There are many methods of teaching English. These differ according to the aims for which they are taught. In fact, the methods of teaching English should be determined by the aims of teaching it. When aims are fully formulated, it can be considered easily which methods will achieve the desired aims. For example, if the aim is to give information, translation method will be most suitable for giving the required information. Direct method of teaching will not be helpful in achieving that aim. But if the language is studied with an aim of learning it as a means of communication, direct method, based on actual experiences and direct activities, will be most successful for achieving that aim.
The modern educationists believe that the aim of teaching English to students in Indian schools is to enable the students to acquire a practical command of English. This requires methods of teaching, which are based on psychological principles. The grammar translation method will be of no avail in achieving this aim of teaching English.
It was for this reason that Bertrand Russell laid great stress on the connection between aims of teaching and methods of teaching when he said. “The Questions what should be taught and how should it be taught are intimately connected with each other because if better method of teaching are devised, it is possible to learn more from them.”
Conclusion-We can concltide by saying that the method of teaching any topic in English should depend on the aims of teaching that topic In fact, this principle holds good in teaching any subject or any topic, but it is especially so in teaching of English which is a foreign language.
Teaching Online Contents
(A) Grammar translation method of teaching English
In grammar translation method, the teacher translates every word, phrase and sentence of English into the mother tongue f9r easy comprehends by the students. This is the oldest method of teaching English in our country, but the most condemned one. However, it is most widely used in Indian schools. Most of the teachers of English in our country use this method because of its convenience.
Principles of translation method
The grammar translation method of teaching English is based on the following principles-
(i) The words and expressions in English can be easily interpreted in the mother tongue of the students.
(ii) It is easy for the students to learn words and phrases of through their mother tongue.
(iii) Structure of a foreign language can be easily learnt when compared and contrasted to those of the mother tongue.
Advantages of translation method
(i) Translation method is the easiest method to explain the meaning of English words and phrases.
(ii) It helps in expanding and enriching the vocabulary of the students in the shortest time.
(iii) It takes less time to explain the meaning of difficult words of a foreign language in the mother tongue.
(iv) The teacher has to put in less effort and labor while using this method. It suits an average as well as below average teacher of English.
(v) It enables the teacher to test students’ understanding and comprehension of English easily.
Limitations of translation method
(i) Translation method lays stress only on meaning and interpretation. It totally neglects speech. Those students, who are taught English through transplantation method are very poor in spoken English, because they are not given any practice in speaking English.
(ii) The method is unpsychological, because it is based on theory and not on practice. Language can be learnt effectively through usage and practice and not by learning the rules of grammar. The students may have good knowledge of the rules of grammar, but even then they may not be able to speak or write correct English. Correct · English can be learnt only through drills, which are not provided in this method.
(iii) In this method, great emphasis is laid on liberal translation which is not correct and ·useful. There are many English words and phrases which cannot be translated into the mother tongue and out of it e.g. Dahi jama do in Hindi will be put as set the milk to curd.
(iv) This method is not activity based. In it the students are more passive listeners and not active participants in the teaching learning process.
Role of translation method in teaching English
It is true that translation method suffers from a number of defects. It is considered a very poor method of teaching English. But even then, we cannot banish if from our programmed of teaching English to Indian students. It is a convenient teaching method for the teacher and a convenient learning method for the students.
We should not entirely ban using the translation method for teaching English to Indian students rather we should use it judiciously. But the major drawback in the exclusive use of this method is that it has no place for training and practice in speech. The pupil never gets an opportunity to express his own thoughts in English.
This method makes excessive use of the tongue. Too much use of mother tongue retards the progress. In this method the student thinks, imagines and understands everything through the mother tongue. According to Serperson, ‘The translation swallows up so much that there is none left for learning the foreign language.’
Too much stress is laid in this method on the rules of grammar. Hence, it is also called ‘grammar method or grammatical method.’ But the grammatical plan does not suit the young learners. It is a theoretical and logical method, which is quite unsuitable to the young students, who are at the early stage of learning English.
The demerits of translation method can be made up by limiting the use of mother tongue to comprehension of the meaning of difficult words of English and by providing the students sufficient practice in the use of English words and phrases through speaking English combined with motions and gestures by the students. It means that the English teachers can teach best by combing, translation method of teaching English with direct method of teaching the language.
