The next essay will speak about advantages and drawbacks of applying the Natural Method of a specific educational context. First of all there will be a brief history of the method, then a small information of the coaching context so at the end it might be possible to start to see the pros and cons.
The Natural Approach is dependant on Terrell and Krashen’s ideas about the naturalistic guidelines existing along the way of educating – learning a second language. It is predicated on the non – formal configurations where learners find the first and second language, leaving besides all grammatical and formal terms structures. An effective school room in SLA regarding the Natural Approach, is the one that has its give attention to comprehension and meaningful communication, plus the correct comprehensible input, making students pay attention and listen for an extended period, before they start producing the language. “Its greatest lay claim to originality is situated not in the techniques it uses however in their used in a way that stresses comprehensible and meaningful practice activities, alternatively than creation of grammatically perfect utterance phrases” (Richards and Rodgers, 2001, p. 201).
The teaching framework, in which the recently identified method would be applied, is a first grade class of an exclusive, non – bilingual university. Regarding the English lessons, there are thirty male students between six and seven years. These children are from a high socio-economic level, parents with superior education and professional title. In relation with the British background, most of the students are in a starter level having only the material discovered in Kinder. Starting the school calendar year, they just pay attention and understand some teaching, but they cannot form complete sentences nor read or write any expression. Second semester they are in a more advance level, where some of them could speak and form basic sentence structure structure phrases. The lessons are based on a course booklet (Playway to British, second edition), which includes the Pupil’s and the Activity Book. Also, there can be an Extraprogramme text, made by the English professors that contain different music poems and rhymes related with the topics from the course books. Important is to say that the students are Spanish indigenous speakers.
Considering the educational framework just described, it’s important to say that the Natural Procedure is quiet appropriate to it. To begin, the learner’s role here is about students who are meant to acquire the words by being attentive, mimiquing and duplicating. There is no be quick for children to produce the second language until they feels it’s time to get it done. As Richard and Rodgers (2001) states, in the Natural Strategy view learner’s jobs changes according with their stage of linguistic development. They also add “Central to these changing jobs are learner decisions on when to speak, what to speak about, and what linguistic expressions to use in speaking” (p. 187). Therefore, children could obtain lot of type, but there is absolutely no pressure to allow them to speak.
So the question here’s, how do we realize if they’re actually learning if they don’t produce any language? The children in the context described starts the year knowing very little of English and they go through different phases acquiring new knowledge and finishes the year being capable of forming phrases by their own. Krashen and Terrell (1983) specified the types of activity to make taking into consideration the stage of linguistic development. The pre – production stage they just take part and never have to act in response in the L2. In the early – production level children react with short phrases or one words and use fix conversational habits. The last level is the conversation – emergent phase, where students produce more words in role-plays, game titles or taking part in group problem solving. It is in data that the Natural Procedure has its concentrate on the learning process more than in the results of it. When we talk about children with rookie level, these is exactly what we have to engaged them with the next language, going step by step giving them the required tools for the learning process.
The teacher’s role regarding the Natural Way method is very centered and has a whole lot of responsibility in the execution of the lessons. If we picture a lesson in which children will not speak in the target language, the only real responsible of making all the insight is the teacher adding the fact that students might not exactly know very well what is they saying. As a result, we should enhance the constant movement of source a frequent provision of mimics and gestures to help the children to interpret it. Picturing this picture is inevitable to believe about how is it possible for one person to be that multidynamic. Well, the answer is clear: lot of tolerance and heart. British teachers for newbies, specially for little children, knows that teaching that era is a hard work and requires lot of work. To Region and Newton (2009), suggested four concepts for teaching being attentive and talking with ELLs rookies:
Nation and Newton (2009). Coaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking, p. 19
These principles make clear what it was said before about the teacher’s tasks. The Natural Approach based its ideas on the communication being meaningful and comprehensive, just what educators of the detailed context should do for an improved coaching practice.
Although educators are designed to have those functions in the coaching process, there’s a whole lot of expectation in what she or he could do with the second terms acquisition of the students. All of this would have bad consequences during the lessons because of all pressure put on the educator’s role. Richard and Rodgers (2001), conclude about the teacher’s tasks by declaring ” the Natural Procedure teacher has a specific responsibility to speak evidently and compellingly to students the assumptions, firm, and expectations of the technique, since oftentimes these will violate students views of what terminology learning and teaching supposed to be” (p. 188).
It is essential to look up for the types of activities proposed by the Natural Approach and see if they’re appropriate in the detailed context. Krashen and Terrell (1983), suggested different kinds of techniques that might be used to teach an L2 using familiar components of Situational Language Teaching and Communicative Words Teaching. Just what exactly they have is to suggest types of activities that delivers comprehensible input, but does not require “production of responses or minimal responses in the prospective language” (Richard and Rodgers, 2001, p. 188). Linked to the teaching context, these activities are properly appropriate for seven season old beginners because of their active and simple framework. Land and Newton (2009), support this saying “To maintain learner’s interest, activities have to be short and various, and to require the learners in responding to or using the vocabulary” (p. 20). The primary reason for the Natural Procedure activities, in reference to Richard and Rodgers (2001), is to “allow comprehensible insight about things in the here – and – now, concentrating on interpretation not in the form” (class handout material). For these reasons, the majority of them are based on the TPR model, which its activities are quite simply responses from the learners to orders, questions and aesthetic cues. They may have lot of variants and could be utilized in different linguistic stages. Land and Newton (2001), discussed that TPR activities ” may become speaking activities with the learners saying what to do and the professor or another learner doing the action” (p. 21).
The important thing of planning the different activities is not loosing the main reason for the lessons: encourage communication and comprehension. Many different materials are needed for the syllabus recommended by Krashen and Terrell, what makes the teacher’s job more complicated as he or she has to prepare everything. The downside here for the framework described, is that teachers have more than one school and there are thirty children per category. Preparing material for each class for all people children is to much extra work with the educator. Richard and Rodgers recognize saying “The selection, reproduction, and collection of materials places a significant burden on the Natural Procedure Educator” (p. 188). Nevertheless, there many activities advised and they do not require too much preparation. If the lesson planning is with time, maybe the teacher could prepare all the materials at that time for the different classes she acquired.
Having in mind the pros and cons described through the article, it is more than clear that the Natural Strategy is absolutely appropriate in the educational context described at the start. These first grade children hold the drive and the frame of mind for learning the second language, and this approach provides necessary tools to allow them to learn. The teacher’s role is essential and very strenuous, but the institution has a huge and well-conformed English department that could help in the assortment of materials.
Richard and Rodgers (2001) finishes concluded about the Natural Procedure coaching process: “Teaching the Natural Strategy is hence evolutionary alternatively tan evolutionary in its strategies. Its greatest state to originality lies not in the approach it employs but in their use within a way that stresses comprehensible and meaningful practice activities, alternatively than development of grammatically perfect utterances and sentences” (201).
Mara Paz Wolleter
Generally well-researched, demonstrates some reading & representation with components of critical examination but ultimately does not make sufficient interconnection despite the inclusion of some very good points.
Generally well-written & provided although there are always a couple of modest lapses in coherence and one or 2 slips in understanding some elements of the approach with regards to the support material (see teacher’s role).
Weak advantages and last paragraph also detract from the purpose of the article.
No bibliography and somewhat under-length.