К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2008
Автор: Хакак А.Б.
The concept of teaching is
understood as a process that is intrinsically and inseparably bound up with
learning. Content and the process of the various modules consistently require
the teacher to study learner’s problems, needs and strategies as a necessary
basis for the formulation of effective teaching practice and theory. Grammar acquisition is increasingly viewed
as crucial to language acquisition. However, there is much disagreement as to
the effectiveness of different approaches for presenting vocabulary items.
Moreover, learning grammar is often perceived as a tedious and laborious
process. In this report I would like to examine some traditional techniques for
grammar and vocabulary presentation and revision, in order to determine whether
they are successful in presenting and learning English than other methods.
It is necessary to distinguish
between “teaching” and “methodology”. Foreign language teaching methodology can
be defined as ‘the activities, tasks and learning experiences used by the
teacher within the language teaching and learning processes. Any particular
methodology usually has a theoretical and underpinning that should cause
coherence and consistency in the choice of teaching procedures. ‘Foreign
language teaching’, on the other hand, though it naturally includes
methodology, has further important components such as lesson planning,
classroom discipline, the provision of interest- topics. The aims of foreign
language teaching are threefold: practical, educational and cultural. Its
practical aims are consequent on the basic function of language, which is, to
serve as a means of communication. The educational aims of foreign language
teaching consist in inculcating the principles of morality in the learners
through instruction in the foreign language. The cultural aims of foreign
languages imply the following tasks: widening the students’ general outlook,
developing their powers abstract thinking, cultivating their sense of beauty
and their appreciation of art. The reading of English texts acquainting the
students with the life and culture of the English-speaking nations, and with
their manner and customs, will contribute to the mental growth of the students.
Basic and modern techniques in
teaching English are various and widely used: games, role-plays, dialogues,
multimedia lessons, integrated lessons, etc. However, the teaching of English
is a complex of some learning skills. To know a language means to master its
structure and words. Thus, vocabulary is one of the aspects of the language to
be taught. Experiments have proved that the use of programmed instructions of
vocabulary learning allows us to increase the number of words to be learned.
The vocabulary, therefore, must be carefully selected in accordance with the
principle of selecting linguistic material, the conditions of teaching and
learning a foreign language in college. Scientific principles of selecting
vocabulary have been worked out. The words selected should be:
1) frequently used in the language;
2) easily combined (nice room, nice girl,
3) unlimited from the point of view of
style (oral, written);
4) included in the topics of the syllabus
5) valuable from the point of view of
word-building (use, used, useful, useless, usefully, user, usage).
The first principle, word frequency, is an
example of purely linguistic approach to word selection. It is claimed to be
the soundest criterion because it is completely objective. It is derived by
counting the number of occurrences of words appearing in representative printed
material comprising novels, essays, plays, newspapers, textbooks and magazines.
Modern tendency is to apply these
principles depending on the language activities to be developed. For developing
reading skills students need “reading vocabulary”, thus various printed texts
are analyzed from the point of view of word frequency. For developing speaking
skills students need “speaking vocabulary”. In this case the material for
analysis is the spoken language recorded. The occurrences of words are counted
in it and the words more frequently used in speaking are selected. The other
principles are of didactic value. They serve teaching aims. The words selected
may be grouped under the following two classes (M. West):
1. Words that we talk with or form
(structural) words which make up the form (structure) of the language.
2. Words that we talk about or content
The selection of the vocabulary although
important is not the teacher’s chief concern. It is only the “what” of teaching
and is usually prescribed for him by textbooks and study - guides he uses. The
teacher’s concern is “how” to get his students to assimilate the vocabulary
prescribed. This is a difficult problem and it is still in the process of being
solved. The teacher should bear in mind that a word is considered to be learned
1) it is spontaneously recognized while
auding and reading;
2) it is correctly used in speech, the
right word in the right place.
The process of learning a word means:
1) identification of concepts, that is
learning what the word means;
2) student’s activity for the purpose of
retaining the word;
3) student’s activity in using this word in
the process of communication in different situations.
Accordingly, the teacher’s role in this
1) to furnish the explanation, that is to
present the word, to get his students to identify the concept correctly;
2) to get them to recall or recognize the
word by means of different exercises;
3) to stimulate students to use the words
Teaching and learning words are carried on
through methods you are familiar with; the teacher organizes learning and
students are involved in the very process of learning, that is in the
acquisition of information about a new word, its form, meaning and usage; in
drill and transformation to form lexical habits; in making use of the lexical
habits in hearing, speaking and reading, or in language skills. Various
techniques are used to attain the goal- to fix the words in students’ memory
ready to be used whenever they need them. The techniques of teaching students
the punctuation and spelling of a word are as follows:
1) pure orcoscious imitation;
4) rules of reading.
Since a word consists of sounds if heard or
spoken and letters if read or written the teacher shows the students how to
pronounce, to read and write it. However the approach may vary depending on the
task set (the latter depends on the age of students, their progress in the
language, the type of words, etc.). For example, if the teacher wants his
students to learn the word orally first, he instructs them to recognize it when
hearing and to articulate the word as an isolated element (a book) and in a
sentence pattern or sentence patterns alongside with other words. (This is a
book. Give me the book. Take the book. Put the book on the table.).
