The theory of language underlying audioligualism was based on the structural linguistics. This theory is based on the belief that learning a language entails mastering the elements or building blocks of the language and learning the rules, by which these elements are combined, from phoneme to morpheme, from morpheme to word, from word to phrase and from phrase to sentence.
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An important belief of structural linguistics is that a language is primarily what it is spoken and only secondarily what is written. Speech is language. We learn to speak before we learn to read and write. So the structural linguistics pays emphasis on the spoken skills of a language (Brooks, 1964).
Theory of language learning
The theory of language learning underlying audioligualism is based on behaviorism. This theory has given by B.F Skinner. It assumes that a human being can be trained using a system of reinforcement. The human beings are capable of showing behaviors. These behaviors are based on the stimulus that is given to them. Correct behavior receives positive feedback while errors receive negative feedback. So the audiolingual method is like direct method in which the lesson takes place entirely in the target language. In audiolingual method, learners are given stimulus in the target language; the learners show behavior in response of this stimulus in target language.
Objectives of Audiolingual method
The teaching of the oral skills with accurate pronunciation, grammar and the ability to respond quickly and accurately is the main objective of audiolingual method. Reading and writing skills may be taught but they are dependent on the oral skills (Richard and Rodgers, 1986).
Techniques of Audiolingual method
The Audiolingual method uses the following techniques for teaching a foreign language:
Repetition. The student repeats an utterance aloud as soon as he has heard it. He does this without looking at the printed text. The utterance must be brief and small so that the ears of the student must retain them and may repeat it because sound is more important than form and order. For example:
This is the seventh month.
This is the seventh month.
After the student repeats an utterance, the teacher may add two words and after repeating it teacher can add more two words and so on.
Inflection. One word in an utterance appears in another form when repeated. For example:
I bought the ticket. I bought the tickets.
I called the young man. I called the young men.
Replacement. One word in an utterance is replaced by another. For example
He bought this house cheap.
He bought it cheap.
Restatement. The student rephrases an utterance and addresses it to someone else, according to the instructions. For example:
Tell him to wait for you.
Wait for me.
Completion. The student shear an utterance that is complete except on word, then he repeats the utterance in complete from. For example:
I will go my way and you goâ€¦..
I will go my way and you yours.
Contraction. A single word stands for a phrase or a clause. For example:
Put your hands on the table.
Put your hands there.
Transformation. A sentence is transformed by being made negative or interrogative or through changes in tense, mood, voice, aspect or modality. For example:
He knows my address.
He does not know my address.
Does he know my address?
He used to know my address.
Integration. Two separate utterances are integrated into one. For example:
They must be honest. This is important.
It is important that they must be honest (Richards and Rodgers, 1986, p.54-55).
Problems with Audiolingual method
The Audiolingual method has the key features of drilling, memorization, repetition and over learning. The problem is with these features of this method because these features can be included in its demerits. It was seen that the expected results of the Audiolingual method were not seen into the learners because they were not able to use the memorized structures out of the classroom and in the natural context. The experience of studying language through Audiolingual procedure was boring and unsatisfying (Tjtaylor, 2012)
Oral Approach/ Situational Language Teaching
The oral approach is a method in which children to use whatever hearing they get from their surroundings. They also take help from the context to understand and use language. The target is to develop the skills in the individual so that he can communicate and function independently. This approach helps in the development of reading and writing skills.
The oral approach was developed from 1930s to the 1960s by British applied linguistics such as Harold Palmer and A.S. Hornsby. The main difference between oral approach and the direct method was that the methods which were developed under this approach had theoretical principles about the selection, grading and presentation of the content and material. This sequencing of the content would lead to better learning with a good knowledge of vocabulary and grammatical patterns. In this approach all the points of language were to be presented in “situations” which led to the second name of the approach i.e. situational language teaching. Although, the teachers are not aware of this approach today but it had long lasting impact on language learning. However, its focus on oral practice, grammar and sentence patterns is still supported by the teachers.
Total Physical Response
In Total Physical Response (TPR), the teacher gives the students instructions and the students follow the instructions by using whole body responses. James J. Asher, a professor, of psychology at San Jose State University developed the method Total Physical Response in late 1960s to help in learning second languages.
According to Asher (1977), “TPR is based on the premise that the human brain has a biological program for acquiring any natural language on earth including the sign language of the deaf”. We can see this process if we observe the language learning process of an infant. The communication between parents and the child consists of both verbal and physical aspects. When the child is not able to speak, at the time he/she is internalizing the language. This is the time when code breaking occurs. After this process the child becomes able to speak and reproduce language. In TPR, the teacher repeats the process in the class. Students respond to the commands of the teacher which require physical movement. TPR is most useful for beginners. TPR is also used for teaching students with dyslexia or related learning disabilities.
