1. What similarities and differences do you see between Harmer's and S&C's principles of language learning? What are the implications of these principles for language teachers?
In both principles, it is essential that students know that language is used as a means of communication when they are learning. This means that teachers should instill in learners the notion that language is not only for doing tests and passing exams, or use it to secure a job but rather a tool to aid the students in social interaction and passing and receiving different ideas and establishing relationships. If students only have the notion that language is geared towards formal accuracy, the interest they had about the language will decrease and the use of the language will not be appealing as a tool for communication. The pair principles learning language requires the acquisition of knowledge and mastery of word meanings and structures. Students need to know these word meanings and structures and be able to apply them in talking with other people and be able to read and understand the language. In order to establish these skills, it's important to practice and study the language. Most students would rather study the language than to practice it. For a student to be well vast in language skills it is crucial that practice is done regularly.
In both principles, feelings take a huge part in successful learning of a language. The management of feelings is very crucial because a student who has positive feelings increase the effectiveness of language studying activities. Students with a desire to know the language will have a high chance of succeeding than leaners with no sense of motivation at all. There are several differences between both principles. The first difference is that behaviorism is essential to learning the language in Hammer's principle of language learning, unlike the S&C principles. Another difference is that in hammer's principle of learning the language there is the giving of some reward to the students which is not in S&C principles. The consequences of these principles for language teachers are that students are guided through the whole process and language teachers help to do this. Another consequence is that teachers are a source of motivation and provide encouragement to the students.
2. What is the basic distinction between behaviorist and communicative approaches/methods to language teaching? Discuss the strengths and criticisms of each approach when applied to EFL settings.
The difference between communicative and behaviorist method of teaching language is that the communicative approach students are active while the latter they are passive. Communicative language teaching imparts students with the know-how of using the correct grammar and also the workings of the communicative objectives of language. The teachers taught students how to agree and disagree, to invite and to say sorry and also ensuring they know how to use past perfect and second conditional. The second strength is that students are able to engage in real life situations by role-playing in the communicative task thereby improving their knowledge and skill. It also has several criticisms that come with it; first, it is prejudicial to native language speakers by stressing a satisfactorily unfettered range of language use on the part of the leaner and thus requiring of the teacher to provide answers to language problems that manifest. It also offends educational standards that are teacher based.
Behaviorist method has several strengths that are associated with. It is very effective in the mastering of nontrivial materials. It is useful for teachers in aiding them in class management and it instills on the learners the value of the importance of working hard to attain their potentials. Another importance of this approach is that teachers tend to be very active and involved when behaviorism is in play. This is proved by the fact teachers are the ones who prepare the learning material to the learners and guide all through. The first is criticism is that students tend to be passive in a behaviorist language teaching thereby taking them a long time to learn the language. This is evident by the fact that in this method learning materials and everything to do with education is left in the hands of the teacher to provide a way out. Another criticism of this method is that due to the dependence of a certain reward student may fail to perform certain basic things because rewards were not offered thus lacking a sense of initiative
3. What is your opinion on culturally responsive teaching? To what extent should intercultural communicative competence be included in English language teaching? Would you take a critical approach in which you aim to challenge the social and cultural norms in the target context? Would you rather focus primarily on linguistic competence? Or would you take an alternative approach that you think would be suitable?
Culture is very significant to the learning process especially in the studying and acquisition of a language. It plays the role of disseminating and receiving information, and it helps in the shaping of how human beings think. Students come from different cultural backgrounds but are able to learn and communicate with each other. Teachers of language also have different cultural backgrounds but because of the appreciation of diversity, they are able to communicate and interact with their students. Cultural responsive teaching is basically the significance of the student's cultural backgrounds to the learning process. For a teacher to able to be effective in this field it is essential that he holds a high level of cultural competence to be able to transmit it to parents and children. Cultural competence in the school is important because of the various different cultural background that students come from thus it is significant to use cultural responsive teaching.
Intercultural communication competence is basically the power of a person to understand the culture his coming from, the different cultures in existence in within his environment and use this reasoning to be able to interact with other people having different culture effectively. Intercultural communication competence in the English teaching of language should be used on young students in order for them not to shy off from learning English when it comes to complex matters. Basically, the young learners are taught by a mixture of their local culture and the English language. The approach to be taken in the target when dealing with challenging of the social and traditional norms is that of a critical approach. The native language will be the main focus and gradually coming up to the target. The main focus would be on linguistic competencies where it basically involves an understanding of the language spoken by the different communities in existence.
4. Imagine you were asked to create your own English language teaching curriculum as a teacher. Describe the following components of your curriculum.
The setting of the English teaching curriculum is based on young learners who use English as their second language in school. The curriculum is both critical to the needs of the learner and the teacher as well. At the end of the program, the student should be able to manipulate the English language to his/her own benefit, be able to get meaningful employment by use of the English language. The curriculum should be able to help the student in interacting in the society and the last objective of the curriculum is to foster intercultural competence.
The teaching method of the curriculum will be a combination of communicative language teaching and behaviorist's method. The reasoning behind using the communicative language teaching approach is because students will be taught on how language is used and its communicative purposes initiated by language. The behaviorist method is also essential in this curriculum because it will be crucial in the development of young learner's English language due to its repetitive nature.
The roles of the teachers in this approach are many. The first role is that of a facilitator. A teacher should be able to help the student develop their selfhood and create an effective learning environment. The second role is of an assessor which is basically feedback. Assessing may be done by giving the students questions to respond to or by talking to the students. Teachers also play the managerial role in this curriculum. The teachers will be tasked with the management of the learning activities of the student. The last role a teacher will play me in this curriculum will be that of evaluating students work.
Evaluation is the key determinant of whether the teacher has succeeded or not. Language and culture are indivisible thus for full comprehension of intercultural communication it is dependent upon the person's know-how of the societal and traditional importance of the words and idioms used. Basically, the language performs the function of transmission of meaning which is set by culture/tradition. Evaluation helps to preserve and develop the quality of the curriculum offered in the education system. Evaluation helps to gauge how much the students have gained from using the curriculum to learn English. Evaluation of this curriculum is done through giving students questions at the end of each topic, students sitting for English language exams, and also verbally talking to the students on one on one basis.
Harmer, J. (2016). The practice of English language teaching (5th Ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson Longman.
Snow, D., & Campbell, M. (2017). More than a native speaker (3rd Ed.). Tesol Press
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