Tag: approaches of ELT

Five ELT Approaches Working From the 20th Century Up Till Now

Approach is a broad term that reflects a certain model based on a research or theory (e.g. Communicative approach) while a method is a set of procedures compatible with an approach (e.g. Silent way method). A method is more specific than an approach, but a technique is the narrowest term which refers to learning activities in the classroom used in one or more methods (e.g. Using cooperative leaning activity).

Here are the five English language teaching approaches that prevailed in the 20th century and are still working up till nowadays.

1. Grammar Translation Approach:

  • Instructions are given in native language.
  • Using English is little.
  • Focusing on grammar rather than English language functions.
  • Setting difficult texts for reading from the beginning.
  • Doing translation from English into mother tongue is frequent.
  • Using English for communication is not encouraged.
  • English is not spoken by the teacher in the classroom.

2. Comprehension Based Approach:

  • English acquisition appears when learner comprehends meaningful input.
  • Listening comprehension is very important besides speaking, reading and writing.
  • Listening to meaningful speech is very important.
  • Speaking is postponed until students are ready.
  • Error correction is unnecessary, understanding is most important.
  • Native teachers are preferable in teaching.
  • Audiotapes and videotapes are also used in the classroom.

3. Cognitive Approach:

  • English is rule governed not habit formation.
  • Individualized instruction is done.
  • Grammar taught both deductively (rules first, practice later) and inductively (rules after practice).
  • Pronunciation isn’t emphasized.
  • Reading and writing are developed as well as listening and speaking.
  • Vocabulary instruction is important especially in intermediate and advanced levels.
  • Errors are inevitable and useful for learning.
  • Teacher must have general ability and proficiency of English language.

4. Situational Approach:

  • Spoken language is primary.
  • English is practiced orally. After an oral base in lexical and grammatical forms reading and writing comes.
  • English should be used in situations.
  • Most general and useful lexical items are to be ensured.
  • Grammatical structures are graded from simple to difficult.
  • Lexical and grammatical items should be given in situations.

5. Communicative Approach:

  • The goal is learner ability to communicate.
  • purpose of language is communication.
  • Content of language and social functions are mainly focused not just linguistic structures.
  • Transferring meaning in pairs and groups.
  • Adjusting the use of English in different social contexts by role plays and dramatizations.
  • Authentic materials are used.
  • All skills from the beginning are developed.
  • Teacher primarily facilitate the communication secondarily correct errors.
  • Teacher uses the target language fluently and appropriately.

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The Latest Trends in English Language Teaching & Learning

1. CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning):

It is one of the latest trends in ELT. This model pursues to make a link between language learning and content development. That is to say, English learning is more oriented around school subjects (History, Science, Geography … etc.). The underlying principle is that English should not be the end of a language program but the means through which learners will acquire knowledge in other fields.

I think that this is a more academic and scientific orientations for which teachers have to be well prepared. The approach demands not only the mastery of English and the management of ELT methods but certain degree of awareness of some disciplines.

2. e-learning applied to ELT:

It is one of the latest trends and how it can be applied to ELT is probably a good area for research as the internet becomes more available to an ever wider group of students. How students interact and how the systems used facilitate that interaction is a question which will need to be understood to increase the effectiveness of this medium.

3. Blended learning:

It is the approach that is at the cutting edge in education and with a wide range of possibilities for ELT. It helps teachers optimize language learning and teaching by using ICT (Information and Communication Technology) resources (internet, web-based tools, CD-Roms, etc.) in combination with face-to-face sessions. E-learning that encompasses the use of technological and electronic support for educational purposes embraces blended learning.

4. TBLT (Task-based language teaching):

It is among the latest trends in ELT nowadays where users can have varieties of learning experiences in life-like environments. It focuses on the use of authentic language and on asking students to do meaningful tasks using the target language. Such tasks can include visiting a doctor, conducting an interview, or calling customer service for help.

Assessment is primarily based on task outcome (in other words the appropriate completion of real world tasks) rather than on accuracy of prescribed language forms. This makes this approach popular for developing target language fluency and student confidence. As such TBLT can be considered a branch of communicative language teaching (CLT).

5. Situated Language Teaching:

In this approach learners involve actively in meaningful language learning situations and contextualized practices created by the teacher. Situated language learning focuses on   the contexts, situations and knowledge construction. Skills and knowledge are best acquired within realistic contexts and authentic settings, where students are engaged in experiential language learning tasks.

6. Edutainment

It is started to be heard most nowadays.  It refers to using online games and games in ELT and self-language learning. Learners should be so engaged that they should forget even they are learning something. In this approach learning and entertainment are two words used together.

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