Communicative Language Teaching
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is a widely used approach in the field of English language teaching. It emphasizes interaction as both the means and the goal of language learning. CLT is an extension of the national functional syllabus. Since the introduction of communicative language teaching in the late 1970s, there have been different definitions and interpretations of the communicative approach which are as follows:
1. Communicative Language Teaching is a teaching method for teaching a second language emphasizes on the importance of students’ interactive ability to express their own ideas in the target language (Hattum, 2006).
2. Communication ability is the essential goal in language learning. The communicative approach claims that learning a foreign language should not be focused on language structures (grammar and vocabulary), but also on the communicative functions that the language performs. Language learners should also learn the relations between the structures and the communicative functions in real situations and real time (Littlewood, 1981).
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3. Communicative language teaching began in Britain in the 1960s. It was used to replace the earlier structural method, called Situational Language Teaching (Orwig, 1999). The goal of communicative language teaching is to teach real-life communication skills. Students learn with a situation that they may encounter in their real life. CLT is not like the audiolingual method, which is based on repetition and drills. On the contrary, it uses the way to leave students in suspense as to the outcome of a class exercise, which will change according to the students’ reactions and responses. The real-life situation change every day; therefore, the students’ learning motivation comes from their desire to communicate in the ways and topics which they are interested in (Galloway, 2010). Therefore, many researchers have indicated that it is better to use CLT in ESL classrooms, rather than EFL classrooms in Asia (Liao, 2006).
Aims of communicative language teaching
The aim of this approach is to enable the students to communicate in the target language like a native speaker of that language. CLT does not focus on accuracy but stresses on the semantic use of language. A student should know the different forms in meaning that can be used to perform a function and also that a single form can perform many functions. The objective of CLT is to enable the students to use the target language as a mean of expression that can meet their communicative needs. Communicative language teaching includes activities based on social interaction, such as conversation, discussion sessions, dialogues and role plays etc. CLT focuses on the proficiency of the language rather than on the mastery of structures. It can be said that CLT does enables learners to interact but it is very difficult for a teacher to introduce such activities which allows genuine interaction.
Teaching techniques of communicative language teaching
The basic objective of the communicative language teaching is the communication into the target language in authentic situation. To achieve this, the students need to know the linguistic forms, meanings and functions of language. The learning and teaching activities that are used in the communicative language teaching require the use of communication processes like:
â€¢ Asking for information
â€¢ Sharing information
â€¢ Negotiation of meaning
The classroom activities are often designed to focus on the completion of tasks. In the completion of these tasks, the teacher’s role is as a facilitator who motivates and facilitates the students to speak during the completion of these tasks. Teacher is an advisor who answers the questions of the students and monitors their performance. Teachers is the co-communicator who engage in the activities of the students but the learners are responsible and manager of their own learning (Richards and Rodgers, 2001).
The following techniques can be used in language teaching through communicative language teaching method:
Authentic material. Authentic material like a recent newspaper article can be given to the learners. The learners can be assigned to listen to a live or television broadcast.
Scrambled sentences. Students are asked to unscramble the sentences so that the sentences are restored to their original order which is a good activity for learning to join the ideas. The learners can also be asked to unscramble the line of a mixed dialogue.
Completion of a picture story. The learners can be asked to put the pictures of a picture strip story in order with the help of their co-learners and write lines about the story of pictures.
Language games. Language games are frequently used in teaching language through communicative language teaching in which the learners can learn language through:
â€¢ Following directions
â€¢ Comparing and contrasting
â€¢ Fact and opinions
Role play. Role play gives the students an opportunity to practice communication in different social context and in different social roles (lubna85, 2010).
Communicative language teaching in Pakistan
Azim (2007) has described that we have to face a lot of problems in the application of communicative language teaching in Pakistan. Some of these problems are as follow:
Grammar. Grammar is one of the most important factors of language learning and teaching which is totally banished in the practice of communicative language teaching. It is one of the major drawback or hurdle in the way of application of communicative language teaching by Pakistani teachers. Most of the Pakistani teachers believe that fluency of the language is important but accuracy is more important. They believe that fluency can be developed in language after getting accuracy so accuracy must be developed in the early stages of life which can be difficult to attain in the later stages of life. So these assumptions about grammar make them motivated to teach grammar to their students.
Spoken language. There is over emphasis on the spoken language in communicative language teaching. It is based on the assumption that the more you speak the language in the real life situation, the more you learn. But in the Pakistani context, a student gets maximum 40 to 45 mints to get exposure of the second language which is in the classrooms and the life of classrooms cannot be said as real life situation. So a Pakistani student feels difficulty to learn language from this method.
Cultural difference. The Pakistani people are living in the country having different languages and different cultures. The Pakistani students are not bilingual but trilingual. They have their mother tongue, first tongue and the second tongue. To understand a language, they have to convert the second language in their mother tongue and then in the first tongue. So the application of communicative language teaching seems difficult here where the students cannot speak in the second language fluently.
