Methodology as a theory of learning

Methodology as a theory of learning

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«Methodology as a theory of learning»

Methodology as a theory of learning

1. Methodology — a branch of pedagogy that studies the patterns of teaching a particular subject. There are three ­inextricably linked aspects of learning:

  • academic subject or content of training;

  • teacher’s activity — teaching;

  • students’ activities — learning.

Due to these circumstances, this manual is called "Methods of teaching and learning a foreign language"; since teaching and learning are two interrelated processes, the content of which is a foreign language.­

The task of the methodology is to explore the regular connections between these three components of learning and, on the basis of the learned patterns, to develop requirements for the subject, the teacher and the student studying a foreign ­language.

The content of the methodology is:

  • definition:

  • the place of the given subject in the education system;

  • its content;

  • practical, cognitive and educational goals of teaching ­the subject;

  • identification of related science data;

  • development of methods and organizational forms of training in ­accordance with its goals and content;

  • determination of requirements for the educational complex;

  • study of the history of methodology;

  • scientific substantiation of programs, textbooks.

Education of any subject, including a foreign language, the transfer of knowledge to students and the management of their activities aimed at developing certain skills and abilities.

When teaching a foreign language, there is an appropriate ­change in the physical and mental activity of ­students based on their experience in their native language. Students master ­the actions necessary to use a foreign language as a means of communication:

  • physical, such as:

  • articulation;

  • movement of the writing hand;

  • psychic, among which

  • observation;

  • reflection;

  • memorization;

  • remembrance, etc.;

  • speech:

  • hearing;

  • oral or written statement.

Learning involves the activity of not only the learner, but also teacher manifestation by students of the efforts directed.

  • for systematization;

  • generalization;

  • abstraction;

  • identification of causal, target, investigative, logical, and other connections between objects, phenomena, and actions.

2. The main subject of any technique is the question of how to act in order to achieve a certain result in mastering the subject, activity.

In this regard, the following stand out:

general methodology for teaching foreign languages , which determines:

  • laws;

  • principles;

  • goals;

  • content;

  • methods, techniques, means of teaching speech activity in any foreign language;

private technique , determining:

  • selection of linguistic material of a particular language being studied;

  • establishing a typology of difficulties in mastering it;

  • choice of methods, techniques, ways and means of teaching a ­particular language.

The general and private methods are interrelated: the private method enriches the general method with the experience of teaching a particular foreign language; general — systematizes, organizes this data, deduces patterns and formulates principles.

Brief overview of methods of teaching foreign languages

1. The Ratichius method German teacher Wolfgang Ratich (1571 — 1635) put forward the principle of conscious teaching of the Latin language. Linguistic material was not to ­be memorized mechanically: "Memory should be trusted only with what reaches it through the channel of understanding."

Components of the Ratichia method:

  • was used ­as the main means of semantization , due to which the role of the native language increased;

  • the study of grammar was subordinated to reading, the formal analysis of the text followed the semantic one;

  • the grammar of a foreign language was compared with the native grammar;

  • text-versus-native analysis was widely used language.

The Comenius Method — a contemporary of Ratich, the Czech teacher Jan Amos Comenius (1592 — 1670) proposed the principles of visualization ­in the semantization of vocabulary and the activity of students in the lesson ­. The main attention of students was paid to establishing direct associations between a word in a foreign language and ­an object. Comenius recommended that, when communicating new material ­, go from the easy to the difficult, from the simple to the complex, from the known to the unknown.

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2. Grammar-translation (synthetic method). This ­method is based on the study of grammar. The main means of teaching ­the language was literal translation. The grammar of the new Western European languages was artificially adjusted to the system of the Latin language.

Foreign language training was directed to:

  • the development of logical thinking;

  • mental training.

Language was learned in a formal, semi-conscious, semi-mechanical ­way. All material (rules and examples to them) was learned ­by heart, without preliminary analytical work, which ­ensures understanding of the material.

3. Lexico translation (analytical) method used in different European countries (England, France, Switzerland). The focus of this method was vocabulary. Vocabulary was built up by memorizing original ­works. Grammar was relegated to the background and studied haphazardly as a commentary on the text.

Lexico-translation method:

  • pursued mainly general educational goals;

  • ensured the development of reading and translation skills

Representatives of the lexical-translational method -. Chauvanne (Switzerland­), Jacoteau (France) and Hamilton (England).

4. Essence of the natural method was to create the same conditions and apply the same method when teaching a foreign language as in the natural assimilation of the native language by a child. Hence the name of the method — natural. The most prominent representatives of this method were M. Berlitz, F. Gouin, M. Walter and others. The most popular among them is M. Berlitz, courses and whose textbooks were distributed in Europe and the USA and for some time in Russia and the USSR.

The main goal of learning with the natural method is to teach ­students to speak a foreign language. The proponents of this method ­proceeded from the premise that, having learned to speak, students can read and write in the language they are learning, even if they have not been taught reading and writing techniques.

5. Gouin method. François Gouin (Francois Gouin, 1831 — 1898), also like M. Berlitz, he was a representative of the natural method. It is known in the methodology of teaching foreign languages due to the use of internal visualization, which allows, on the basis ­of sensory experience, to connect individual phenomena and actions into a continuous chain. Observing the game of children aged 2-5 years, Gouin came to the idea that the basis of teaching the native language is the need to accompany their activities with ­statements in a logical-chronological sequence. From here, F. Gouin concludes that the process of mastering a foreign language should be similar.

Based on this, he puts forward the following main provisions of his method:

  • natural language learning is based on a person’s need to ­express his feelings;

  • teaching should be based not on the word, but on the sentence;

  • the most reliable and effective is auditory perception, as a result of which the primary and main means of teaching a ­language should be oral speech, and not reading and writing.

Berlitz and Gouin played a positive role in reforming the teaching of foreign languages, breaking with verbal-scholastic ­methods.

They considered teaching methods as follows:

  • based on the teaching of foreign languages oral speech;

  • attached great importance to the development of auditory perception;

  • introduced oral study of the material before reading and writing.

The disadvantages of the approach are that these scientists:

  • not taught living, idiomatic language;

  • did not provide knowledge of the grammatical system of the studied language;

  • did not recognize the general educational significance of the language.

6. Direct method arose on the basis of natural. It received such a name ­because its supporters sought to associate ­the words of a foreign language and its grammatical forms directly (immediately) with their meaning, bypassing the students’ native language. Psychologists and linguists took part in the development of the direct method — ­V. Fietor, P. Passi, G Sweet, O. Jespersen, B. Eggert and others, as well as the Methodists S. Schweitzer, G. Wendt, E. Simono and others.

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The main provisions of the direct method are as follows:

  • the basis of teaching foreign languages should be the same physiological and psychological patterns as in teaching the native language;

  • the main role in language activity is played by memory and sensations ­, and not by thinking .

The whole process of learning by this method comes down to ­creating an atmosphere of a foreign language. The lesson turns into a theatrical performance, where each student plays his role, and the teacher becomes a director and playwright. The ­most prominent representatives of the direct method were Harold Palmer and Michael West.

English educator and methodologist Harold Palmer (1877 — 1950) — the author of more than 50 theoretical works, textbooks and teaching ­aids. The most valuable methodological provisions of Palmer are the rationalization of the pedagogical process and the ­systematization of educational material.

The main goal of teaching a foreign language, Palmer considered mastery of oral speech. His method is called the oral method.

Of greatest interest in the method of Palmer is the system exercises to create the correct skills of oral speech, which ­is divided into such types as:

  • receptive work (subconscious understanding, conscious verbal assimilation, answering questions);

  • receptive — imitative work (repetition of sounds ­, words and sentences after the teacher);

  • conditional conversation (questions and answers, orders and answers, completion of sentences);

  • natural conversation.

English educator and methodologist Michael West — author of about 100 works devoted to teaching reading, oral speech, as well as compiling educational dictionaries.

West is a famous exponent of the direct method.

Reading, according to the West method, is not only a goal, but also a means of learning, especially at the initial stage: it allows you to accumulate a dictionary and thus create a basis for the ­development of reading and speaking skills.

West’s main merit is that he created a series of textbooks, which are texts compiled ­on previously selected lexical units, taking into account the gradual introduction of new words and their repetition (one an unfamiliar word appears at least three times in a paragraph out of 50 known ones).

In comparison with the methods of the classical school, the direct method was progressive. It gave positive results ­thanks to:

  • rationalization of educational material;

  • intensive learning process;

  • the use of visual aids and active teaching methods­.

