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Unit 3 Theories, Methods, and Techniques. Methodologies: Learners of English who have opportunity to live in an English speaking environment while studying have a huge advantage.they are surrounded by the language continuously and are able to put acquired language into practice in everyday realistic situations. However the majority of English learners are living in their native countries, where English is not the first language and as a result do not have these benefits. Many of these students may have the opportunity to use English at work, with their friends or in some other practical way where they are able to use their English on a fairly regular basis. many other learners of English are not so fortunate and their only contact with the language may be daily, twice weekly or weekly English classes at school or at a private language institute. AS a result these students do not get the same exposure to the language and opportunity to put it into practice. AS children we all learn our native language (commonly referred to as 'L1' or first language) without the aid of a language teachers and course books. We simply absorb the language around us, processed it through trial and error formulated internal ideas and rules to allow us to be able to use the language fluently and accurately. This natural language acquisition is impossible to replicate in the classroom (when learning a second or foreign language often referred to as 'L2'), but many of the most popular methodologies in EFL teaching today do try to imitate it as far as is practical. Grammar- translation: this was probably the mainstay of language teaching and learning for hundreds of years, and indeed is still practiced in many situations. Many of us will have been exposed to this system of learning in the state school sector. the basic principle of this system is, as its name suggests, learning about a language through finding equivalents in the students' own language and the foreign language being learned. It is, in effect, a system of translation. the major drawback with grammar-translation is that it seems to prevent the students from getting the kind of natural language input that will really help them acquire the language. The danger therefore, is that the students will learn about the language rather than learning the language itself. This methodology also requires the teacher to be proficient in the students' native language. Audio- lingualism: This is the name given to a language teaching/learning methodology based upon behaviorist theories of learning. This theory basically suggests that much learning is as a result of habit formation through conditioning. Audio lingualism concentrates therefore, to a large degree, on long repetition-drills, in which the students would be conditioned into using the language correctly. Audio-lingualism largely went out of fashion because most linguists believed that language learning consisted of more than merely forming habits and that speakers of a language are able to process language more effectively from the knowledge they have acquired. However, it is useful to note that language drills are still popular (though in a much more limited way) especially for low-level students. Presentation, Practice and production: In this method teachers first present the context and situation for the language, as well as explaining and demonstrating the meaning and form of the new language. The students then practice making sentences with the language in a controlled way (including drilling) before going on to the production stage when they are able to be more creative with the language. PPP has proved to be extremely effective in teaching simple language at lower levels. It is less effective with higher level students who already know a lot of language, and therefore do not need such a marked production stage. Many teachers training centers (and teachers) still use PPP today. The system does, however, lack a good deal in flexibility and it is easy for the lesson to become too 'teacher-centred'. Task- Based Learning: In this method the focus is more on a task than the language. Students are given a task to complete (while using the English language). When they have completed the task, the teacher can, if necessary- and only if necessary- provide some language study to help clear up some problems they had while doing the task. Communicative Language Teaching: The communicative approach stresses the importance of a language functions (such as agreeing, inviting, suggesting, etc) as opposed to reliance only on grammar and vocabulary. This approach also suggests that is students have enough exposure to the language and opportunity to use it then language learning would, in effect, take care of itself. Activities in CLT typically require students to use the language in real life situations, so role-play and simulation have become popular with this method. CLT places far more emphasis on completion of the task than the accuracy of the language. Communicative Language Learning: In CLL students will typically sit in a circle and it is up to them to decide what they want to talk about. The teacher (standing outside the circle) will help, as and when necessary, with language problems that arise during the course of the discussion. This methodology has helped teachers focus on the need to make the lessons as 'student-centered' as possible by allowing the students to choose the topic and language. The silent way: The most notable feature of the silent way is the behavior of the teacher-who says as little as possible. This is because it was believed that if the students had to 'discover' the language for themselves, learning will be better facilitated rather than just remembering and repeating what had been taught. Many teachers have found this method to be a little unnatural in application. The silent way methodology makes use of colored rods (often referred to as Cuisenaire rods), each color representing an aspectof English language. Cuisenaire rods can indicate grammar points or represent sounds