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LIN8002 - Contemporary Approach To Second Language Teaching

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Question

Contemporary Approach To Second Language Teaching (SLT) Then Contrast It To A More Traditional Approach

In an essay of 2000 words, describe and discuss the key features of one named contemporary approach to second language teaching (SLT) then contrast it to a more traditional approach.  (Observe academic conventions in essay writing) 

Part A: Elaborate a relevant principle (or selected principles) of language teaching and learning to each of the four macro skills, listening, speaking, reading, writing. (1000 words) 

Part B: Design one language lesson with stated learner-centred language objectives in which at least one named second language teaching principle is applied through the learning resources to develop the macro skills of listening and speaking OR reading and writing. Indicate the language of instruction and language proficiency of the students, (1500 words) 

Solution

Second Language Teaching is a widely discussed and researched area in the modern times. The ever-growing effects of globalisation have made English as an essential L2 language for every speaker irrespective of the place and country he or she belongs to. There are various theories and approaches that deal with the second language teaching and have tried to show successful teaching through these approaches. But as we see, the traditional approaches are more teacher-centric and doesn’t give much room to a student’s language competence. Recent developments in L2 teaching approaches have come out with some successful and more apt theories where teaching is not just learner-centric but also presents good results in communicative skills.
The modern L2 teaching methods and approaches have very strong and well-defined theoretical orientations. Among the four orientations, the first is structural or linguistic. It is based on the structure of the target language where syntactic and grammatical elements of L2 are taught to the students. The second orientation is cognitive where second language teaching is based on the theories applied specifically to this area. It focuses on the competence on the learner that leads to performance.

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One of the contemporary approaches to second language teaching is ‘the Natural Approach’. This approach has been proposed by Stephen Krashen and T. Terrell in 1983. It has three important components: formulation, interpretation, and application. Here we start formulating the hypothesis and validate them for L2 research and teaching. This is used by many L2 teachers in the modern times. this approach is based on the communicative competence of speakers in which a speaker’s ability to use the language system in any given circumstance is used. The functions and varieties of language, as well as the shared sociological matters, are also taken care of while learning or teaching the second language through this approach. It is promoted that one acquires the second language in much the same way as the first language. Formal instruction in the target language does help, but it is not necessary to speak the second language. The linguistic forms of the second language emerge in the same way as the first language. That is why teaching is not done by drilling and memorising like some old traditional method. After the natural order hypothesis, there is monitor hypothesis in this approach a learner starts correcting his or her speech to the model speech and written language of the native speakers of the target language.

Since it is not so easy to teach someone a second language after he or she has crossed the critical period, grammar-translation method comes handy. At the same time if someone is very less educated it is also difficult to teach a second language through this method as it requires the formal learning and training (Ellis, 2002). But in natural approach, the second language can be taught to anyone by providing him or her the right kind of environment and native speakers company irrespective of the fact whether the person is educated or not. The natural approach does not involve much formal training. It focuses on acquiring the second language in a very natural way as the mother language. But the instructors who use this approach should be efficient enough to provide the right kind of environment to the learners.

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