Roger Aschman and Montaigne had made specific proposals for curriculum reform and for changes in the way Latin was taught
Children entering "grammar school" in England were initially given a rigorous introduction to Latin grammar, which was taught through rote learning of grammar rules, study of declesions and conjugations, translation and practice in writing sample, sentences, sometimes with the use of parallel bilingual texts and dialogue.
Montaigne described how he was entrusted to a guardian who addressed him exclusively in Latin for the first years of his life, since Montaigne's father wanted his son to speak Latin well
This decade saw the emergence of the Audiolinguial Method and Situational Method, which were both superseded by the Communicate Approach. During the same period, others method attracted smaller but equally enthusiastic followers, including the Silent Way, the Natural Approach and, Total Physical Response.
The different teaching approaches and methods that have emerged, while often having every different characteristics in terms of goals, assumptions, about how a second language is learned, and preferred teaching techniques, have in common that belief that if language learning is to be improved, it will come about through changes and improvements in teaching methodology.
As modern languages began to enter the curriculum of European schools, they were taught using the same basic procedures that were used for teaching Latin.
Throughout Europe, the education system was formed primarily around a concept called faculty psychology. This theory dictated that the body and mind were separate and the mind consisted of three parts: the will, emotion, and intellect.
The Frenchman C. Marcel referred to child language learning as a model for language teaching, emphasized the importance of meaning in learning, proposed that reading be taught before other skills, and tried to locate language teaching within a broader educational framework.
The Englishman T. Prendergast was one of the first to record the observation that children use contextual and situational cues to interpret utterances and that they use memorized phrases and "routines" in speaking. He proposed the first "structural syllabus," advocating that learners be taught the most basic structural patterns occuring in the language.
The Frenchman F. Gouin is perhaps the best known of these century reformers. Gouin developed an approach to teaching a foreign language based on his observations of children's use of language. He believed that language learning was facilitated through using language to accomplish events consisting of a sequence of related actions.
L. Sauveur, who used intensive oral interaction in the target language, employing questions as a way of presenting and eliciting language.
Grammar Translation dominated European and foreign language teaching and in modified form it continues to be widely used in some parts of the world today. The principal characteristicis of the Grammar Translation Method were these: The goal of foreign language study is to learn a language in order to read its literature or in order to benefit from the mental discipline and intellectual development that result from foreign language study.
Henry Sweet argued that sound methodological principles should be based on a scientific analysis of language and a study of psychology.
In Germany, the prominent scholar Wilhelm Vietor used linguistic theory to justify his views on language teaching. He argued that training in phonetics would enable teachers to pronounce the language accurately.
Opposition to the Grammar Translation Method gradually developed in several European countries. This Reform Movement, as it was referred to, laid the foundations for the development of new ways of teaching languages and raised controversies that have continued to the present day.
L. Sauveur, opened a language school in Boston, and his method soon became referred to as the Natural Method.
Oral communication skills in graded progression.
Communicative exchanges between student-teacher.
Grammar taught inductively.
Practically minded linguists such as like Henry Sweet in England, Wilhelm Vietor in Germany, and Paul Passy in France began to provide the intellectual leadership needed to give reformist ideas greater credibility and acceptance.
Vietor published his views in an influential pamphlet, "Language Teaching Must Start Afresh", in which he strongly criticized the inadequacies of Grammar Translation and stressed the value of training teachers in the new science of phonetics.
The German scholar F. Franke wrote on the psychological principles of direct association between forms and meanings in the target language and provided a theoretical justification for a monolingual approach to teaching.
The International Phonetic Association was founded, and its International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) was designed to enable the sounds of any language to be accurately transcribed.
Sweet's book "The Practical Study of Languages" set forth principles for the development of teaching method. These included: careful selection of what is to be taught, imposing limits on what is to be taught, arranging what is to be taught in terms of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and grading materials from simple to complex.
This approach based on the study of Latin had become the standard way of studying foreign languages in schools. Each grammar point was listed, rules on its use were explained, and it was illustrated by sample sentences.
Texbook compilers were mainly determined to codify the foreign language intro frozen rules of morphology and syntax to be explained and eventually memorized.
The European popularity of the Direct Method caused foreign language specialists in the United States to attempt to have it implemented in American schools and colleges, although they decided to move with caution. A study on the state of foreign language teaching concluded that no single method could guarantee successful results.
Applied linguists systematized the principles proposed earlier by the Reform Movement and so laid the foundations for what developed into the British approach to teaching English as a foreign language.
No single method could guarantee successful results.
Conversational skills were impractical in view of the restricted time.
Limited skills of the teachers.
Irrelevance of conversational skills for average American students.
Coleman, the main result of this recommendation was that reading became the goal of most foreign language programs in the United States. The emphasis on reading continued to characterize foreign language teaching in the United States until World War II.
The use of the Direct Method in noncommercial schools in Europe had consequently declined. In France and Germany it was gradually modified into versions that combined some Direct Method techniques with more controlled grammar-based activities.
In the 1970s, a reaction to traditional language teaching approaches began and soon spread around the world as older methods such as Audiolingualism and Situational Language Teaching fell out of fashion. The centrality of grammar in language teaching and learning was questioned, since it was argued that language ability involved much more than grammatical competence.
The Harvard psychologist Roger Brown has documented similar problems with strict Direct Method techniques. He described his frustration in observing a teacher performing verbal gymnastics in an attempt to convey the meaning of Japanese words, when translation would have been a much more efficient technique to use.
The Direct Method can be regarded as the first language teaching method to have caught the attention of teachers and language teaching specialists, and it offered a methodology that appeared to move language teaching into a new era.
This decade saw the rise and fall of a variety of language teaching approaches and methods. The most active period in the history of approaches and methods is from 1950 to 1980.
People often associate CLT with a strictly no-grammar approach, epitomised by Krashen’s Input Hypothesis.
The most principled attempt to develop a coherent approach for the promotion of formulaic sequences has been made by Gatbonton and Segalowitz; their proposed methodology is called ACCESS, standing for ‘Automatisation in Communicative Contexts of Essential Speech Segments’, and it offers a principled adaptation of communicative language teaching that aims to generate fluency by drawing on the theories of automatisation and formulaic language.
Content-Based Instruction and Task-Based Language Teaching emerged as new approaches to language teaching as did movements such as Competency-Based Instruction that focus on the outcomes of learning rather than methods of teaching.
Within the last quarter century, communicative language teaching (CLT) has been put forth around the world as the ‘new’ or ‘innovative’ way to teach English as a second or foreign language. Teaching materials, course descriptions, and curriculum guidelines proclaim a goal of communicative competence.
In his famous ‘idiom principle’, Sinclair also underscores the important role idioms (i.e. formulaic sequences) play in discourse. As he concludes, “The overwhelming nature of this evidence leads us to elevate the principle of idiom from being a rather minor feature, compared with grammar, to being at least as important as grammar in the explanation of how meaning arises in text”.
Many applied linguistics and language teachers moved away from a belief that newer and better approaches and methods are the solution to problems in language teaching.
The 21st century skills can be summarized by the 4Cs: