Is teaching an art or is it a science?
Aims, methods and techniques of teaching the foreign languages. Methods of foreign language teaching and its relation to other sciences. Pronunciation as for a perfect imitation of a native speaker. The ways of explaining the meaning of the words.
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Is teaching an art or is it a science?
There are two points of view about teaching language. One that teaching language is an art, second - a science. On my opinion, that art always relates to something to be done, science to something to be known. We can say that art conceives the end to be realized and then turns to science for advice and help. It is from science that art learners the laws and rules which must be observed in the activities by which the predetermined end is to be attained. Many people think that TL is a science, because in practice we use some words as: Syllabus - A list of course contents that Ss should study in a particular subject at school, college or university over a period of time. Curriculum - the subjects that are included in a course of study or taught in a school, college or university; Principle - a scientific law or theory that smth is based on; Approach - theoretical positions and beliefs about the nature of language, the nature of language learning. Methods - 1st it is a science which we are going to study or in what way to teach reading or writing skills. Acquisition - learning a foreign or second language, etc. And all these words we use in our practice. But we also can compare TL as an art, because a teacher and a painter creates something new, smth never been before and smth tat only they have. But we also can say that art and science can complement and assist each other. When a concept is not clear in its written form, the visual form can assist the learner to comprehend, and likewise, when the visual form is confusing and unclear, the written form can facilitate understanding. So my opinion that TL is an art and a science, we can observe different cases in our life.
Problems in methods of flt
There are three main problems in Methods of FLT: 1) Why to teach i.e. aims of teaching a foreign language; 2) What to teach i.e. content of teaching; 3) How to teach a foreign language to attain the aims in the most effective way i.e. principles of teaching
1) Aims of teaching a foreign language №The term «aims» means long-term goals. They are the final results aimed at in an educational process. A teacher should know exactly what his students are expected to achieve in learning his subject at the end of the course, at the end of the year, term, month, week, and at each lesson, i.e. he should know the aims and objectives of foreign language teaching in schools or any other educational institutions. There are three aims which should be achieved in foreign language teaching: Educational, Cultural, Practical or Communicative.
While learning a foreign language students understand better how language functions and this makes them understand better the functioning of their own language. The educational aims may be classified under two main headings:
1. Teaching Language systems
2. Teaching Language skills
Teaching Language systems - what we know, i.e. `up-in-the-head' knowledge.
Language systems - Phonology, Lexis or vocabulary, Grammar, Function, Discourse
Language skills - what we do with language. There are four important language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing.
Reading, listening are receptive skills (we receive information but do not produce).
Speaking, writing are productive skills (we produce received information).
Thus, educational aim is to present the students the system of the foreign language they study and make them use their knowledge in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Cultural aim - to get acquainted with the life, culture and tradition of countries which language you study.
Practical aim - to learn a language for communication. To develop communicative competence of students is the main aim of teaching and learning. Thus the leading role belongs to what aims? - to practical aims, because the others can only be achieved through the practical command of the foreign language. The purpose of learning a language is usually to enable you to take part in exchanges of information: talking with friends, reading instructions on a package of food, understanding directions, writing a note to a colleague. So to achieve all the aims we should teach language systems and language skills together, otherwise your Ss will know grammar perfectly and have a large stock of vocabulary but fail to communicate and express their thoughts in a foreign language.
2) Content of teaching
There are three main components of what to teach to make students speak in a foreign language:
> psychological component: habits and skills which Ss should acquire while learning a FL. They are listening, speaking, reading, writing; the level of habits and skills is determined by the syllabus for each form.
> linguistic component:
1. language material (sentence-patterns, pattern - dialogues, texts, topics); For example, at the elementary level Ss should speak and read about school, home, town, sports. In the senior stage they discuss history and geography, traditions and customs of the country whose language they study.
2. linguistic material (phonology, grammar, vocabulary);
> methodological component: the techniques which students should acquire to learn the foreign language in the most effective way i.e. Ss should be taught how to learn and memorize words, how to use this or that grammar item in reading, writing and speaking.
The content of teaching is given in the syllabus and realized in teaching materials i.e. teacher's books, Ss books, various audio-visual materials (pictures, objects, films, CDs).
