Second Language Learning and Language Teaching Website   
Main contents menu    Vivian Cook    SLA topics index    

Teaching Style Summaries Chapter 11

To print out this webpage click PRINT

 

The academic style of language Teaching

Typical teaching techniques

·    grammatical explanation, translation, etc.

Goals

·    directly, individual learning of the second language as an academic subject

·    indirectly, ability to use language

Type of student

·    academically gifted, not young children

Learning assumptions

·    acquisition of conscious grammatical knowledge and its conversion to use

Classroom assumptions

·    formal, teacher controlled

Weaknesses from a SLA research perspective

·   inadequate use of grammar

·   inefficient as a means of teaching language use

Suggestions for teaching
·    
use it with academic students that have individual goals of self-development rather than international or local goals  
·    
supplement it with other components and processes of language  
·   
remember to develop the powerful individual goals for the students rather than be carried away by the sheer knowledge of grammar

 

 

The audiolingual style of language teaching

Typical teaching techniques  
·       
dialogues, structure drills, exploitation activities  

Goal  

·       
getting students to ‘behave’ in appropriate situations  

Type of student  

·       
non-analytical, non-academic  

Learning assumptions  

·       
 ‘habit-formation’ behaviourist theory  

Classroom assumptions  

·       
teacher-controlled classroom  

Weaknesses from a SLA research perspective  

·       
inadequate form of grammar  
·       
no position on other aspects of language knowledge or use  
·       
inefficiency of habit-formation as a means of teaching use  

Suggestions for teaching  

·       
use for teaching certain aspects of language only  
·       
be aware of the underlying audiolingual basis of many everyday techniques

 

The communicative style of language teaching

Typical teaching techniques

·        information gap, role-plays, tasks  
Goals

·    getting students to interact with other people in the second lang­uage, in the classroom and outside  
Type of student

·    field-independent students rather than field-dependent students, extroverts rather than introverts, and less academic students rather than academic students  
Learning assumptions

·    learning by communicating with other students in the classroom: laissez-faire

·        some use of conscious understanding of grammar  
Classroom assumptions

·        teacher as organizer, not source of language knowledge   
Weaknesses from a SLA research perspective

·        lack of views on discourse processes, communication strategies, etc.

·        black box model of learning

·        lack of role for the first language  
Suggestions for teaching

·        use with appropriate students in appropriate circumstances

·        supplement with other components of language

·        avoid trivialization of content and aims

 

 

the Task-based learning style of Teaching

Typical teaching techniques  
·      
meaning-based tasks with definite outcomes  

Goals  

·    
fluency, accuracy, complexity  

Type of student  

·     possibly less academic  
Learning assumptions
 
·    
language acquisition takes place through meaning-based tasks with a specific short-term goal  

Classroom assumptions  

·    
teaching depends on organising tasks based on meaning with specific outcomes  

Weaknesses from a SLA research perspective  

·    
lack of wider engagement with goals, learner groups etc  
·    
lack of a role for first language  
·    
reliance on a processing model as opposed to a learning model  

Suggestions for teaching  

·  
use in conjunction with other styles not as a style on its own  
·  
useful as a way of planning and preparing lessons

 

 

The mainstream EFL style of language teaching

Typical teaching techniques  
·       
presentation, substitution, role-play  
Goals  

·       
getting students to know and use language  

Type of student  

·       
any  

Learning assumptions  

·       
understanding, practice, and use  

Classroom assumptions  

·       
both teacher-controlled full classes and internal small groups  

Weaknesses from SLA research perspective  

·       
combination of other styles  
·       
lack of role for the L1  
·       
drawbacks of mixture of styles  

Suggestions for teaching  

·       
do not worry about the mixture of different sources  
·       
remember that even this rich mixture still does not cover all aspects relevant to L2 teaching

 

Other styles of language teaching

Typical teaching techniques

·        CLL, Suggestopedia, confluent language teaching, self-directed learning

Goals

·        Individual, development of potential, self-selected

Type of student

·        Those with personal motivations

Learning assumptions

·        Diverse, mostly learning by doing, or a processing model

Classroom assumptions

·        Learner’s freedom of choice

Weaknesses from a SLA research perspective

·        Either no view of learning or idiosyncratic views

·        Little attention to learner variation

Classroom assumptions  
·       
Usually small groups with cofigurative or prefigurative aims  

Suggestions for teachers  

·       
A reminder of the importance of the students' feelings  
·       
Open discussions with students over their needs and preferences