LANGUAGE TEACHING METHODOLOGY: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE MARIANNE CELCE-MURCIA Intermountain TESOL Conference October 12-13, 2012 Presentation Outline Pre-Twentieth Century Trends Early & Mid Twentieth Century Approaches More Recent Approaches Current ‘Post Methods’ Era Future Challenges PRE-TWENTIETH CENTURY TRENDS Classical Era (Greek and Latin)— pre printing press focus on listening and speaking no textbooks-some handwritten texts and dictionaries Rise of European Vernaculars Gutenberg- invented printing press-1440 J. Belot (l580) Earliest known ESL textbook; published in England for Protestant refugees. Comenius- one of the first widely acknowledged teacher-practitioners. (published 1631-1658) GRAMMAR TRANSLATION (Karl Ploetz, 1819-1881) Instruction and explanation in L1 Little use of target language Focus on parsing parts of speech, inflections Translate from L1 to L2 (and vice versa) Result: inability to use the L2 (Beginning of pedagogical tension: analysis vs. use) THE DIRECT METHOD F. Gouin-began to publish in l880 No use of L1 allowed (teacher must be proficient) Use of actions, pictures to give meaning to dialogues and anecdotes Grammar is learned via exposure Literature read for pleasure, not parsing Result: ability to use L2 THE REFORM MOVEMENT (IPA founded 1886): Sweet,Vietor, Passy, etc. Spoken language is primary- teach first Apply phonetics to language teaching Train language teachers in phonetics Give learners basic phonetic training in L2 EARLY & MID TWENTIETH CENTURY APPROACHES THE READING APPROACH Teach only the grammar needed for reading Control vocabulary initially then expand Translation is once more respectable Only reading comprehension is emphasized Result: Learners can read but not speak/understand L2. AUDIOLINGUALISM (U.S.) Begin lessons with dialogues (constructed) Mimicry and memorization are used to reflect that lg. learning is habit formation Grammar is sequenced; rules taught indirectly Skills are sequenced (L, Sp, R, Wr) Accurate pronunciation is emphasized early Vocabulary is very limited initially Effort is made to prevent errors Lg. is often manipulated with minimal attention to meaning or context. ORAL-SITUATIONAL APPROACH (U.K.) Spoken language is primary Lg. is practiced orally before any reading or writing occurs Only the target language should be used The most useful and general vocabulary is taught Grammar is sequenced: simple to complex New vocabulary and grammar are introduced and practiced in situations (post office, bank, dinner table, etc.) MORE RECENT APPROACHES THE COGNITIVE APPROACH Lg. learning is rule acquisition, not habit formation Instruction is individualized and learners are responsible for their learning Grammar can be taught either deductively or Inductively Pronunciation is de-emphasized Reading and writing are as important as speaking and listening Vocabulary is important again, especially for intermediate and advanced learners Errors are inevitable and useful for feedback and correction AFFECTIVE-HUMANISTIC APPROACH Lg. learning is a process of self-realization Respect for each individual’s feelings emphasized (teacher and students) Class atmosphere is more important than methods or materials Priority given to personally meaningful communication Instruction often involves pair- or group-work Peer support and cooperation help learning Teacher is a counselor or facilitator (instead of the ultimate source of knowledge) Translation can be used, especially in the early stages THE COMPREHENSION-BASED APPROACH Listening comprehension is the basic skill that allows other skills and lg acquisition to develop Learners begin with an initial silent period so they can just listen and understand Learners do not speak until they feel ready to Exposure to meaningful input that expands their experience in the L2 leads to acquisition Explicit rule learning is helpful in monitoring and editing one’s L2 production but not for acquisition or spontaneous production Error correction is unnecessary if the learner’s message is understandable THE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH Communication is the goal of L2 learning Semantic notions and social functions are as important as linguistic structure Content (academic or job-related) is often taught along with lg. Students work in pairs or groups to transfer information and negotiate meaning Role play and dramatization help achieve register flexibility and social sensitivity in L2 Tasks often make use of authentic texts and tasks or involve the completion of projects The 4 skills (L, Sp, R, Wr) are integrated Teacher (1) facilitates communication and (2) offers feedback and correction THE 1970’S “DESIGNER METHODS” Silent Way (Gattegno) Community Language Learning (Curran) Total Physical Response (Asher) Suggestology/Suggestopedia (Lozanov) RESEARCH-BASED CONCLUSION (Strevens, Richards, Prabhu) ◦ No single method or approach is optimal for all learners under all circumstances CURRENT ‘POSTMETHODS’ ERA (A TRANSITION) Kumaravadivelu Base pedagogy on principles established by research. He offers 10 ‘macrostrategies’ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Maximize learning opportunities Facilitate negotiated interaction Minimize perceptual mismatches Activate intuitive heuristics Foster language awareness Contextualize linguistic input Integrate language skills Promote learner autonomy Raise cultural consciousness Ensure social relevance Teachers should design situation-specific materials and procedures to achieve the above objectives TEACHER PREPARATION SKILLS (needed for post-methods language teaching) Assess learners’ needs Examine instructional constraints Determine attitudes, learning styles, and cultural backgrounds of students to tailor materials/activities Identify the discourse genres, speech activities, and text types students need to learn L2 when designing materials Identify assessment instruments and requirements and prepare learners to deal with such tasks as part of classroom instruction (Note: This is in addition to the traditional teacher preparation core subjects such as methodology, pedagogical grammar, syllabus/curriculum design, practical phonetics, teaching listening & speaking, teaching reading & writing, etc.) FUTURE CHALLENGES How to integrate everything we now know into better, more encompassing practices? Research into the following six areas could yield new methodological paradigms (Canagarajah): ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Motivation Learner Variability Discourse Analysis Corpus-based Research Cognitive Processing Social Participation To this list we can add: ◦ New Technologies ◦ Second Language Acquisition (new ways to study it) ◦ Others?