Approaches and-methods-in-language-teaching book

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


  • Approacnes and Methods in Language




    Cambridge Language

    Teaching Library

  • C AMBRIDGE LANGUAGE TEA C HIN G LIBRARY A series covering central issues in language tcaching and learning, by authors who have expert knowledge in their field.

    In this series: Affect in Language Learning edited by jane Arnold Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching by Jack C. Richards and

    Theodore S, Rodgers Appropriate Methodology and Social Context by Adrian Holliday Beyond Training by Jack C. Richards Collaboractive Action Research for English Language Teachers by Anne Bums Collaborative Language Learning and T caching edited by Dav;d Nunan Communicative Language Teaching by William Littlewood Designing Tasks for the Communicative Classroom by David Nunan Developing Reading Skills by Fran~oise Grellet Developments in English for Specific Purposes by T01lY Dudley-Evans and

    Maggie Jo St. John Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers by Michael McCarthy Discourse and Language Education by Evelyn Hatch English for Academic Purposes by R. R. Jordan English for Specific Purposes by Tom Hutchinson and Alan Waters Establishing Self-Access: From Theory to Practice by David Gardner and

    Lindsay Miller Foreign and Second Language Learning by William Littlewood Language Learning in Intercultural Perspective edited by Michael Byram

    arId Michael Fleming The Language Teaching Matrix by Jack C. Richards Language Test Construction and Evaluation by J. Charles Alderson.

    Caroline Clapham, and Dianne Wall Learner-cen[redness as Language Education by Ian Tudor Managing Curricular Innovation by Nurna Markee Materials Development in Language Teaching edited by Brian Tomlinson Psychology for Language Teachers by Marion Williams and

    Robert L. Burden Research Methods in Language Learning by David Nunan Second Language Teacher Education edited by Jack C. Richards and

    David Nunan Society and the Language Classroom editec{.by HyweI Coleman Teacher Learning in Language Teaching edited by Donald Freeman

    and Jack C. Richards Teaching the Spoken Language by Gillian Brown arId George Yule Understanding Research in Second Language Learning by James Dean Bmwn Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy edited by Norbert Schmitt (wd

    Michael M cCarthy Vocabulary, Semantics, and Language Education by Evelyn Hatch (lnd

    Cheryl Brown ., Voices From [he Language Class room edited by Kathleen M . Hailey (11/(/

    David NUI/IIII

    Approaches and Methods In Language Teaching

    A description and analysis

    Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers



    The Pi tt Bui lding, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom


    The Edinburgh Bui lding, Cambridge CB2 2RU, United Kingdom

    40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA 10 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, Melbourne 3 166, Australi a

    Cambridge Univers ity Press 1986

    This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may ta ke place without the written permission of Cambri dge Uni ve rsity Press.

    Fi rst pub lished 1986 Fifteenth printing 1999

    Printed in the United States of America

    Typeset in Saban

    Library of C01lgress Catalogillg-in-PublicatiOt! Data

    Richards, J ack C. Approaches and methods in language teaching. (Cambridge language teaching libra ry) Includes bibl iographies and index . I. Language and languages - Study and teaching. 1. Rodgers, Theodore S. (Theodore Stephen), 1934-. 11. Title . III. Series. P51.R467 1986 41 8'.007 85-11698

    British cataloging-ill-Publication Data Richards, J.c. (jack C.) Approaches and methods in language teach ing. -(Cambridge la nguage tcaching library). , l. Language and languages - study and teaching. 1. Title. Il . Rodgers, Theodore S. 41 8'.007 P5 1

    ISBN 0-521-32093-3 h"dback ISBN 0-521 -31255-8 paperback


    Preface VII

    1 A brief history of language teaching 1

    The nature of approaches and methods in language teachmg 14


    3 The Ora l Approach and Situational La nguage Teaching 31

    4 The Audio lingual Method 44

    5 Communi cati ve Language Teaching 64

    6 Total Physi ca l Response 87

    7 The Silent Way 99

    Community Language Lea rning 113

    'J T he Natural Approach 128

    I () Sli ggestopedi a 142

    II Co mparing and evaluating methods: some suggesti ons 154

    IIId\' x 169


  • Preface


    , ,

    The proliferation of approaches and methods is a prominenCcharacter-istic of contemporary second and foreign language teaching. To some, this reflects the strength of our profession. Invention of new classroom practices and approaches to designing language programs and materials reflects a commitment to finding more efficient and more effective ways of teaching languages, T he classroom teacher and the program coor-dinator have a wider variety of methodological options to choose from than ever before. They can choose methods and materials according to the needs of learners, the preferences of teachers, and the constraints of the school or educational setting.

