed to meet educational standards that specify what students should learn in each level of instruction. Although these standards differ from state to state and school to school, ESL curricula generally stress similar topics.
An ESL curriculum must always address the concepts of reading, writing and speaking. Teachers must cover pronunciation, idioms, vocabulary, grammar, reading strategies and punctuation. However, simply learning the basics does not make a person proficient in English. In fact, the organization Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) suggest that “it can take six to nine years for ESOL students to achieve the same levels of proficiency in academic English as native speakers.” In other words, just because individuals can communicate in English on an interpersonal level does not mean they are ready to engage in learning or critical thinking in the nonnative tongue. For this reason, an ESL curriculum must prepare speakers to understand and communicate complex topics. Finally, another important facet of an ESL curriculum is the sociocultural aspect of the language. TESOL argues that learning a new language also requires learning new cultural norms. Most ESL curricula not only teach the grammar basics, but they also teach students how to navigate the English speaking culture. Some topics covered may be nonverbal communication, values and cultural norms.
Teaching English to secondary students presents a challenge for teachers whose primary objective is to provide a fresh approach to traditional teaching strategies. Teachers should develop student-centered, writing-enriched and literature-focused classrooms that promote literacy. Today’s secondary students are capable of taking responsibility for their own learning. Most arc independent learners who show competence in collaboration with their peers. Teaching strategies should be designed to allow for the vast diversity in student abilities while addressing the needs of all students.
Planning and Organization
It is imperative for the teacher to be familiar with the composition of the class and to plan lessons that are appropriate for a particular class. Ninth-grade students require more basic instruction than those in tenth and eleventh grades. Senior students can handle much more advanced materials. The focus on the lesson plans should be on student-directed rather than teacher-directed instruction. Students should be encouraged to take responsibility for their learning. The lecture format is probably not appropriate, as it minimizes student interaction and expects students to understand the material just by listening. Secondary students require instructional strategies that are innovative and motivational. Secondary English is a required course for all students that should stress the importance of mastering the skills included in English instruction. In order for this objective to be accomplished successfully, students need to be able to make the connection between what is taught in class and their life.
Encourage the students to participate in the learning process by involving them in class discussions, small group meetings, case studies and role playing. Much literature lends itself to this type of activity. Teachers who utilize literature circles find that students gain a better understanding of reading selections than those who read independently. Literature circles encourage each student to actively participate. Learning is enhanced when students are actively engaged. This learning strategy helps to stimulate critical thinking and furthers understanding of the viewpoints of others in the group.
Computer technology can help teachers to make learning more effective, meaningful and connected. Inquiry-based learning is a strategy that helps students better organize their thoughts and to complete projects. The teacher can make a class presentation with instructions for completing research projects, creative writing or literature reviews through the use of an LCD projector. Power Point presentations enable the teacher to instruct students in a clear, precise and motivating way.
Qualities of good English language teacher
A firm command of the English language does not suffice to make a good ESL teacher. Whether or not the teacher speaks English as a first language, she also needs targeted education including linguistics, cultural training and the wide variety of ESL methods and techniques. Furthermore, the superior ESL teacher needs specific personal qualities to teach the most effectively.
Knowledge of English and Linguistics
An ESL teacher must have a native-like command of English and knowledge of linguistics. Even if the teacher speaks a different first language, he needs mastery of English. In addition, according to ERIC Digest, many states in the US offering certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) require classes in English linguistics or general linguistics.
ESL teachers need special knowledge of other languages and cultures. The US TESOL organization suggests study of another language and culture for certification within the United States. In addition, the ESL teacher should show a positive and active interest in other cultures. As Professor Al-Seghayer of the ESL Teacher’ s Board writes, ESL teachers commonly have students from various languages and cultures in the same classroom. He says that if they show a “passion” for their students’ cultures, the students will feel a reciprocal desire to learn English.
