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HCMC University of Education

ELT1 Teacher : Mr. Bui Nguyen Khanh



ELT 1 30 periods

ELT 2 30 periods
How to teach:

Theories of learning Teaching methods


Language areas Language skills

Gain insights into: the principles and implications of major theories of language learning approaches to language teaching

Learning Content Theories

Behaviorism Mentalism / Cognitivism Constructivism Affective factors Learning and acquisition

Teaching methods

Grammar translation method (GTM) Direct Method (DM) Audio Lingual Method (ALM) Communicative Language Teaching

Why should we do research on theories of learning? Starting point for language learning = understand how people learn Successful language learning and teaching = understand structure and process of the mind Language teaching has undergone a lot of changes and modification. To gain a sound understand of language teaching method BEHAVIORISM Pavlovs experiment Conclusions All behavior is shaped by complex patterns of reinforcement in a persons environment. All behavior can be learned. Learning is a habit formation. Reinforcement Positive reinforcement: to form good habit (praise, nodding the head,)

Negative reinforcement: to prevent bad habit (bad marks,..) Pavlov experiment Stimulus: the bell Response: salivation Reinforcement: the food Behaviorist approach in first language acquisition Stimulus: his need (thirst) Response: cry Reinforcement: his mother gives some water How behaviorism Impacts 2nd learning Adult acquisition: different from babys acquisition Audio-lingual method: mechanical and controlled practice: the use of stimulusresponse-reinforcement. Still widely used but not adequate: not enough just to teach Ss good habits Learners should be given opportunities for creative language use in language production: speaking and writing Behaviorism A theory based on the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning Conditioning occurs through interaction with environment. Behavior can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. Principle Learning is a mechanical process of habit 3

(Learning is a process of habit formation) How to form a habit Sequence of stimulus, response and reinforcement (positive or negative) Implication Pattern practice or repetitive drill in classroom (audio-lingual method) Part of the whole process learning. MENTALISM Questions for discussion What is behaviorist view about language learning? Do children learn L1 only imitating? Did Chomsky agree with Skinners theory? Whats Chomsky view about learning? Give examples of some hypotheses that Vietnamese learners formulate in their language learning. Mentalism

Thinking as rule-governed activity The theory that a human being processed a mind which has consciousness, ideas, thought, comprehension, memory, learning, and that the mind can influence the behavior of the body. Human behaviour is much more complex than animal behaviour language is not a set of habits. Teacher shows them the underlying structure learners create sentence of their own. Set of rules and vocab: finite Individual utterances: infinite Competence vs. Performance Competence: a persons internalized grammar of a language knowing what is grammatically correct. Performance: the actual use of language by individual in speech and in writing. Principles Learning is acquiring rules. Thinking is rule-governed activity. Implication Teaching grammar inductively Giving examples and showing Ss the rules / patterns to facilitate their learning Work out the rules By saving water we also reduce the amount of chemicals and energy used in water and sewage treatment. Having kids around seems to bring out the best in adult behaviour. The more words you know, the more ideas you can express. Although he was imprisoned, many people are still not satisfied. COGNITIVISM 4

Learners as thinking beings Students are asked to think rather than simply repeat. Learning: an internal, active, creative process emphasizes the critical role that memory plays in helping us translate new information into a meaningful form. Mentalism: work out the rules Cognitivism: use in appropriate situations What is learning process? Learning takes place when information is received into the mind and then processed to make sense of it. Learning new information is made possible by connecting it to existing information and then storing it so it can be retrieved later Role of teachers Present new information help the learners attend to, encode and retrieve information Organize info and help students link it to existing info. Principles Learning is thinking, processing information Implication The problem-solving activities AFFECTIVE FACTORS

A positive learning cycle

Affective factors = emotional factors which influence learning They can have negative or positive effect Negative affective factors = affective fillers What are learners characteristics? The differences Age Language level Past language learning experience Personality (introverted / extroverted) Learners learning style Brain dominance Motivation Motivation is the relationship between the cognitive and emotional aspects of learning

