14 January 2015

Methods and Approaches


Methods and Approaches 

Education is learning in a desired direction using systematic procedures. The desired direction is stated by philosophers, academicians, statesmen. The systematic procedures are designed by behavioural scientists (psychologists) and educationists (teachers).
In English language teaching pedagogy the three key terms viz- Method, Approach and technique are used frequently and interchangeably. This tripartite arrangement is hierarchical in order.
The term ‘Method’ is very ambiguous, and refers to the overall plan for the orderly presentations of language material, no part of which contradicts and all of which is based on selected approach and procedure.

A method includes three components viz- Approach, Design &  Procedures,  the  subcomponents  of  which  are  shown  in  the following picture:

Methods and Approaches in language teaching, Edward M. Anthony,  ENGLISH PEDAGOGY Notes, CTET 2015 Exam Notes, TEACHING OF ENGLISH Study Material

Above picture Stating summary of elements and sub-elements that constitute a method.

An ‘approach’ is concerned with the theory of the nature of language and language learning.

Design’ concerns itself with:

·        The general and specific objectives of the course.
·        A syllabus model.
·        Types of learning and learning tasks.
·        Roles of learners and teachers, and
·        Role of learning materials. ‘Procedure’ is concerned with:
·        The actual happenings in the classroom.
·        Classroom techniques, practices and behaviours.

The term ‘Method’ is sometimes compared with the term ‘Approach’. According to Yardi “Method is rigid while Approach is flexible”. Pointing out the different views often held in less informed circle of teachers about the importance of method. He further asserts:

“What matters is the man (the teacher) not the method.”   Yardi further explains the connotational difference between the terms ‘method’ ‘methodology’, and ‘methodics’. These are often used in English language teaching pedagogy. Each one of them carries a different shade of meaning. ‘Method’, in his opinion ‘is used in the context of language- teaching methods like ‘Direct Method’, ‘The grammar- translation Method’ or ‘The Bilingual Method’.
Yardi further went on to add that the term ‘method’ is not strictly speaking a ‘technical term’. It is a popular one, and means ‘a way of doing something’. It is often used loosely as a substitute for ‘methodology’.
‘Methodology’, according to Yardi, ‘is a technical term which refers to a body of principles and techniques of teaching’.
The third term ‘methodics’ is being used frequently in recent years by the British linguists. The term ‘Methodics’ means ‘a framework of organization for language teaching which relates linguistic theory to pedagogical principles and techniques’.10

Edward M. Anthony, the American Applied linguists, distinguished between technique, method, and an approach . The three terms can be represented by the following model (called the Edward Antony Model):

Methods and Approaches in language teaching, Edward M. Anthony,  ENGLISH PEDAGOGY Notes, CTET 2015 Exam Notes, TEACHING OF ENGLISH Study Material

K. Bose cautions the teaching community regarding their pedagogical duties in the following words:
“...It is expected of a teacher that he / she should think and reason out some fundamental assumptions  that  lie  underneath  the  syllabus construction,   that   might   bind   together   the syllabus, objectives, and instructional materials (method), and that might justify the use of any/ every classroom techniques that he /she adopts while     teaching.     It     should     under     no circumstances appear like a layman’s trick to teach the second language.”

The  above  statement  makes  it  evident  that  the  teachers  of English   should   be   cautious   about   some   of   the   fundamental assumptions that lie underneath the syllabus construction.

A teacher at times uses a single approach, a single method, or even resorts to multiple approaches and methods in view of several factors including the background, age of learners, and the teaching items. The skill of a teacher lies in shifting to and evolving new approaches and methods of teaching English comfortably in the Indian context. Therefore, an attempt has been made to review some of the methods and approaches which are being used commonly by the teachers of English in India.

In Teaching of English We would discuss following Methods and Approaches :
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