Knowledge of Methodology
ESL teachers need knowledge of the wide variety of teaching and testing techniques, as suggested by TESOL. Teacher training classes normally include methods of teaching listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar. In addition, ESL teachers need to understand second language assessment and a wide variety of techniques, including everything from grammar,-translation to communicative methods.
Organization and Planning
ESL teachers need to have good planning both at the minute-to-minute and at the semester or course level. The instructor needs to structure the course to achieve the desired objectives specifically. For example, as a specific objective, the teacher may state that students must be able to describe their daily routine using the present tense correctly.
The ESL teacher should have good management skills in the context of a learner-centered environment. She needs to control the classroom so learning can take place. However, she should act as a facilitator rather than dictator, enabling group and pair work as well as independent work. She should give all students an opportunity to do their best, no matter what their personalities or learning styles.
Personality of the Teacher
The ESL teacher needs a positive personality, flexibility and high energy. Acceptance and encouragement help students learn English much better than excess criticism. The teacher should be flexible and willing to adapt lesson plans to the particular class or circumstance. He also needs to adapt to new learning environments, technology and methodologies. A teacher needs high energy to make learning fun. In classes that may last 3 to 5 hours per day, an ESL teacher needs strong character and skills to keep ESL students learning every day.
Q. 3:- Describe the process of language learning and discuss that the language learning is not a theoretical process rather it is a habit formation. (20)
The development in language is a rapid learning process that begins at birth. Children learn quickly how to communicate their wants and needs first through cries and coos, then to more complex sounds. By age 5, a child’s vocabulary has increased tremendously and communication is performed with ease. The process of how language develops has been studied since the beginning of child development and many theories have been proposed, one of which is the nativist language development theory.
Teaching English as a second language (TESL) requires a strong grounding in English grammar and vocabulary. It also takes knowledge of methods for teaching non-native speakers. In addition, you’ll need to know how to choose appropriate material and activities when planning lessons. Most teaching positions require qualifications like the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) or Trinity TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificates. For those qualified, work is available in a variety of educational institutes in both English-speaking and non-English-speaking countries.
Origins of the Nativist Theory of Language Development
Noam Chomsky was the first to propose the nativist theory. He argued that the long-held learning theory of language development did not adequately explain how children were able to develop and master the complex language system in such a comparatively short time frame. Chomsky proposed that learning language was assisted by nature and that humans are born prepared to learn language.
Language is Innate
Chomsky based his Theory on language being an innate capability of humans, something that humans were born to do by nature’s design. This idea of language being an innate capability of humans has its foundations in that despite cultural differences, all humans develop some form of language skills and it is done with remarkable consistency in terms of the milestones of development. This implies that language development is not reliant on a particular way of teaching children to speak, which does vary from culture to culture.
Language Acuisition Device (LAD)
Chomsky furthered his theory by proposing the existence of the language acquisition device, a brain mechanism that is specialized in detecting and learning the rules of language. The LAD is an inherited or innate part of the brain that is activated when language is heard. With its store of operating principles for language or the universal aspects of language, the LAD then aides the child in learning the language being heard.
Physical Structures of the Brain
Scientist have proven there are portions of the human brain that specialize in processing linguistic information. These areas are consistently more active when speech is being heard or given and are active also with written words. This evidence supports the theory of the LAD.
Criticisms of the Nativist Theory
Although there is proof to support the nativist theory of language development, some people believe there are problems with the theory. One major criticism is that the nativist theory does not address the presence of corrective feedback from adults while the child is learning to speak, relying instead on nature completely to learn language. Another criticism is that the nativist theory predicts that children will learn and develop normal language regardless of the quality of the language heard to activate the LAD. This has been found to not hold true in studies of children who are exposed to a higher amount of incorrect grammar and poor language skills. Children in those studies did not tend to develop normal language Skills but instead developed skills more like those they were exposed to the most. Finally, critics argue that nativist have yet to discover one universal grammar element that is found in every known language, which is the basis for the LAD’s ability to be the driving force behind language development.