(B) Direct Method
The Direct Method of teaching English is the method of teaching · English directly without use of students mother tongue, without translation and without the study of formal grammar. It seeks to establish a direct association between experience and expression. English words are taught to the students by pointing to objects or pictures or by performing suitable action.
Mr. H.E. Palmer has described the following essential features of direct Method of teaching English.
(i) Translation in any form is banished in the programme of teaching English.
(ii) The meaning of words are taught by means of objects or by natural contexts and appropriate actions.
(iii) Oral teaching precedes any form of reading and writing.
(iv) Grammar, when it is taught, is taught inductively.
According to Felix Frank, ‘Direct Method of teaching English is the method of teaching in which a new English word or expression is connected in the pupils mind directly with what it stands for and not through the medium of mother tongue.’
Aims of Direct Method
(i) To make the pupil think in English.
(ii) To develop in the pupil that instinctive understanding language sense, which we all possess in varying degrees in the mother tongue.
(iii) To enable the pupil to express his thoughts and feeling directly by means of English without the intervention of other tongue.
(iv) To enable the pupil to acquire the ability to grasp and group the sense of what he hears or reads in English.
(i) In this method, a direct bond is created between word and idea, word and experience. This type of association in the key to understand the meaning. It needs a full contextual situation.
(ii) Audio-visual material is used extensively to explain the meaning.
(iii) Vocabulary is taught after following the principles of selection and gradation.
(iv) The teacher can ask some common questions related to the current actions. For example, when the teacher is teaching he can ask questions like:
(a) What is in my hand? (Holding a pen)
(b) What am I doing? (Putting it on the table)
(c) What have I done? (After putting it on the table)
(v) Instead of a word, sentence is the unit of teaching. It is in words and phrases that the child learns to talk which later go on to rrom a sentence.
(vi) Stress is laid more on speech because direct association can be made by oral teaching only.
(vii) Two types of maxims are profusely used-
(a) From simple to complex.
(b) From concrete to abstract.
(viii) In this method, grammar is taught inductively indirectly unlike grammar translation method, rules of grammar are neither taught nor stressed. It is assumed that learners will themselves enter the grammatical rules. Therefore, in this method grammar is not an end in itself.
Principles of Direct Method
(i) Direct link between the word and its meaning-The main principle underlying direct method is establishment of direct link between English word or phrase and its meaning. The mother tongue is not to be used.
(ii) Inhibition on the use of mother tongue-The use of mother tongue is inhibit ted in direct method. This helps to ensure direct link between the word and the meaning.
(iii) Oral Training-Direct method lays great emphasis on oral training in learning English. Oral training helps in the direct link between the English words and the objects for which they stand.
(iv) Using sentence as the unit of speech-Direct Method is based on the principle of making sentence as the unit of speech. So teaching of English starts with this teaching of sentences and not with individual words.
(v) Inductive teaching of grammar-Direct Method has no place for theoretical granular. If granular is to be taught, it is to be done so by inductive method. In this method, learning of grammar is not essential. It is only a means to the learning of language correctly and not an end in itself. In this method, language precedes grammar.
Advantages of Direct Method of Teaching
(i) It makes understanding of English easier-Direct method of teaching makes the understanding of English easier by doing away with the intervention of mother tongue and establishing direct link between the English words or phrases and concrete objects. The learner acquires the ability to understand what he hears or reads in English directly.
(ii) Based on educational principles-The method is strictly in conformity with educational principles-particular before general, concrete before abstract, practice before theory.
(iii) It aids reading-Direct method makes the study of English easy and interesting. The students taught through this method acquire a great love for reading English books and magazines. It this way, direct method encourages self study in English. ·
(iv) Command over language-This method enables students to acquire a command over the English language. By speaking English all the time, whether right or wrong their primary errors soon disappear and in a few years, they acquire the command over it which they have over their mother-tongue.
(v) It gives fluency of speech-The direct method establishes a direct link between experience and expression. Thus, the students acquire fluency in speech. There is no intervention of mother tongue and the student thinks in English, he does not find it difficult to express his thoughts in speech. The students taught through direct method, speak English more fluently than those who have been taught through the translation method. Their pronunciation is also better, as they are given opportunity to speak English.
(vi) A natural method-It is a natural method of teaching because in it, English is taught in the same way in which the mother tongue is taught. The learner feeds burdened initially but the burden lightens gradually.
(vii) It aids written work-Direct method leads to ease in writing as writing requires ability of expression. Hence, it is noticed that those who can speak fluently can also write easily.
