Critics and reactions about the theories and methods of
Second Language Learning
Many theories and hypothesis have been made by some experts that have their own ideas about how to teach and learn a language. It is interesting how they have proposed and made some discoveries that have been very important in this topic and they have been developed.
It is the case of the behaviorism thataffirm that if we want to get something, we must to give and stimulus, so we will receive a response, and after we do a reinforcement of that in order to get the same result the next time. But there are others that think that the learning of a language depend on the exposure of the students to the language, an also the motivation they have, and the opportunities that they have in order to practicethe language whit other people to improve it. Another theory affirm that the students get a better knowledge if they are relaxed, if they feel good, but if they are not they won’t give an effective acquisition of the new language that they are learning. Also we can learn a new language by discovering how the words or phrases may be written, and the discovery of new words that have relation withone word, they only need the guidance of a teacher, but they will do the rest . I think that all of this theories have their own principles and they are completely acceptable, we could take some of this principles in order to do our own methodology and get better results or at least verify the effectively of it.
Talking about methods, it is important to have a method when we teach a new languageand obtain good results of it that’s why there are some methods that have been applied around the history, and the importance they have had. For example, it is the grammar translation method that is the most antique method and is based in reading a lot of books; memorize many words and grammatical structures. This was the first method known in teaching a language. A time ago, Francois Gouin deniedthe efficiency of the grammar translation method because of his own experience trying to learn German using all the principles but with no results. But he discovered that his nephew was a chatterbox of French without doing all those things that he had done in Germany, so he said that language learning is primarily a matter of transforming perceptions into conceptions that’s why he designed theSeries Method. At the same time, the Direct Method was emerging and the oral communication was obligatory, the pronunciation and the grammar were emphasized. After this method appeared the Audio Lingual Method in which there was a lot of oral activity and there were a series of exercises that were presented in dialogue form with repetitive drills, the grammar was taught by inductive analogy, andthe successful responses were immediately reinforced. This method was very popular for many years and in the actuality there are adaptations of it. In the 60s the approach of cognitive code learning was presented that emphasized a conscious awareness of rules and their applications to second language learning, as a reaction of the strictly behavioristic practices of the ALM, an ironically a returnto some of the practices of the grammar translation.
The decade of the 1970s was historically significant because of the designer methods of Spirited. One of them is the Community Language Learning, in which the students in a class were regarded not as a class but as a group in need of certain therapy and counseling. There were an interpersonal relationship in which students and teacher joinedtogether to facilitate learning in a context of valuing each individual in the group. The second one is the Suggestopedia that was derived from Bulgarian psychologist Georgi Lozanov’s contention that the human brain could process great quantities of material if given the right conditions for learning, among which are a state of relaxation and giving over of control to the teacher. The music was...
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