The Communicative Approach is the most common method. This approach focuses on meaningful communication, rather than precise grammar and usage. In the Audio-lingual Method (ALM), students learn by memorizing phrases in order to learn common patterns in the language. The Total Physical Response method teaches by having students respond physically to language. This may include miming, gesturing or dancing and is usually for younger students. With the Silent Way method, students work out grammar rules based on example sentences. These and other methods each have their pros and cons, so most teachers use a mixture.
Types of Classes
The average ESL course runs for three months and meets twice a week. For those who want to learn faster, there are intensive courses that may last four to eight hours a day. Some learners choose private lessons for more personal attention. In addition to general English, there are English for Special Purposes (ESP) courses that focus on vocabulary and language skills needed in one particular field, like the business or medical fields. Courses typically follow a single course book specially designed for speakers of the official language where the course is taught. Teachers choose appropriate supplemental material and activities for each lesson, such as worksheets and games.
English is the third most spoken language in the world. It is a useful language to learn, especially when traveling to America, Europe and parts of Asia and helpful when communicating with more than 500 million speakers around the globe. Many people who aspire to speak English take English-language classes. Here are some strategies to teach English as a second language.
Worksheets and quizzes are useful classroom materials that students can use to learn English as a second language. ESL publishers have a variety of worksheets, drills and flash cards that are interactive to help students become more active in their English language learning. Simple exercises such as translating paragraphs in their original language to English will help them with their English comprehension. Reading materials in English that will be useful for those learning the language include English poems and short stories. Vocabulary cards can be used to learn words quickly, while fill-in-the-blanks exercises help students articulate in English to complete sentences.
English as a Second Language classes should emphasize a curriculum that will help students acquire and practice necessary communication skills in the language. The curriculum may have lessons in listening, reading, and speaking English, such as in the Side by Side series by Longman Publishers. In addition to lessons in vocabulary and grammar, proper pronunciation lessons should also be incorporated. Preparation for English as a Second Language Test (TOEFL) should also be included in the curriculum, to help students prepare for English language credentials.
It is important for students to interact with the language through several avenues. Showing them films and television shows in English will help immerse them in the language in an enjoyable way. Teachers can also help students interact with the language by bringing native English speakers in the classroom to converse in with the students. Multimedia tools such as videos and audio clips will help in listening comprehension. After each lesson, ask students to analyze what they have learned by explaining the materials in English.
While trends in education have caused some traditional ESL teaching methods to fall into neglect, teachers often use elements of these methods with success. Each student learns differently, and one method may not fit all learning styles or situations. In addition, cultural preferences often extend to the way students are comfortable learning, and they may favor one method over another. A seasoned teacher will usually use an eclectic approach to meet the dynamic demands of the ESL classroom.
This is the oldest of the traditional methods, used in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century to teach classical Greek and’ Latin. Students study grammatical structure of the language and are given vocabulary lists to master, in addition to drills on verb formation and sentence structure. Students and teacher use their native language rather than the target language in class. Texts are translated merely as examples of grammatical structure and usage and pronunciation is not emphasized. Some students expect elements of this approach to be offered by the teacher, but used in isolation it will not result in the ability to hold a conversation with a native speaker.
Used extensively in language labs from the 1940s through the 1960s, the ALM method emphasizes spoken language. It focuses on grammar, and stresses rote memorization and substitution drills to teach structure. Grammatical structure is taught inductively by practice and repetition. The method focuses on listening, speaking, reading and writing in that order. Vocabulary is strictly limited to the subject matter of the units, but pronunciation is practiced rigorously as students listen to native speakers and repeat sentences and words. Though ALM produces good results for some students, it has fallen out of fashion in the ESL classroom. It is used mainly in prepackaged language courses available in bookstores and online.
Grammar and Sound
Two of the key principles that learners need to understand for language learning and acquisition are the fact that languages are a matter of certain sounds carrying certain meanings. This is what distinguishes language from babble, and although it seems intuitive to an adult, a child needs to understand this before he can progress in his language development. Grammar is knowing when to use certain versions of words and what order to use them in. A child needs to understand that these rules are fairly set in stone in order to learn more complex grammar and make himself understood.
