Saturday, October 8, 2011

COMMUNITY LANGUAGE LEARNING | TEACHING METHOD

COMMUNITY LANGUAGE LEARNING (1960s-2000s)

Actually I have posted several kinds of Teaching Methods such as Suggestopedia, The Grammar Translation Method, The Silent Way, The Audio Lingual Method, and The Direct Method. So on this opportunity I am going to post about The Community Language Learning Method. The Community Language Learning takes its principle from the more general counseling-learning approach developed by Charles A. Curran. Students is considered as a ‘whole-person’ means that teachers consider not only their students’ feelings and intellect, but also have some understanding of the relationship among students’ physical reaction, their instinctive protective reaction and their desire to learn.

Therefore, a way to dealt with the students’ problems (fears) is for a teacher to become ‘language counselor’. By understanding students’ problems and being sensitive to them, it is believed can help students overcome their negative feelings and turn them into positive energy to further their learning.

It is designed to ease the learner into gradual independence and self-confidence in the target language. This is also known as the Counseling-Learning method. Curran's approach is beyond simply a methodical pedagogy, but is rather a veritable philosophy of learning which provides profound, even quasi-theological reflections on humankind! It encourages holistic learning, personal growth, and self-development. Learning a language is not viewed necessarily as an individual accomplishment, but rather as a collective experience, something to be disseminated out into the community at large at a later stage in the second-language acquisition process. Its basic premise can be found in the acronym SARD:  

S stands for security (to foster the student's self-confidence),  

A represents attention or aggression (the former an indication of the learner's involvement, the latter their frustration level),  

R equals retention and reflection (what is retained is internalized and ultimately reflected upon), and 

D denotes discrimination (the learner can now discriminate through classifying a body of material, seeing how one concept interrelates to another previously presented structure). Student "participants" are thus allowed to register abstracted grammar both peripherally and semi-consciously.

The Principles of Community Language Learning

  1. The goals are to learn language communicatively, to take responsibility for learning, to approach the task nondefensively, never separating intellect from feelings.
  2. Teacher acts as counselor, supporting students with understanding of their struggle to master language in often threatening new learning situation.
  3. Nondefensive learning requires six elements: security, aggression (students have opportunities to assert, involve themselves), attention, reflection (students think about both the language and their experience learning it), retention, and discrimination (sorting out differences among target language forms).
  4. Both students and teacher make decisions in the class. Sometimes the teacher directs action, other times the students interact independently.
  5. Teachers routinely probe for students’ feelings about learning and shows understanding, helping them overcome negative feelings.
  6. Language is for communication, a medium of interpersonal sharing and belonging, and creative thinking. Culture is integrated with language.
  7. At first, since students design syllabus, they determine aspects of language studied; later teacher may bring in published texts. Particular grammar, pronunciation points are treated, and particular vocabulary based on students’ expressed needs. Understanding and speaking are emphasized; reading and writing have a place.
  8. Use of native language enhances students’ security. Students have conversations in their native language and the target language translations of these become the text around which subsequent activities revolve. Instructions and sessions for expressing feelings are in native language and the target language is used progressively more.
  9. No specific means are recommended for evaluation, but adherence to principles is urged. Teacher would help students prepare for any test required by school, integrative tests would be preferred over discrete-point tests, self-evaluation would be encouraged, promoting students’ awareness of their own progress.
  10. Nonthreatening style is encouraged, modeling of correct forms.
 
The Teaching Techniques Used in Community Language Learning
  1. Tape-recording student conversation, that is, it is used to record student-generated language as well as given the opportunity for community learning to come about.
  2. Transcription, that is, the teacher transcribes the students’ tape-recorded target language conversation.
  3. Reflection on experience, that is, the teacher takes time during or after the various activities, gives the students the opportunity to reflect on how they feel about the language learning experience.
  4. Reflective listening, that is, the students relax and listen to their own voice speaking the target language on the tape.
  5. Human computer, that is, a student chooses some part of the transcript to practice pronouncing. She/he is in the control of the teacher when she/he tries to say the word or phrase.
  6. Small group tasks, that is, firstly the students are asked to make new sentences with the words on the transcript with their small group.  And the groups share the sentences they made with the rest of the class.

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