Unit IV: Teaching of English

4.1 Role of English in day-to-day life

4.2 Objectives of teaching English

4.3 Different approaches and techniques of teaching English

4.4 Basic skills for learning English: Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing skills

4.5 Teaching vocabulary & Grammar















4.1 Role of English in day-to-day life

Language is our primary source of communication; it's how we share ideas with others. Some people even say that language is what separates us from animals and makes us human. There are thousands of languages in the world; countries have their own national languages in addition to a variety of local languages spoken and understood by their people in different regions. Some languages are spoken by millions of people and others by only a few thousand.

English plays a significant role in everyone’s life. In this modern world, the usages of English has been utilized more and more. We all know that Hindi is our national language but most of us don’t know to speak Hindi and other languages. Everyone have fluency in their native language, but apart from our family members, we won’t speak our native language to others. The usage of English has become common in all sectors like Education, Medical, Media, and Business so on.

After the colonial era, English was used throughout Indian by very few speakers (1%) and Hindi was still preferred. Since English was the reminder of the colonial power of England, there was a resistance against its spread and use during this time. English could not be the symbol of national identity due to its foreign and colonial nature. The tendency to replace English with an Indian language was part of the nationalistic ideology since the 1920's. However, this tendency didn’t succeed because of the international salience of English. A large number of educated people spoke English. While English is regarded as an official language alongside Hindi nowadays, many Indians do not accept it as the national language (Baldridge, 1996).

The value and survival of mother tongue education and national languages is still an issue in India to be concerned about (Tellefson, 2007). In this vein, Wood suggested that vernacular languages also be employed in Indian educational system to teach the lower classes that were not well proficient in English and outnumbered the higher class Indians. This was the beginning of the use of the vernacular languages as well as English as the medium of instruction on the subcontinent (Gargesh, 2006). After the establishment of the universities of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras (now Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, respectively) in 1857, English has become the dominant medium for higher intellectual activities.

Functions of English in India

The use of English in India is on the basis of the social needs of people. There are four distinct functions of English in India: auxiliary, supplementary, complementary, and equative.

- auxiliary function: English, sometimes called a “library language ”, is used primarily for acquiring knowledge rather than communication which leads to the promotion of passive bilinguals.

- supplementary function: English is used for restricted needs such as daily routine conversations with tourists. Mainly used by unstable bilinguals.

- complementary function: English is used along with the mother language in social contexts. This function results in creating stable bilinguals.

- equative function: English is an alternative language in all domains. Ambilinguals are the users of this function.


4.2 Objectives of teaching English


Dr. B. S. bloom-“educational objectives are the desired goal or outcome at which instruction is aimed”

Objectives means have a purpose for very short time where as aim is achieved with a longer time.

Characteristics of good objectives


·      Objectives should be based on psychological principle.

·      They should be according to the content of the teaching.

·      They should fulfill the needs and interests of students.

·      They should be according to the age and mental level of the students.

·      They should be helpful in changing the behaviour of students.


The teaching of any subject becomes much useful and more systematic only when the teacher is fully aware of the aims and values of instruction of that subject since the core principle of any teaching is “know what you do and only do what you know.” Hence it is essential to understand the aims and values of the teaching of English.

According to Thompson and Wyatt (1952) the four specific aims of teaching English are:

(i)                 To understand spoken English.

(ii)              To speak English.

(iii)            To understand written English.

(iv)            To write English.

1.‘Listening Skill’:-

Listening skill means ability to understand English when spoken. Thus the objectives of teaching English is to enable the pupils to understand ordinary daily English speech spoken at a normal speed. They will be trained in grasping what is being said.


2. Speaking Skill:-

                “Speaking Skill” means – “ability to speak English correctly and easily”. The pupil will have a command over English vocabulary and a sense of correct intonation and pronunciation. This can be achieved gradually through regular practice.


3. Reading Skill:-

                It means the ability to understand when written. The pupil should achieve the skill to understand simple and non-technical English first, then he is likely to appreciate literary English. 


4. Writing Skill:-

                The students on leaving high school should be able to write correct English. It is expected to them that they should be able to write on matters of their personal experiences, interest and needs correctly in simple English.


