Vishnupriya-Structural-oral-situational approach in second language teaching

Nagaraj, Geetha. “Approaches, Methods and Syllabus Design-1”. English Language Teaching in India. Ed. S. Kudchedkar. Chennai.  Orient Black Swan Private Limited.2005. 125-156. Print.

The author quotes Edward M.  Anthony saying approach is a set of correlative assumptions, dealing with the nature of language and the nature of language teaching and learning. She says that foreign/ second language teaching has gone on through the ages using different methods and techniques but there is no conscious or systematic study of teaching/ learning of a second language and also provides a number of reasons as to why it is so.

She views approach as the philosophic basis for a particular system or method of language instruction. She then goes on to analyze curriculum and syllabus which are often used interchangeably. After an elaborated explanation about the parameters, factors and stages in syllabus design, she differentiates the different kinds of methods used in second language teaching such as grammar-translation method, direct method, reading method, audio-lingual method, structural-oral-situational approach which is the key focus of my research.

The structural-oral-situational approach is based on a few principles such as language is primarily speech and therefore all structures and vocabulary must be practiced orally before moving on to reading and writing. Another principle is that language being a set of habits, practice is an essential part of language teaching/learning context. Language must be presented in a meaningful situation that the learner is able to deduce its meaning and context from the situation without the use of mother tongue.

Towards the end of this section in this chapter, he mentions about the critiques or drawbacks that this approach faced, one of it being the difficulty of translating this approach into textbooks and teaching materials. I would like to engage in a research on “Srujana’ classes and examine as to how far this limitation can be bridged and how it will help in their language and vocabulary development.

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