Manapova G.K., Manapov E.K.
Kazakh state women’s teacher training university, Kazakhstan
Boarding school named after K.Akhmetov
Natural approach in second language learning
The problem of teaching a foreign language is particularly relevant nowadays, because changes in education increasingly orientate it toward "free development of a man", on creative initiative, independence of learners, competitiveness, mobility of future specialists.
There are various approaches and methods to teach English language in the second language context. Teachers of this language apply different methods convenient or suitable for the learners' specific requirements.
One of these methods is the natural approach which was developed by Tracy Terrell and Stephen Krashen. This method appeared in 1983. It is based on the language accusation theory developed by S.Krashen. The native language should not be used in the classroom. A lot of vocabulary should be exposed to the students, a lot of activities should be developed as well. A natural approach is a method based on observation and interpretation on how a person acquires his or her first language. It rejects the formal organization of language. It is not based on grammar. It is based on communication. It emphasizes comprehensive and meaningful practice activities rather than production of grammatically perfect sentences. The natural approach is based on the use of language communicative situations without recourse to the native language and without reference to grammatical analysis. The natural approach is based on principles of naturalistic language learning principles.
Using a natural approach, the teacher promotes understanding, strengthening of communication among students. During training the learner uses photos, visual aids and multimedia-resources to master new vocabulary and provide information resource for communication. Teaching the language is focused on the fastest achievement of communicative goals, on formation of communicative competence. A teacher provides an opportunity for learners to learn the language naturally, not purposefully. Students can and must make mistakes and they do not need to be corrected, since this affects the overall mood, reduces motivation and does not facilitate natural communication.
The Natural Approach teacher has three central roles:
- the teacher is the primary source of comprehensible input in the target language. “Class time is devoted primarily to providing input for acquisition,” and the teacher is the primary generator of that input. In this role the teacher is required to generate a constant flow of language input while providing a multiplicity of nonlinguistic clues to assist students in interpreting the input.
- the Natural Approach teacher creates a classroom atmosphere that is interesting, friendly, and in which there is a low affective filter for learning. This is achieved in part through such Natural Approach techniques as not demanding speech from the students before they are ready for it, not correcting student errors, and providing subject matter of high interest to students.
- the teacher must choose and orchestrate a rich mix of classroom activities, involving a variety of group sizes, content, and contexts. The teacher is seen as responsible for collecting materials and designing their use. These materials, according to S. Krashen and T. Terrell are based not just on teacher perceptions, but on elicited student needs and interests.
These are steps to follow in planning a lesson using the Natural approach to second-language teaching:
- presentation of a situation or context through a brief dialogue or several mini-dialogues, preceded by a motivational activity relating the dialogue to learners’ experiences and interest.
- it includes a discussion of functional and situational roles, settings, topics at the level of formality or informality that function or situation demands.
-study of the basic communicative expressions in the dialogue or one of the structures that exemplifies the function, using pictures, real objects, or dramatization to clarify the meaning.
There are some advantages of this method:
1. Students acquire the target language in a natural and easy way.
2. Teaching materials are designed very well. Students can acquire language from easy to difficult, from simple to complex, and from concrete to abstract.
3. Much attention is paid to the expansion of students’ vocabulary, because with the help of vocabulary they can understand and convey any content, even the level of grammatical skills is very low.
Knowledge and application of this method in teaching English as a foreign language can make the teacher's practical work more interesting and diverse. This innovative method helps the students learn faster and in an efficient, interesting and interactive manner.
1. Krashen, S.D., and Terrell, T. D., The natural approach: Language acquisition in the classroom. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
2. Richards, J.C. & Rodgers, T. S. (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (second edition). Cambridge: CUP.