Learner-Based Teaching in ELT Class
Author: Supervisor:
Qian Li Wang Yuelan
A Thesis Submitted as a Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of B.A. in English
Foreign Language Department Fuyang Teachers College, Anhui Province May, 2007
学 位 论 文
以学生为主体的英语课堂教学


(学号:2005202012
  22) 学号: )
指导教师姓名 王 月 兰 单 位
职称 副 教 授
阜 阳 师 范 学 院 外 语 系 英 语 教 育 申请学位级别 学 士
专业名称
学位授予单位 阜 阳 师 范 学 院
2007 年 5 月
Learner-Based Teaching in ELT Class Abstract
The author argues that with the process of teaching concept and the popularity of modern information media, traditional didactic teaching is not the most effective method. For various reasons, traditional teaching tends to focus on one or two language skills and ignore the others. One possible solution to bridge the gap between ELT class and real life language use is the adoption of Learner-based Teaching, which has been in syllabus design and in the methodology of foreign language teaching. The emphasis of Learner-based Teaching is that all class activities can be done using information that the learners themselves bring to the class. Furthermore, as Learner-based Teaching pattern goes, the emphasis here is on Learner Independence in the group mode rather than individual self-study mode. The ultimate goal of the learner-based Teaching in ELT class is to enable the students to use the foreign language in everyday life when necessary. Learner-based Teaching has its advantages: it can raise students’ interest and motivation. Among its advantages is its power as a tool for teachers’ development. No teacher taking this route can fail to develop both as a person and as a professional. The approach offers an exciting and rewarding alternative to those teachers willing to try it. It undoubtedly takes courage to cast off the security of control and pre-determined materials, to trust to the power of process and of learner-input, but the rewards are correspondingly great. An efficient ELT class needs Learner- basd Teaching.
Key words: Learner-Based Teaching; Traditional Pedagogy; ELT.
以学生为主体的英语课堂教学
内容摘要
作者认为随着教学思想的发展和现代信息传播的流行,传统迂腐的教学法已不 是最有效的方法了。传统的教学法倾向于单种技能而忽略其他。近年来,在教学大 纲设计和外语教学法中,一个可能填补英语教学法与现实生活语言使用之间空白问 题的方法就是采用以学生为主体的英语教学法。此种教学法强调使用学生带入班级 的信息来组织教学,并相信全部学习活动均可以在学生自身经验的基础上进行。而 且,它强调的不是个人自学而是在群体学习过程中的学习自主性。它最终的目的是 使学生能够在日常生活中“随心所欲”的使用外语。此种教学法优点颇多,它能提 高学生的学习兴趣和动力,并还能有力的促进教师自身人格与专业发展。从原先充 满安全操作的教学转向相信学习过程的力量和学生输入的力量,这无疑是需要勇气 的,但相应的回报也将是巨大的。一个效率高的英语教学课堂需要以学生为主体的 英语教学。
关键词:学生为主教学法;传统教学法;英语教学. 关键词
Learner-Based Teaching in ELT Class
Thesis Statement Through the linguistic theories and the current situation, one can see that leaner-based teaching should be adopted widely in English Language Teaching class. Outline Ⅰ.Introduction . Ⅱ. The Linguistic Theories A. Views on language B. Views on Language Learning Ⅲ. The Current Situation A. Traditional Pedagogy B. Traditional Pedagogy and the Language Use in Real Life
  1. Writing in ELT Class
  2. Rote Learning without Meaningful Context Ⅳ. Learner-Based Teaching in ELT Class A. Views on Learner-Based Teaching B. Advantages of Using Learner-Based Teaching C. Ways of Using Learner-Based Teaching
  1. Views on Learner-Based Teaching in Class
  2. Teachers’ Role in Learner-Based Teaching
  3. Two Activities about Learner-Based Teaching Ⅴ. Conclusion
Learner-Based Teaching in ELT Class
Ⅰ. Introduction In teaching English as a foreign language, the importance of Learner-based Teaching has been widely recognized. However how to attain the aim in the English language Teaching (ELT) class is a problem faced by language educators all over the world. In the present dissertation the concerning linguistic theories and teacher changes and the advantages of the Learner-based Teaching in the ELT class will be surveyed and studied in the light of the Chinese students’ situation. The present dissertation stresses that Learner-based Teaching is very essential in the ELT class. The teaching of language and Learner-based Teaching are of the same importance in the ELT class. Students and pedagogy are closely related in foreign language teaching is to enable the students to use the foreign language in everyday life when necessary, but very often there is a big gap between the use of language in real life and the traditional foreign language pedagogy. There are clear links between this approach and the current trend towards Learner Autonomy, self-directed learning, and Learner Independence. Perhaps unusually however, the emphasis here is on Learner Independence in the group mode rather than the individual self-study mode. Among its ancillary advantages is in power as a tool for teacher development. No teacher taking this route can fail to develop both as a person and as a professional. Furthermore Learner-based Teaching offers an exciting and rewarding alternative to those teachers willing to try it, it undoubtedly takes courage to cast off the security of control and pre-determined materials, to trust to the power of process and of Learner-input, but the rewards are correspondingly great. From years of my experience in teaching English as a tutor I gradually realize the importance of Learner-based Teaching to Chinese students. English teaching should be aimed at developing students' communicative competence so that they would be able to react freely and proper with native speakers of English in various social situations. Learner-based Teaching should be adopted in ELT class. It’s so important。 Ⅱ. The Linguistic Theories
A. Views on Language One question that all approaches of language teaching should answer is “What is language?” The answer to this question is the basis for syllabus design, teaching methods, teaching procedures in the classroom, and even the techniques used in the class. Different views on language generate different teaching methodologies. To give a concise definition of the language has been an enormous amount of research in language in the past half century; no authoritative answer has been given to “What is language?” Rather, people talk about views of language, seemingly allowing for or accepting different theories for the moment. However, “teachers clearly need to know generally what sort of entity they are dealing with and how the particular language they are teaching fits into that entity (Brown, 19