    To others, however, the wide variety of method options currently available confuses rather than comforts. Methods appear to be based on very different views of what language is and how a language is learned. Some methods recommend apparently strange and unfamiliar classroom techniques and practices; others are described in books that are hard to locate, obscurely written, and difficult to understand. Above all, the practitioner is often bewildered by the lack of any comprehensive theory of what an approach and method are. This book was written in response to this situation, It is an attempt to depict, organize, and analyze major and minor approaches and methods in language teaching, and to describe their underlying nature.

    Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching is designed to provide a detailed account of major twentieth-century trends in language teach-ing. To highlight the simi larities and differences between approaches and methods, the same descriptive framework is used throughout. This model is presented in Chapter 2 and is used in subsequent chapters. It describes approaches and methods according to their underlying theories of language and language learning; the learning objectives; the syllabus model used; the roles of teachers, learners, and materials within the method or approach; and the classroom procedures and techniques that the method uses. Where a method or apptoach has extensive and ac-knowledged links to a particular tradition in second or foreign language tcachin g, this historical background is treated in the first section of the chapter. Where an approach or method has no acknowledged ties to estahlished second or foreign language teaching practice, histori ca l per-speeti v' is not r Icvrlnt. In I'h csc cases th e method is considered in I'c rlll S

  • Preface

    of its links to more general linguistic, psychological, o r educational

    traditions. Within each chapter, o ur aim has been to present an objective and

    comprehensive picture of a particular approach or method . We have avoided personal evalu ation, preferring to let the method speak fo r Itself and allow readers to make their own appraisals. The book is not intended to popula rize or promote particular approaches or methods, nor is it an attempt to train teachers in the use of the dIfferent methods descrIbed. Rather it is designed to give the teacher or teacher tramee a straIght-forward introduction to commo nly used and less commo nly used meth-ods, and a set of criteria by which to criti cally read, question, and observe methods. In the final chapter we examine m ethods from a broader frame-work and present a curriculum-development perspective on methodol-ogy. Limita tions of method claims are discussed, and the need for evaluatio n and research is emphasized. W e hope that rhe analYSIS of app roaches and methods presented here will elevate the level of discus-sion found in the methods literature, which sometimes has a polemIcal and promotional quality. Our goal is to enable teachers to become better informed about the nature, strengths, and weaknesses of methods and approaches so they can better arrive at their own judgments and decisions.

    Portions of Chapter 2 are based on Jack C. Richards and Theodore Rodgers, " Method: approach, design, procedure," TESO L Quarterly 16(2): 153-68. We would like to thank the following people for their ass istance in the preparation of this manuscript: Eileen Cain for C hapter 6; Jonathan Hull, Deborah Gordon , and Joel W iskin for Cha pter 7; Graham Crookes .and Phillip Hull for Chapter 8; and Peter H alpern and Unise Lange for Chapter 9. We would like to acknowledge especia ll y the editorial skills of our ed itor, Sandra G raham of Cambrtdge UllIvcrslty


    V III

    1 A brief history of language teaching

    This chapter, in briefl y reviewing the histo ry of language teaching meth-ods, prov Ides a backgro und fo r discussion of contempora ry methods and suggests th e issues we will refer to in analyzin g these merhods. From this hi storical perspective we are also able to see that th e concerns that have prompted modern method innovations were similar to those that have always been a t the center of discussions o n how to teach foreign languages. Changes in language reaching methods throu gho ut history have re fl ected recognition of changes in the kind of proficiency


View more >