It is believed that teaching of a language means teaching what has been traditionally known as LSRW skills as the objectives of language teaching. However, these are not discrete skills but have to be learnt in an integrated manner. We now make a case for holistic language development in children. When we speak, we also listen simultaneously. When we write we are also reading. This engagement with language enables us to internalize the underlying grammaticality of the language. This leads to language learning. Our classroom should attempt to promote language learning adopting such processes where learners get time to get engaged with the language by using for real life purposes in order to manipulate and think about the linguistic aspects. Learners learn the second or foreign language by using it for pragmatic purposes which includes not only social use of language but also for academic purposes.


4.3 Different approaches and techniques of teaching English


Many children learn several languages at a very young age. Language teaching involves many methods. All the available methods may be appropriate to different contexts. There is no one single method strongly recommended in the teaching of English since the level of the learners differ from one another’s. So, it becomes inevitable for a teacher to know the different methods of teaching & learning Awareness of variety of methods help him to apply the relevant method in his classroom successfully.


What is a Method? A method refers to the overall plan for the proper presentation of language material. It is based on selected approach and procedure. It include three parts




What is an Approach? An approach is concerned with the theory of the Nature of Language and Language Learning.

What is a Design? A Design concerns with the general specific objective of the course.

·      A syllabus model

·      Types of learning and learning tasks.

·      Role of learners and teachers

·      Role of learning materials.

What is a Procedure? A procedure is the actual happening of the classroom techniques, practices and behaviors.


The (Grammar Translation Method) is a cross lingual technique. It is used in language learning. Grammar is given more importance in this method. Learners understand the grammar rules better. The exercises in this method put the learner into an active problem-solving situation. In the schools, the teachers often follow the traditional method of translation technique. It is an easy way to explain things. Great Indian leaders is the past had attained remarkable progress in this method. Reading and writing are the major focus. Vocabulary selection is based solely on the text used. The words are introduced through bilingual word lists dictionary and memorization. The grammar rules are presented. A list of vocabulary items is presented with their translation meanings. Translation exercises are prescribed. Grammar is taught inductively. Mother tongue is the medium of instruction.

Steps involved in Grammar Translation Method

·      The teacher asks the students to read few lines from the text. He asks them to translate into L1 and he helps them with new words.

·      The teacher answers all their questions in L1

·      The students write the answers for the questions

·      The answers are checked by them. Mistakes are corrected by the teacher. He speaks in L1

·      The students are asked to translate the words listed into their L1. The teacher helps them in synonyms, Antonyms and Meanings for these words.

·      The teacher works the grammar exercises and he presents grammar rules. The students do the exercises and translate the sentences into L1.

·      The students translate the lines from the text into L1. They memorize the read out listed words and frame sentences for the vocabulary items.

·      Students write a composition based on the passage.


·      This GTM was in use for 100 years from 1840 to 1940. It had its own drawnbacks.

·      It failed to produce oral fluency in English.

·      Students found the method boring as they had to memorize words and rules.

·      It does not develop confidence among the learners.

·      The use of L1 is more predominantin the class.

·      No link between the text words and real life situations.

·      The learner was unable to use English in day to day Communication

·      This method focused only in reading and writing. Little attention is paid to speaking.


The salient features of the Direct Method are

·      The use of everyday vocabulary and structures is the object of language teaching.

·      The learner is expected to use the language to the outside situations.

·      Oral skills are developed in this method. (Question-answer session, Interaction exercises and intensive drills). Speech habits are developed by initiation drill.

·      Grammar is taught inductively

·      It focuses on the second language learning in a natural way.

·      Concrete meanings are taught through situational approach. The meaning of a word is not given in L1 & L2.

·      Abstract meanings are taught through association of ideas.

·      Both oral and listening skills are taught.

·      Translation method is avoided.

·      Good pronunciation is aimed at.

·      Writing skill is secondary.

·      The Direct Method was introduced in France and Germany. In the U.S., it is known as Berlitz Method. The main aim of this method is to help the students to speak the target language (L2) fluently and correctly.

·      In this method, a short text is presented and difficult words are explained in L2 to the learners. The understanding is tested by questioning and the students learn grammar rules on their own. Question-answer sessions, interaction exercises, intensive classroom drills, dictation, free composition, pronunciation are done in the classroom to develop and strengthen L2.


·      Its procedures and techniques were difficult.

·      Teachers had difficulty in explaining the difficult words.

·      Fluency in L2 is necessary.

