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22 terms

Theories, concepts, strategies, methods and approachs in ESL

Communicative Competence
Ability of learners to apply rules and use language appropriately in terms of sociolinguistics, grammar, discourse and strategy.
Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
Behaviorist Views
L2 learning is a process of habit formation through stimulus, response and reinforcement. Behaviorists developed the audiolingual method, which uses imitation, repetition and reinforcement to teach an L2. Behaviorists promote memorization of dialogues and pattern drills in grammar teaching as well as the immideiate correction of errors (so as not to let bad habits form).
Innatist Views
Children are born with an innate mechanism to learn language, which is equipped with a grammar template that allows children to learn grammar through hypothesis testing. Chomksy suggests that children learn their L1 with limited support from parents, (whose role is restricted to building the lexicon). Innatists developed the creative constructionist theory, which suggests that L2 learners follow similar strategies and make similar errors as native speakers.
Krashen's theories on L2 acquisition
An innatist theory
Teachers should value acquisition, (the meaningful and natural interaction with native speakers that resembles most the way in which a child learns their L1) over learning, (the formal and restrictive cognitive activities found in a teacher-centered classroom.
Comprehensible Input- Students must understand the content (with content being ideally just a bit above their level). This can be achieved via the natural method and total physical response.
The monitor hypothesis- Learners exposed to formal language instruction develop an internal mechanism that allows them to edit themselves. Teachers should guide students to internalize rules.
Affective filter hypothesis- Students perform better when they are relaxed (with their affective filter lowered)
Natural order hypothesis- ELLS acquire English structures in a predictable order. Teachers should avoid following a strict grammatical sequence and instead teach with linguistically rich activities.
Interactionists' Views
Conceptualize existence of LAD but believe that caregivers play a vital role in language acquisition through their use of conversational scaffolding. The interactionist theory is currently the prevailing theory in L1 acquisition. Teachers encourage to make use of nonverbal communication and guie ELLS to interact with native speakers.
Cross-linguistic Language Transfer
Like language interference but positive.
Behaviorist-Structural School
Result of work of psychologists Pavlov, Watson and B.F. Skinner as well as linguists Saussure, Bloomfield, Lado and Fries. Behaviorists suggests that children were born with a clean slate, which they add to via immitation of parents and caregivers.

Structuralists viewed language as primarily oral and so emphasized phonology and morphology. They believed that language is best learned inductively and indirectly and promoted practice over explanation. Conditioning through stimulus and response can promote learning.
The Contrastive-Analysis Theory (CA)
*work of behaviorist-structural shcool
Suggests that by analysis of students' L1, a teacher may predict problems in the L2.
Error Analysis Theory
Created to compensate for flaws in CA. It examines the issue of L1 interference as well as inconsistent and developmental features of the L2.
The cognitive-generative-transformational school emerged as result of work of psychologist Piaget and linguists Lenneberg and Chomsky. They conceptualised the acquisition of language as a mental process using the innate language acquision mechanism (LAD). Further, the GT school suggested that language is composed of a finite set of univeral rules and that the main components of all languages are semantics and syntax.
Critical Period Hypothesis & the Lateralization of the Brain
*part of the GT school. Idea that there is an ideal time to learn a language with that time being before the lateralization of the brain takes place (around puberty). Modern research suggests that adults are only impaired in L2 acquisition in terms of phonology.
Humanistic Psychology
Emerged as a reaction to behaviorism. See Maslow's theory of the hierarchy of human needs as well as Roger's ideas on the development of positive self-concept and the student-centered approach to teaching. When teachers allow their students to feel safe, loved and confident, they perform better.
The Direct Method
Originated as reaction against the grammar translation method. Tries to replicate L1 acquisiton but is teacher-centric in nature. L1 use is prohibited. Grammar rules are internalized and rules not explicitly taught. Vocabulary development is key and taught using nonverbal communication and paraphrasing. Listening and oral communication is emphasized along with punctuation and pronunciation. Q&A and small group communication activities are typical. Berlitz uses the direct method.
Audiolingual Method
Adaptation of the direct method and the army method. Developed under the structual-behaviorist umbrella. Initiated the scientific approach to language teaching and learning. Does not rely heavily upon vocabulary but does rely upon drills and practice as a way to teach grammar. As language is primarily oral, phonology and morphology are viewed as most important. Teachers believe that language learning should be carefully sequenced with listening and speaking coming before reading and writing. L1 is to be avoided and practice comes before grammatical explanations.
Total Physical Response (TPR)
Target: beginners going through silent period. Adapted from Asher. It's a modern adaptation of the direct method. Recreates L1 acquisition. Uses theories of comprehensible input, speech emergence and the silent period hypothesis. Language is best introduced through multiple sensory systems. Uses commands and nonverbal communication. Learner not required to respond orally.
The Natural Approach
Adapted from Krashen and Terrell
Target: Beginners going through a silent phase but also other levels of learners. Vocabulary development is key. The goal is communication and little emphasis is placed on accuracy. If corrections are needed, they are done through modeling. Class periods are devoted to communication with grammar being set as homework. Learners are not forced to speak and may speak in L1 or L2. TPR techniques are employed.
Community Language Learning
Adapted from Curran. Target: Intermediate and advanced but could be used with beginners. Represents principles of humanistic pyschology. It is student-centered and communicative-based meaning it takes into account physical cognitive and emotional needs of students with teachers serving as facilitators of learning. Instruction is done in a small group format. Students are guided to hold conversations. Conversations are recorded so that grammar concepts may be taught later and so that advanced students may self-correct. For beginners, the teacher may serve as a translator.
The silent way
Adapted from Gattegno. Target: Intermediate and advanced but could be used with beginners. Use of color coded charts to guide pronunciation and colored wooden rods to create situations wherein students may use language. It is communicative-based and promoted autonomy, independence and responsibility. Students are encouraged to take control over their own learning, correct themselves and seek support from peers. The teacher guides them in acquisition but is silent most of the time. Humanistic Psychology
Humanistic Psychology. Bilingual approach. Adapted from Lozanov. Demands comfortable seating, soft lighting and Baroque music to relax students and awaken the subconcious as they activly and then passivly listen to dramatic dialogues.
Notional Functional Approach
Adapted from Finocchiaro and Brumfit. Humanistic psychology. Precursor to communicative-based approaches. Teaches language for specific situations and speech acts. Notions are particular situations (shopping, eating out, health issues etc.) Functions are the different reasons or purposes for communication (complaining, greeting, thanking etc.) Typically uses dialogues.