3) Methods and techniques of teaching
One more question to solve is how to teach a foreign language to attain the aims in the most effective way i.e. what methods and techniques of teaching to use.
Methods - things that are done to stimulate learning.
Teacher and learner are interrelated. This interrelation is carried out through methods.
Technique - exercises, activities, or devices used in the language classroom for realizing lesson objectives. For example, while organizing students' acquisition of a new sound the teacher can use method of demonstration of the pronunciation of the sound, or method of explanation of how the sound should be pronounced or he uses both demonstration and explanation.
The choice of techniques is of great importance for effective teaching as the techniques the teacher uses may produce poor or good effect on learning process.
The choice of techniques for each method depends on the students' age, stage of learning, their intellectual development, and the conditions under which the students learn
Methods and techniques of teaching a foreign language
The field of linguistics and teaching in the 20th century is marked by the development of different foreign language teaching methods and approaches. Some have no or small following and others are widely used.
Although modern foreign language teaching has adopted completely new methods, the work of language professionals in the period between 1950 and 1980 contributed significantly to scientific views in the field of second language teaching and learning. Even when methods are not frequently used or have fallen into obscurity, they may offer useful insights into the general teaching methodology. Surely, modern teaching is also based on the elements derived from these methods. The subject «Methods of FLT» deals with Language education that is the teaching and learning of a language. It can include improving a learner's mastery of her or his native language, but the term is more commonly used with regard to second language acquisition, which means learning a foreign or second language. We distinguish General Methods and Special Methods №General Methods - Methods of FLT irrespective of the language taught (whether it is English, German or French). Special Methods - Methods of teaching a particular foreign language, in our case Methods of teaching English.
Methods of foreign language teaching and its relation to other sciences
«Methods of foreign language teaching» is closely related to other sciences such as pedagogics, psychology, physiology, linguistics, and some others. Pedagogics is the science concerned with the teaching and education of the younger generation. Since Methods also deals with the problems of teaching and education, it is most closely related to pedagogics. To study foreign language teaching one must know pedagogics. One branch of pedagogics is called didactics. Didactics studies general ways of teaching in schools. Methods, as compared to didactics, studies the specific ways of teaching a definite subject. Psychology - the scientific study of the mind and how it influences behavior. If a teacher wants his/her students to speak English, he/she should know the psychology of habits and skills, the ways of forming them. Effective learning of a foreign language depends on the students' memory. Psychology helps Methods in selecting techniques for teaching and learning, i.e. in how to teach in a most effective way, for example, under what conditions students can learn words, phrases, sentences more effectively, or how to ensure students memorizing new themes in an easier way. Physiology is the study of life. Physiology helps us understand how the body works, from the smallest part (cells) all the way to the whole body. It helps us understand how different parts of the body work together. One of the forms of human behaviour is language behavior, i.e. speech response to different communication situations. Therefore in teaching a foreign language we must bear in mind that students should acquire the language they study as a behaviour, as something that helps people to communicate with each other in various real situations of intercourse. Linguistics - the scientific study of languages. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields: the study of language form, of language meaning, and of language in context. The first is the study of language structure, or grammar. The study of language meaning is concerned with how languages employ logical structures and real-world references to convey process and assign meaning. Language in its broader context considers the origins of language; how children or adults acquire language and so on. Methods successfully uses the results of linguistic investigations in the selection and arrangement of language material for teaching.
It is a common knowledge that there are lots of languages in the world, and some of them fall into the category of international languages or languages of wider communication groups, such as English; French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian and Arabic. All these languages are the official languages of the UN.
English language is very important nowadays. More and more people need English to attend universities and colleges, because now we have an opportunity to get higher education abroad. New ideas in science and medicine happen so quickly that it is impossible to translate everything into different languages. Most articles are published in English. English is the language of international communication in many areas of life: trade, air and sea transport, tourism and sport. Kazakhstan is establishing closer economic, political, scientific, and cultural relations with various peoples of the world. International relations are extended and strengthened through the exchange of scientific, technical, and cultural information. In this situation foreign language teaching is a matter of state significance. In modern society language is used in two ways: directly or orally, and indirectly or in written form. Thus we distinguish oral language and written language. Direct communication implies a speaker and a hearer, indirect communication implies a writer and a reader. Hence the practical aims in teaching a foreign language are four in number: hearing, speaking, reading, and writing.