·      No selection and grading of vocabulary and structures.

·      It was a success in private language schools but not in public secondary schools.

·      There was less time and less opportunity available in the classroom.


·      Dr.C.J.Dadson developed the Bilingual method. This method needs L1 and L2. The approach begins from Bilingual and becomes monolingual at the end. The teacher uses both mother tongue (L1) and the target language (L2) in the classroom. This may be considered as a combination of the Direct Method and the Grammar Translation Method.

The principles followed in this method are:

·      Any Foreign Language or Second language can be learned with the help of L1.

·      Mother tongue is not used as Translation.

·      Teacher only uses L1 in the class room

·      Students are not allowed to use their mother tongue.

·      Sentence is the unit of teaching

·      L1 is used by the teacher to achieve his communication or explanation.

·      Teacher gives meanings in L1 for meaningful parts or sentences.

·      When the students achieve sufficient communicative proficiency, L1 is withdrawn by the teacher.

The basic importance features of this approach are:

·      Learning a language is not only learning its words but also the syntax

·      Vocabulary is presented through grades.

·      The four skills of (LSRW) Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing are presented in order.

·      Sentence patterns exist and can form the basis of a language course.

·      Class room teaching and learning are made enjoyable.

·      Concrete linguistic items are taught through Demonstration

·      Abstract ideas are taught through association.

·      It helps to develop learners competence in the use of structure in L2.


·      The focus is on the grammatical structures not on the day-to-day conversation

·      The teacher must be proficient (fluent) in L1 and L2.

·      It does not follow any set theory

·      Students become dependent on their mother tongue

·      The methods and procedures are not different

·      S.O.S (The Structural-Oral-Situational approach)

·      The SOS approach was officially accepted by the Madras Presidency in 1950. Till 1990, the SOS has been practiced in schools in South India. It is a communication of certain aspect of the Direct Method, oral and Audio Lingualism.

·      The situations are not real-life situation.

·      The teacher had to carry a lot of TLM’s

·      Explanation of abstract ideas is very difficult

·      It is viable only in the elementary level

·      The approach has been found inadequate and ineffective.

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)

CLT is a functional approach to language learning. In 1972, this language course was proposed in Europe. The main aim is to develop the communicative competency of the learner. His need of understanding and expressing in the L2 is the main focus of this method.


·      To produce effective communicative competency in learners.

·      The focus is on meanings and functions of the language.

·      More importance on the learner and his learning.

·      Language is acquired in CLT.

·      The teacher is a facilitator in language acquisitions.

·      Involve the learner in the learning process thro’ problem solving, tasks, participation and interaction.

·      All the four LSRW skills are equally treated.

·      It is an eclectic approach. CLT involves many classroom activities like group work, pair work, language games, role play, question-answer sessions. It is not confined to any set of text books. The learners are mostly introduced task based and problem solving situations.


·      No single uniform method is prescribed

·      Different techniques are followed in the process of learning

·      Several roles are assigned to the teachers.


English can be taught through structural approach way. Structural-approach is the product of natural evolution of the working of the different methods of teaching English. It is based on sound principle of language learning. The structural approach means the arrangement of words in such a way as to form a suitable pattern.

Any language has its own structure or skeleton, which gives a decent appearance. A structure is a pattern, a particular arrangement of words to indicate grammatical meanings. It may be a word, a phase or a sentence.

For example, ‘How old’ is a structure, which can be explained by structural approach method-how old…?

1. (a) Have you been seen the Konark Temple? – Teacher

(b) Yes, I have seen it. – Student

(c) How old is this temple? - Teacher

(d) The temple is one thousand years old. – Student

2. (a) How old are you? – Teacher

(b) I am 10 years old. - Student

Merits of Structural Approach in Teaching English:

·      It has emphasis on the four fundamental skills, such as, listening, understanding, speaking, reading and writing.

·      It facilitates the learning of English by imparting knowledge of its structures.

·      It promotes everyday English.

·      It enables the students to speak English correctly.

·      By the learning of the structure of sentence the child automatically learns grammar, word order and use of words.

Demerits of Structural Approach in Teaching English:

·      It is suitable for lower class students.

·      Continuous teaching of structures and their repetition make the atmosphere dull.

·      Reading and writing ability of the students are neglected.

·      It is very difficult to get skilled teachers for this purpose.