(viii) No gap between active and passive vocabulary-This method does not differentiate between active vocabulary (i.e. those words which we know and use) and passive vocabulary (i.e. those words which we understand but do not use), because whatever is required for understanding, English is also required for expressing it. If English is learnt through the mother tongue, the gulf between the active and passive vocabulary is widened. Through this method the student acquires a greater control over vocabulary.
(ix) Taste for English literature-Under this method, student spend almost all their time in speaking and learning English. A native like atmosphere prevails in the class-room with talks on English authors and their works. Naturally, pupils develop a taste for English literature and very soon they overcome their initial difficulties of speech and writing, and imbibed with a zeal for higher studies.
Limitations of Direct Method of Teaching
The disadvantages of the method are-
(i) A lost of time is consumed in creating real-life situations.
(ii) We cannot teach second and foreign language like the mother tongue because, in the words of Sweet ‘In learning our language, we begin young and we give our whole time to it. Our minds are perfect blanks and we come to it with all our faculties fresh and unknown.’
(iii) This method stresses on aural-oral appeal: Advocates of this method think that it is more annealing. But it may be effective for some children and not for all children. There are some who are more profited by visual appeal. So, for such Children this method is not useful. This state of affairs has compelled Dr. Breton to say that ‘only the clever child can profit by this method.’
(iv) Some scholars think that this method does not initiate thinking in English.
Thompson and Wyatt says, We cannot except the pupil to make the association at the outset. It means, pupils think in their own mother tongue, although, they try to speak in English.
(v) Some scholars like P. Currey and Dr. West do not regard it a method. They think it is a principle only which can be used along with some method.
(vi) This method is expensive, because a lot of audio-visual material is needed.
(vii) For over-crowded class, this method is inconvenient.
(viii) In India, there is scarcity of teachers who are competent and trained in teaching through this method.
(ix) Sometimes, it becomes very difficult to bring the word meaning and child’s experience together.
(x) It may be possible that the teacher wants to convey some meaning and the students assimilate quite a different meaning.
(xi) Grammar is not taught systematically.
(xii) This method ignores reading and writing aspects of language learning. Equal time is not devoted to learn this skil.ls.
Failure of the method in India-Due to all these demerits, direct method has failed to yield desirable results. In this context, Menon and Patel write, ‘The direct method was tried in India for a number of years but it failed to yield the expected dividends in term of the children progress.’ For this, they have assigned two main reasons-
(i) A vast majority of English teachers did not possess sufficient command of the language and ability to practice it.
(ii) Text books were not graded as regards grammar and composition and the ideal that grammar and composition should be taught in co-ordination with the reading lesson was not realized.
Conclusion-Whatever be the opinions about the direct method, its usefulness at the early stage cannot be denied. Because of the interest it creates, it appeals to children. At the same time; it shows good results. Hence, efforts should be made to follow it at an early stage. But it does not suit the purpose of students in higher classes. Hence, there is a other method of teaching should be followed. If attempted at in the right manner and in the right spirit, it works and its results are highly satisfactory. It affords more opportunities for speech which is essential for laying a firm foundation for acquiring linguistic habits.” Prof. V.K. Gokak says, ‘between the word and the thing. Direct association of this kind meant give better results than translation can be promoted by means of activity appropriate to what the pupil is learning by setting up sih1ations which stimulate those of real life.’
(C) Bilingual Method
This method is completely a recent method invented by Prof .C.J. Dodson of Wales. He claims that this method is very effective in teaching a foreign language.
Philosophy behind the method-When the child learns the mother tongue, he connects the meaning of words with his own experience because he learns the mother tongue in a real situation. In this way, he grasps the situation or forms the concept in mind. As, for example the mother asks the child, Dudh Peeo (Drink the milk). Seeing the milk itself, the child learns that this thing is called milk, thus he learns calling milk as ‘Dudh’ and forms the concept of milk in his mind. Now, it will be a waste of time to create that situation again before the child when we are teaching him a foreign language because the child has already experienced the situation while learning the mother tongue.
Characteristics of Bilingual Method-This grammar are a unique method which is a mid way between the two old methods translation method and direct method. The main characteristics of this method are-
(i) It emphasizes on creating situations not exactly like direct method. Here situations are created just by giving the mother tongue equivalents of English words.
(ii) It commands use of mother tongue not exactly like translation method. In this method the mother tongue is only used during early stages. Gradually it can be dropped as students advance in learning. The mother tongue is used to explain the meaning of words,Phrases, idioms, sentences and grammatical points and rules.