Aims are the first and most important consideration in any teaching. Hence the teacher should know exactly what his pupils are expected to achieve in learning his subject, what changes he can bring about in his pupils at the end of the course, at the end of the year, term, month, week, and each particular lesson, he should know the aims and objectives of foreign language teaching. The changes the teacher must bring about in his pupils may be threefold: practical - pupils acquire habits and skills in using a foreign language; educational - they develop their mental abilities and intelligence in the process of learning the foreign language; сultural - pupils extend their knowledge of the world in which they live. Therefore there are three aims, at least, which should be achieved in foreign language teaching: practical, educational, and cultural.
The aim of teaching Pronunciation is not to achieve a perfect imitation of a native speaker, but simply to teach students to pronounce accurately to be easily understood by other speakers. In order to communicate you should understand a person you are talking with and he or she should understand you. Wrong pronunciation often leads to misunderstanding. Improving pronunciation will develop your self esteem, facilitate communication, and possibly lead to a better job or at least more respect in the workplace. Effective communication is of greatest importance, so choose first to work on problems that significantly hinder communication and let the rest go. Remember that your students also need to learn strategies for dealing with misunderstandings, since native pronunciation is for most an unrealistic goal.
When we teach sounds, we want our students not only to speak correctly, but also to recognise sound and spelling correspondence. We also want them to be able to discriminate between similar-sounding phonemes.
Stress and its opposite - unstress - are very important aspects of English pronunciation. Getting the stress wrong can seriously damage your chances of being understood. Words have their own stress pattern; e.g. water, cricket, awful are stressed on the first syllable. A stressed syllable is usually noticeable by being slightly louder, longer and higher than the syllables next to it. Sometimes wrong stress changes one word into another: desert - dessert (пустыня - десерт).
We should distinguish productive and receptive lexis.
We understand many more ww than we use in our everyday life. E.g. in this lecture you have heard such ww as: a sentence pattern, to establish, bury. I am sure that you didn't use them during the past two weeks. So they are receptive lexis i.e. set of ww we recognise and understand but don't use in everyday speech. And the ww that are used actively for communication, which are part of your everyday English are productive lexis. We shall discuss how to present productive lexis. Remember: When teaching vocabulary it is important to teach meaning, use, form and pronunciation.
There are two ways of explaining the meaning of the word: translation and direct way. The first way of presenting the word: a direct translation of the word. Translating a new word can be useful. It is often the simplest and clearest way of showing what a word means. When the teacher presents words denoting abstract. Direct way of presenting the words brings the learner into direct contact with them without using his native language. The direct way is used when concrete words denoting concrete things, actions and qualities are introduced. The teacher uses objects, pictures, movements, gestures and mimes to presenting the words directly without using the students' native language. Another technique of presenting the words is through context, synonyms, antonyms, definitions. But remember: we should not only have the students repeat the word. We should point out difficult sounds and word stress. Establishing Meaning, Use, Form and Pronunciation: 1. Say the word; 2. Give the part of speech; 3. Give a definition (Meaning); (make sure that the language used to describe the word is less complex than the word itself.) 4. Give an example sentence using the word or an example situation to provide the context (Use); 5. Check understanding by asking several questions based upon the above context; 6. Broaden understanding by seeing how the word can and can't be used; 7. Relate the word to the Ss' experience; 8. Have Ss repeat the word and point out word stress. (Pronunciation); 9. Point out any irregular rules in the formation of past tense, plurals, etc. (Form). Rules for the teacher: 1. Introduce words in sentence patterns in different situations of intercourse. 2. While introducing a word, pronounce it yourself in a context, ask students to pronounce it both individually and in unison in a context too. 3. In teaching words it is necessary to help the learners to practise, learn, remember, recall and use the ww. To remember better the students should do various exercises. Constant use of a new word is the best way of learning it.
teaching language pronunciation science
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