This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
In order to organize and interpret the descriptive data, the following three related areas in the literature were reviewed. These are: (a) Theories of language teaching and learning, (b) The methods of language teaching and language skills and (c) In-service teacher education. This chapter puts together the summary of the review findings from these three major areas.
Researchers acknowledge the complexity involved in teaching and in learning to teach effectively (Ballentyne, Bain and Packer, 1999; Calderhead, 1996; Clark and Peterson, 1986). At the primary and secondary levels, the difficult and complicated process of learning to teach has been well studied (Ethell, 1997; Wideen, Mayer-Smith, and Moon, 1998). Emerging from these researches is the understanding of the central role that teacher's views and theories play in teaching practice (Pajares, 1992; Richardson, 1996; and Trumbull, 1990).
The field of language teaching is subject to rapid changes. This is because the profession responds to new educational paradigms and trends, changes in curriculum, and students' needs. Educational institutions also face new challenges resulting from changes in language teaching. As a result, teachers need regular opportunities to update their professional knowledge and skills. This update is necessary for teachers to take appropriate decisions in the classroom. Decision taking depends on teacher's understanding and assumptions about language teaching.
The dominant conception of teacher learning and development as development of skills of performance which is largely unreflective has led to a formal procedure of following instructions from authority. The result is that teachers are growing more alienated for a lack of personal significance in the teaching and learning processes. So, the search for an alternative model of development is motivated by dissatisfaction with the existing one and possibility of an alternative view as holding more potential to address issues of concern to this study. This could be in the form of providing opportunities to teachers' voice their views about teaching/learning English as a second language. It could also be reflecting on their practices, thus finding out their own insights in more concrete terms and, through INSET programmes, rethinking of their teaching practices for better understanding of teaching and learning processes.
In the reconstituted view of teacher change, teachers are seen as playing an active, developmental and constructivist role that is based on both understanding and skills. This alternative view of teachers receives support in the literature where, for instance, teachers have been seen as "authors of reform" (Krishner, 2002.47), as researchers and curriculum developers (Stenhouse, 1975), and as progressing towards "self-authorship" (Baxtor Magolda, 2001, 2002, 2003, 200; and King, 2004). The responsibility this entails in making informed choices as a teacher is a moral and intellectual meaning making process involving the teacher in self-reflection. Beyond acquiring behaviour, it centres more fundamentally on the views of teachers about the nature of knowledge, nature of teaching and learning, and, their role in making explicit their implicit theories of teaching/learning, among other things.
In this chapter, the theories of teaching and learning, methods of teaching language skills will be discussed in detail. It will also discuss the INSET programmes offered in India and, look at some studies in these areas in order to arrive at a methodological framework of the present study.
2.2 Theories of Teaching
Teachers teach within the context of framework of assumptions that shape their planning and interactive decisions. Theories of teaching are central to how one understands the nature and importance of classroom practices. As Posner (1985) observes, different theories of teaching lead to a different understanding of classroom life.
A didactic view of teaching is based on the belief that teaching is primarily concerned with transmitting knowledge through providing clear explanations, or discussions.
A discovery view of teaching by contrast, is based on the idea that students can develop knowledge themselves through active investigation and discovery, with a minimum of teacher explanation and with a provision of opportunities to learn inductively from observation.
An interactionist view, on the other hand, holds that students come with well-formed ideas, so that there is a necessary interaction between the student's own ideas and the learning materials.
While general teaching theories such as these have informed approaches to mainstream teaching, such as behaviourist, cognitive-developmental, social-psychological, theories specific to second language teaching and learning have been developed and formed the basis for specific methodologies for language teaching such as the Communicative Approach and Natural Approach. However, teaching is an individual activity. As such, teacher development involves teachers in creating an approach that draws on their experiences and understanding as well as their personal principles about teaching. These are known as the teacher's implicit theories of teaching.
"The explanations given by teachers for what they do are typically not derived from what they were taught in teacher education programmes...Rather, the classroom actions of teachers are guided by internal frames of reference which are deeply rooted in personal experiences, especially in school ones, and are based on interpretations of these experiences."