(iii) Translation are only done by the teacher not by the students to explain the matter.
(iv) Sentences is the unit of teaching.
(v) Rigorous practice is given in sentence pattern.
Advantages of Bilingual Method
(i) This method promotes both fluency and accuracy in English.
(ii) The teacher is saved from the botheration of creating real situation in order to convey the meanings in English only. He gives the meanings in the mother tongue of the pupils.
(iii) This method needs less equipment in teaching and can be used in all types of school situated in the rural and urban areas.
(iv) Unlike the direct method which ignores the linguistic habits already acquired by the pupils in the process of learning their mother tongue, the bilingual method makes use of them.
(v) Even an average teacher of English can teach the lesson successfully through this method without any elaborate preparation.
(vi) The time saved in this way can be used to provide pattern practice to the pupils.
(vii) It also stresses speech practice.
Limitations of this method
(i) This method is still in an experimental stage. But it has some of the demerits of grammar translation method and direct method.
Difference between Bilingual Method and Translation Method is the following-
Conclusion-The Bilingual method is worth trying in India. It will be wrong for anyone to swear by one method or the other and be dogmatic. Our approach in teaching should be elastic and pragmatic. The influence of the mother tongue cannot be ignored at any cost. A good teacher cannot be a slave to any method. Whatever be its merits, he is free to select features of any method which he finds effective according to circumstances.
Methods that may be successful in a highly technological country such as America may be out of place in India. The social background also contributes to languages study. Pupils in rural areas who have no opportunity to listen to spoken English are at a disadvantageous position as compared to the urban pupils. In this way, we can rely on the Bilingual method which has a social, cultural and economical background.
(D) Structural Approach
Structural approach is not a method of teaching but only an approach to the methods of teaching. Any new method of teaching can have a structural approach.
The structural approach is based on the belief that in the learning of a foreign language, mastery of structures is more important than the learning. of vocabulary. Structural approach to teaching of English means teaching of basic structures of English to the students. The structures are selected and graded properly before teaching them. Oral or Direct method of teaching English is most suited to teach structures. The students can learn English most easily and effectively by this approach. Structural approach can also be used in Bilingual method of teaching English. In fact, method of teaching is concerned with ‘How to teach’ but approach is concerned with ‘what to teach’. It involves content of teaching, its selection and grading.
Structural Approach means approaching English on the basis of structures. In it, the teacher follows certain structures in a certain order. It is based on the assumption that language can best be learnt through a selection and grading of structures.
The Direct method aims to promote the oral aspect of the significance of written work and reading. The tendency is to give insufficient attention to reading and not to teach written work systematically. The remove this great demerit of the direct method, the structural approach was used to teach the English as a foreign language.
‘The structural approach is a great improvement upon the direct method. In this respect, Menon and Patel write-“The basic principles and techniques of the structural approach do not differ widely from those of the direct method and there are many teachers who still believe that it is the direct method which with some addition and alternations is necessitated by modem researches into foreign language learning. It is true that the two are similar in many ways, but the fact remains that by following the new arrangements of structures and grammatical forms instead of the old jumble of unselected structures. The direct method is greatly improved.
Brewingtioa writes that, ‘Structural approach is a scientific study of the fundamental structures of the English languages, their analysis and logical arrangement.’
C.S. Bhandari is of the view that, ‘The structural approach to English is teaching the learner certain selected structures in a certain order.’ ·
Structures should not be confused with sentences. Sentence is a grammatical order of words. Structure need not have any grammatical order. For example, ‘good morning, well done, thank you’ etc. are examples of structures. We have already seen that words arranged in a proper order convey their meanings and the hearer or the learner understands them. In this way, these structures are important tools of a language. Words are much less important than the ways in which they are put together. We communicate with one-another by structures. Words are arranged in a certain order to convey meaning according to the requirement of the situation. Structures may be complete utterance or form part of a large pattern.
We communicate with one another not by using isolated words but by using combination of words. It is the particular order of words, their proper arrangement that conveys meaning. In order to get the meaning of a sentence we have to know the meanings that are signaled By word order. Thus, to learn only the meaning of words is not enough. Students must also learn the ways in which the language uses words in sentences.
Speech and oral work is the core of the structural approach. Speech is, in fact, the basis of learning a language. It is through speech that the student learns the habit of using words in the correct sentence pattern.
