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Free «English Language Teaching» Essay Sample

The abbreviation ELT signifies English Language Teaching. This term is applied by the Cambridge-oriented scholarly community. This term encompasses the educational processes of both native-speakers and non-native speakers. To illustrate, a citizen of Great Britain who is getting his Master of Arts diploma in English Literature, is following the guidelines prescribed by English Language Teaching system. A prospective law student from Spain who is taking his International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination is also undergoing the procedure specified by the authorities which established the English Language Teaching system. In other words, this system encompasses all spheres relating to the study of English language.

The main limitations of the application of ELT are geographical constraints. First and foremost, this term is applied by the British Council and affiliated institutions globally, but only in the countries where British English is taught. Diplomas issued under the aegis of ELT are considered as obligatory entry requirements in the majority of the United Kingdom higher educational establishments.

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Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL)

Teaching English as Foreign Language must be opposed to English Language Teaching. This term covers only the areas that are connected with the teaching of British English Language for the students, for whom English is not their native language. The widely operating system of British Councils administers the examination in many countries in the world. Teaching English as Foreign Language is implemented in various internationally acknowledged examinations like IELTS, Certificate of Advanced English, First Certificate in English language (CAE) and other certificates and diplomas.

The application of the term is geographically confined. It is applied exclusively in the countries, where the British variant of the English language is taught.

Language Teaching Methods

The study of foreign language has always been a difficult task. Various scholars in different countries invented a huge variety of versatile methods, techniques, and approaches. Perhaps, the most effective was one invented by the Ancient Romans. If a slave did not master the language proficiently within the given deadline, he was hurled to the cage with the tigers, lions, or bears. He could have applied whatever methods and techniques he wanted. Naturally, the level of competence was upscale.                                                                                                                                 

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Fortunately, these barbaric methods are no longer in use nowadays. Among the most widespread methods are Grammar and Text Translation Oriented Method, Audio Oriented Method, and Oral Method. This section of my essay focuses on providing a concise description of these methods, comparing and contrasting them.

Grammar and Text Translation Oriented Method

Under this approach, the students are given grammatical instructions and provided with the necessary vocabulary. Students are required to translate huge abstracts of the text or to compose a text themselves. This method was dominative in Europe at the outset of the 19th century and earlier. Nowadays, the principles of this method are widely applied in Japan and other Eastern countries.

The main principles of this method are:

The presence of the rules

Students are provided with the set of numerous rules in order to facilitate them in expressing their opinion, comprehending the corrections made by a tutor, and analyzing the reading materials.

The principle of separation

In other words, the process of language acquisition is divided into four parts: the mastering of reading, speaking, listening, and writing. Each section of this method is taught separately under this approach. Students acquire the language gradually. Complex lexical and grammatical subjects supersede the simpler ones.

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The practice

In order to acquire the language professionally or at least fluently, a student shall permanently practice in a huge variety of different exercises.

One of the most prominent educators of the English language who systematized the postulates and the principles of the contemporary grammar-oriented method was a prominent English pedagogue, professor Anthony.

Audio-Oriented Method

This method evolved in the United States of America at the beginning of the World War II when the Congress of the United States of America realized that more translators and interpreters were required for the needs of the United States military (Hall, 2011). One of the most prominent American linguists Leonard Bloomfield invented this technique when he was mastering the languages of the Native Americans. The core of the method is a permanent interaction with a native speaker, while this speaker has a basic understating of the language structure and is able to amplify unclear grammar points to the student (Brown, 1994). The program was invented due to the fact that the educational materials like books or tape recorders were in deficiency in the pre-war United States, while the speakers of Italian, German , Spanish, and French were abundant to serve the educational need of the military.

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The first pillar of this approach is that a student is encouraged to ascertain the differences between his native language and the language he is mastering in order to provide an insight to the most common problems of translation and interpretation. The main difference of grammar oriented approach is that the peculiarities of the language are mastered through understanding, but not by the drill, as it is practiced in the grammar and text oriented approach.

The second constituent of the approach is that a student has to memorize a lot of material. Dialogues and monologues are to be memorized in great numbers. The ultimate aim of the teaching was the automatic replies given by the student to specific questions.

Nowadays, the method is applied in conjunction with other methods, because its pure application has proven its inefficiency.

Oral-Oriented Method

Outstanding British linguists, professors Palmer and Horsnby, invented this method in the period between 1930th and 1960th. By the time they discovered this approach, linguists ascertained that 2000 words of the foreign language are sufficient to master the reading and vocabulary sections, whereas the mastering of speaking is more efforts-consuming. The major difference between the oral approach and grammar and text-oriented approaches is that the first one purports the content and the difficulty of the exercises in accordance with the individual performance of each student. Moreover, the big part of attention under the guidelines of this method is paid to the ‘situational’ study. In other words, when the language is mastered, students associate specific situations with a specific vocabulary which is inherent specifically to this very situation.

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Having studied the above stated methods, one should reach the conclusion that it is considerably difficult to find out which one is the most effective. Neither practice, nor the opinion of the leading scholars can provide a detailed informative answer. Each method has a number of deficiencies as well as the number of absolute advantages. Therefore, in order to achieve the highest results it is highly advisable to refer to the combination of the methods and to use audio method, oral method, and grammar and text translation method in conjunction with each other. Besides, it must be noted that the majority of these methods were invented more than half a century ago and with regard to achieved technical advancements some of the techniques may seem to be outdated and are likely to be replaced by the modern analogues in the nearest future.

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