·      It is not suitable for the higher classes.


Willis' three essential conditions and one desirable condition all stem from a framework known as task based learning (TBL). TBL is also referred to as; task based language learning (TBLL), task based instruction (TBI) and task based language teaching (TBLT). All these terminologies carry the same connotation that activities and tasks can help the language learner towards communicating the target language effectively. TBL is not a new concept; it has evolved from a model known as communicative language teaching (CLT). The idea that grammar alone is not enough to equip the learner with the necessary skills CLT was established to make the learner more proficient in the language that is used in real life situations. Brown (1994: 83) says "Task based learning is not a new method. Rather, it simply puts tasks at the center of one's methodological focus. It views the learning process as a set of communicative tasks that are directly linked to the curricular goals they serve, and the purposes of which extend beyond the practice of language for its own sake". Hedge (2000: 71) also says that CLT involves the learners in tasks that are meaningful and have some kind of context that represents and reflects true authentic language as it is applied and used in the real world surroundings. This authentic language is different and outside of the language that is commonly used in the classrooms. This view is also supported by Brinton (1991) who expresses the opinion that, the use of authentic materials establishes a connection with the outside world.

Strengths of TBL approach:

Task based language learning offers a lot of advantages as it is communication based and allows the learners to transfer previously acquired knowledge to new communicative contexts (Nunan,1989).It encourages the learner to emerge as a language user. It intends to engage the language learner in a meaning focused language usage (Breen 1989 as cited in Ellis, 2009).

a) Task based learning helps learners to interact spontaneously: Learners are free to use whatever vocabulary and grammar they know. For instance a role play requires the learner to use language freely. It gives learners chance to try out what ever language they already know and it also gives learners a chance to notice and benefit from others expressions and thereby builds their level of confidence gradually. The cognitive competence as well as the communicative competence of the learners is developed as they perform a task. Learners’ attention is drawn towards problem solving instead of focusing on isolated language structures. It encourages the learners to be more ambitious.

b) Automaticity: Automaticity for language learning is defined as a more efficient, more accurate and more stable performance. (segadowitz,2003 as cited in Rider, I .et al 2007). It is also argued that automaticity leads to near native performance. Research in the fields of cognitive psychology and second language acquisition suggests that automaticity is achieved by using language rules in a creative manner in an authentic communication situation (Dekeyser, 2003 as cited in Rider et al 2007). Task based language learning paves way for automaticity. Cognitive theories of language suggest that practicing in real life situations is helpful in achieving automaticity of linguistic knowledge (Johnson, 1988 as cited in Ellis, 2009).

c) Task based learning gives language learners opportunity to learn vocabulary. Usually teachers explain vocabulary in a pre-task and learners are not involved, words taught that way are easily forgotten so it is beneficial for the students if the teacher thinks of creative ways to involve students in the pre-task. Some of the options suggested for improving vocabulary are predicting words related to the task title or topic, and building words into a word web by way of brainstorm, cooperative dictionary search and by matching list of words with a list of definitions (Newton, 2001). While performing the task a glossary helps but it is observed that it does not allow the learner to practice vocabulary and therefore such words are not retained whereas words inferred through active processing were learnt better (Hulstijn, 1992, as cited by Newton, 2001). An interactive glossary is better than a marginal glossary. Interactive glossary is where the learners interact. The teacher needs to put in extra effort in preparing an interactive glossary. It is also worthwhile to encourage learners to negotiate meaning of new instead of relying on an external source. Though the question on the quality of vocabulary gained through group work occurs, it is observed that learners made impressive progress. It is also claimed that vocabulary learning occurs incidentally as learners take part in cooperative task based interaction. After performing the task if the learners are encouraged to keep a record of new words and revise those words and also if they analyse the new words in different contexts and in different ways it will reinforce their learning of vocabulary. “The teacher needs to ensure that, through tasks learners are given opportunities to meet and explore new vocabulary without direct teacher assistance, and to use this vocabulary to meet meaningful task goals (Newton, 2001).

d) Provides essential conditions for language learning: Language learning does not happen without motivation exposure, and opportunities to use the language. Task based language learning encourages learners to use language purposefully and in cooperation. Learners get a chance to negotiate turns to speak and also try out various communication strategies. Task based learning creates conditions which enhance language learning spontaneously. It prepares learners to use language in the real world (Andon, 2010).

