Language Teaching

Topics: Education, Communicative language teaching, Linguistics Pages: 3 (861 words) Published: September 8, 2013
Literature review.

The search for better ways to teach languages has been underway for centuries and with some historical perspective we can analyse that each development should be assessed individually. Traditional forms of teaching and syllabus design concentrated more on the teacher playing a central role in the classroom, teaching also focused much more on form rather than meaning and there was a great importance given to testing and assessments. Nowadays teaching and syllabus design concentrates on both a balance of learner centeredness, communication and teacher playing the role of facilitator or guide rather than instructor. During the 19th century, grammar translation was the dominant methodology. There was a lack of focus on meaning, and little or no attention was usually paid to speaking and pronunciation. It entailed rote memorization of long lists of vocabulary, systematic translation of texts, and lectures involving detailed grammar explanations which were usually in their mother tongue (Knight, 2001). In this type of teaching methodology the emphasis was placed on translation and not on communication or an exchange of information in the target language (Cz-Training, 2007). There was an excess of importance given to studying Greek and Latin in public schools and these studies focused on assessing literature. These techniques of learning were not only taught in order to help learning but to implement ‘mental discipline’ (Stern 1983). By the end of the 19th century the reform movement came about and was the first scientific approach to language learning and an important step in the development of disciplines of linguistics and applied linguistics. The first few decades of the 20th century involved the emergence of the Audio-Lingualism in United States and in the UK the Oral Approach proposed by Hornby, Palmer and others. By the 1950s the standard British approach was Audio-Lingualism and Situational Language Teaching (Knight, 2001). The...
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