Techniques for Foreign Language Teaching

Learning a foreign language is undeniably hard. Although children can grasp a new language faster, for adults, the brain struggles to achieve fluency in a second language. There are lots of ways to teach a new language. You might run into these approaches and techniques during teacher language training courses. They are each suited for different types of students. You might pick a certain teaching style because of its unique advantages in a situation.

Reading-based method

This is used to equip students in carrying out comprehensive linguistic analysis. It uses techniques that rely on reading large blocks of text. The text is studied and analyzed to get an understanding of grammar. Instead of employing conversations and auditory methods in the classroom, the teacher tries to help students expand their vocabulary by reading as much as possible. A common way students are tested is asking them thorough comprehension questions. This is mainly used when teaching students literature. The historical background is an important part of this type of teaching.

Grammar translation method

The grammar translation method (GTM) is one of the classic methods of teaching a second language. The main medium of instruction is usually the learner’s first language. The second language is studied to understand grammatical rules. A lot of attention is focused on translating the meaning into students’ first language. Certain languages that are not spoken commonly, such as Latin, are taught in this way. Ancient languages are also taught in this style.

Language immersion

Nowadays, the most popular method of teaching a new second language is language immersion. The second language is taught as though it is the native language of the students. Their first language is rarely used. The main aim of this style of teaching is to help students gain native-level fluency in the new language. 

Classes focus on speaking and consuming media or cultural tidbits in the second language only. Students converse only in the second language. Storybooks and movies are used for increasing familiarity. Languages, such as French, German, Spanish, and Italian, are mainly taught to English speakers in this way. Language immersion trips for those who study abroad are common in this type of teaching.

Foreign languages

Memetic method

This method of teaching a new language uses rote learning as a way to learn a new language. Words are associated with pictures, and phrases or concepts are remembered using symbols. Students learn the language through frequent exposure, which makes them remember and associate the language with certain ideas. Popular language learning apps use this method for teaching. It is also a popular way of teaching pictorial languages such as Chinese and Japanese.

There are many more experimental ways of teaching a second language. Although the most popular methods used to be the reading-based method and the grammar translation method, teachers are now trying out different ways of teaching a second language. Whichever method you choose, keep in mind that everyone’s needs are different. When it comes to language acquisition, there is no one-size-fits-all method.

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