Principles of Language Teaching and Learning
1. Consider the whole person: You should take into consideration who the student is. Know different aspects of the individual.(Student’s psychology, social background, etc.) Consult with the guiding and class teachers (Check with the other teachers his progress). Don’t grade only by looking at his learning English.
2. Language learning is both forming habit and also utilizing the the student’s innate capacity for language as a rule governed creative activity.(By Noam Chomsky) Cognitive school of psychology: using the student’s innate capacity for the language. The student uses his creative mental power.
3. Keep the students involved. Try to have a student centered class as far as possible. Keep the appropriate ratio of teacher talk and student talk. The minimal requirement: Teacher talking time 50%, student talking time 50%. (Traditional class is a teacher centered class, modern class is a student centered class.)
4. Language learners learn to do by doing. Items of language should be practiced. Practice is extremely important in foreign language learning. Practice, especially drilling, helps with habit formation.
5. Teach all 4 language skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing. Listening and reading are receptive, speaking and writing are productive skills. All four language skills should go hand-in-hand. They should be integrated. All people understand far more than they can produce. The child has the more following order in acquiring the four skills. Listening-Speaking-Reading-Writing.
6. Grade the learning tasks. Items should be presented according to the order of ease. It shouldn’t be too rigid grading. There should be Structural and Vocabulary grading Functional-Notional Approach. (A matter of presenting syllabus. They introduce all of them at the same time. Language material should be presented in the order of function and notion.
Open the door please. Can/could you open the door?
Will you open the door please? Would you mind opening the door please?
Would you oopen the door please? Would you be so kind enough to open the door?
7. All learning should be functional and have meaning for the students in terms of their needs and life values. Start with their experiences.
8. Go from the known to the unknown. Build on what the students know either in their native language or in English. Compare and Contrast where possible.Similar points in L1 and L2 are easy to learn. As a principle, try to have as meaningul language material as possible. Present Perfect is difficult to teach, because there is no equivalent, no counter part in Turkish.
9. Go from the concrete to the more abstract.
10. Teach only one thing at a time. Don’t teach vocabulary and structure at the same time. Teach a new grammatical pattern with the known vocabulary items. While teaching new vocabulary items, use known grammatical patterns in your illustrated sentences.
11. It is easier to learn a thing correctly the first time than to have to relearn it. Here it is important to emphasize that the teacher should have a good command of the language material which he presents and practices in class. To have to relearn something that is learned incorrectly before is much more difficult than to learn it correctly the first time. Turkish should be used in rule explanation. Do not pour upon your student all your Grammar knowledge. In Grammar teaching both Inductive-Rule Teaching and Deductive-Rule Teaching approaches should be used students can also discover the rules themselves.
12. Rules are essential in language learning. But knowing the rules just as an intellectual activity is not enough. All the native speakers of a language know the language rules subconsciously. What is needed is the use of language by the students for communicative purpose both in spoken and written form of language. The degree of emphasis attached to rules in language learning will be different depending on the age of the students. Adults are more rule-oriented and they need to study them.
13. Teach first those language patterns which will be the most useful in manipulating other language items.
14. Teach beginning (elementary) students only the forms most frequently used in normal speech. Help them realize that there may be more than one way of expressing the same ideas. But in the beginning, teach then only one form. e.g. The most commonly used request pattern is: Please open the door, Open the door please.
15. Errors will naturally occur in language learning. It is not necessary to correct every error. Be selective in error correction. Be gentle in error correction. Errors are a natural, necessary, and inevitable part of learning. Never interrupt your student while he is talking or reading for a correction. Wait until he finishes his part of talking or reading. Gentle correction should be a principle. Correct only common mistakes. Mistake is the wrong use of language, although you know the correct form. Error is a wrong use but the correct form is not known. Be selective in error correction. Common errors ocur because of the difference between L1 and L2. best way to correct the errors is to give a mini-presentation. In communicative situations what they speak is important than how they speak.
16. Provide Review since language learning is spiral. Do not teach ib isolated blocks. But teach in spiral fashion. For example different functions of the present continuous form of the verb should be taught at different levels by reviewing the known functions. Review will make it possible to tight a new item to the thing already learned.
I am leaving İzmir now. (at the moment of speaking)
I am leaving İzmir tomorrow.(It is going to take place tomorrow)
(The same form but different meanings and functions).
17. Recognize individual differences. All students learn at differnt roles. In every class there will naturally be slow, average, and bright students. Give opportunity to all the students to participate in class activities. Do not let the bright students monopolize. You can give bright students difficult tasks to keep their interest alive. To form mixed ability groups we should do anything possible not to foster the feeling of impriority.
18. Items that are similar to language items in the student’s own language will be easy to learn in the case of differences between the native language and the target language learning will be more difficult. Consequently more time and practice will be needed. There is a transfer theory (Audio Lingual Approach). Foreign students transfer. He uses his L1 habits in learning and using L2. ıf two points are similar in L1 and L2 they are easy to learn. If two points are different such things are difficult to learn. They constitute problems. Two kinds of mother tongue interference:
• positive interference
• negative interference.
Before the teacher present the new item he will anticipate the problems by the contrastive analysis. Audio-Linguistics beleive that great majority of problems occur because of the differences between Turkish and English.
19. Keep the pace alive. Provide a variety of activities. Class activities should not go at a monotonous rate. There will be boredom and little or no learning. The activities should go dynamically not monotonously. If the students are not interested with the activity, stop that activity. Any game which fixed into your present project can be used.
20. Teach with examples. Examples speak louder than language explanation. Examples can help the students learn much better than complicated explanations.
21. Make legitimate use of mother tongue. Use it at the right time and in the right dose. You must avoid overuse of mother tongue clarifying abstract vocabulary items. In teaching grammatical items while giving the instructions if they are difficult we can use Turkish.
22. Relate form to meaning and contextualize. All class activities should be meaningful. Meaning should always be in the foreground. Whatever activity the students are involved in, the students should be able to understand the meaning of what they hear, say, read, or write. Teach new vocabulary items or a grammatical pattern or pronunciation in context. In teaching vocabulary give the meaning and pronunciation. Smallest context is a sentence meaning arises out of the situation. We can use dialogues, anectodes in the spoken form as context.
23. Assign tasks in class. Involve the students as much as possible. A variety of tasks can be assigned in class.
24. Give students a feeling of confidence and success and encourage them. Education should be geared on success. When the grading time comes at the first cemester, if there is a student on borderline, pass him.
25. Assign as homework what the students can do by themselves.
26. Use Audio-visual aid as much as possible.
27. Teach well before you test. Students often fail because of poor teaching, poor testing, poor evaluation of the exams.
Principles of Language Teaching Video