e) Maximises scope for communication: Task based learning provides conditions that allow learners to assimilate what they notice and understand while performing the task. By participating in the task learners not only acquire new language items, but also make use of language they have acquired recently. Tasks allow learners to acquire and assimilate language items that they readily notice and understand. It allows the learners to transfer their previously acquired knowledge creatively to new contexts of communication. It engages learners in purposeful communication and gives chances to learners to try out various communication strategies and equips the learners with language for public use.

f) Experiential learning: Experiential learning is said to form an important conceptual basis for task-based language teaching. The learners’ immediate personal experience is taken as the starting point in this approach. It is argued that intellectual growth occurs as learners take part and reflect on the sequences of the tasks. The active involvement is considered central to this approach and therefore the approach is learner centred. It is in contrast with the transmission approach of education in which the learner acquires knowledge passively from the teacher. Experiential learning has diverse roots in different disciplines. Psychologist David Kolbe pulled the diverse strands together from social psychology, humanistic education, developmental education and cognitive theory (Nunan, 2004). 5)

Weaknesses of TBL approach:

a. Task Difficulty: Although the difficulty of a task can be estimated from the performance of learners, the factors that actually contribute to task difficulty are studied so that it is useful to integrate and sequence the tasks in language teaching syllabus. “The cognitive load and clarity of the goal of the task, code complexity and interpretive density of the language to be used were some of the criteria considered in establishing the level of difficulty of a task” (Candlin, 1987 as cited in Tavakoli, 2009).

b. Mismatch between the learners’ and teachers’ perception: Studies indicate that the same classroom event is often interpreted differently by the teachers and learners (Kumaravadivelu, 2003 ).

c. Authenticity of tasks: When we look at the definitions of a task, some of them suggest that a task has to be a real world activity. But there are tasks like describing a picture to someone else so that they can draw the picture, identifying the differences between two pictures, telling a story based on pictures etc. which are unlikely to occur in real life situations. Though the authenticity of such tasks is questioned by some, it is argued that the interaction that takes place while performing these tasks is useful while performing real world tasks. It is said that they manifest some sort of relationship to the real world and seek to achieve interactional authenticity if not situational authenticity (Skehan, 1996a as cited in Ellis, 2003). A simplified version of the task can help the learner to cope with current communication and also long term language development (Guariento,W &Morley,J.2001).

d. Outcome: one of the characteristic features of a task is that it results in a clear outcome. ‘A specified objective’ is an essential feature of a task (Crookes, 1986, as cited in Ellis, 2003). But many a times it is possible to achieve a successful outcome of a task without actually achieving the aim of task. For instance in tasks like spotting the differences between pictures the learners may complete the task without using any language. At times there may not be any pedagogic importance to the outcome of task, what matters is the linguistic and cognitive processes involved in the task. The learning outcome of any given task depends on three main factors, namely the contribution of individual learner, the task itself and the situation in which the task is performed. This indicates that a pre-designed task is bound to change based on the way the learner handles it. The outcome of the task may not be consistent with the aims and objectives with which the task is designed. Breen,1989 goes to the extent of saying that “learners are capable of playing havoc with even the most carefully designed task” (as cited in Murphy, 2003).

e. Linguistic deficiency: Learners who are beginners with no linguistic resources find it very difficult to take part in a task. Especially in speaking tasks like role play or describing the differences learners may find it very challenging and strenuous to continue the conversation. They may not understand what the task demands and they may find it hard to make themselves understood while taking part in the task. Ultimately the learner might be de motivated to perform the task and may even lose confidence in himself / herself.

f. Learners’ perception: The learner purposes are said to be distributed on a continuum between achievement orientation and survival orientation. If the learner perceives that a task is related closely to his/her needs, they tend to adopt an achievement orientation. Whereas on the other hand if they do not perceive the relevance of the task they adopt survival orientation and put in minimal effort and use the simplest strategy to perform the task.(Breen, 1989 as cited in Murphy, 2003) .

g. Learners’ needs neglected: Most of the language learners have specific needs. People learn a second language or foreign language, so that it is of some use to them. A new language is learnt for a variety of reasons and not all learners need the same kind of tasks. One particular task may interest a few learners belonging to a particular gender or cultural background, but it may not be of interest to the others. For instance a recipe of Apple pie may interest some learners but all may not be interested in it. The learners go through the trouble in order to reach a certain goal. But very often learners’ language learning needs are neglected (Branden, 2006).

