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Reconciling Communicative Approaches to the Grammar- Translation Methods Rao Zhenhui (Professor PhD)

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Presentation on theme: "Reconciling Communicative Approaches to the Grammar- Translation Methods Rao Zhenhui (Professor PhD)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reconciling Communicative Approaches to the Grammar- Translation Methods Rao Zhenhui (Professor PhD)

2 Speech outline Development of the Grammar-Translation Method (G-T) Characteristics of the G-T Development of Communicative Approaches (C-A) Characteristics of the C-A Comparison between the G-T Method and C-A Approaches

3 Speech outline Traditional Chinese Education Effect of Traditional Chinese Education on EFL Teaching Reasons for Using C-A in the Chinese Context Some Unsatisfactory Results and Obstacles in Using C-A in China How to Reconcile C-A to the G-T A Sample Unit Integrating C-A with G-T in Reading Classes

4 Development of the Grammar- Translation Method The 16th century the 1840s The 1840s the 1940s The 1940s

5 Characteristics of the Grammar- Translation Method Classes are taught in the mother tongue. Vocabulary is taught through bilingual word list. Sentences are the basic units of teaching. Reading and writing are the focus, with little attention to speaking or listening. Grammar is taught deductively. Accuracy is emphasized

6 Development of Communicative Approaches Background 1.Chomskys generative-transformational grammar theory 2.British applied linguistics (Wilkins, Halliday, Widdowson, Candlin, Christopher Brumfit, Keith Johnson) emphasis on function of language 3.Rapid application of these ideas by textbook writers

7 Development of Communicative Approaches 4.Rapid acceptance of these new ideas by British language teaching specialists, curriculum development centers, and even government 5.Changing educational realities in Europe

8 Characteristics of the Communicative Approaches Student-centered Emphasis on meaning and function rather than on language forms Emphasis on communicative competence Using English to learn it (strong version.) / Learning to use English (weak version). Avoiding using the mother tongue

9 Comparison between the G-T Method and C-A Approaches G-T: Attention to form and structure C-A: Attention to Meaning and communication G-T: Emphasis on memorization C-A: Emphasis on using G-T: Teaching without contextualization C-A: Teaching within contextualization

10 Comparison between the G-T Method and C-A Approaches G-T: Excessive emphasis on grammatical rules C-A: Avoiding providing explicit grammar rules G-T: Excessive emphasis on translation C-A: Avoiding using translation G-T: Emphasis on reading and writing C-A: Emphasis on listening and speaking

11 Comparison between the G-T Method and C-A Approaches G-T: Focus on linguistic competence C-A: Focus on communicative competence G-T: Emphasis on accuracy C-A: Emphasis on fluency G-T: Extensive use of pattern drills C-A: Peripheral use of drilling

12 Comparison between the G-T Method and C-A Approaches G-T: Extensive use of mother tongue C-A: Avoiding using mother tongue G-T: Teacher-centered C-A: Student-centered

13 Traditional Chinese Education What does learning mean? It is always useful to open a book(. When the time comes to use you knowledge, you will regret how little you have read.

14 Traditional Chinese Education What is correct way of learning? Learning without thought brings ensnarement. Though without learning totters. ( Say yes, when you know; say no when you dont.(

15 Traditional Chinese Education What are the requirements of a teacher? Being a model for people to follow.( Passing on knowledge. Showing students through the door.

16 Traditional Chinese Education Why is review so important? By reviewing the old, one learns the new.( When one can memorize 300 Tang poems, he is sure to be able to compose poems of his own even though he is not a poet.

17 Effect of Traditional Chinese Education on EFL Teaching Concentration on intensive reading. Use of memorization and rote learning. Meticulous emphasis on linguistic details and lack of attention to communicative skills. Use of translation as a teaching and learning strategy. Teachers authority and students passive role.

18 Reasons for Using C-A in the Chinese Context? The goal of EFL teaching is to develop communicative competence (Hymes, 1972). Activities involving authentic communication promotes learning (Allright, 1984). The process of communication is a learning process (Allright, 1984).

19 Reasons for Using C-A in the Chinese Context? Involving students to learn is effective (Stevick, 1976). Meaningful interaction is of crucial importance for language learning (Pica, 1987).

20 Some Unsatisfactory Results from Using C-A Regarding C-A as ridiculous and inappropriate; Refusing to sit in a circle and speak English; Regarding playing games as entertainment; Preferring to attend lectures on intensive reading and grammar and take conventional exams.

21 Obstacles in Applying C-A in China Higher demand placed on teachers. Opposite to traditional Chinese education pattern. Evaluation system Financial resources

22 How to Reconcile C-A to the G-T Linguistic competence Communicative competence; Pattern drills Meaning and function; Accuracy Fluency; Student-centered Teacher as facilitator; Use of target language Use of the mother tongue

23 A Sample Unit Integrating C-A with G-T in Reading Classes Class Composition: The class consists of 30 first-year university students; Teaching objectives: Challenge students to use the language skills by engaging them in meaningful activities; Move students away from a focus on language forms to independent use of the language skills.

24 Methods and Materials Methods: Incorporate aspects of C-A and the G-T. Materials: Reading passages are selected from various sources: Leisure, Health, Marriage, Religion, the Environment, Tourism, Agriculture, etc..

25 Sessions 1 and 2 Aims of these two sessions: Help students understand the passages by explaining linguistic details and its background; Enable students to practice the language skills they have acquired.

26 Sessions 1 and 2: Teaching Vocabulary Three steps in the teaching of vocabulary: 1.Unlock (e.g., using activating semantic memory, Statman, 1981); 2.Recycle (e.g., using word trees, Underhill, 1980); 3.Extend students vocabulary (e.g., using cloze dictogloss, Rinvolucri, 1984)

27 Sessions 1 and 2: Teaching Grammar 1. Teaching grammar as meaning a. Xiaodan put the book in the box. b. Xiaodan put the book on the box. 2. Teaching grammar as social function a. (Will/would) you open the door? b. (Can/could) I talk to you for a minute?

28 Sessions 3 : A sample Series of Activities Stage 1. Information transfer poster Reading (I) Poster production (SG) Stage 2. Information exchange and writing Discussion (G) Writing (I) Peer editing (P) Stage 3. Information synthesis Reading (P) Discussion (G) Cloze (I)

29 Notes for Sessions 3 Note: I = individual; P = in pair; SG = sub-group; G = group

30 THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!


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