Basic principles of Structural Approach
The basic principles of structural approach in the teaching of English are as follows:
(i) There is a ·great importance of forming language habits particularly the habit of arranging words in an English sentence. The sentence pattern of English is quite different from the sentence pattern of our mother tongue. So, the students should be taught the correct and proper way of arranging words in a sentence of English. It cannot be taught by telling them the rules of arrangement but by giving them ample practice of speaking.
(ii) Speech is the most important thing in learning a foreign language. It is necessary base for fixing firmly all ground work of learning.
(iii) Pupils activity in learning the language is more important than the teacher’s activity in teaching the language.
The Aural-Oral Approach-Oral approach is also known as struchiral approach. An approach brings us near the symbols of a language. These symbols or words are graded according to different Stages of studies. Thus, by approach we do not only mean; ‘ How to teach?” but also “What to teach?” Hence, an approach is a matter of principles. These principles are derived from a critical study of the nature of language. This requires a psychological learning of the teaching processes. A method, on the other hand, is a body of techniques. When a teacher adopts these techniques in teaching a subject in his classroom, it is a methodical teaching. Methods may vary from person to person, from subject to subject, from place to place, but there may be a general agreement on the second approach. As such, the aural-oral approach aims at teaching language by offering the pupils opportunities of learning it by this method is of immense help hearing and speaking it. It offers our pupils a facility to use the language for communication from class VI to class VIII which are the years of formation of a strong base. It incorporates all the linguistic habits to be formed. It is flexible and allows every method to be used when necessary for gaining mastery over the model sentence and all the other ones framed on its pattern.
Types of Structures-Structures can be divided into the following four categories.
(i) Sentence pattern-There are about 275 basic language patterns or sentence structures which a pupil is required to know. They are divided into seven parts as follows-
(a) Patterns having SV as-He/ goes.
(b) Patterns having SVO as-He/eats/food.
(c) Patterns having SVOC as-Sita/gave/me/ a pen.
(d) SVC patterns as-There/is/a boy.
(e) Patterns with SVOC as-He/ pointed / the door /grace.
(f) Pattern with SVA as-Birds/fly /in the air. Wood / floats/ on w;:i.ter.
(g) Patterns with SVOA as-
(1) He/ has hidden/ the bag/ in the garden.
(2) I/called / him/ in the morning.
(ii) Formulae–Formulae are gesture like words-How are you? Good morning, Thank you, May God blesses you, Excuse me, which are used on certain occasions.
(iii) Phrase structures-In addition to sentence structure; there ‘ are phrase stretchers. They are divided into four parts as follows-
(a) Answer to how (much many) A handful of, a heap of
(b) Answer to where near the table, under the table
(c) Answer to what Like to do it, wish to do it
(d) Answer to when On the 15th August
(iv) Idioms-Idioms like, born with a silver spoon, to err is human, come in this category. These should be taught as a whole.
Main Features of Structural Approach
The main features of structural approach are as follows-
(i) Importance of forming language habits-The structural approach gives great importance to the formation of proper language habits. Such extensive practice is given to the students in structures that their use becomes a habit with them. A number of language drills are given for this purpose and the students are made to use the basic structures of English unconsciously and automatically.
(ii) Importance of speech-This approach considers speech as the most important step for learning the language. Structures are presented and practised orally. The students practice the structures through a number of oral drills. They practice the structures first in the group and then individually. Reading is introduced when the students have learnt a number of structures orally. The ability to speak English gives the students a sense of achievement. Thus, speech becomes the basis for reading and writing.
(iii) Situational teaching-The approach makes use of situational teaching. Proper situations are created with the help of objects, pictures, model flash cards, actions, gestures and black board drawings. The students learn English structures by associating them with the situations in which they are taught.
(iv) Importance of pupils activity-Structural approach lays great emphasis on pupils activity. Students are made active learners and not passive listeners. They -learn English through activity. They practice the structure through a number of activities based on drills. They participate in a number of language games. In this way, their learning of English becomes effective.
(v) Selection and Gradation-The structural approach involves selection and gradation of the structures to be taught. The structures are selected and graded on the principles of frequency, simplicity and practicability. The structures which are quite common, simple and practical are taught first. The less common, difficult and tough ones are taught af towards. This gradation leads the students easily to the goal.
