General problems of foreign language teaching


1. According to an American Applied linguist Anthony

Approach- is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning .An approach is axiomatic. It describes the nature of the subject matter to be taught.

Method – is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no parts of which contradict and all of which is based upon the selected approach. A method is procedural. Within the approach there can be many methods.

Technique - isthat which actually takes place in a classroom, it is implementation It is a particular trick used to accomplish an immediate objective Technique must be consistent with the method and therefore in harmony with the approach as well.

Syllabus- is a state document, uniform for all the teachers, working in schools of the given type. It includes the explanatory note where the teacher will find the aims of teaching, some suggestions, concerning the approach to teaching oral language, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar. He will find some indications about extra –curricular work in the foreign language and the syllabus itself. The teacher will find topics for oral speech and reading, requirements for pupil’s habits and skills, the amount of class-periods for every form. The teacher cant make alterations in the syllabus.

Curriculum- is a document, each school has it, which states the subjects to be studied, the number of periods, the sequence in which the subjects are to be studied the number of periods, the sequence in which the subjects are introduced.

2. Methods are closely connected with Psychology, Linguistics, Physiology, Pedagogics.

One of the branches of pedagogics is called didactics, which studies general ways of teaching in schools. In methods general principles of didactics are applied and in their turn influence and enrich didactics. Example:principle of visual perception.

Psychology-in foreign language teaching the teacher develops in his pupils definite habits and skills. Habit is a result of often repeated actions; the pupils can acquire habit by constant steady drill. Skill is ability to do something well. In language learning the teacher develops four skills-listening, speaking reading writing. To do this effectively the teacher should take into account the psychology of habits and skills, the ways of forming them, the influence of formally acquired habits on the formation of new ones. The teacher should know how the mechanism of speech is formed, what roles voluntary and involuntary memorizing plays in the retention of the language material, what role the mother- tongue plays in different stages of teaching, the amount of material for pupils to assimilate at every stage of instruction, the methods and techniques which are more suitable for presenting the material and its retention.

Physiology. The teacher should know the physiology of the higher nervous system.Pavlov’s theory of conditioned reflexes explains and confirms the necessity for frequent repetition and revision of material as one of the means of fixing habits. Pavlov showed that man’s higher nervous activities, speaking and thinking are the functions of a special system of organic structures within the nervous system. It enables the brain to respond to inner stimulus as it responds to outer stimulus or signals perceived through the sense organs consequently. One of the forms of human behavior is language behavior or in other words,by speech a human responds to different communication situation. Therefore, in teaching a foreign language we must remember that pupils should acquire the language as a behavior,as something that helps people to communicate with each other in various situations.

Linguistics- Methods uses the results of linguistic investigation in the selection and arrangement of language material for teaching.

3. Methods as a science has definite ways of investigating the problems.

They are: 1) critical study and analysis (comparative, contrastive) of the ways languages are taught in our country and abroad 2) a study and generalization of the best teaching experience in different types of schools. 3) experimenting.

4. There are three aims of foreign language teaching.

1) Practical aim: the pupils should acquire a language as the means of communication; they should be able to hear, speak, read, write in a foreign language. The school syllabus emphasizes reading and speaking as the chief practical aims of language teaching. Pupils should be able to carry on a conversation in a target language, to read the text with complete comprehension.

2) Educational aim: by learning a language pupils extend their knowledge of phonic, graphic, structural and semantic aspects of the language through contrastive analysis of language phenomena. They understand how the language functions. Pupils develop their memory, imagination, will power.

3) Cultural aim: pupils get acquainted with the life, customs, and traditions of the people through reading different texts, books, listening to audio cassettes, viewing tapes, and other visual materials.

5. The content of FLT involves 3 main components.

1) Psychological component or habits and skills which ensure the use of the target language as a means of communication. They are listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

2) Linguistic component. It includes language material (sentence patterns, utterance- patterns, pattern- dialogues, texts) and linguistic material (phonology, grammar, vocabulary) which should be assimilated to be used in language skills.

3) Methodological component. Pupils should be taught strategies, how to learn a foreign language. Ex. how to memorize words and keep them in memory, how to perform drill, creative exercises.

The content of teaching in our schools is laid down in the syllabus and realized in teaching materials and in teacher’s speech.



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