The Nature of Approaches and Method in Language Teaching

Chapter 2: The Nature of Approaches and

Method in Language Teaching

A Brief Summary by: Herri Mulyono


Richards, Jack C and Theodore S Rodgers. 1986. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching: A description and analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Three Level of Conceptualization and Organization in Language Teaching (Anthony: 1963)


The hierarchical arrangement:

“Techniques carry out a method which is consistent with an approach”

Native definition of the three concepts:

An approach is a set of correlative assumption dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning. An approach is axiomatic which describes nature of the subject matter to be taught.

Method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts, and all of which is based upon, the selected approach. An approach is axiomatic, a method is procedural.

Technique is implementational, that which actually takes place in classroom. Technique must be consistent with a method, and in harmony with an approach.

Theory of language

There are three theories on language:

1) Structural view, understanding (meaning) in target language is the main objective of language learning (coding of meaning). Focus: phonological unit, grammatical unit, grammatical operation and lexical item (function words and structure words)

Method: Audio lingual method, TPR, the Silent Way.

2) Functional view, language is a vehicle for the expression of functional meaning. Language takes as its role to communicate (transfer and receive information). Communicative elements. Focus: semantic and communicative dimension rater than merely the grammatical characteristics of language, and leads to a specification and organization of language teaching content by categories of meaning and function rather than elements of structure and grammar.

Method: Communicative Language Learning

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