(vi) Multi-Skill Approach-Structural approach is, in fact, a multi-skill approach. It gives due importance to all the four language skills -listening, speaking, reading and writing. In it, no skill of learning is over-used and no skill is neglected. Structures are first learnt orally. This process involves skills based on listening and speaking first. It is reinforced through reading and writing later.
Characteristics of structures
(i) The 275 structures form the core of essential English which a student of the secondary school stage must know.
(ii) Every structure embodies an important point of grammar.
(iii) The structures are based on word order.
(iv) The structures are carefully graded as regards the form and meaning. Only meaning of one word is taught at a time. For example ‘to’ is first taught as a directive and then as part of the infinitive e.g. He is going to temple, He wants to go to temple.
(v) The structures are graded in such a way that one structure follows the previous one naturally as-
(vi) Use of mother tongue has a place in the structural approach. While teaching, English structures should be compared to the structures of the mother tongue of the pupil.
Selection of structures-Those structures should be selected which have the following characteristics-
(i) They occur frequently in both the written and the spoken language.
(ii) They are up to the level of the learner’s age.
(iii) The structures should be simple for the beginners, such as I am walking, she is singing.
(iv) They should be up to the level of the learner’s capacity to learn.
Gradation of structures-After the selection of structures, they should be put in a suitable order. This is called gradation. Gradations can be done in the following manner-
(i) Structures which fix them in time.
(ii) Structures which locate them in space.
(iii) Structures which identify things and persons.
Content words-Besides structures, in structural approach, content words should be taught, because without content words, teaching will be dull and an inspiring. Those content words should be used which spring from a particular situation. For instance, the teacher is teaching. There is a mango on the table and the teacher shows to the class a mango put on the table. Mango’ will be the constant word about which the teacher should tell the student. The selection of content words should be deliberate depending on-
(ii) Simplicity and
(iii) Relevance of teaching content words.
Creating suitable situation for teaching structures-In order to make the structure meaningful to the learner and language learning natural, appropriate suitable and situations should be created in this manner-
(i) To practice the structure and to relate it to its meaning.
(ii) To build up a vocabulary of content words.
An example can make it clear. Suppose into has to be taught. The teacher should put a basket before the pupils and putting an apple into it should say, “I am putting the apple into the basket.” By creating this situation the teacher can-
(i) Make the students practice the structure into and relate it to its meaning.
(ii) Build up a vocabulary. The situation can be created by
(a) Gestures and action-The gestures and actions can be of either the teacher or the pupils.
(b) Pictures-They should be colored.
(c) Drawing on the black-board.
Procedure of teaching-In this approach, every structure is taught separately. Generally, the following steps are followed to teach a structure or item-
(i) First step-Presentations of items in appropriate situations by the teacher.
(ii) Second step-Oral drill by the students of those situations created in the first step.
(iii) Third step-Presentation of the item with some familiar situations.
(iv) Fourth step-Oral drill by the students of those situations which were created in the third step.
(v) Fifth step-Overall drill-In the last step, oral work should be done.
Aims of Structural Approach
According to Patel and Menon, the aims of the structural approach are as follows:
(i) To correlate the teaching of grammar and composition with the reading lessons.
(ii) To lay the foundation of English by establishing through drill and repetition about 275 graded structures.
(iii) To teach the four fundamental skills, namely understanding, speaking, reading and writing.
(iv) To lay proper emphasis on the aural-oral approach, active methods and the condemnation of formal grammar.
(v) To enable the children to attain mastery over an essential vocabulary of about 3000 root words for active use.
Precautions-The under-mentioned precautions should be taken at the time of teaching through this method-
(i) Pupils should be given adequate practice in speaking before they are asked to read.
(ii) Ample practice should he given in one structure before proceeding on to the other.
(iii) Pupils mistakes should be corrected promptly.
(iv) The structures should be graded and demonstrated.
(v) Care should be taken to avoid practice becoming purely mechanical.
(vi) The teacher should keep a record of structures useful for teaching’ in the class. If possible, the lists should be hung in the classroom.
(vii) Rapid speech-patterns should be taught with the help of printed patterns.
Advantages of Structural Approach
(i) It teaches the four languages skills-listening, speaking, reading and writing.
(ii) By learning the structure of sentences, the child automatically learns some grammar, word order and use of words.
(iii) The structural approach promotes the use of everyday English. As such, it stimulates the activity and interest of the pupils. This i.s called English through play-way method.
