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The Oral Approach and Situational Language Teaching - Essay Example

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The Oral Approach and Situational Language Teaching Learning a foreign language entails various approaches based on sound theories which have been tested over the years. Different language teaching approaches follow their own philosophies and implement it to the teaching-learning process…
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The Oral Approach and Situational Language Teaching
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Download file to see previous pages The target language is the main language in the classroom, and everyone learns it better by speaking it. Reading and writing in the target language follows once a lexical and grammatical foundation has been established. That means, the learner is corrected when he makes mistakes in spelling, vocabulary use, etc. The teaching of the foreign language is from simple to more complex forms. Upon learning this, some may be curious as to the Oral Approach is regarded by students if they have already been exposed to other teaching approaches. Would this approach clash with other methods students have already been accustomed to or would it supplement them? How about students with language impairments? Would the Oral Approach be able to encourage them or discourage them from speaking in a foreign language? The Situational Language Teaching approach is a language teaching approach that helps the learner understand the foreign language better by clustering lessons based on certain situations. Pittman (1963) clarifies the word ‘situational’ as identifiable concrete materials, pictures and relia which are used together with actions and gestures in order to demonstrate the meanings of new language words and phrases. If possible, these are used to teach a lesson on a particular situation. This eases the learner, knowing that what he is learning is about something familiar to him and can focus on the theme of the lesson. For example, simpler lessons teach about vocabulary on family will have pictures of family members. In any learning situation, it helps if the new knowledge is linked with previous knowledge. The Situational Language Teaching approach capitalizes on the learner’s own context. In the article, an example was provided on using actual objects to help students learn foreign words without necessarily identifying the object in the home language. This is effective since the objects are familiar to the students. The same may be true when the teacher teaches them a song about something they can relate to in their own context. It would be effective to use visual aids for the song so it becomes easily understandable to the learners especially if the song depicts a story. The pictures in the story may be presented while parts of the song related to the picture are sung. The theory underlying these approaches leans on the behaviourist perspective. Palmer (1957) summarizes the process of learning a language as receiving the knowledge or materials (stimulus), retaining it by repeating it both mentally and verbally, and using it in practice until it becomes a skill which later on becomes second nature to the individual. The issue now comes for people who would have deficiencies in the skills of memory and repetition. Does that mean they will be unable to learn another language due to their limitations? If these language teaching approaches are effective in the classroom, how would it translate to outside the classroom? It would be alright if the students live in the country where the target language is spoken since there would be several people whom they can practice their new skills with. If they live in their home country, however, where the target language is constrained within the classroom, then there would be no other people to practice with and understand what they are saying especially in the home if ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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