Prompt A

While the ALM is leaps and bounds past the GTM, there are still many issues to be raised about its effectiveness. It seems intuitive at first: to learn how to speak a language, you must repeat it over and over again until you have mastered the pronunciation. In fact, ALM probably generates some of the better pure speakers out of any method. As for the teachers, it greatly simplifies lesson planning. ALM leaves little room for creativity. Instructors must simply come up with a few key phrases each class and have the students repeat them over and over again.

 But it's not all roses with ALM. It may be easy to teach, but what exactly does it teach? Students are like robots; they continually repeat the same thing, over and over, but without fully understanding the meaning. Is this a productive way to learn a language? If I can speak to a foreigner yet have no idea what I'm saying, does that establish any real human communication? If that fails, what exactly is the point of learning a new language?

 Overall, ALM certainly has some advantages. The full immersion it suggests and its emphasis on pronunciation are both quite helpful. If used in a limited quantity in an integrated classroom, it can be a valuable tool. If it is relied upon as the main source of learning, however, the student and the teacher are selling themselves short.

 -Eric DePriester

Question B.

 

Bryan (Dae Jin) Kim

 

GTM has been used over the last few centuries in teaching foreign languages. However, it has evidently proven unsuccessful for students to fully acquire the language. Of course, I agree that GTM has its plus side as well. Specific grammar rules and translation skills are an important part of being bilingual. Instead of teaching the traditional translation method, I want to incorporate various kinds of teaching methods that we have learned in class.
It is hard to specify which method is the best or which one is my favorite because different methods have its own pros and cons. It is up to the teacher to sometimes combine methods depending on his/her student level or learning atmosphere. For example, if I were teaching beginning level young kids, I would want to use ALM and TPR together. Kids have extra energy to move around and they can enthusiastically follow the curriculum well. If I were teaching an intermediate/advanced level teenagers, I would want to emphasize that knowing bits and pieces of grammar and sentence structure is less important than being able to understand and grasp the ideas that these sentences actually convey. If students are stuck in the old method of translating sentence from one language to another, they would never learn to appreciate the beauty of a language, much less to find hidden meanings behind the actual words written or said. This idea is using Whole Language in that I encourage students to see the whole picture, the whole language, rather than the details.
Although it would require much more time for the teacher to prepare lesson plans, I believe that it is the teacher's responsibility to spend extra time outside of class to make the class effectively learning English.

Prompt A - ALM

What are the positive and negative aspects of using an Audiolingual Method-based curriculum in an EFL classroom? What special problems does this method pose for EFL students?

 

With an ALM-based curriculum, the class can focus on honing listening and speaking skills such as pronunciation and intonation, while experiencing immersion in the target language. During the WWII-era, this immersion helped create many fluent foreign language speakers in the army. For the teacher, an ALM-based curriculum means that lesson plans and tests are easy to construct.

                However, an ALM-classroom may be boring and unsatisfying to students as it involves a lot of repetition. These repetitive exercises consist of contrived sentences taken out of context, and students feel as though they are not actually using the language. An ALM-based curriculum also demands a lot of energy on the part of the teacher, who needs to maximize the time spent in class. Reviewing a drill 8-10 times each for every concept covered is draining for both the teacher and the students.

                For EFL students, an ALM-based curriculum does not accurately assess competence since students simply mimic what they hear. With this lack of feedback, they are unable to transfer these skills to real communication situations. Students also feel unmotivated because the repetition drills are boring and mechanical. Finally, ALM does not address a spectrum of the multiple intelligences and rather focuses on the most receptive (and thus least productive) of channels. This is important for students of EFL, as language ability is best developed in a learning environment that is comfortable and conducive.


Thanks, Roger! Take care~

Group Work Q.2

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Sending you one more time
 

From: westsideje@hotmail.com
To: post@tefl.posterous.com
Subject: Group Work Q.2
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 21:08:53 -0700

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Hello
This is Jieun Kim
 
I am submitting my part, question #2.
 
Please check the attatchment!
 
Thanks,
Jieun

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