The disadvantages of the direct method include:

  • identification of ways of learning foreign and native languages;

  • misuse of intuition to the detriment of conscious study;

  • ignoring the native language when learning a foreign one;

  • limitation to exclusively practical purposes and underestimation ­of general educational significance;

  • simplification and impoverishment of the language as a result of the exclusion of idiomatic, phraseology, stylistic features of the use of language material.

One of the modern variants of the direct method is the Bloomfield method (1887 — 1949) — a well-known American linguist who had a significant impact on the current state of teaching foreign languages in the United States and in other countries.

Bloomfield ‘s concept is as follows:

  • teaching a foreign language pursues practical goals — the ability to speak and understand speech;

  • learning takes place on an oral basis, through the creation of associations;

  • great importance is attached to imitation and memorization;

  • purposeful work is carried out to develop auditory perception and auditory memory.

7. American structuralist linguist Charles Freese and methodologist Robert Lado are the authors of theoretical works and English textbooks ­for foreigners.

The basic principles of the Freeze Lado method are as follows:

  • the study of a foreign language is inextricably linked with penetration ­into the culture of its people, since they are inseparable;

  • penetration into the culture of the people has not only educational­, but also practical significance;

  • regardless of the ultimate goal, the basis of learning is oral speech;

  • preliminary oral mastery of the language provides further training in reading and writing, which are ­considered as a process of recognition and transmission in a graphic image of the already learned material orally;

  • since learning to read and write is different from learning to ­speak, they should not be mixed.

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As follows from the listed methodological principles, the method of ­Ch. Freeze, R. Lado is limited to only one aspect — oral speech; reading and writing are not developed in it.

8. Audiovisual, or structural-global method developed ­by the Scientific and Methodological Center at the Pedagogical Institute in Saint — Cloud and the Institute of Phonetics in Zagreb. A group of scientists led by the famous linguist P. Rivan (France­), creatively applying the provisions of American structuralism ­and the work of J. Gougeneim on the syntax of the French language, created an oral method of teaching French to foreigners ­.

The method is designed for adults who need knowledge of French to listen to lectures in educational institutions in ­France and for business communication with the French. This method has also found distribution in England, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Poland. It is mainly used in foreign language courses.

The language is studied by this method for 3-3.5 months with 20 hours of lessons per week (the entire course of study is 250-300 hours ­). The ultimate goal is to use a foreign language as a means of communication in everyday life.

The most rational in the audiovisual method ­are:

  • techniques for the development of auditory perception and auditory memory;

  • active development of strictly selected models;

  • training intonation patterns of speech.

The disadvantages of the audiovisual method are:

  • the students’ lack of an accurate idea of the linguistic facts being studied and the resulting difficulties in operating ­with them;

  • the fragility of mechanical associations and the destruction ­of stereotypes with insufficient practice and breaks in work;

  • underestimation of reading and writing; exclusively practical ­orientation of the work and the absence of general educational elements.

9. Suggestive method (method of suggestion) by Georgy Lozanov is a modification ­of the direct method. This is a method of accelerated ­learning of a foreign language, designed for 3 months.

The method was created at the Sofia Institute of Suggestology (Bulgaria­) and was named after its creator, Dr. Georgy Lozanov, a psychotherapist by education. Numerous ­observations led him to the conclusion that the usual educational system does not make it possible to widely mobilize the ­reserves of the individual.

This method is based on the development of problems of suggestion in pedagogy.

Suggestion and suggestibility in the process of classes are considered by G. Lozanov in his book "Suggestology" as various forms of teacher influence, in which the brain reserves, the hidden reserves of mental activity, are most actively used.

Classes according to the method of T. Lozanov at first glance resemble performance:

  • music is playing;

  • students in a free, relaxed position sit, leaning back ­on the backs of comfortable chairs, around a large table;

  • according to a pre-developed scenario, roles are distributed;

  • situations from literary works, well- ­known cases from the history of the country, various scenes from modern life are played out.

Such an atmosphere involuntarily leads a person to the need for communication, first with the help of a teacher, and then independently ­. People make contact with each other. At first, with some difficulties, and then more and more freely, they begin to communicate in a foreign language.

According to G. Lozanov, thanks to the use of reserves of involuntary memory, he managed to enter one month at the conversational ­level about 2 thousand words, however, in the practice of schooling, at least in modern conditions, ­it is not possible to provide at least somewhat close results, and the experience of G. Lozanov is of interest so far only as a demonstration of the potential capabilities of a person.

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