Importance of Interaction
Language is a skill that your child will use every day. This means that the best way for him to learn language is to practice it every day. However, it also cannot be a chore for him, as it is not helpful to have a negative attitude about something so important. Interaction and modeling are, therefore, the best ways for your child to learn language. Talk to him all the time, emphasizing the differences between words, and always speak to him as if you were speaking to a peer — avoid baby talk.
Although it may seem valuable for child to be told to memorize words in order to learn a language, this is not actually the case. This is because language is not a matter of repeating sets of words. Rather, it is a matter of having access to a set of words that can be used at any time. When trying to encourage language development, the focus should be on word use rather than on word memorization — if a child makes up a word or uses a wrong word in the right place, this shows that he is learning the fundamental rules of language, which are far more important than simple vocabulary, which will follow these fundamentals naturally.
Although language does have a set of hard-and-fast rules, this does not mean that you need to be rigid. Language is ultimately a creative exercise when it is used on a day-to-day basis, as a speaker searches his vocabulary for the best word or set of words to describe a situation. So, some experimentation and trial-and-error is perfectly acceptable, as this helps to teach a child the principles of day-to-day language use.
Q. 4:- Explain the historical background, principles and theoretical frame-work of the direct method of teaching. (20)
Many methods have been developed to teach the English language. The natural method, for example, was developed in imitation of the way children learn their first words. Other methods, such as the total physical response method and the audio-lingual method, teach the English language with a focus on specific learning styles.
The direct method combines grammatical teaching with the natural method, of learning a new language. The teacher uses only the English language, and conducts intensive question-and-answer sessions to teach students their new language. Students are expected to learn more and more of the new language through these question-and-answer sessions, which build on each other. The teacher demonstrates before expecting the students to perform.
Gouin had been one of the first of the nineteenth-century reformers to attempt to build a methodology around observation of child language learning. Other reformers toward the end of the century likewise turned their attention to naturalistic principles of language learning, and for this reason they are sometimes referred to as advocates of a “natural” method. In fact at various times throughout the history of language teaching, attempts have been made to make second language learning more like first language learning. In the sixteenth century, for example, Montaigne described how he was entrusted to a guardian who addressed him exclusively in Latin for the first years of his life, since Montaigne’s father wanted his son to speak Latin well. Among those who tried to apply natural principles to language classes in the nineteenth century was L. Sauveur (1826-1907), who used intensive oral interaction in the target language, employing questions as a way of presenting and eliciting language. He opened a language school in Boston in the late 1860s, and his method soon became referred to as the Natural Method.
Believers in the Natural Method
Sauveur and other believers in the Natural Method argued that a foreign language could be taught without translation or the use of the learner’s native tongue if meaning was conveyed directly through demonstration and action. The German scholar F. Franke wrote on the psychological principles of direct association between forms and mean-ings in the target language (1884) and provided a theoretical justification for a monolingual approach to teaching. According to Franke, a language could best be taught by using it actively in the classroom. Rather than using analytical procedures that focus on explanation of grammar rules in classroom teaching, teachers must encourage direct and spontaneous use of the foreign language in the classroom. Learners would then be able to indu:e rules of grammar. The teacher replaced the textbook in the early stages of learning. Speaking began with systematic attention ‘to pronunciation. Known words could be used to teach new vocabulary, using mime, demonstration, and pictures.
These natural language learning principles provided the foundation for what came to be known as the Direct Method, which refers to the most widely known of the natural methods. Enthusiastic supporters of the Direct Method introduced it in France and Germany (it was officially approved in both countries at the turn of the century), and it became widely known in the United States through its use by Sauveur and Maximilian Berlitz in successful commercial language schools. (Berlitz, in fact, never used the term; he referred to the method used in his schools as the Berlitz Method.)
