Q1) Write about your past formal or informal language learning experiences (any which is not your first language). Would you consider them to be effective or ineffective? Give reasons for your answer. A) I had just passed my 4th std and was on vacations to a remote village in Karnataka where my mother was posted as a headmistress for a government primary school. I had no plans of leaving my mother and returning with my father to belgaum and continue with my school . Nevertheless I was cajoled into coming back , that was in mid july , and by then it was a month and a half since my school had re-opened.
I was in for a rude surprise as a language had been included into our curriculum. I came across a very terse looking gentleman who turned out to be our hindi teacher. My real troubles began when I was asked to give my introduction as I was a latecomer. My hindi teacher gave me an earful for not attending the previous classes and asked me to be very careful henceforth. The classes had begun quite early and I was way behind. My classmates had learnt the consonants and vowels by heart . I could not recognize a single alphabet, the script was alien to me, it was in devanagari .
I was in tears and very miserable as I was punished for not being able to answer anything nor read from the text book. The next few days went by and then one fine morning my hindi teacher condescended to help me in grasping the new language. He sat by me on my bench and taught me the hindi alphabets one by one . I felt encouraged and started taking interest and slowly and gradually I learnt to read and write. We were given words with their English meaning which were to be memorized by us. This memorization turned out to be a building block in my endeavour of acquiring vocabulary and fluency in the language.
I went on to score the highest in the class. I participated in debates, wrote essays ,memorized the dohas and their summaries, so on and so forth and went on scoring high for the rest of my school days. I became his favourite pupil and gained my self respect as well. And the person who made it all possible was my hindi teacher who was very sincere, dedicated and devoted towards his profession and his pupils . He was sensitive to every student’s needs and used very innovative methods. He was always at hand to clear any doubt, explain anything or answer any question.
He made us feel very comfortable but was very strict about the home assignments . He made the lessons interesting by his way of teaching. And I think his methods were very effective in helping us all to learn a new language. Interaction, Motivation and encouragement are the key words ,which I think and believe benefit every student in the process of learning a new language. The old school method of drilling and memorizing also does help in acquiring a vocabulary and learning grammar helps us frame sentences accurately. Q2) Why do you think the CLT has gained popularity in the language classroom?
A. The CLT is a more generally accepted approach today owing to a wide variety of interpretations and classroom applications. The approach highlights distinct communicatve traits and incorporates authentic, real world simulations and meaningful tasks. B. Communicative Language Teaching can be defined as a unified yet broadly based , theoretically well informed set of doctrines about nature of language learning and teaching. C. Communicative Language Teaching highlights the social, cultural and pragmatic features of languages.
It uses authentic language to a great extent in an attempt to build fluency. D. The basic characteristics of the communicative mode of teaching feature distinct digression from the previous approaches. E. In Communicative Language Teaching, the grammatical, functional, socio-linguistic and strategic discourse components are at their best possible interplay. The techniques are utilitarian and driven towards fulfillment of individual purposes. F. Fluency and accuracy are complementary principles that alternatively acquire high degree of importance.
G. Productive and contextualized communication is necessarily the goal and the students need to towards this goal through the development of appropriate strategies for autonomous learning. The teacher here is the facilitator who is supposed to facilitate authentic linguistic interaction and encourage meaningful construction of language. H. The functional aspects like fluency and spontaneity displace overt presentation and discussion of grammatical rules and concentrate on the learner’s initiative in CLT.
Hence ,the communicative approach stresses the importance of language functions( such as, agreeing, inviting , suggesting etc)as opposed to reliance only on grammar vocabulary. This approach also suggests that if students have enough exposure to the language and the opportunity to use it then language learning would in effect , take care of itself. Activities in CLT typically require students to use the language in real life situations, so role-play and simulation have become popular with this method. CLT places far more emphasis on completion of the task then the accuracy of the language