Essay on Direct Method in Foreign Language Teaching

5670 Words Dec 17th, 2009 23 Pages
Direct method

Innovation in foreign language teaching began in the 19th century and, very rapidly, in the 20th century, leading to a number of different methodologies, sometimes conflicting, each trying to be a major improvement over the last or other contemporary methods. The earliеst applied linguists, such as Jean Manesca, Heinrich Gottfried Ollendorff (1803-1865), Henry Sweet (1845-1912), Otto Jespersen (1860-1943) and Harold Palmer (1877-1949) worked on setting principles and approaches based on linguistic and psychological theories, although they left many of the specific practical details for others to devise. The development of foreign language teaching is not linear. There have been two major branches in the field, empirical
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The third and final thread in the development of ELT was the rising demand for English as a foreign language (EFL) in the United Kingdom itself during the 1930s, mainly from refugees from war-threatened Europe. After 1945, there was a pause until the1960s when TEFL began to grow fast. Out of these influences post-war ELT developed a recognizable approach of its own which stressed the importance of carefully graded texts containing the new grammar patterns, a limited vocabulary of frequent items and an oral method which presented the new items in ‘situations’ that made the meaning clear without having to translate too much. Work on language teaching also was done in the USA though in the tradition of Sapir and Blommfield. Language teaching in a large-scale way came up with ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program) that used the informant techniques of Bloomfield (1942). The method utilized dialogue memorization , patterned drills and other ‘habit’ formation exercises. This method was called ‘applied linguistics’ by 1948 when Language Learning – A Quarterly Journal of Applied Linguistics was published. Charles C. Fries established 3 months courses at his English Language Institute (ELI). His successor at ELI was Robert Lado. New technology adopted which name was Language Laboratory., and then relabeled as the Audio-Lingual Approach after Chomsky’s Transformational Grammar paradigm upgraded in the 1960’s as the Audio-Visual Approach.
Towards the end of the

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