(Marland, 1995. 131)
Theories of Learning
The approach refers to theories about the nature of language and language learning that serves as the source of practices and principles in language teaching. There are different theoretical views of language and the nature of language proficiency explicitly or implicitly informs current approaches and theories. Nine major theories to language teaching/learning will be discussed below.
The Naturalistic Theory
The Natural Approach, as defined by Krashen and Terrell (1993), is believed to conform to the naturalistic principles found in successful second language acquisition. In this approach there is emphasis on exposure rather than practice; optimizing emotional preparedness for learning; a prolonged period of attention to what the language learners here before they try to produce language; and a willingness to use written and other materials as a source of comprehensible input. Language is viewed as a vehicle for communicating meanings and messages. Here, the acquisition can take place only when students understand messages in the target language.
Stephen Krashen distinguishes between acquisition and learning. Acquisition refers to an unconscious process that involves the naturalistic development of language proficiency through understanding language and using it for meaningful communication. Whereas learning refers to a process in which conscious rules about a language are developed.
In this approach, the teacher is required to generate a constant flow of language input while providing clues to assist students in interpreting the input. The teacher creates a classroom atmosphere which is interesting, friendly, and in which there is a low affective filter for learning.
In the Naturalistic Approach, the focus on comprehension and meaningful communication as well as the provision of the right kinds of comprehensible input provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for successful acquisition of second language.
Cognitive theory is based on the work of psychologists and psycholinguists. Individuals working within this framework apply the principles and findings of contemporary cognitive psychology to the domain of second language learning.
Learning is a cognitive process, because it is thought to involve internal representations that regulate and guide performance. In the case of language acquisition, these representations are based on the language system and include procedures for selecting appropriate vocabulary, grammatical rules, and pragmatic conventions governing language use. As performance improves, there is constant restructuring as learners simplify, unify and gain increasing control over their internal representations (Karmiloff- Smith, 1986). These two notions automatization and restructuring are central to cognitive theory.
According to cognitive theory, second language learning, like any other complex cognitive skill, involves the gradual integration of sub-skills as controlled processes initially predominate and then become automatic. Thus, the initial stages of learning involve the slow development of skills and the gradual elimination of errors as the learner attempts to automatize aspects of performance. In later phases, there is continual restructuring as learners shift their internal representations.
Cognitive theory stresses the limited information-processing capacities of learners and the use of various techniques to overcome these limitations. Learning a second language involves the gradual accumulation of automatized sub-skills and a constant restructuring of internalized representations as the learner achieves increasing degree of mastery over the language.
Constructivism puts an emphasis on the ways in which individuals bring personal meaning to their world. Early researchers such as Piaget focused on the individual construction of knowledge. Bruner on the other hand, placed a greater emphasis on the interaction of the learner with curriculum materials, the teacher, and other significant factors. Similarly, Vygotsky and Feuerstein criticized Piaget's view concerning the individual view of knowledge and suggested that, living as one does in a social world, learning occurs through interactions with other people (Williams and Burden, 1997).
Constructivism suggests that learner's conceptions of knowledge are derived from a meaning-making search in which learners involve in a process of constructing individual interpretations of their experiences. The constructions that result from the investigations about the tasks and experiences result in a kind of knowledge whose similarity to external reality may be little (Mahoney, 2005). However, to the degree that most of one's learning is filtered through a process of dialectical tensions, social negotiation or distributed cognition, generally shared and isomorphic meanings tend to be constructed (Mahoney, 2004).
In the constructivist framework, learning occurs by exposing students to primary sources within a situated context, and encouraging them to see relationships (Brooks & Brooks, 1993). The emphasis shifts from instruction by the teacher to construction by the learner. Learning happens in an idiosyncratic manner as each student uses his/her unique prior experience as the lens through which new information that creates dissonance is interpreted and new knowledge is constructed (Reagan & Osborn, 2002).
