The Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching (FLT)

September 7th, 20116:02 am


The Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching (FLT)

The Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching (FLT)


The term “методика” has several correspondences in English: methodology, methods and methodics. The latter is recognized by a few scholars [116,p.126]. In our course of lectures the word methodology will be used for “методика” and “методологiя” of teaching English as a foreign language [TEFL].

There are several definitions of this term:

1. Methodology (from Greek methodos – спосіб, шлях дослідження або пізнання, logos – поняття, вчення) is a framework of organization for teaching which relates linguistic theory to pedagogical principles and techniques.

2. Methodology is a branch of pedagogy which deals with peculiarities of teaching a certain subject.

3. Methodology of FLT is a body of scientifically tested theory concerning the teaching of foreign languages in schools and other educational institutions [57, p.5]

4. Methodology is a system of principles and ways of organization and construction of theoretical and practical activity as well as a teaching about this system.

5. Methodology is a science which studies aims, content, means, principles, techniques and methods of a system of instruction and education on the material of a foreign language (cf. 27, c. 12).

In our view methodology is a branch of didactics which relates linguistic theory to pedagogical principles and techniques.

The goal of these lecture-notes is to integrate the acquired knowledge of English, didactics, psychology, linguistics and formulate basic professional and pedagogical habits and skills. In G.Rogova’s opinion, methodology covers three main points:

1. aims of TEFL;

2. content of TEFL;

3. methods, principles and techniques of TEFL.

But it becomes evident that the three components do not constitute the whole teaching/learning process. The activities of learners and teachers, their interaction (symmetrical or assymetrical) and the role of instructional materials are the outstanding constituents. The task of methodology is to integrate the relationships among them and to draft requirements for each of them.

Teaching a subject is viewed here not simply as the delivery of prescribed formulae, imparting a certain amount of knowledge, but also developing habits and skills, but also as activity.

To attain these aims in the most effective way constitutes the main subject of any methodology. The methodology determines the laws, principles, aims, content, methods, techniques, and means (media) of teaching. The actual teaching of a language may differ in the analysis of what is to be taught, in the planning of lessons, in the teaching techniques used, in the type and amount of teaching done through mechanical means and finally, in the testing of what has been learned.

Basic Categories of Methodology

The methodology of TEFL seems to embody such basic categories on which there is general agreement among those who have studied the subject: methods, principles, techniques, aims and means of instruction.

There is no unanimity regarding the term method either. In G. Rogova’s et al. view “method is a technological operation, structural and functional component of the teacher’s and learner’s activity, realized in techniques and principles of instruction. A method is a model of instruction based on definite theoretical provisions, principle, techniques and aims of instruction.

A method is also a specific set of teaching techniques and materials generally backed by stated principles.

A method determines what and how much is taught (selection), the order in which it is taught (gradation), and how the meaning and form are conveyed (presentation). Since presentation, drill and repetition may also be the concern of the teacher, the analysis of the teaching/leaning process must first determine how much is done by the method and how much by the teacher.

Aim is a direction or guidance to establish a course or procedure to be followed. The teacher should formulate long-term goals, interim aims and short-term objectives. What changes he can bring about in his pupils at the end of the week, month, year, course, and each particular lesson. Hence, aims are planned results for pupils in learning a FL. The aims are stipulated by the syllabus and other official directives. They are: practical, instructional, educational and developing (formative).

Practical aims cover habits and skills which pupils acquire in using a foreign language. A habit is an automatic response to specific situations, acquired normally as a result of repetition and learning.

A skill is a combination of useful habits serving a definite purpose and requiring application of certain knowledge.

Instructional aims develop the pupils’ mental capacities and intelligence in the process of FLL (foreign language learning).

Educational aims help the pupils extend their knowledge of the world in which they live.

Formative or developing aims help develop in learners sensual perception, motor, kinaesthetic, emotional and motivating spheres.

Principles are basic underlying theoretical provisions which determine the choice of methods, techniques and other means of instruction.

Technique in the methodology of TEFL is the manner of presentation, demonstration, consolidation and repetition.

Means is something by the use or help of which a desired goal is attained or made more likely.

Використані джерела:
1. Близнюк М.І. Курс лекцій з методики викладання англійської мови. – Чернівці: ЧДУ, 1999 – с.