Curriculum. There is not any syllabus available for the real application of the communicative language teaching in Pakistan. It is impossible to teach language through this method when they don’t have relevant curriculum and activities. The curriculum that we have to follow is totally based on the grammar translation method and all our exams are based on this method. So the teachers hesitate in applying CLT in their classrooms because they think that they will waste the time and energies of their students and the students will not be able to get good marks in the exams.
Economic problems. Pakistan is a poor country and we cannot afford the luxury of communicative language teaching because it is too expensive. The private sector schools can afford them because they are serving only a small fraction of society. The public sector cannot think this method to be used.
Advantages of communicative language teaching
The goal of Communicative Language Teaching is the development and improvement of knowledge and skills that will help a speaker to make his/her communication successful. The main focus of CLT is effectiveness. When we consider how native speakers of English think about the use of language, then it becomes obvious to us that our main goal is effective communication and the transfer of our ides not just formal grammatical correctness and accuracy.
In CLT, language is the taught in the way as it is used in everyday life. Students are not supposed to memorize language. Grammatical accuracy is important but our main focus should be effective communication. CLT aims at the development of the other three competencies as well: socio-linguistic, discourse and strategic competence (Canale and Swain, 2003). The attitude of students towards learning a second language can be made positive by using CLT. If we focus so much on accuracy, the students would not dare to use the language in the class because they fee hesitant and afraid that they might make grammatical errors. In this way CLT encourages the students to use the both of their linguistic and communicative competences. The idea of appropriateness means that the student will not only learn the language, but they also learn about the culture and its use in social context.
CLT is considered to be an effective way of teaching a second language because it reduces fear of making grammatical errors. It also provides students with a picture of the culture associated with that English language. In this way the students learn the language and the culture as well as they come to know of what is considered to be in a given culture.
According to Melrose (1995) the legacy of CLT is the realization that teaching a language involves far more than simply dealing with its syntactic, lexical and phonological components because language in use results from the ways people choose to manipulate these components in discourse. CLT adds the dimensions of different language functions such as requesting, apologizing, persuading, thanking and conveying information that are vital for communication with others. CLT makes students aware of the appropriate use of language according to the levels of formality, tone, context, topic and non verbal behavior.
Limitations of communicative language teaching
Despite all the benefits of this approach that it can enable a learner to communicate in the target language in everyday life, its implementation in certain conditions has not been without problems. Apart from other factors, such as political reasons, language policy, administrative, economic considerations, probably a fundamental problem in the implementation of CLT is its conflict with local culture of learning (Tudor 1996). Culture of learning can be defined as a “framework of expectations, attitudes, values, and beliefs about what constitute good learning, about how to teach or learn, whether and how to ask questions, what textbooks are for, and how language teaching relates to broader issues of the nature and purpose of education” (Cortazzi and Jin, 1996).
It may be very difficult to use CLT in large classes where it may be easier to guide the students through the grammar translation method. CLT cannot be used in EFL classrooms because the target language i.e. English is rarely used outside the classroom. Some people believe that CLT focuses too much on oral skills and ignores the skills of reading and writing. It may also be possible that many students would not feel comfortable to participate in communicative activities.
This study will provide comprehensive information about the more effective method of English language teaching in the view of prospective teachers. This study will make clear the prospective of prospective teachers of English language about the teaching of language. This study will make clear the constraints and hurdles that lie on the way of learning and teaching language efficiently in the context of Pakistan. The study will tell us the present condition of English language teaching in Pakistan in the perspective of teachers, students as well as curriculum designers. It will tell the causes of present condition of language teaching in Pakistan and the possible solutions that can be done in this field.
It can be seen that as time passed different methods of teaching English were developed. Every method has its own advantages and disadvantages. It cannot be said that there is any method which is flawless. GTM focuses on accuracy and grammatical structures whereas CLT focuses on fluency and communication skills. Generally, in Pakistan GTM is used in public sector schools. GTM was criticized but it is still popular in our country because it can be used effectively in large classes. CLT is also used but in few of our famous private schools.
One of the reasons of using GTM is that it does require much effort on the part of the teacher as there is no focus on creativity. The teacher does not need to bring in different activities and only concentrates on the text book. In this way students’ behavior towards learning English changes as they are not motivated to learn the language. But the focus of this study is now shifting to communication skills as it is the major goal of learning a second language. CLT, as its name states, stresses on communication. But it is also feared that the complete use of target language might also not prove to be very useful because there are different types of learners in a class. It can be said that we should have English mostly classes so that the communication skills are also focused and there should also be a little use of Urdu where necessary. In this way the students will not feel hesitant and will participate actively in the class.
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