They emphasize that real learning is neither rational, nor objective, but circuitous, responding to trial and error attempts at understanding, and that it is firmly embedded in a social-emotional context.
Social Interaction Theory
According to Vygotsky, social interaction plays a vital role in the learning process. He emphasizes the role of 'shared language' in the development of thought and language which stands for social interaction. According to Vygotsky (1962) children develop higher order cognitive functions such as linguistic skills, through interactions with adults or more knowledgeable peers. Eventually these skills are internalized independently. The most important interactions take place within a child's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). It is the teacher's duty to try to take each child to the next level (X+1). The teacher does this by giving maximum help to the children. Perhaps he/she can give learners just the prompt they need. This prompt provides for the learners a breakthrough he/she needs.
Sometimes the teacher can take the whole class through a series of steps, which help them solve the problem. Learning depends on the differences in their areas of zones of proximal development. Students have to be given opportunities to the social interaction first and it will ultimately allow them construct their inner resources.
Vygotsky's argument is that language is the key to all progress and language plays an essential part on the development of thought but in the expansion of cognition as a whole. Thus, child's language achievement is the effect of social interaction. Teaching is social responsibility and a cognitive action.
The Communicative Approach
Communicative Approach is 'the development of language learning or teaching from form-based approach, the more towards an eclectic approach from a rigid method: the shift from teacher-fronted to learner-centred classes: are all subsumed under the broad term communicative approach' (Nagaraj, 1996. 41).
Communicative Approach emphasizes communicative competence. It considers language not only in terms of structures but also in terms of communicative functions. It opens up a wider perspective on language; it is a combination of newer functional view of language with the traditional structural one, in order to achieve more complete communicative perspective. It enables teachers to decide what students have to learn in order to use language as means of communication.
'Communicative language teaching is a theory of language teaching that starts from a communicative model of language and language use, and that seeks to translate this into design for an instructional system for materials, for teacher and learner roles and behaviour and for classroom activities and techniques (Richards and Rodgers, 1995. 69).
According to Breen and Candlin (1980) the roles of the teacher is to "facilitate the communication process between all participants in the class room" (p.99). The teacher's job is to provide the conditions for this communicative process, set it going, observe it, try to understand it, give guidance, help it along, analyze and evaluate it. Thus, one of the central roles of the teacher is to provide guidance to the students during communicative activities. Deckert (1987) adds that 'real usage of language, especially social uses are the new priority' (p. 17). As a result, students need guidance from teachers to meet the demands in the new classroom environment in order to properly function in communicative language teaching (See Chapter III).
Communicative language teaching is used in INSET programme.
Contrastive analysis contrasts the structures of L2 with L1 of the learner. Those structures, of the second language that coincide with corresponding structure of the first language are assimilated with great ease as a result of 'positive transfer'. Contrasting structures on the other hand, present considerable difficulty and give rise to errors as a result of 'negative transfer or 'interference'.
Identity theory is contrasted with the contrastive theory which asserts that the acquisition or availability of language has little or no influence on the acquisition of another language. Thus, in other words, first and second language learning are basically one and the same process governed by the same law.
Acculturation is the process of exchange of cultural features by two different identities belonging to different cultures. The effect of acculturation is widely seen in case of acquiring second language. As the language is the inherent part of culture, it becomes important for the learner to understand and feel the beliefs, history and other cultural aspects of the second language. During the process of language acquisition, the learner feels to be the part of both cultures. As a result of acculturation, the learner soon adopts the culture of second language and feels to be the part of second culture. Thus, the social and psychological factors play major role in the process of acquiring/learning of L2.
The Monitor Theory
The monitor model acquired a significant place in SLA research as it is most comprehensive among the existing theories. According to the monitor theory, the learner gains proficiency in second language in two ways 'subconscious acquisition' and 'conscious learning'. The subconscious acquisition focuses on only meaning not the form whereas the conscious learning refers to the internalization of explicit rule under conscious control. The most crucial factor here is that learning is always affected through a monitor to control and self-correct it whenever necessary.