The Direct Method was quite successful in private language schools, such as those of the Berlitz chain, where paying clients had high motivation and the use of native-speaking teachers was the norm. But despite pressure from proponents of the method, it was difficult to implement in public ‘secondary school education. It overemphasized and distorted the similarities between naturalistic first language learning and classroom foreign language learning and failed to consider the practical realities of the classroom. In addition, it lacked a rigorous basis in applied linguistic theory, and for this reason it was often criticized by the more academically based proponents of the Reform Movement. The Direct Method represented the product of enlightened amateurism. It was perceived to have several drawbacks. First, it required teachers who were native speakers or who had native like fluency in the foreign language. It was largely dependent on the teacher’s skill, rather than on a textbook, and not all teachers were proficient enough in the foreign language to adhere to the principles of the method. Critics pointed out that strict adherence to Direct Method principles was often counterproductive, since teachers were required to go to great lengths to avoid using the native tongue, when sometimes a simple brief explanation in the student’s native tongue would have been a more efficient route to comprehension.
The Harvard psychologist Roger Brown has documented similar problems with strict Direct Method techniques. He described his frustration in observing a teacher performing verbal gymnastics in an attempt to convey the meaning of Japanese words, when translation would have been a much more efficient technique to use.
By the 1920s, use of the Direct Method in noncommercial schools in Europe had consequently declined. In France and Germany it was gradually modified into versions that combined some Direct Method techniques with more controlled grammar-based activities. The European popularity of the Direct Method in the early part of the twentieth century caused foreign language specialists in the United States to attempt to have it implemented in American schools and colleges, although they decided to move with caution. A study begun in 1923 on the state of foreign language teaching concluded that no single method could guarantee successful results. The goal of trying to teach conversation skills was considered impractical in view of the restricted time available for foreign language teaching in schools, the limited skills of teachers, and the perceived irrelevance of conversation skills in a foreign language for the average American college student. The study – published as the Coleman Report – advocated that a more reasonable goal for a foreign language course would be a reading knowledge of a foreign language, achieved through the gradual introduction of words and grammatical structures in simple reading texts. The main result of this recommendation was that reading became the goal of most foreign language pro-grams in the United States (Coleman 1929). The emphasis on reading continued to characterize foreign language teaching in the United States until World War
In practice it stood for the following principles and procedures:
• Classroom instruction was conducted exclusively in the target language.
• Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were taught.
• Oral communication skills were built up in a carefully graded progression organized around question-and-answer exchanges between teachers and students in small, intensive classes.
• Grammar was taught inductively.
• New teaching points were introduced orally.
• Concrete vocabulary was taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures; abstract vocabulary was taught by association of ideas.
• Both speech and listening comprehension were taught.
• Correct pronunciation and grammar were emphasized.
• These principles are seen in the following guidelines for teaching oral language, which are still followed in contemporary Berlitz schools:
• Never translate: demonstrate
• Never explain: act
• Never make a speech: ask questions
• Never imitate mistakes: correct
• Never speak with single words: use sentences
• Never speak too much: make students speak much
• Never use the book: use your lesson plan
• Never jump around: follow your plan
• Never go too fast: keep the pace of the student
• Never speak too slowly: speak normally
• Never speak too quickly: speak naturally
• Never speak too loudly: speak naturally
• Never be impatient: take it easy
Although the Direct Method enjoyed popularity in Europe, not every-one had embraced it enthusiastically. The British applied linguist Henry Sweet had recognized its limitations. It offered innovations at the level of teaching procedures but lacked a thorough methodological basis. Its main focus was on the exclusive use of the target language in the class-room, but it failed to address many issues that Sweet thought more basic. Sweet and other applied linguists argued for the development of sound methodological principles that could serve as the basis for teaching techniques. In the 1920s and 1930s applied linguists systematized the principles proposed earlier by the Reform Movement and so laid the foundations for what developed into the British approach to teaching English as a foreign language.
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