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13_Mohammed Ansari_Application of Linguistic Theories in Language Teaching _Repaired

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This paper presents a critical review of the various theories of language teaching and throws light on the efficacy of ka:rmik language teaching approach, ka:rmik language learning strategies, and ka:rmik language teaching syllabus.
  APPLICATION OF LINGUISTIC THEORIES IN LANGUAGE TEACHING: A REVIEW OF FORMAL, FUNCTIONAL AND KA:RMIK LINGUISTIC THEORIES  Mohammed Ansari, Osmania University, Hyderabad Abstract  According to Stern (1994: 119), “... it is hardly imaginable that a language could be taught without some  underlying conception of the general nature of language... It would be unreasonable for language teaching theory to disregard what linguistics has to say about language”. We also observe that language teaching theory in the west has been greatly influenced by the  formal and functional linguistic theories and “thrown into confusion by recent developments in linguistics (ibid.)”. Recently in India, Communicative  Language Teaching Approach has become popular and the trend has been continuing. However, these theories have their own problems among which atomicity  is a major concern. In view of this,  Bhuvaneswar (2009, 2013 a, b, c, d, e) has advocated his own theory of language teaching, syllabus design and learning in his Ka:rmik Linguistic Theory which is a holistic theory that integrates form-function-meaning-discourse levels of language as dispositional action. In that paradigm, his own approaches to teaching, syllabus designing, and learning are: 1. KLTA (Ka:rmik Language Teaching  Approach); 2. KLTS (Ka:rmik Language Teaching Syllabus Design); and 3. KLLS (Ka:rmik Language Learning Strategies). He claims that his model, in view of its holism, is better suited for teaching second languages since SL learners have problems in all aspects of language. Moreover atomic approaches are ill-suited to second language learning and their eclecticism does not work because of inherent contradictions in the approaches (e.g.,  formalism and functionalism contradict each other in their premises).  In this paper, an attempt has been made to review all these three types of approaches to teaching, learning, and preparing teaching materials and  point out their merits and demerits. I. Introduction   In the history of language teaching in the west, language teaching is primarily moulded according to the  proficiency  the learners needed such as oral proficiency or reading proficiency; in addition, theories of ‘the nature of language and of language learning’  also impacted on language teaching. In this context, a number of methods and approaches such as the GTM (Grammar- Translation Method), the Direct Method, The Oral Approach   Mohammed Ansari 255 and Situational Language Teaching, The Audiolingual Method, TPR (Total Physical Response), The Silent Way, Community  Language Learning, Suggestopedia, Whole language, Multiple  Intelligence, Neurolinguistic Programming, The Lexical  Approach, Competency-based Language Teaching, and communicative approaches such as Communicative Language Teaching, the Natural Approach, Cooperative Language  Learning, and Content-Based Language Teaching have evolved in the course of time (see Richards and Rodgers 2001 for details about these approaches and methods). These methods and approaches have been directly or indirectly shaped by the existing theories of language such as structuralism, generative grammar, and functionalism. In spite of all the development, language teachers have not yet come to a common understanding about which method and approach should be the most universal in its principles and practices and so research still goes on for the key  to comprehensive and holistic teaching. In this context, a new approach to language teaching emanated from the ka:rmik linguistic theory of Bhuvaneswar (2009 a, b, 2013 a, b, 2014 a, b, c, d,) which integrates form-function-meaning-discourse levels of language into a unified whole and offers a new perspective on language teaching-learning-teaching materials through his Ka:rmik Language Teaching Approach (KLTA), Ka:rmik Language Learning Strategies (KLLS), and Ka:rmik Language Teaching Syllabus (KLTS) . In view of this, there is a need to re-examine the use of linguistic theories in language teaching and reassess the whole situation, especially, with reference to teaching Indian languages in particular and also English in general. In this article, an attempt has been made to fulfil this need by reviewing the important linguistic theories of structuralism, generative grammar, Systemic Functional Linguistics, and Ka:rmik Linguistic Theory and offer a few observations on the Page 2 of 46   Application of Linguistic Theories OPiL.38:2012 256    role of linguistics departments in India. II. Literature Review There is a great amount of literature available on language teaching, learning and syllabus design and Stern (1990) and Richards and Rodgers (2001) are especially relevant to a review of the influence of linguistic theories on language teaching. Let us briefly review their work.  2. 1. Stern’s Views on “Trends in Linguistic Theory” In Stern (1983: 136), a brief sketch of “three of the schools of thought which have in one way or another had some influence on language teaching theory” has been made under five sections: 1. Bloomfield and American Structuralism; 2. Neo-Firthian theory; 3. Transformational Generative Grammar; 4. Transformational Generative Grammar and Structuralism; 5. Towards a More Semantic and More Social View of Language. In these sections, he dwells on how structuralism, generative grammar, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics are related with language and how they influence language teaching. In the conclusion, he sums up how the trends in linguistics contributed to the field of language teaching in five points: 1. creation of a new situation for language pedagogy; 2. language teaching theory cannot disregard linguistics; 3. common ground between the problems faced by linguistic and language pedagogy; 4. linguistics owing to the internal controversies creates problems for a language pedagogy; and 5. discontinuous coincidence between the theoretical interests of linguistics as a science and language teaching as an applied activity.  2.2. Richards and Rodgers’ Views on the Theory of Language  and Theory of Language Learning In their view, a method   of language teaching consists of three Page 3 of 46   Mohammed Ansari 257 components: approach, design, and procedure (ibid. 33). It is in approach that linguistics plays the major role which will be reflected in design and procedure. An approach deals with a theory of the nature of language  as well as the nature of language learning . According to Richards and Rodgers (2001: 20-21), there are three different theoretical views of language and the nature of language proficiency: structural, functional, and interactional . There is only a change in naming and classification between Stern, and Richards and Rodgers since they all discuss structuralism and functionalism in essence. In the case of a theory of language learning, they (ibid. 22) propose two types of theories of language learning:  process-oriented theory of language learning; and condition-oriented theory of language learning.   2. 2. 1. Theories of Language According to the structural view of language in linguistics, “language is a system of structurally related elements for the coding of meaning. The target of language learning is seen to be the mastery of elements of this system, which are generally defined in terms of phonological units (e.g., phonemes), grammatical units (e.g., clauses, phrases, sentences), grammatical operations (e.g., adding, shifting, joining, or transforming elements), and lexical items (e.g., function words and structure words)” (ibid. 21). This view of language is reflected in such methods as  Audiolingual Method, Total Physical Response, and  the Silent Way . According to the  functional view of language in linguistics, “language is a vehicle for the expression of functional meaning.... The theory emphasizes the semantic and communicative dimension rather than merely the grammatical characteristics of language, and leads to a specification and organization of language teaching content by categories of Page 4 of 46


Jul 23, 2017
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