The model consists of five central hypotheses, which are as follows:
The acquisition learning hypothesis
The natural order hypothesis
The monitor hypothesis
The input hypothesis
The affective filter hypothesis
Each of the above components relates to different aspects of the language learning process.
The prominent theory regarding the issue of second language learning was behaviouristic, which suggested that the learning was largely a question of acquiring a set of new language habits. Therefore, errors were considered as being the result of the persistence of existing mother tongue habits in the new language. Consequently, this idea made the researchers of applied linguistics devote their studies largely to the comparison of the native and the target language in order to make predictions and explanations about errors.
The studies regarding errors are carried out in order to
Identify strategies which learners use in language teaching,
Identify the causes of learner errors, and
Obtain information on common difficulties in language learning as an aid to teaching or in development of teaching materials (Richards, 1992).
Hence, the implication of error analysis of language teaching can be viewed from the aspect of language teachers and syllabus designers.
All these theories have in common a core set of beliefs about the nature of language, of language learning, and a derived set of principles for teaching of language. None of them, however, leads to a specific set of prescriptions and techniques to be used in teaching a language. They are characterized by a variety of interpretations as to how the principles can be applied. They allow for individual interpretation and application. Hence, the Communicative Approach is used in the present study.
2.3 Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language
The history of language teaching presents a fascinating variety of methods. But, there is no single method that is to be considered effective and accepted by all. Different methods may be appropriate to different contexts.
A methodology is systematic and scientific way of teaching any subject. It guides the teacher, 'how to teach and how his/her teaching may be effective'. It is very necessary for the teacher to know various types of methods and techniques of teaching English.
Method may also be defined as: "The process of planning, selection and grading language materials and items, techniques of teaching", etc.
The following are some of the important methods to teach English as a second language.
2.3.1 The Grammar Translation Method
The grammar translation method instructs students to grammar, and provides vocabulary with direct translations to memorize. It was the predominant method in Europe in the 19th century.
"This method emphasizes reading, writing, translation and conscious learning of grammatical rules. Its primary goal is to develop literary mastery of the second language. Memorization is the main learning instead of talking in the language. The curriculum requires the memorization of paradigms, patterns, and vocabulary, with translation being used to test the acquired knowledge. Consequently, the role of L1 (i.e. mother tongue or native language) is quite prominent" (O Grady, et al.1993).
This method favours to teach English by rules not by use. Language learning means speaking and reading but translation in mother tongue prevents students to read and speak in English. Students get no opportunities to participate in the discussions of the unit. Translations into mother tongue affect the originality of the words. It prevents students to think directly in English. Thus, it prevents establishing of direct bond between thought and expression.
Most of the instructors acknowledge that this method is ineffective by itself. This method does not enhance the students' communicative ability in the foreign language.
2.3.2 The Direct Method
This approach was developed initially as reaction to the grammar-translation method in an attempt to integrate more use of the target language in instruction.
Lessons begin with a dialogue using a modern conversational style in the target language. Material is first presented orally with actions or pictures. The mother tongue is never used. There is no translation. Grammar is taught inductively-rules are generalized from the practice and experience with the target language. Verbs are used first and systematically conjugated only much later after some oral mastery of the target language. The culture associated with the target language is also taught inductively.
In this method the teaching is done entirely in the target language. The learner is not allowed to use his or her mother tongue.
The direct method enjoyed great popularity at the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century but it was difficult to use, mainly because of the constraints of budget, time, audio visual aids, and classroom size. Yet, after a period of decline, this method has been revived, leading to the emergence of the audio-lingual method.
2.3.3 The Audio-Lingual Method (ALM)
During First World War, the American army began intensive oral/aural courses known as the 'Army specialized Training Programme' (ASTP) and were later adopted by educational institutions as the audio lingual method (Brown, 2000.74).
This method is based on the principle that language learning is habit formation; the method fosters dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases and over-learning. Structures are sequenced and taught once at a time. Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills. Little or no grammatical explanations are provided, grammar is taught inductively. Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context. Teaching points are determined by contrastive analysis between L1 and L2. Great importance is given to precise native-like pronunciation. Use of mother tongue by the teacher is permitted, but discouraged by the learners. There is a tendency to focus on manipulation of the target language and to disregard content and meaning.
