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.


Vishnupriya V.G. -Theories of Language Learning

Chaudhary, Sreesh.  “Theories of Language Learning” . English Language Teaching in India. Ed. S. Kudchedkar. Chennai.  Orient Black Swan Private Limited.2005. 67-77. Print.

In this essay, Sreesh Chaudhary talks about the human ability to speak and understand a language. He quotes Chomsky and Skinner to differentiate how humans and different from other species and how language is important to humans. The ability of using a language may vary differently between people even though they possess the same amount of knowledge. He further differentiates thought from language.

He explains how it was found in a survey that children from working class families have a ‘restricted vocabulary’ whereas those from the middle and upper classes have an ‘elaborate vocabulary’.  My focus of research is how to enhance the vocabulary of children from ‘Srujana’ class where children are mainly from working class. He then talks about the reward and punishment system that exists in our society and how that can be used in terms of teaching language. Further research can provide insight into these topics.

( to be continued)

Vishnupriya V.G. 1537266- ELT

Dumas, William Wayne. (1967) Critical Factors in Teaching English. The Journal of Experimental Education, 35(3), 80-84.

 William Wayne Dumas conducted an evaluated study designed to access the competencies of student teachers in English in response to the growing number of criticisms aimed at teachers of English. As a part of this study, an effort was made to determine the competencies or traits in which the teachers exhibited strength or weakness and by doing so it was also essential to find out which traits are critical and which are not in teaching English.

Twenty one prospective English teachers who did their student training at the University of Arkansas were selected to conduct this study over a period of six weeks during which they were observed and rated by each of three types of raters: a) the university of Arkansas supervisor in English b) the public school cooperating teachers c) an experienced high school English teacher who served as a non-supervisory observer. According to the study conducted, a) knowledge b) cooperativeness c) empathy d) control e) voice f) poise and g) pupil participation were the seven factors that were the best judgement available as to the underlying dimensions of the item ratings.

The final step in the investigation was to determine the critical traits in teaching English. The multiple- linear regression equation as developed through Wherry- Doolittle Test Selection method was used as the tool for this. Based on the findings of the investigation, certain conclusions were drawn: a) most of the item ratings were positively correlated with global ratings of success in teaching in English except distribution of pupil participation which appeared to have an unrelated or negatively related. b) There was little agreement among the three types of raters as to the most critical and least critical traits in teaching English on the basis of one to one correlations. c)there appeared to be a considerable agreement as to the inclusion of knowledge factor and control factor in a combination of most of the critical factors in teaching English.