  94). In the past half century, language teaching and learning practices have been influenced by three different views of language, namely, the structural view, the functional view, and the interact ional view. The structural view sees language as a linguistic system made up of subsystem; from phonological, morphological, lexical, etc. to sentences. Each language has a finite number of such structural items. To learn a language means to learn these structural items so as to be able to understand and produce language. The functional view sees language as a linguistic system but also as means for doing things. Most of our day-to-day language use involves functional activities: offering, suggesting, advising, apologizing, etc. Therefore, learners learn a language in order to be able to do things with it. To perform functions, learners need to know how to combine the grammatical rules and the vocabulary to express notions that perform the functions. Examples of notions are concept of present, past and future time; the expressions of certainty and possibility; the roles of agent and instrument within a sentence; and special relationships between people and objects. The international view considers language as a communicative tool. Whose main use is to build up and
maintain social relations between people? Therefore, learners not only need to know the grammar and vocabulary of the language but more importantly they need to know rules for using them in a whole range of communicative contexts. These three views present an ever wider of language. The structural view limits
knowing a language to knowing its structural rules and vocabulary. The communicative or notional-functional view adds the need to know how to use the rules and vocabulary to do whatever it is one wants to do. The interactional view says that to know how to do what one wants to do involves also knowing whether it is appropriate to do so, and where, when and how it is appropriate to do it. In order to know this, the learner has to study the patterns and rules of language above the sentence level to learn how language is used in different speech contexts.
The understanding of the nature of language may provide the basis for a particular teaching method (Richards and Rodger, 19
  86), but more importantly, it is closely related to the understanding of language learning. If language is considered to have a finite number of structural items, learning the language probably means learning these items. If language is more than a system of structure, it is more important a tool, then to learn the language means to use it, rather than just study what it is and how it is formed.
B. Views on Language Learning The language learning theory underlying an approach or method usually answers two questions:
  1) what are psycholinguistic and cognitive processes involved in language learning?
  2) What are the conditions that need to be met in order for these learning processes to be activated? Although these two questions have never been satisfactorily answered, a vast amount of research has been done from all aspects, which can be broadly divided into process-oriented theories and condition-oriented theories (Wang Qiang, 20
  00). Process-oriented theories are concerned with how the mind processes new information, such as habit formation, induction, making inference, hypothesis testing and generalization. Conditional-oriented theories emphasize the nature of the human and physical context in which language learning takes place, such as the number of students, what kind of input learners receive, and the learning atmosphere. Some researchers attempt to formulate teaching approaches directly from these theories. For example, the Natural Approach, Total Physical Response and the Silent Way are based on one or more dimension of processes and conditions. At this level, It is too early to formulate a specific approach, because some aspects still too vague, for example, what is done in these processes.
The behaviorist theory of language was initiates by behavioral psychologist Skinner, who applied Watson and Raynor’s theory of conditioning to the way humans acquire language (Harmer, 19
  83). Based on their experience, Watson and Raynor formulated a stimulus response theory of psychology. In this theory all complex forms of behavior?motions, habits, and such?are seen as composed of simple muscular and glandular elements that can be observed and measured. They claimed that emotional reactions are learned in much the same way as others skills. The key point of the theory conditioning is that “you can train an animal to do anything if you follow a certain procedure which has three major stages, stimulus, response, and reinforcement” (Harmer, 1983:
  30). Based on the theory of conditioning, Skinner suggested language is also a form of behavior. It can be learned the same way as an animal is trained to respond to stimuli. This theory of learning is referred to as behaviorism, which was adopted for some time by language teaching profession, particularly to America. One influential result is the audio-lingual method, which involves endless “listen and repeat” drilling activities. The idea of this method is that language is learned by constant repetition and the reinforcement of the teacher. Mistakes were immediately corrected, and correct utterances were immediately praised. This method is still used in many parts of the world today. The term cognitivism is often used loosely to describe methods in which students are asked to think rather than simply repeat. It seems to be the result of Noam Chomsky’s reaction to Skinner’s behaviorist theory, which led to the revival of structural linguistics. The key point of Chomsky’ theory is reflected in his most famous question: if all language is a learned behavior, how can a child produce sentence that has never been said by others before? Though Chomsky’ theory is not directly applied in language teaching, it has had a great impact on the profession. One influential idea is that students should be allowed to create their own sentences based on their understanding of certain rules. T
 

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