The audio-lingual method began to decline as students failed to achieve long-term communicative capability. It was realized that habit formation, over learning and avoidance of errors was not the best way to learn a second language (Brown, 2000.75). Although, this method provided potentially good tools for SLA, its lack of concentration on meaning and fluency detracted from its success.
2.3.4 The Bilingual Method
This method was developed by Dr. C. J .Dadson. As the name suggests, the method makes use of two languages- the mother tongue and the target language.
There is drilling of the pattern to enable learners to master basic required sentence pattern which is effective practice of this method. In this method, the mother tongue is used only to explain the meanings of difficult words. Mother tongue equivalent of English words are given and the use of the mother tongue is gradually dropped as the students' progress in learning the language. Thus the Bilingual method recommended a restricted use of the mother tongue only by the teacher and not by the pupils. It also provided for intensive practice of patterns in English, helping the formation of correct language habits.
Later it was evaluated that this method cannot claim to be innovative because its procedures are not much different from earlier methods. The students became dependent on their native tongue for understanding the structure of the target language. The focus is on the grammatical structures rather than on how those structures are used in every day conversation. It places unusual demand on the teachers as they are to be proficient in the two languages -L1 and L2. It does not seem to follow any set theory in language teaching and learning.
2.3.5 The S-O-S Approach/Method
An eclectic approach evolved through the combination of certain aspects of the direct method, the oral approach and audio lingualism came to be known S-O-S (Structural-Oral-Situational Approach) in India.
This approach is based on the structural view of language. In this approach speech is emphasized as the basis of the language and structure is very important for developing speaking ability. In this method, there is direct bond between speech and expression. This approach suggests to present different structures in meaningful situations. Learners are to know the situation in which different structures are used for transmitting message or expressing ideas.
It has the following drawbacks:
The situations are not real life situations. They are structural drills in which objects, pictures and realia are used.
The approach is found to be suitable only at the elementary level not at the higher classes.
For teaching prose, poetry and composition, the approach has been found inadequate and ineffective.
As they were based on behaviourist psychology, the Audio-method and Oral-situational approach were limited by their neglect of cognitive learning.
2.3.6 Communicative Approach
The communicative approach is the product of educators and linguists who had grown dissatisfied with the audio lingual and grammar translation methods of foreign language instruction.
The communicative approach is a learner centered approach. This approach gives the learner not only grammatical competence but also a social skill as to what to say, how to say, when to say and where, in order to satisfy his/her daily needs as larger aim.
Communicative language teaching makes use of real life situations that students are likely to encounter in real life. The real life simulations change from day to day students' motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in meaningful ways about meaningful topics.
Characteristics of Communicative Language Teaching
Language is primarily a tool of communication, learning a language means learning to perform communicative speech acts with it.
In CLT communication means using language to make request, give advice, agree and disagree, complain, praise, to try to persuade people to do things and so on. The focus should be on meaning not on form.
Communication goals can be specified. One can accurately describe what learners should have learned and be able to do with language at the end of the lesson. E.g. Students will be able to
Talk about their jobs, and ask classmates about theirs.
Use the present simple accurately and fluently in this context.
Good communicative teaching is learner centered, not teacher centered.
The classroom and the behaviour of teachers and learners in the classroom should be as similar as possible to the behaviour of people in the real-world outside the classroom.
Benefits of CLT
Main function of communicative approach is to develop communication competence, so they are provided with optimum opportunities to use the language.
This approach creates communicative environment among learners, teachers and society. They are motivated to form the bridge of communication and to make use of real life language, in other words, language in use.
This approach is learner centered. So it is very scientific. All the teaching materials are prepared according to mentality and interest of the students.
In this approach, the modern methods are used to make teaching very effective and interested.
Every learner is active during teaching because there are interactions among learners and teacher. They communicate verbally and non-verbally to each other. So every student is active.
