Israt Jahan Promi
May 28, 2018
Response paper on “A Methodical History of Language Teaching”
In the chapter “A Methodical History of Language Teaching” Douglas Brown talks about methods for learning a new language and some key concept of second language learning. Firstly, Anthony defines approach, methods, and techniques which are the basic concept of second language learning. After that, there are few methods which are used for learning a new language. In this paper, I will discuss some the methods mentioned in this chapter by Brown for learning a second language and how these methods help learners to learn another language.
At first, the first method is the Grammar Translation Method. While using the method, classes are conducted in the student’s native language. This method focuses on the reading and writing skills of the target language. Grammar is taught deductively. Moreover, in this method vocabulary and translation get more emphasize. However, in my opinion, this method could be more helpful to learners if it also focuses on listening and speaking skills.
Furthermore, the next method is The Direct Method. This method follows the way in which a child learns the first language. In this method, there will be no use of native language, not even any translations. Speaking and listening skills get more importance in this method. Grammar is taught inductively. This method enables students to communicate in the second language effectively.
Next, the audio-lingual method was mainly for US military to learn the language of their enemies. It is also known as Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) or Army Method. Main characteristics of this method are learning through drilling, memorization. It also focuses on over learning so that students can communicate in their second language without thinking. Very less usage of mother tongue is permitted by the teachers. In this method, grammar is taught inductively. Due to dependence on memorization and drilling, usage of this method become monotonous and time-consuming as well.
Thereafter, Suggestopedia suggests learning should be relaxing. There should be no pressure for learners. Teachers should play Baroque music to create a peaceful environment. There should be a minute of silence and the teacher will listen to the music. Then he will recite or read the text and students will follow the teacher. By this the whole process will be done peaceful. Also, there is the Silent Way. This method follows humanistic approach. Learners are allowed to discover things rather than memorizing. Learning should be with real objects. This method promotes discovery learning not memorizing. Next, there is Total Physical Response. In this method, teachers use body language to make students understand what they want to say. This process focuses on child learning. The way how children learn their first language this method should also follow that. However, it has some limitations as well. It is suitable for children’s classes. Moreover, The Natural Approach focuses on basic everyday communication. In this process, learners do not need to response until they are ready. There are three stages in this process. Those are the preproduction stage, the early production and the last stage. Through this method, learners can learn the second language naturally like they learnt their native one.
In the end, teachers should apply methods by understanding the conditions of learners. Any method can help them with proper practicing and guideline.
Israt Jahan Promi