h. Diverse classes: A class consists of learners with different talents, learning styles and motivation levels. Therefore the tasks prescribed may be relevant for a few learners and for others it may be too difficult and for some others it may be too easy and they may feel that it is a waste of time to perform the task (Skehan, 2002). It is difficult to cater to learners with different levels of previous knowledge at the same time. Learners with low level of knowledge might find the tasks too ambitious and at the same time learners high level of understanding might find the tasks too easy and boring. Research shows that the varied interpretation of the same task by the learners frustrates the teacher (Wang 1996 as cited in Ellis, 2003). It becomes difficult for the teacher to monitor the tasks performed by the learners at the same time whether it is pair work or group work. It is also noted that natural communication does not take place in most of the tasks, it is said that learners carry out ‘speaking for the sake of speaking’. The reaction of the learners towards the tasks is said to be very different some learners try to make the interaction more genuine by taking part in their roles properly while some learners take part in the task quite mechanically. (Coughlan & Duff, 1994 as cited in Ellis, 2009).


What is Constructivism?

According to the theory of constructivism, when a person encounters a new experience or idea they must reconcile that new experience or idea with previous experiences and ideas. This act of reconciliation will result in either a change of the original belief or a discarding of the new information. Therefore, we as humans create, or construct, our own knowledge by asking questions, exploring and assessing what we know.

Constructivism in the Classroom

Constructivist teachers focus more on learning through activity, rather than learning from textbooks. The teacher will make an effort to understand their students' preexisting conceptions and use active techniques, such as real-world problem solving and experiments, to address the students' conceptions and build on them. In a constructivist classroom, teachers encourage students to question themselves, their strategies and assess how the various activities are enriching their understanding. Students become expert learners in actively constructing knowledge instead of reproducing a series of facts.


There are some advantages to constructivism teaching. This method of teaching is effective for students who learn better in a hands-on environment and helps students to better relate the information learned in the classroom to their lives. The constructivism curriculum also caters to the students' prior knowledge, encourages teachers to spend more time on the students' favorite topics and allows teachers to focus on important and relevant information. In a constructivism classroom, students often work in groups. This helps students learn social skills, support each other's learning process and value each other's opinion and input.


There are also some disadvantages to constructivism teaching. The training necessary for constructive teaching is extensive and often requires costly long-term professional development. This may be unreasonable for school budgets as well as disruptive to the students' learning. With an average number of students in one classroom, teachers are unable to customize the curriculum to each student, as their prior knowledge will vary. The constructivism curriculum also eliminates standardized testing and grades. This eliminates grade-centered goals and rewards as well as the comparisons of student statewide or district-specific progress.


1.     Constructivism as a heuristic device allows us to peer into the formulations and structures of cognitions as distinct from the actualities that the cognitions are only about.

2.     Constructivism can be used to help us to face the fact that we cannot and do not experience reality fully: there is always more going on than we can think about, name, or perceive.

3.     Constructivism helps us to deal with the fact that what people actually experience is their own minds and not reality per se.

4.     Constructivism can help people learn to cope more effectively by focusing people on the fact that they are reacting more to their interpretation of events than to the actual events themselves.

5.     Constructivism can help people to become more open-minded by helping people to realize that if they change their minds, then their perceptions of reality also change.

6.     Constructivism can help people become more responsible for their emotions and reactions by helping people to realize that their own thinking affects them more than any other variable.

7.     Constructivism can help people to understand and accept the limitations of human perception, knowing, and understanding.

8.     Constructivism can help people to accept the limitations inherent in the nature of human thought.

9.     Constructivism can help people to face the subjective nature of human understanding, knowing, and perception.

10.Constructivism can help people to grasp the arbitrary and delusional nature of self-esteem styles of thinking by pointing out the inanity of ego constructions of self.


1.     Constructivism is really nothing new. Constructivism has had many names in the past. Even today constructivism has various names. For instance, constructivism is also known as post-modernism, new-age thinking, the law of affinity, the law of abundant return, mind over matter, the power of positive thinking, the law of harmonious vibration, and the law of attraction. However, post-modernism is really a misnomer as constructivism is really pre-modernism as it is a return to the style of thinking known as idealism, which occurred before both modernism and realism. See also nominalism: the enemy of idealism and Plato’s ideal forms.