It provides sufficient opportunity to students for practice of communication with other students and also people outside the classroom.
2.3.7 The Lexical Approach
A lexical approach in language teaching refers to one derived from the belief that the building blocks of language learning and communication are not grammar, functions, notions or some other unit of planning and teaching but lexis, i.e. words and word combinations. Lexical approach in language teaching reflects a belief in the centrality of the lexicon to language structure, second language learning and language use, and in particular to multiword lexical units or "Chunks" that are learned and used as single items. Linguistic theory has also recognized a more central role for vocabulary in linguistic description. Linguistic theory has also recognized more central role for vocabulary in linguistic description.
Lexical approach in language teaching seeks to develop proposals for syllabus design and language teaching founded on a view of language in which lexis plays a central role.
Willis stresses, "The lexical syllabus not only subsumes structural syllabus, it also indicates how the structures which make up syllabus should be exemplified "since the computer corpus reveals the commonest structural patterns in which words are used (Cullis, 1990: vi).
Specific roles for teachers and learners are also assumed in a lexical approach. The status of lexis in language teaching has been considerably enhanced by development in lexical and linguistic theory, by work in corpus analysis, by recognition of the role of multiword units in language learning and communication.
2.3.8. The Need for an Eclectic Approach
The Eclectic approach was proposed as a reaction to the profession of teaching methods in the 1970's and 1980's and the dogmatism often found in the application of these methods. The idea of choosing from different methods to suit for one's teaching purposes and situations is not a new one.
According to Rivers (1981-55), an eclectic approach allows language teachers "to absorb the best techniques of all the well-known language teaching methods into their classroom procedures, using them for the purpose for which they are most appropriate." This is necessary and important because teachers "face with the daily task of helping students to learn a new language cannot afford the luxury of complete dedication to each new method or approach that comes into vogue" (1981.54).
At present, teachers of English around the world prefer some form of communicative teaching and learning. It is important that the students are given ample opportunities to practice English in the class as well as outside the classroom, even as it is important for them to have time and freedom to digest, reflect and analyze what has been exposed to the internalization of the linguistic structure and their ready and easy retrieval for communication are achieved in many ways.
The main criticism of eclecticism is that "it does not offer any guidance on what basis and by what principle aspects of different methods can be selected and combined." (Stern, 1983.512)
2.3.9 Content-Based Instruction (CBI)
Content- based instruction (CBI) refers to an approach to second language teaching in which teaching is organized around the context or information that students acquire, rather than around a linguistic or other type of syllabus.
Content based instruction is grounded on the following two central principles:
People learn a second language more successfully when they use the language as a means of acquiring information, rather than as an end in itself.
Context based instruction better reflects learners' needs for learning a second language.
Language is used for specific purposes. The purpose may be academic, vocational, social or recreational but it gives direction, shape and ultimately meaning to discourse and text. When learners focus on the language samples, they are exposed to, they become engaged in following through and seeing if the purpose is attained and how their own interests relate to this purpose.
Many CBI practitioners recommend the use of realia such as tourist guide books, technical journals, railway timetables, news paper ads, radio and TV broadcasts and so on.
Critics have noted that most language teachers have been trained to teach language as a skill rather than as a content subject. Thus, language teachers may be insufficiently grounded to teach subject matter in which they have not been trained. As CBI is based on a set of broad principles that can be applied in many different ways and is widely used as the basis for many different kinds of successful language programmers, one can expect to see CBI continues as one of the leading curricular approaches in language teaching.
2.3.10 Activity Based Learning (ABL Method)
Learning through activity is a new approach in the teaching of English language. This system of learning not only simplifies the process of teaching and learning but also makes it more logical and natural.
Learning involves listening, speaking, reading and writing. This is something like supporting a huge structure on four pillars. Absence of a single pillar will cause much damage to the structure itself. Likewise negligence of any one of the four processes of learning will result in irreparable damage to the learning process. So, utmost care is taken to strengthen the process of learning.
