This method reflects the views about language held by the structural linguists (Bloomfield, 1942;
Fries, 1945; Lado, 1964; Pike, 1967) and the behavioral psychology (Skinner, 1957). They consider
language use as a set of habits acquired primarily through imitation and repetition. The basic tenets of this method are (Chastain, 1976): 1) The goal is to develop in thestudents the same types of abilities that native speakers have. 2) The first language is not referred to in learning the target language. 3) The desired skills are acquired basically by setting up teaching and learning situations in which the students are conditioned to give correct response to oral or written stimuli, and students are not allowed time to think about their answers. 4) Patterndrills are to be taught without explanation. 5) Students learn to understand, then to speak, later to read and finally to write. Classroom procedures are: 1) Students hear a model dialogue. 2) Students practice by repeating the
dialogue after the teacher or a recorder until they can distinguish the sounds and intonations. They repeat in groups and then individually until they memorize the dialogue.3) Students do pattern drills, and explanation is kept to minimum; use of the first language is not encouraged. The purpose here is to enable the students overlearn the structure involved to the point of automaticity. 4) Students have an opportunity to use the patterns in a new context such as asking each other questions. In each teaching unit, there is a careful sequencing of activities in acontinuously increasing level of linguistic difficulty.
Throughout the sequence, the teacher is in control of all language practice to condition correct language habits. Learners play a reactive role by responding to the teacher's stimuli.
One of the obvious advantages of this method is the pattern drills which are good for developing
structural awareness but caution should be taken that thestructure should be taught as means to meaning, not as ends. Other good aspects include the emphasis on correct pronunciation and sequencing according to difficulty levels of the language structures.
3Weak aspects of this method include: 1) It may neglect the innovative functioning of the learners
because the emphasis on teaching is the pattern drills instead of allowing students open-ended, trial anderror language practice. 2) It could be intimidating for students since it involves a lot of corrections of pronunciation and very limited use of the first language. 3) Reading and writing are not dealt with systematically. 4) It may ignore the individual differences in learning. 5) The focus on developing communicative competence is not clear and the activities could be boring if caution is nottaken to transfer language skills to real communication.
3.3. THE COMMUNITY LANGUAGE LEARNING
The community language learning is also known as Counseling Learning. This method was developed by Curran (1976) who is more concerned with human relationships than with techniques of teaching.
Language is viewed as a social process. Curran feels that there has been an unnecessary dichotomy
betweencounseling and teaching--the former being interested in the individual's achieving insights and self-awareness that can stimulate personal development, fulfillment, and improved relations with others; the latter being too exclusively concerned with the intellectual learning process. In the counseling method, he feels the two emerge and learning is greatly stimulated through the development ofself-worth and through a feeling of belonging and sharing with others. The following are the procedures of this method: 1) Students sit in a circle with a recorder in the
center, talk about whatever they are interested in. 2) The teacher walks around the circle as a resource person, waiting for students to take initiatives. 3) Beginning students may present to the teacher in their first language a...