and/or intonation, or they can be used in story telling to represent physical objects. Engage, Study and Activate: If, students need to be motivated, be exposed to the language and have the opportunity to use it, then we need to make sure that all these factors come into play in the classroom. An effective method for this was put forward by Jeremy Harmer, where he called these elements 'ESL'- Engage, Study and Activate. This approach allows all of the previously mentioned condition to be applied and gives the teacher a great deal of flexibility in the classroom. ESL is particularly appropriate for trainee and new teachers. This is therefore the methodology this course is based around, and all submitted materials must follow this method. Elicitation: As we want to involve students in a lesson as much as possible, elicitation (asking thought-provoking questions) is an extremely useful component of the ESA process. Many would consider elicitation as one of the most important features of an EFL lesson; elicitation techniques have been described as 'strategies to respond. In other words, they are techniques used by a teacher during the lesson to get information about what students already know and need to know. It involves learners in the process of understanding and discovering language. Elicitation not only gives students the opportunity to speak, therefore increasing student talk time, but it also reduces teacher talk time. This has the effect of less teacher telling and more 'student discovery' and is therefore an essential part of the ESA methodology. lists: To elicit almost any vocabulary word, ask the students to help you create a list and write the words they give you on the board. Start with a question and get answers from around the class. For example , for a list of food vocabulary words, simply ask, "what is your favorite food?". Write the answers in the list. Follow-on questions: ask a target question to get a particular type of answer, then follow on with a second question. For example, to elicit feelings, ask the class a target question such as "what scares you?". one person may reply with something like "going to the dentist". Then follow on with a question such as "how does going to the dentist make other people feel?". Concept description: An example of this would be to elicit comparative adjectives visually. Draw three circles: small medium and large. Label them A, B and C. Ask the students to describe these objects in relation to each other. Engage, Study and Activate: For this course , we focus on Engage-Study-Activate (ESA), as we feel ESA is the most effective and the most logical of all the methodologies for new teachers to learn and apply in the classroom. All ESA lessons should comprise of the following components: Engage: this is the sequence in the lesson where the teacher will try to arouse the students' interest and get them involved and interested, they will find the lesson more stimulating and fun, thus reducing inhibitions and leading to a more conductive language environment. Activities and materials which tend to engage students include games, music, interesting pictures, stories etc. If possible, language used here should link in with language used later in the lesson, though this is not essential. The engage phase of a lessons should be considered a 'warmer'. In essence, the aim is to warm up your students and to get them thinking and speaking English as much as possible before proceeding to the next phase of the lesson. You do not want to 'teach' them anything in the Engage stage as the aim of this stage is simply designed to 'engage' them. Study: These activities are those where the students will focus on the language (or information) and how it is constructed. These activities could range from the practice and study of a single sound to an examination and practice of a verb tense. Study stages usually start with elicitation. You should always elicit as much information as possible from the students first, which would form the basis of your board work. This would then be followed by the presentation of the language point, and drilling pronunciation(if required. After the language point has been covered, exercises ( often worksheets) are given to yhe students to check their understanding and to reinforce the material. As a class, you will then review their answers to the exercise and go over any errors. The students may work in groups studying a text for vocabulary or study a transcript to discover style of speech. Whatever the method, Study means any stage where the students will be focused on the construction of the language. Activate: This is the stage where the students are encouraged to use any/all of the language they know. Here students should be using the language as 'freely' and communicatively as possible. The focus is very much more on fluency than accuracy whit no restrictions on language usage. Typical activate activities include role-plays (where students act out as realistically as possible a dialog between two or more people e.g. doctor and patient), communication games, debates (with high-level classes) story writing, etc. All three ESA elements need to be present in most lessons to provide a balanced range of activities for the students. Some lessons may be more heavily focused on one stage or another but all stages should be included wherever possible. To say that all three elements need to be included does not mean that they always have to happen in the same order. Instead we can vary the order to give us greater flexibility in the content of our lessons. We can even have multiple stages per lesson which might look more like EASASA. Even a further subdivision within each stage is possible: E1, E2, A1, S1, S2, A2, S3, A3, for example. In terms of order, the only real rules are that all lessons should start with an Engage stage and Finnish with an Activate stage. Example of a 'Strait Arrow' ESA lesson. A 'strait arrow' lesson is where the teacher takes the lesson in the ESA order. First the teacher Engages the students, then they Study the language, finally they try to Activate