In this method, evaluation is a continuous process. To test the level of achievement of the children test cards are provided. Pictures are drawn in the test cards to invigorate the children and to make them feel and believe that evaluation is not a burden but a lively and interesting activity. Further it is done then and there.
Active learning shifts the focus from the teacher to the student and from delivery of subject content by teacher to active engagement with the material by the student. Through appropriate inputs from the teacher, students learn and practice how to apprehend knowledge and use it meaningfully.
2.3.11 Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT)
Task-Based language teaching (TBLT) refers to an approach based on the use of tasks as the core unit of planning and instruction in language teaching. Tasks are proposed as useful vehicles for applying these principles.
The role of tasks has received further support from some researchers in second language acquisition, who are interested in developing pedagogical applications of second language acquisition theory (e.g. Ling and Crookes, 1993).
Task-based language teaching proposes the notions of 'task' as a central unit of planning and teaching.
In recent years, vocabulary has been considered to play a more central role in second language learning than was traditionally assumed. Vocabulary is here used to include the consideration of lexical phrases, sentence stems, prefabricated routines and collocations and not only words as significant units of linguistic lexical analysis and language pedagogy.
Later, a set of role-play activities was then developed focusing on situations students would encounter in the community and transactions they would have to carry out in English.
Task-based language teaching provides more effective basis for teaching than other language teaching approaches.
2.3.12 Cooperative Language Learning (CLL)
Cooperative language learning is part of a more general instructional approach also known as collaborative learning (CL). It is an approach to teaching that makes maximum use of cooperative activities involving pairs and small groups of learners in the classroom.
Cooperative learning has been defined as:
"Group learning activity organized so that learning is dependent on the socially structured exchange of information between learners in groups and in which each learner is held accountable for his or her own learning and is motivated to increase the learning of others"(Olsur and Kagan, 1992.8).
In second language teaching, CLL has been embraced as a way of promoting communicative interaction in the classroom and is seen as an extension of the principles of cooperative language teaching.
CLL is designed to develop critical thinking skills and also to develop communication competence through socially structural interaction activities. During this process, the teacher monitors the pairs, intervening when appropriate to help the students master the needed writing and cooperative skills.
2.3.13 Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)
In this age of information technology, there is hardly any sphere of human activity that has been left untouched by computers. Computers have revolutionized data storage and retrieval and have added a new dimension to educational technology.
Technology cannot replace the teacher in the classroom, but can lend assistance to facilitate learning.
Computer lessons address all the skill areas-listening, speaking, reading and writing. It also makes distance learning possible as well as convenient.
The language laboratories can set up with equipment that provides individual learners with a headset.
The advantages of computers in language teaching are:
It can control presentation. It can combine visual and graphic information with text it can highlight features using colour and movement.
It can provide novel and creative stimuli for learning. New language can be created in an interactive mode.
It provides immediate feedback. And this can be used for error correction. It can also help in error-analysis.
Its adaptability helps teachers to adopt instructional materials to suit the needs of the students.
The description of the basic principles and procedures of the most recognized methods for teaching a second or foreign language is given. The Grammar-translation method gave way to direct and oral methods. Both poles have proposed an eclectic solution based on the learners' needs, as the Reading method claimed. Technological and scientific advances in linguistic and psychological studies provided new tools with which the Audio-lingual and Audiovisual methods have contributed. Cognitive code learning, as a reaction to Audiolingualism, started to recognize learning as a creative process, and looked for the universal features underlying all languages. The view of the language as a social process, led to Communicative Language Teaching with its emphasis on meaning, fluency, and real life communication, which then became the recognized approach to language teaching.
The researcher agrees with Mitchell and Myles (2004.261), "there can be no one best methodâ€¦..which applies at all times and in all situations, with every type of learner", recognizes that the diversity of contexts requires an informed, eclectic approach. To quote Nunan: It has been realized that there never was and probably never will be a method for all, and the focus in recent years has been on the development of classroom tasks and activities which are consonant with what one knows about second language acquisition, and which are also in keeping with the dynamics of the classroom itself (Nunan 1991.228).