In the process of teaching and learning careful selection of a method or approach is significant. A good teacher always in search of a good method or approach for his/ her successful teaching. In fact the selection of a right method or approach paves the way for efficient learning.
There are variety of terms which are some times used interchangeable in the same sense. Method, approach and technique are the terms that have created a lot of confusion in the minds of teachers of language. It is worthwhile to define these terms before the discussion of different methods, approaches and techniques can be taken up.
* An over all procedure for an orderly presentation of language material.
* Concerned with "How to teach"?
* Involves selection, grading, presentation and repetition of instructional material.
e.g.: GTMethod, Direct Method, Bilingual Method.
* It is axio matic.
* Refers to the nature of language.
* Needs no support to justify its effectiveness.
* States a point of view or philosophy or an assumption (Anthony).
e.g.: Structural approach, Communicative approach.
* Refers to a class room device, a trick or strategy to achieve the objective
* It is implementational.
e.g.: Using flash cards, substitution tables, language games.
METHODS OF TEACHING ENGLISH
GT - METHOD: Also known as "Classical Method/ Prussian Method". Foreign phraseology can be learnt through translation in this method.
Characteristic features: Word-for word translation is the focus. Vocabulary is taught through bilingual lists. Grammar is taught deductively (Rules first - Examples next). Structures of English are learnt by comparing and contrasting with that of mother
tongue. Priority is given to accuracy and completeness of sentences.
* Establishes a bond between foreign phraseology (new ideas) and mother tongue (old ideas).
* Proceeds from known to unknown.
* Not required by the teacher to use sophisticated or extensive A.V. Aids.
* Rapid expansion of vocabulary is possible.
* Attains good standards in translation.
* Literal translation (word for word translation) ruins the sense and some times becomes ridiculous.
* Natural order of language learning (LSRW) is not followed. The teacher takes up reading first - followed by writing.
* No scope for the students to learn English quickly, the mother tongue influence becomes the hurdle.
* Oral practice is neglected.
A language could best be taught by using it actively in the class room. - Franke
* Establishes a direct bond between word, idea and experience.
* Translation in every form is banished from the class room.
* Attaining oral fluency (speech training) is the prime focus.
* Vocabulary is taught by means of objects/ natural context.
* Grammar is taught inductively (examples first, rules - next)
* Unit of teaching is a sentence
* Extensive use of A.V. Aids
* Makes the pupils think in English.
* Cramming of words is discouraged (memorisation).
* An English atmosphere is created in the class room
* Concentrates on oral aspect of language learning and ignores reading and writing.
* Laborious method as it needs lot of preparation by the teacher.
* Complete banishment of use of M.T. is not possible. According to Thomson & Wyatt we can not forbid the child to think in his mother tongue.
* A mid way approach between G.T.-method and Direct method.
* Mother tongue equivalents of English words are told to the class.
* Rules of grammar are not taught separately.
* Word for word translation is not done by the teacher. When the meaning of a word is difficult to explain, it is translated into mother tongue.
* The use of mother tongue is made only at the initial stages. This practice is dropped as soon as students develop sufficient vocabulary of the foreign language.
* Sentence is the unit of teaching.
* Less expensive than direct method.
* Not necessary to use costly aids.
* Easy for the language teacher to deal with a heterogenous class.
* Careless handling of this method would end up as GT method.
* May be suitable for adult learners.
* Students are likely to develop an undesirable habit of language mix ups that may last long.
Dr. WEST'S NEW METHOD: Learning to read a language is by for the shortest road to speak and write it. - Dr. West
* This method is also known as Reading Method or Text Book Method.
* Dr. M.P. West, the former director of education and principal of Training College in Bengal in pre-Independent India was the propounder of this method.
* Dr. West says "The bilingual child does not so much need to speak his second language (English) but rather to read it".
* A revolt against Direct Method.
* As there are more chances of hearing incorrect English for the Indian Students, this method therefore the envisages emphasis on Reading skill.
* It gives due importance to text books and readers.
* Permits the use of mother tongue wherever necessary.
* Dr. West laid emphasis on silent reading.
* Reading helps to make the writing easy.
* It helps to increase the vocabulary of the students.
* This method is economical in terms of time and money.
* Dr. Wests notion that ability to read should be developed before developing the ability to speak does not seem sound because reading has some inner speech in it.
* Emphasis on reading rather than speech is against the psychological principle that we always learn a new language by first speaking it.
TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE: Total Physical Response is established by James Asher an experimental psychologist. Listening comprehension plays a vital role in language learning.
* Learners learn best by doing things.
* Imperative drills (Commands) make the learners to acquire the language.
* This method believes in the fact that children develop listening competence before they gain speech and expression.
* This method believes in the psychological principle advocated by Jean Piaget who holds that child acquires language through motor movement.
* Grammar is taught inductively.
* Practice in the target language makes young children speak. Adhering to instructions (following commands) paves the way to acquire the target language.
* Learning is made permanent as it is experienced.
* It is more enjoyable and less stressful.
* The whole of language can not be taught through commands.
* It is difficult to teach reading and writing skills through TPR.
* Learning only commands makes the children authoritative.