Essay on Speaking And The Language Pedagogy

1379 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 null Page
2.2. Speaking and the Role of Vocabulary in the History of Second Language Pedagogy
Speaking in a second language is regarded as important as the other skills; however, it has not received as much attention in the history of language learning. In the last two decades, speaking emerged as a distinct subdivision of learning, teaching and testing (Bygate, 2002). Historically, learning structural language, memorizing sentence patterns and literary language was prioritised over practicing spoken language (Rodgers & Richards, 2001). Structural language refers to the view of language as a system comprised of structurally related components for coding the meaning such as phonological units, grammatical units, grammatical operations, and lexical items. This view was supported more by the grammar translation method (GT) (Rodgers & Richards, 2001).

GT was the most prevalent teaching method at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was developed for teaching Latin and adopted to systematise teaching foreign languages to children (Howatt, 1984). In GT, learners were primarily given extensive grammatical explanations (usually in their first language), translation exercises, and lists of words in first and second language. Thus, the focus was more on writing and reading skills, and vocabulary was only used as a way to illustrate grammar rules (Zimmerman, 1997). GT was favoured in many countries; particularly where classes were very large or the teachers were not sufficiently fluent…

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