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Theories of learning refer to general learning principles which have derived from
research by education psychologists. The learning theories helps a teacher to understand
concisely how pupil learn and then use these learning theories to relate with teaching
method and techniques to guide them to achieve effective learning result. Learning theories
can be classified into five main theoretical perspective namely behavioural perspective,
cognitive perspective, social perspective, humanistic perspective and also constructivism.
These theories were developed to explain how individuals acquire, organize and deploy
skills and knowledge.
All these theories are very important to the teaching and learning process. First lets
see how behaviourism theory helps in the learning process. Behaviourism founded by John
B. Watson and this emphasises the study of observable, measureable behaviours. Among
the well known, influential behaviourists in the constructions of this learning theory is based
on the Pavlov, Thorndike and skinner. Drilling, reinforcement and giving rewards are the
main component which is being focused in this theory. Learners are essentially viewed as
passive and it will be a teacher centred lesson.
In my opinion, I think that teachers in school are conducting lesson based on this
behaviourism theory. We can see this, when teacher give lots of exercises as a homework
at the end of each lesson and this is some sort of drilling for the student to enhance their
understanding on the topic that they had learned. Moreover teachers also give rewards to
the student if they were able to remember what they had learnt in the class as a positive
reinforcement for the student to gain interest in their learning. In my point I think that lesson
based on this theory is not encourage able because the lesson depends only on teacher and
there is no two ways of interaction in a lesson. Teacher gives all the notes and student just
sit and focus on their teacher does not ensure that they had learned something from the
lesson. There is no interaction between the student and teacher. Although all the notes and
knowledge was given by the teacher, in the end the student will just gain the 20% of the
teacher said. Therefore, to teach a subject like English language, the teacher should create
a class room which is learner-centred not teacher-centred. In addition, I think that the lesson
based on this theory would be bored and student will not have interest in gaining knowledge.
This theory also helps in shaping a future teacher ESL teacher through making them
aware on using the reward system in their lesson. It would make a teacher to be aware on
the consequences of the positive reinforcement and the negative reinforcement. They would
able to identify that positive reinforcement would enhance the interest in learning and
negative reinforcement would make the student loss their passion towards learning.

Therefore through this theory teacher would be able to gain knowledge on types of
reinforcement which can be used in teaching and learning process.
On the other hand, cognitive theory emphasizes the important of thinking process in
human development and behaviour. Cognitive learning theories focus primarily on how
knowledge is acquired, processed, stored, retrieved, and activated by the learner during the
different phases of the learning process. The learner has an active participant in the process
of knowledge acquisition and integration. Main focus of cognitive learning approach is on
making knowledge meaningful and helping learners organize and relate new information to
prior knowledge in memory.
I think teacher implementing this theory through their lesson. For example, teacher
often organizes language games as well as board games such as scrabble which helps the
student to think critically and creatively in order to come up with a new word in English. This
will help them to gain lots of vocabulary in English which can help the student in their
speaking and writing skills. I also think that lesson based on this theory should be carry out
often because it stimulated students thinking and help them to think critically and creatively
to solve problem. This type of lesson will not only help them to solve any problem in group
discussion but it triggers them to come up with good ideas.
This cognitive learning theory would help the teacher to use suitable teaching activity
which can guide pupils to use their perception to relate elements in surrounding. Teacher
would able to identify the suitable activity that provides opportunity for student to think
creatively as well as critically in order to come up with new ideas. So, from this theory
teacher will be aware in preparing the suitable learning activity so that it able to trigger
thinking of student.
According to Von Glaserfeld (1991) the concept of constructivism is based on the
knowledge which can be formed by individuals who take their own initiatives. The process of
knowledge formation is the result of individuals experiences. This constructivism theory also
helps the students to learn the content by building it themselves. Teacher also played a vital
role in implementing this theory because they are responsible to create and active
environment and provides stimulation and asks question.
I as a future English teacher felt that lesson based on this theory is very effective
because it focuses on the collaborative learning. This will provide opportunity for the
students to brainstorm their idea among their classmates. They will compete among the
other groups to come up with good and strong ideas. From this activity students are
encouraged to come to their own conclusion and will make them to connect their past
experiences to the current situation. This also will make them as adaptive learner. Students
should be able to apply what they had learnt in school to the various situations in real-life.

This theory would be help in shaping an ESL teacher by making the teacher to
construct a learning environment into a setting of exploration and discovery. It will enhance
the pupils interest and natural participation in learning activities. Moreover, through this
learning environment, pupil would be able to explore their world and discover knowledge
through their own effort. Therefore this theory helps the teacher to create a suitable learning
environment for the student to explore as well as creating the lesson to be meaningful.
Next lets discuss about humanism theory in the teaching and learning process.The
approach assumes that every person is unique and that psychology should focus on the
subjective feelings and thoughts of the person. Research conducted by humanistic
psychologist has proved that human learning depends on their individual emotional and
feeling. Thus, teaching and learning strategy should be organised based on the individual
needs and emotional development.
In my point of view I think that lesson based on this theory is encourage able
because a student should have free will to learn. The lesson will ensure pupils needs are
fulfilled. The learning environment also will be conducive in teaching and learning, so that
the student wont be stressed out but they would be feel pleasant happy harmonious and
secure to involve themselves in the learning activities. For example, activities such as
brainstorming section would make a shy and quite student to speak out and this indirectly
involve the student in learning process. The student would be happy because she can feel
that her teacher and her peers know her presents in the class. Therefore it would provide
opportunity to instil self motivation value so that student would able to understand and
accept themselves as well actively involved in social activities.
Besides that this theory would help a teacher to be more considerate person so that
the learning would be carried in a very pleasant way. In this way teacher able to identify the
students need and they will be empathetic to fulfil pupils need for love and affection. In this
way student and teacher would be having close relationship and the student will be engaged
with teacher as well as able to enjoy the lesson freely.
In conclusion, I also think that a meaningful lesson is consist of combination of all the
learning theories that stated above so that it would provide a fun, interesting and meaningful
lesson to the student. As a future teacher I will make sure that my lesson will be student
centered and allow my student to take an active participation in class so that from nothing
they would be able to gain something as well as show some interest in this English