the language by putting it into production. Following is an example of a 'Strait Arrow' lesson sequence for lower level students with the learning objective- "At the end of the lesson students will be able to talk/write about what people and animals can and cannot do (using the auxiliary can't). Example of a 'Boomerang' ESA lesson. A 'Boomerang' sequencing of the lesson gives us more possibilities, while still incorporating ESA. With learning objectives- "At the end of the lesson students will be able to use language involved in job interviews". Example of a 'Boomerang' ESA lesson: The difficulty with sequence is that the teacher has to try and predict what problems the students are likely to have in the first Activate stage in order to have materials/ideas for helping students in the Study phase. Such a lesson might be more useful for higher level students as they will need quite a lot of language for the Activate stages. Example of a 'Patchwork' ESA lesson. The 'Strait Arrow' sequence is useful as the teacher knows what the students need and will take them logically to the point where they can use that language. The 'Boomerang' sequence is also useful as it allows the teacher to see what the student needs before teaching the the language. However, many lessons aren't as straightforward as this and will require a lot of mini-sequences building to a whole. This is a 'Patchwork' ESA lesson. With the learning objective- "AT the end of the lesson students will be able to use language involved with traveling and holidays". Typical Engage phases include discussion and prompting based around pictures, drawings, mime, etc. It can also involve a general discussions without prompts. The most important element is to plan this stage so the teacher doesn't run out out of ideas/prompts and is able to fully engage the students before moving on to the next phase of the lesson. Common Study phase: Elicitation- teacher elicits from from the students the structure/formation/meaning/usage of new language. Pronunciation- language drills (choral and individual repetition), tongue twisters, mouth diagrams to show how we form particular sounds. Spelling- hangman, word searches, crosswords, unscrambling jumbled words. Meaning- gap fills (students fill in missing words in a sentence), matching exercises such as matching pictures to definitions, matching answers to questions words to definitions, true or false activities etc. Word order- unscrambling jumbled sentences into the correct sentence order and inserting words into sentences in the correct place. Analysis- looking at texts/dialogues and analyzing typical constructions. Giving Feedback: The type and extent of feedback depends largely on the following factors: .Individual students. .Culture and the expected role of the teacher. .The stage of the lesson. .The type of activity. When giving feedback on oral or written work, always be on the lookout for positive points to comment upon even if mistakes have been made. Be positive. Ways of giving positive feedback can range from an informal 'well done' publishing good written work around the classroom, using a grading system. make sure that feedback from an activity is clear and audible so students have an opportunity to correct their own work. Correction Techniques: The ability to correct is a skill that takes time and experience to perfect. It is an area in which students are often critical of the teacher. Too much correction can be equally as off-putting as too little. It is also important to note that praising the students is equally as important as correcting, if not more so. Self correction: This should be the first option as it provides the student with the opportunity to reflect upon what he/she has said and to try again. Student-Student correction: If the student is unable to correct his/her own mistake it is often useful to allow the other students to correct the mistake. Students usually like helping each other; this method should not be used if the teacher feels that is would make the student who made the mistake feel uncomfortable or confused. Teacher- student correction: This should be the last resort. The other two methods allow the students to identify the problem and correct it. If the teacher corrects strait away, then the students don't have to think about the mistake and work out why it is not correct. Therefore they are less likely to remember it and are more likely to continue to repeat the mistake in the future. It can be difficult for the teacher to know exactly what type of mistake to correct. Generally we can say that for activities where accuracy is the focus (the study stage) correction is more vital than for activities where fluency is the primary objective. That doesn't mean to say that we will correct every single mistake/error in the active stage. Correcting writing: Probably the most effective way to correct written work is by using codes in the margin or the body of the writing. This makes correction neater, less threatening and gives the students a chance to correct their own work. Frequently used codes refer to issues such as tense, spelling and word order. Typical codes include: S:spelling. wo:word order. t:wrong tense. s/p:worng usage of singular/plural form. ^:somethings missing. :something is not necessary. m:meaning is not clear. na:usage is not appropriate. p:punctuation is wrong. It was very Informative. I enjoyed learning about Methodologies. I learned about Grammar-translation, Audio-lingualism, Presentation, Practice and production, Communicative language Teaching, Communicative Language Learning, The silent way, Suggestopaedia, Engage, Study and Activate, Elicitation, Follow on questions, Mime, Points to bear in mind, Strait Arrow, Boomerang, Patchwork, Giving Feedback, Correction techniques, Self correction, Student-Student correction, Teacher-student correction, Correcting writing and Lesson planning General Guidance Notes. I now understand Methodology. I am grateful for all the information I have been given, it have been great a great help to me.
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