Ian Comenius and his Method

August 31st, 20116:27 am


Ian Comenius and his Method

Ian Comenius and his Method


At the turn of the 17th century Volfgang Ratichius (1571-1635) complained about contemporary methods of LT which stressed rote learning and grammar at the expense of reading and speaking. He initiated the principle of cognitive learning of Latin translation as a basic means of semantization and emphasised on repetition as a favoured technique. But it remained for his successor, the famous Czech educator Ian Comenius (1592-1670) to devise new methods of LT based on new principles. Instead of rules, I. Comenius used imitation, repetition and plenty of practice in both reading and speaking.

In 1631 Ian Comenius published his book “Ianua linguarum reserata” – “The Gates of Languages Unlocked” in which he described new methods of language teaching based on his principles. The book included a limited vocabulary of a few thousand words; each used in a sentence which gave some indication of meaning.

Orbis Pictus” (1658) is another book by Ian Comenius, in which a Latin text is accompanied by illustrations and translations into the mother tongue. Great attention is paid to direct associations between the word in a FL and an object it denotes. In this way the role of the mother tongue was limited. Ian Comenius recommended the following principles:

– from easy to difficult;

– from simple to complex;

-from known to unknown.

Language teaching remained the chief concern of Ian Communes. His “Linguarum methodus novissima” (Contemporary/modern methods revised) contains one of the first attempts to teach grammar inductively. “Didactica Magna” was a more ambitious work that went beyond language teaching and laid the foundations for modern pedagogy.

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