Language Acquisition and Language Teaching Methods
Language teaching has been an enigmatic field of study firstly for linguists and later for psycho-linguists who always tried day in and day out to investigate the very process of language acquisition on the grounds of which second language learning could be modeled. In this way two major schools of thought emerged amongst them first was based on structural and superficial perspective while other was based on intensive and complicated system of psychological intrigues of mental working while assimilating language input and producing a vast outcome of language use. The more utilization of the language acquisition principles is used in the second language teaching/ learning methods, the more natural and authentic methods is considered by the view points of the linguist. All the language methods are based on the process involved during acquisition of first language as described in the following figure:
Grammar Translation Method has reigned the language teaching for centuries, which has translation of the target language into mother language. But with the evolution of structural and psychological analysis, this obsession lessened in the horizons of language teaching. ALM method is an effort in this regard. It is a way to teach foreign languages. Its origin is attributed to world war II, nominating it also army method, when heterogeneous people belonging to different nationalities and languages came closer for military objective, facing the barrier of mutual consensus of a common language. It was the time when ALM was introduced, which embodied the repetition of target language practices having some specific structures which could be used in interaction of the people. It is also called aural oral approach. It is based on structural approach of language and behaviorist ideology.
The Structural view of language includes particular emphasis on mastering the building blocks or units of language and learning the rules for combining them. It also includes the concept of sign, signified and signifier of structuralism approach. Behaviorism is the approach in psychology, which takes human mind as blank slate which can be written according to systematic habit formation process gained as a result of repetitive practice of target language. It is followed by motivation and reinforcement, positive and negative one. Behaviorism has following principles: 1. Language learning is habit-formation
2. Mistakes are bad and should be avoided, as they make bad habits 3. Language skills are learned more effectively if they are presented orally first, then in written form 4. Analogy is a better foundation for language learning than analysis 5. The meanings of words can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context There are some of the objectives of the audio-lingual method strictly followed and expected as a result of mechanical practices, much away from natural ones. It lays emphasis on: 1. Accurate pronunciation and grammar
2. Ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations 3. Knowledge of sufficient vocabulary to use with grammar patterns. The procedure of ALM is based on repetition drills of structural practices. The typical procedures in an audio-lingual course are: 1. Students hear a model dialogue
2. Students repeat each line of the dialogue
3. Certain key words or phrases may be changed in the dialogue 4. Key structures from the dialogue serves the basis for pattern drills of different kinds. 5. The students practice substitutions in the pattern drills | |
Features of Audio-Lingual method
Here is a summary of the key features of the Audio-lingual Method according to Brown (1994)...
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