(iv) The special virtue of the structural approach lies the fact that at every stage the objectives of teaching of learning are clearly defined and are attainable, producing a delightful sense of mastery and confidence.
(v) It enables children to spike English which is more important than reading or writing.
(vi) It facilitates the learning of English by imparting knowledge of its structures.
(vii) 0By the time, the students leave the school, they acquire mastery over about the 275 basic structures and a vocabulary of about 3000 words. This proves to be of great help to them in practical life.
(viii) With a well-selected and well-graded programme, this approach can be effectively adopted at all stages.
(ix) It creates appropriate environment for learning the language.
(x) Due to much oral drilling, whatever is learnt in the class remains stable in the student’s minds.
(xi) Structural approach can help in teaching prose, poetry effectively.
(xii) This approach gives ample opportunities to students to give expression to their ideas and feelings.
(xiii) The principles on which this approach is based are scientific.
(xiv) It makes both the teacher and the student active which is psychologically sound.
Limitations of the Structural Approach
(i) It does not advise the teacher about the material for written exercises.
(ii) The structural approach does not take into consideration the fact that the pupil is a learner. At the same time, it expects a great deal from the teacher.
(iii) The grading of structures is very good in theory but it does not work in practice. There are occasions when the teacher has to derange the order of grading.
(iv) This approach is suitable for junior classes only. It is not applicable to higher classes where many branches of English language are taught.
(v) It does not tell the teacher how he should present a new teaching point or give drill for assimilating it.
(vi) The selection and grading of structures does not solve the problem of teaching English. It only helps the teacher to know what he has taught and what he should teach next.
(vii) Continuous teaching of structures and their repetitions by the pupils make the atmosphere of the class dull and teaching mechanical.
(viii) It over-looks the linguist habits already formed while learning the mother tongue.
(ix) This approach is rarely successful in overcrowded classes.
(x) Teachers trained in translation-cum-grammar method find it difficult.
(xi) It is difficult to apply this approach to every sphere of teaching and testing.
(xii) It does not tell the teacher how a new item should be presented or drill should be conducted. The teacher himself has to think over.
Practical Approach to Teaching
The structure approach is, in fact, practical approach to teaching and learning English. It enables the students to learn English in a limited number of structures through a limited vocabulary.
According to Patel and Menon, structural approach aims at laying the foundation of English by adopting through drill and practice, about 275 graded structures and enabling the students to attain mastery over an essential vocabulary of about 3000 words for active use. The selection of structures and types of vocabulary to be taught depends upon the ability of the average student, his age, time devoted to the teaching of English, the capability of the teacher and the availability of equipment in the school.
By learning the structures of sentences, the student learns grammar, correct order and use of words automatically. Thus, he avoids common errors in grammar and composition.
The students taught through structural approach obtain a practical command over speaking English, while the students taught through the traditional methods can hardly speak a sentence of English by themselves. Hence, structural approach is a practical approach to English.
(E) Substitution Method
The substitution method was adopted to remove the following limitations of the direct method.
(i) Ignoring use of mother tongue
(ii) Stress on oral work
Meaning of Substitution-According to Palmer, ‘Substitution is a process by which any model sentence may be multiplied indefinitely, substituting for any of its word or word groups and other words of the same grammatical family.’ The following table shows how we construct a number of sentences from a model sentence by substitution or replacing its words.
Example-Suppose a teacher wants to teach the word. Table so Table will be the base word. The teacher will construct a sentence using the base word which will be the model sentence.
Model Sentence-He is sitting on the table.
The sentence is-
Mukesh is sitting on the table. Sita is sitting on the table.
Advantages of the Substitution Method
(i) It is a useful and easy method of learning English at the early stage. (VII and VIII classes)
(ii) The substitute tion table presents linguistic material systematically as shown in the tables.
(iii) The substitution method also provides opportunities for reading and writing.
(iv) This method can enable the students to think.
(v) The use of mother tongue is sufficiently done which saves time.
(vi) It is a natural way of learning a language, because pupils unconsciously construct many sentences similar to the model sentences.
(vii) Students find this method interesting. Limitations of Substitution Method
(i) It is not useful for higher classes (IX to XII).
(ii) It lays greater stresses on oral work than on written work which is equally important.
(iii) In this method, there is no sequence and therefore, children learn only through isolated sentences.
(iv) Only trained, innovative and imaginative teachers can teach efficiently through this method because it is not easy to form substitution tables.
(v) Linguistic habits can be formed only after a long time.