As far as the form concerned the students
have but two difficulties to overcome: to lean how to pronounce the word both
separately and in the speech; and to recognize it in sentence patterns
pronounced by the teacher, by his classmates, or by a speaker in case the tape-
recorder is used. There are two ways of conveying the meaning of words: direct
way and translation. The direct way of presenting the words of a foreign language
brings the learner into direct contact with them, the mother tongue does not
come in between, and it establishes links between a foreign word and the thing
or the concept directly. The direct way of conveying the meaning of foreign
words is usually used when the words denote things, objects, their qualities,
sometimes gestures and movements, which can be shown to and seen by students,
for example: a book, a table, red, big, take, stand up, etc. The teacher should
connect the English word he presents with the objects, the notion it denotes
directly, without the use of students’ mother tongue.
The teacher uses various techniques for
this purpose. It is possible to group them into (1) visual and (2) verbal. The
first group involves the use of visual aids to convey the meaning of unfamiliar
words. These may be: besides, the teacher may use movements and gestures. For
giving effective explanations the teacher must follow some fundamental rules.
1. Preparation. You may
feel perfectly clear in your own mind about what needs clarifying, and
therefore think that you can improvise a clear explanation. But experience
shows that teachers’ explanations are often not as clear to their students as
they are to themselves! It is worth preparing: thinking for a while about the
words you will use, the illustrations you will provide, and so on; possibly
even writing these out.
2. Make sure you have the class’s
attention. One of the implications of this when giving the instructions for a
group-working task is that it is advisable to give the instructions before you
divide the class into groups or give out materials, not after!
3. Present the information more than once.
A repetition of the necessary information may make all the difference:
learners’ attention wanders occasionally, and it is important to give them more
than one chance to understand what they have to do. Also, it helps to represent
the information in a different mode: for example, say it and also write it up
on the board.
4. Be brief. Learners-in fact, all of us-have
only a limited attention span; they cannot listen to you for along time with
maximum concentration. Make your explanation as brief as you can, compatible
with clarity. In some situations it may also mean using the learners’ mother
tongue, as a more accessible and cost-effective alternative to the sometimes
lengthy and difficult target- language explanation.
5. Illustrate with examples. You may
explain, for instance, the meaning of a word, illustrating your explanation
with examples of its use in various contexts, relating these as far as possible
to the learners’ own lives and experiences.
6. Get feedback. When you have finished
explaining, check what they have understood. It is not just enough to ask “Do
you understand?”; learners will sometimes say they did even if they did not,
out of politeness or unwillingness to lose face, or because they think they
know what they have to do, but in fact completely misunderstood! It is better
to ask them to do something that will show their understanding: to paraphrase
in their own words, provide further illustration of their own.
From my teaching experience I have noticed
how enthusiastic students are about practicing language by means of games. I
believe that the grammar games are not only fun but they help students learn
without a conscious analysis or understanding of the learning process while
they acquire communicative competence as second language users. Teachers should
be very careful about choosing games if they want to make them profitable for
the learning process. If games are to bring desired results, they must
correspond to either the students’ level, or age, or the materials that are to
be introduced or practiced. Not all of the games are appropriate for all
students irrespective of their age. Different age groups require various
topics, materials and modes of games. For example, children benefit most from
games which require moving around, imitating a model, competing between groups,
and the like. Furthermore, structural games that practice or reinforce a
certain grammatical aspects of language have to relate to students’ ability and
prior knowledge. Games become difficult when the task or the topic is
unsuitable or outside the students’ experience.
Another factor influencing the choice of a
game is its length and the time necessary for its completion. Many games have
time limits but according to Siek Piscozub, the teacher can allocate more or
less time depending of the students’ levels, the number of people in a group,
or the knowledge of the rules of a game, etc. Games are often used as short
warm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of the lesson. As
Mr. Lee observes, a game should not be regarded as a marginal activity filling
in odd moments when the teacher and class have nothing better to do. Games
ought to be at the heart of teaching foreign languages. Mr. Rixon suggests that
games should be used at all stages of the English lesson, provided that they
are suitable and carefully chosen. At different stages of the lesson, the teachers’
aims connected with a game may vary: 1. Presentation. It presents and provides
a good model making its meaning clear.
2. Controlled practice. It elicits a good
imitation of the language and appropriate responses.
3. Communicative practice. It gives to the
students a chance to use a foreign language.
The games resulted only in noise and
entertained students, they are still worth paying attention to and implementing
in the classroom since they motivate learners, promote the communicative
competence, and generate the fluency. However, can they be more successful for
presentation and revision than other techniques? My teaching practice proves
that the answer to this question is absolutely affirmative.
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2. Методика преподавания иностранных
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3. Старков А.. П. Обучение
иностранному языку в средней школе. - М.: «Просвещение», 1978.
4. Программа по иностранному языку для
средней школы. - М.: «Просвещение», 1981.
5. Хэкболдт П. Изучение иностранных
языков. - М. «Просвещение», 1963.
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Basic English Lexicology. - Сочи, 2000.
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Build your vocabulary 2. - LTP, London, 1998.
8. Ur P. A Course in
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9. The All Nations
Dictionary (International Phonetic Alphabet). - All Nations Literature,
Colorado Springs, 1992.
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2008