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Language Teaching Methods and Approaches

Just like learning a language, teaching a foreign language also might be pretty challenging. Throughout the history, there has been many different methods and approaches used to teach a new language in the best way. While some of them are proven to be working well, the others are not the favorite of most experts. Here are some significant methods and approaches used by teachers in the long journey of language teaching:

Total Physical Respond (TPR)

Total Physical Respond is a method simply based upon the way that children learn their mother language. Parents and the kids have 'language-body conversations' in which the parent instructs and the child physically responds to this. Since it is observed to be useful in learning the first language, a similar relationship between the teacher and students is aimed to be developed through TPR. Teacher uses simple instructions such as "Stand up, jump, open your book." and the students just act out the asked actions. Although it can not be sufficient all alone, using TPR in classes, especially with young learners, is a lot of fun; students enjoy it and it can be a real stirrer in the class. It lifts the pace and the mood.

Direct Method

Direct method is a method aiming to have an environment where all teaching occurs in the target language. The language learner does not use their first language in any case or use of translation can not be seen in those classrooms. Practitioners of this method believe that learners should experience a second language without any interference from their native tongue. The grammar is not taught explicitly, the students are to get them through induction. The goal for students is to develop connections between experience and language. They do this by concentrating on good pronunciation and the development of oral skills. It is a good way to improve understanding, fluency, reading, and listening skills of students. Though, it might cause lack of competency in grammar.

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

CLT is by far one of the most popular approaches and methods in language teaching in today's language teaching world. This method focuses on interaction and communication to teach a second language effectively. Learners participate in everyday situations they are likely to encounter in the target language. Instructors also incorporate learning topics outside of conventional grammar so that students develop the ability to respond in diverse situations. CLT teachers focus on being facilitators rather than straightforward instructors. Doing so helps students achieve CLT’s primary goal, learning to communicate in the target language instead of emphasizing the mastery of grammar.

Grammar-Translation Method In grammar-translation classes, students learn grammatical rules and then apply those rules by translating sentences between the target language and the native language. Advanced students may be required to translate whole texts word-for-word. The method has two main goals: to enable students to read and translate literature written in the target language, and to further students’ general intellectual development.

In the classes where grammar-translation method is taking the lead, the lesson is instructed in the mother tongue, little or no attention is given to pronunciation and long, elaborate explanations of the intrincacies of grammar are given. Since communication is not the ultimate goal in this method, it is not one of the mostly preferred methods of today's language teaching world.


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