2.     Constructivism lends itself to superstition. How? By fostering a belief in causes as causes that are not causes. For instance, if I believe I have some part in constructing reality, then my worrying about a plane crashing helps to cause that plane to crash. Besides the self-destructive guilt that this leads to, it also leads to superstitious fears and behaviors. For example, the superstitious may avoid worrying out of fear that their worrying is magically destructive or worry more believing that their worrying is magically preventative.

3.     Constructivism is a return to the most primitive of thinking styles. For instance, a generally regarded form of primitive thinking occurs when people do not differentiate either their thinking or the causes of their thinking from their environment. For example, when people attribute to trees powers over hunting or to comets powers over harvests that is primitive thinking. It is this very type of primitive thinking that constructivism can encourage a reversion to.

4.     Constructivism can lead to the illogical and narcissistic conclusion that just because you changed your mind–you also changed reality.

5.     Constructivism can lead to the illogical and grandiose conclusion that since your perceived reality is dependent upon what you think–then reality itself is also dependent upon what you think.

6.     Constructivism can lead to the deification of human thought. That is, a person may believe that since they “create” their own world–that means they help create the actual world.

7.     Constructivism can lead to the egocentric and narcissistic view that since all you can know is your own mind–then that is all that is either knowable or known.

8.     Constructivism can lead to the delusion that since you are limited to your mind–that your mind is all that there is.

9.     Constructivism leads to the problem of believing becoming seeing: believing is seeing. That is, you see what you believe and miss the rest of the story. This is also known as prejudice.

10.Constructivism can lead to self-worship as a co-creator of the universe just because you “create” your own illusions and delusions.


4.4 Basic skills for learning English: Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing skills


When we learn a language, there are four skills that we need for complete communication. When we learn our native language, we usually learn to listen first, then to speak, then to read, and finally to write. These are called the four "language skills":

The 4 language skills

The purpose of language learning is to improve the speakers' four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, with the base of large vocabulary and good grammar, but this is not the final purpose. The final purpose is to let speakers be able to use the language. 

Listening, one of the means of language communication is used most widely in people's daily lives. In addition, teaching the learners a lot of listening activities is a good way of enlargening their vocabulary. On the other hand, it also helps the learners improve their listening comprehension. For instance, people know that the largest difference between mother language learning and foreign language learning is the environment. For a foreign language, we can meet it only in formal places and classes. Training and practicing the oral reading is not a day's work. Practice is important. Only through the practice can the learners improve their listening comprehension.

Listening difficulties

The speed

It is related to how many people are there in the conversation and how quickly they speak.


It is related to the inability of students to understand the listening text if they cannot understand the vocabulary included.


It is related to the inability of students to understand the listening text if they cannot understand the key structures included.

The length and the topic

A long conversation about football, food, clothes, films or TV programs may be easier for students to understand than a short one about politics or science.


The intonation and stress of English native speakers are different from speakers of other languages.

Next, Speaking is often connected with listening. For example, the two-way communication makes up for the defect in communicative ability in the traditional learning. Two-way means the relationship of the communication between the teacher and the students at school. This relationship is connected with the communicative activities between two people. It can create a fresh environment for speaking language. The two-way communication can lengthen the dialogue limitlessly. This is its advantage. At the same time, if the speakers want to give the correct response, he has to think hard, the sentence is not easily forgotten which is created by themselves through thinking, sometimes with the teacher's hint. They can talk freely and express themselves as well as they can.

Techniques to teach reading:

1. KWL Technique (What I know – What I want to know – What I learned)

In this technique:

2. DRTA Technique (Directed Reading Thinking Activity)

In this technique:

Next, Reading is an important way of gaining information in language learning and it is a basic skill for a language learner. There are a lot of reading exercises in an examination today. But all these readings must be done in limited time. So learners are asked to read them correctly and with a certain speed. For instance, someone reads word by word. Someone reads with his finger pointing to the words or with his head shaking. Those are all bad habits. They should read phrase by phrase. Do not blink eyes so often and shake head. Just move the eyeball. That is enough. If they want to get more word information, there must be a proper distance between their eyes and the reading material.

