Jordan, A., Stack, A., & Carlile , O. (2009). Approaches
to learning: a guide for teachers ( ed.).
Scarino , A., & Liddicoat, A. (2009). Teaching
and learning languages: a guide. Canberra: DEEWR.
Stern, H. H. (1983). Fundamental concepts of
language teaching. Oxford?; New Yor: Oxford University Press.
in an agreement with Stern (1983), recognizing
different aspects and having wide perspective are criteria that contribute to better
understanding of language teaching. Although the current literature on
the matter is voluminous, it remains not
satisfactory as identifying all relevant factors alone in language teaching is
not sufficient. Both an alignment and balance between them need to be
maintained to arrive at effectiveness, efficiency, and generalizability in a theory of language teaching.
all that has been referred so far is at the
level of theory, every factor considered has consequences on various elements
involved in the practice of teaching inside
the classroom such as syllabus, learners ‘role, teacher’s role, classroom
activities, and assessment. Therefore,
even if the teacher is not aware of the underlying principles behind the
adopted method or technique, they come to play a major role in determining the
quality of teaching.
factors discussed above are not meant to be looked at separately, but they are
interrelated as altering one aspect has repercussion on the others. In this regard, Stern (1983) uses the terms coherence
and consistency to designate that ” All parts should fit together in a manner
which can be explained”(p.28). He insists that a good theory of language
teaching needs to account for potential inconsistencies that may arise in
different contexts; in other words, it needs to be generalizable.
Beside linguistic factors, the inclusion of psychological
ones in teaching has brought radical changes. Educational
psychology has advanced insights from first language acquisition theories into teaching for a better understanding of how learners absorb and retain
information. Consequently, notions such as learners’ capacity, learning styles (visual,
auditory or kinesthetic), and motivation, have become essential in teaching
contexts (Jordan, Stack, & Carlile ,
As an example, these concepts are limpidly reflected in Humanistic Approaches such
as Community Language Learning, Silent Way,
The first question that needs to be
addressed in language teaching/ learning is purely a linguistic one: what is
language? Our understanding of the latter is responsible for shaping the rudimentary
beliefs of what to be considered and later taught (Scarino &
For instance, in the time when language was conceived as a system of rules to
be recited, the result was Grammar Translation Method in which memorization is
a defining criterion. Today, thanks to the scientific study of language, language
is looked at as a set of competencies
ranging from linguistic, communicative, sociolinguistic, and intercultural
ones. Each of which requires a felicitous approach or method to be taught.
history of second language teaching is marked by numerous approaches and
methods. While there is no question that the strive for effectiveness is the
main aim, the involvement of several factors in learning/teaching is the reason
behind such diversity. Accordingly, the quest for what can be deemed as a good
language theory necessitates pondering on these factors and the relationship
between them. Furthermore, a teacher is not expected to assume the role of a theoretician,
thus, the support of necessary research to render theory into practice is
quotations and citation increase the grade noticeably.
answer should be done in the form of an essay.
conceptions (wrong definitions) influence considerably the grade.
According to Nagel (1961), “A good language teaching theory will strive to
provide a conceptual framework devised for identifying
all factors relevant in the teaching of languages and the relationships between them and for
giving effective direction to the practice
of language teaching, supported by the necessary
research and enquiry”. (p. 131).
highlighted in the quotation need to be addressed
for a Typical Answer for the Approaches to Teaching Exam