Teaching

Learning and becoming fluent in a foreign language is largely possible if the language is taught in effective and fun ways. There is good teaching when competent instructors with encouraging personalities use student-centered approaches to teaching and learning and appreciate their students.

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In the older model, learning new language is seen as a product of transmission. Here, the teacher transmits the knowledge, while the learner is only the recipient. This teacher-centered approach views the instructor as active and the learner as basically passive. The teacher talks and talks, while the student only listens and absorbs, or takes a nap.

This model is attractive to new language teachers for a number of reasons. First, proponents believe that the teacher must be the focus in the classroom since he or she knows the language very much and the students do not. It also requires little preparation compared to other models. All the instructor must do is to present to the students the materials outlined in the book. In addition, this approach requires little thought about students and their activities. Students pay attention to the presentation, and then do required activities and exercises

But many language instructors and scholars in education observe that the model that focuses on the teacher has two major shortcomings. First, such approach only involves a minority of learners in the actual process language learning. Second, while it gives learners knowledge about a foreign language, it does not necessarily allow them to use the language for purposes that really interest them.

In order to overcome these failings, language professionals have developed a different approach of language teaching and learning. In the newer model of language teaching is seen as a process of discovery. In this learner-centered approach, students develop the ability to use the foreign language for particular communication purposes. Instructors model language use and facilitate learners’ development of skills.

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Here, the teacher and the student are both active participants in the classroom. They share responsibility and work together to know how learners expect to use the foreign language. The teacher models appropriate and correct language use, and the learner then uses the language himself or herself in practice exercises that simulate a real communication situation. This active and shared engagement of teacher and students results in a dynamic environment were teaching and learning of language become enjoyable and rewarding.

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