A language learning approach consists of the following three elements:
views about the nature of language
beliefs about language learning, and
ideas about how the above should be applied practically to language learning and teaching.
Richard and Rogers (1986) cite the following examples of approaches:
The Oral Approach
The Structural Approach
The Natural Approach
The Communicative Approach
A language learning method is an overall plan for learning a second language, based on the theoretical approach selected. It involves the design of a syllabus for the course, which in turn consists of learning objectives and techniques for achieving those objectives.
There is often confusion among the terms,approach , method, and technique. These three terms may be viewed as points along a continuum from the theoretical (approach), in which basic beliefs about language and learning are considered, to design (method) in which a practical plan for teaching (or learning) a language is considered, to the details (technique) where the actual learning activity takes place.
Some language learning courses use basically only one technique. These courses could be said to be based on methods such as the Language Learning Cycle, Total Physical Response, or Suggestopedia. More commonly these days a variety of techniques are combined, so the term method is not used in the same sense. Furthermore, some people use the term method interchangeably with technique.
The following are examples of language learning methods:
The Language Learning Cycle
Total Physical Response
A language-learning technique is an explicit procedure or strategem used to accomplish a particular learning objective or set of objectives.
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