Two forms of motivation 6

WAY TO ENHANCE MOTIVATION The tasks that learners are asked to carry out The way the syllabus is presented The way the teacher interacts with her students Motivation is very important in language learning, so teachers should do all they can to motivate learners. Learning styles The physical sense we prefer to use to learn. Our way of interacting with other people (introvert / extrovert) Our style of thinking (left / right dominance) Left brain controls language

Principle Learners as emotional beings Implications Teachers must consider all the factors that can affect their students in language learning. Use appropriate techniques to motivate learners in classroom. Create an unthreatening environment for learners. Increase comprehensible input. Techniques To find out their needs, characteristics, learning styles To teach them learning strategies that is suitable for their learning styles What do teachers of English in Vietnam think about learners? Some ways to motivate Ss in Vietnamese teaching conditions. Passive learners with grammar points + pass the exam No speaking and listening 8

Usefulness of the subjects Interesting atmosphere Encourage students (error (poor knowledge)/ mistake (slip of the tongue)) Visual effects Give questions Interesting topics LEARNING & ACQUISITION 1st language: the mother tongue / native language / L1 2nd language: the widely used in the environment Foreign language: the target language / the language used by native speaker. How learners learn L2? picking up the language exposure to lots of examples acquisition takes place over a period of time a silent period. Using L2 in interaction with other people. Focusing on the form of L2 (pronunciation, grammar, form and meaning of vocabulary) Acquisition

How children acquire L1? Exposure to L1 Pick up automatically A subconscious process expose to samples of the 2nd language that we understand. Acquirers not consciously aware of the grammatical rules Not concentrate on form, but in the communicative act. More important for natural, fluent communication. Lrs. are quite fluent without ever having learned rules Lrs. should be exposed to comprehensible input. Learning A conscious process of study and attention to form and rule learning. Lrs. are given formal instruction, they may know rules but fail to apply them. Acquisition Learning

Subconscious Natural Long lasting Successful Attention to meaning Fluent

Conscious Unnatural Short lasting Unsuccessful Attention to form and rule learning Not fluent

The input hypothesis Input: what students hear or read Comprehensible / roughly-tuned input: forms and structures which are just beyond the learners current level of competence in the language. Output: what Ss speak or write. only concerned with acquisition, not learning i+1: input that is one step beyond his/her current stage of linguistic competence.

Baseline talk the kind of talk a native speaker addresses other native speakers. Modified input / Adjusted speech 1st language: child-directed speech/ caretaker talk / mother talk / motherese / baby talk 2nd laguage: foreigner talk / teacher talk The way parents talk to little children Features: Slower rate of speech Higher pitch More varied intonation Shorter, simpler sentence patterns Frequent repetition Paraphrase Topic of conversation are limited NS modify their speech when communicating with NNS Two types of FT: ungrammatical and grammatical

Base line talk: you wont forget to buy the ice cream on your way home, will you? UG FT: No forget buying ice cream, eh? GFT: The ice cream you will not forget to buy it on your way home get it when you are coming home. All right?


Ungrammatical FT Socially market NSs lack of respect Features: o Deletion of be / modal verbs / articles o Using base form for past tense o Using special construction like no + V

Grammatical FT The norm Features: o Delivered at a slower pace o The input is simplified (shorter sent., no subordinate clauses) o Regularised o Elaborated language use

Implication Make learning like acquisition by: Giving learners both finely-tuned and roughly-tuned input (use authentic materials) Modifying the input like the way parents talk to little children Increasing interaction and negotiation of meaning Teaching Young Lrs. : avoid grammar teaching, children subconsciously acquire lg. Adult Lrs.: focused lg. study = useful, desirable + activities that match motivational drive, level, situational contexts. Principles Acquisition is more important than learning Only acquired language is readily available for natural, fluent communication Modify the following baseline talk Advances in medicine and public sanitation mean that infectious diseases no longer kill millions of children and adults as they did in the past. Our faces make our emotion and attitudes known, but we should not try to read people from another culture as we could read someone from our own culture. With the globalisation of information technology and worldwide access to the internet, people from all areas of learning are finding themselves using form of information technology in the work place. Pronunciation practice is an important matter when studying a new language, as incorrect pronunciation can cause misunderstandings.