The Content of FLT

August 31st, 20116:18 am


The Content of FLT

The Content of FLT

One of the essential categories of FLT is the content or what to teach. It is impossible to determine the content of FLT without referring to linguistics – a science that deals with the study of languages as a definite system of codes. Thus, linguistics describes the standard use of the language, a set of rules, which cover this use. It also studies the usage, i.e. the way people use words and expressions in speaking and writing, as well as stylistic means, phonological, morphological, syntactical and lexical items.

Consequently, the dichotomy between language and speech plays an important role in FLT. Language is a system of signs and speech is a manifestation of this language system in concrete communicative acts. Both language and speech make up two sides of the same phenomenon, one whole, and at the same time each of them has specific units.

Language units include phonemes, morphemes, words, phraseological units, sentences, and texts. These language elements are organized on formal-semantic principles.

Speech units include utterances of various lengths where language elements are organized on semantic-communicative principle. In other words, speech units refer to a specific situation of communication.

The afore-mentioned makes it possible to conclude that in FLT at school it is necessary to proceed from speech to language sequence, i.e. to teach the language via speech in real life situations.

Consequently, the first component of the content of FLT is the linguistic one which includes language material (phonetical, grammatical, and lexical minima) and speech material (utterances of different lengths) to be used in real acts of communication.

The selection of linguistic material, the so-called minimum vocabulary, minimum grammar is circumscribed by the syllabus for secondary schools.

The second component of “what to teach” is a psychological one. We have already described the relation of methodology to other sciences, particularly methodology and psychology. It should be mentioned that dynamic stereotypes serve as psychological bases for habits as automatic components of conscious activity formed as a result of drills or exercises. Language proficiency largely depends on the mastery of a system of speech habits and skills. In language acquisition these are habits in pronunciation, grammar, lexis; habits in listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing.

Thus, a psychological component is a formation of habits and skills to use a FL for communicative purposes.

The third component of “what to teach” is a methodological one, i.e. rational approaches to FLT: the pupils should be taught how to learn a FL, how to work on the subject to achieve the ultimate goals.

Some methodologists think that the content of FLT includes: a) exercises of different types; b) texts for oral and written work; c) laboratory exercises; d) topical selection of material [cf. 27; 29].

In O.Volmyans’ka’s opinion the content of FLT involves a dialectical unity of all specifically arranged teaching materials, teaching/learning process, habits, skills, and common essential learnings.

In M.West’s opinion “a language is not a subject which can be taught, it is a subject which must be learnt”. Language acquisition largely depends on systematic work that would bring satisfaction from this occupation and the feeling of progress. What the learners need are useful ideas, suggestions, explanations, demonstrations and examples of learning strategies which are consistent with current achievements in the field of modern language teaching.

Thus, an understanding of current theories of language learning and the achievement of related sciences give all grounds to define the content of FLT in the following terms:

1) linguistic component, covering language and speech material;

2) psychological component, which includes formation of habits and skills which enable the learners to use them for communicative purposes;

3) methodological component that is related to techniques and procedures derived from application of didactic principles.

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