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Rifki Nuraili Hidayat / 0203516042 (Rombel 2)

The Post Method Era


From the previous approaches and method we have seen the history of language
teaching in the last one hundred years that has been characterized by a search for more
effective ways of teaching second or foreign language. The trend was an era that called
designer or brand name methods which is packaged solutions that can be described and
marketed. Beginning from Grammar Translation Method in the 19 century, Direct Method in
end of 19 century, Audiolingual Method in the 1950s then it is being vacuum and emerged
methods to fill the it such as Silent way, Total Physical Response and Suggestopedia, then
Communicative Language Teaching in 1980s.
We have describe an approach as a set of beliefs and principles that can be used as the
basis for teaching a language. The approach that have been described such as
CLT,CBLT,CBI,CL,LA,MI,TNA,NP,TBLT and WL. None of them, however , lead to a
specific set of prescriptions and techniques to be used in teaching a language. They are
characterized by a variety f interpretations as to how the principles can be applied.
On the other hand, a method refers to specific instructional design or system based on
a particular theory of language and of language learning. Methods are learned through
training. The teacher`s role is to follow the method and apply it precisely according to the
rules such as Audiolingualism, Conseling-Learning, Situational Language Teaching, The
Silent Way, Suggestopedia and Total Physical Response. It means that some approach and
methods are unlikely to be widely adopted because they are difficult to understand and use,
lack clear practical application, require special training and necessitate major changes in
teachers` practices and beliefs.
The Top-Down Criticism
While approaches tend to allow for varying interpretations in practice, methods
typically prescribe for teachers what and how to teach. Good teaching is regarded as correct
use of the method and its prescribed principles and techniques. Roles of teachers and learners,
as well as the type of activities and teaching techniques to eb used in the classroom, are
generally precribed.
Role of Contextual Factors
Both approaches and methods are often promoted as all purpose solutions to teaching
problems that can be applied in any part of the world and under any sircumstance. In trying
to apply approaches or methods, teachers sometimes ignore what is strating point in language
program design, namely, a careful consideration of the context in which teaching and learning
occurs including the cultural context, the political context, the local institutional context and
the teachers constitued by the teachers and learners in their classroom.
The Need for Curriculum Development Process
Curriculum planners view debates over teaching method as part of a broader set of
educational planning decisions, these tradionally involve the careful examination, the
development and trial use in schools, the assessment and the final element.

Lack of Research Basis


Approaches and methods are often based on the assumption that the processes of
second language learning are fully understood. Much of such research does not support the
often simplistics theories and prescriptions found in some approaches and methods.
Similarity of Classroom Practises
According to Brown (1997: 3) make a similar point that generally, methods are quite
distinctive at the early, beginning stages of a language course, and rather indistinguisable
from each other at a later stages. In first few days of a community language learning, for
example the students witness a unique set of experiences in their small circles of translated
language whispered in their ears. But within a matter of weeks, such classrooms can look like
any other learner-centered curriculum.
Beyond Approaches and Methods
Approaches and methods can therefore be usefull studied and selectively mastered in
order:
-

To learn how to use different approaches and methods and understand when they
might be useful
- To understand some of the issues and controversities that characterized the history of
language teaching
- To participate in language learning experiences based on different approaches and
methods as a basis for reflectionand comparison
- To be aware of the rich set of activity resources available to the imaginative teacher
- To appreciate how theory and practice can be linked from a variety of different
prespectives.
However, teachers and teachers in training need to be able to use approaches and methods
flexible and creatively based on their own judgement and experience.
Looking Forward
The initiatives for changing programs and pedagogy may come from within the
profession from teachers, administrators, theoreticiants and researchers. Therefore, by
identifying some of the factors that have influenced language teaching trends in the past and
that can be expected to continue to do so in the future such as trend in the profession, guruled innovations, response to technnology, influence in the academic disclipines, research
influences, learner-based innovation, crossover educational trends and crossover from other
disciplines.
Despite changes in the statusof approaches and methods, we can therefore expect the
field of second and foreign language teaching in the twenty first century to be no less a
ferment of theories, ideas and practices that it has been in the past.