Finally, Writing is one way of providing variety in classroom procedures. It provides a learner with physical evidence of his achievements and he can measure his improvement. It helps to consolidate their grasp of vocabulary and structure, and complements the other language skills. Sentence is the base of an article. So he should begin his writing with sentences. For example, translation, sentence pattern exchanging, and text shortening and rewriting. It helps to understand the text and write compositions. It can foster the learner's ability to summarize and to use the language freely.

These skills can be classified into two: consumption and production. When you read or listen to a language, that is consumption; when you write or speak, it is production. Remember that each skill reinforces the other; therefore, you need to think of activities where all four of these language skills are integrated. 




4.5 Teaching vocabulary & Grammar


The teaching of grammar and vocabulary is a compulsory sector in educational field, especially English. In every teaching approach, a method followed by a theory, objectives determination (general and specific), syllabus designing, curriculum scheduling, checklist assembling, material selecting, and lesson planning are marked as the mandatory steps to be taken. Four types of method i.e. Grammar Translation method, Direct method, Audio-lingual method and Communicative Language Teaching method are used. Further, in case of teaching vocabulary, diverse methods particularly-keyword method, word map, restructuring reading materials, root analysis and so on can also be marked as necessary.

Traditionally, grammar is taught first; it has primacy over vocabulary. Vocabulary items were just vehicles to explain grammatical structures. In other words, this kind of teaching gives primacy to form and uses lexical items simply as a way to give examples of the structures taught previously.  That’s why, in most traditional textbooks, grammar comes first and it is only later that reading and vocabulary are introduced.

Vocabulary is the knowledge of words and word meanings. As Steven Stahl (2005) puts it, "Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies how that word fits into the world." Vocabulary knowledge is not something that can ever be fully mastered; it is something that expands and deepens over the course of a lifetime. Instruction in vocabulary involves far more than looking up words in a dictionary and using the words in a sentence. Vocabulary is acquired incidentally through indirect exposure to words and intentionally through explicit instruction in specific words and word-learning strategies. According to Michael Graves (2000), there are four components of an effective vocabulary program:

1.     wide or extensive independent reading to expand word knowledge

2.     instruction in specific words to enhance comprehension of texts containing those words

3.     instruction in independent word-learning strategies, and

4.     word consciousness and word-play activities to motivate and enhance learning

According to the National Reading Panel (2000), explicit instruction of vocabulary is highly effective. To develop vocabulary intentionally, students should be explicitly taught both specific words and word-learning strategies. To deepen students' knowledge of word meanings, specific word instruction should be robust (Beck et al., 2002). Seeing vocabulary in rich contexts provided by authentic texts, rather than in isolated vocabulary drills, produces robust vocabulary learning (National Reading Panel, 2000). Such instruction often does not begin with a definition, for the ability to give a definition is often the result of knowing what the word means. Rich and robust vocabulary instruction goes beyond definitional knowledge; it gets students actively engaged in using and thinking about word meanings and in creating relationships among words.

The importance of teaching grammar in English language is an ongoing debate. Where on one hand theorists and practitioners have felt that its significance in language learning cannot be mitigated, on the other hand it is seen as nothing but a set of arbitrary rules and merely an exercise in naming parts of a sentence; something that can easily be done away with.

An analysis of this ongoing debate has nevertheless brought to the fore the necessity of grammar teaching and its significance in language learning and enhancement.

That grammar has a positive and real effect on all the four skills of language learning is being gradually recognised. Although the benefits of grammar on teaching and improving writing skills have been better accepted, its impact on reading, listening and speaking is also now being seen to be prominent.

Enhanced communication skills call for a high degree of grammatical competence. Communicative proficiency involves knowledge and application of grammar and use of appropriate vocabulary of the language to convey meanings in a socially acceptable way. This is also the reason why grammar teaching is considered imperative and has found its way into language teaching labs.

Grammar is the base of English language. English especially as a second or a foreign language is not acquired naturally; instruction and structured learning are important. Through grammar, an ESL learner learns how to operate at the sentence level and studies the governance of the syntax or word orders that are the rule of the game in the language. While, it is argued that some learners ‘notice’ grammar rules and logic naturally, yet it cannot be denied that if one hopes to acquire and use English language accurately and fluently, grammar learning is necessary.

Though grammar teaching generally would involve the intervention of a teacher in the classroom, some language teaching labs have also introduced this feature in their teaching content.