Humanistic language teaching

Language is a gift. Teaching language is a privilege — that is how we teachers can touch many lives. When it comes about touching and enlightening lives, one particular language teaching philosophy comes into much discussion and debate:

Humanistic language teaching

Evgenia Vlasova Russian Academy of Sciences The aim of this presentation is to call the attention of the audience to what is known today as humanistic Approach to English Language Teaching. It may seem that radical changes in our social, political and economic life have little to do with foreign language teaching.

The world we live in today is gradually becoming one big community. We teach people to communicate in a foreign language. Thus we actually Humanistic language teaching them for living in this international club. We also have to admit that today, with travel which has become more available to us, with computer technologies in many of our homes, the nature of social contacts and therefore communications is changing.

They are rapidly becoming more cosmopolitan and relaxed, less egocentric and considerably more democratic. This calls for new approaches in the classroom, the approaches that may help meet the social needs today.

Whether we like it or not, the methods we choose are, in a way, a social response to the changing world, a kind of feed-back. Humanistic Approach in ELT is an attempt to respond to these needs. Its basic principle is in shifting the focus in education from teaching to learning, so that the teacher is no longer the focal point in class but someone who facilitates the process of education.

The Learner The new approach implies an entirely new role of the learner. It aims to make the learner more independent, since the responsibility for the learning process is to some extent handed over to him.

The main idea is that the content of a lesson or syllabus is taught and learned from the point of view of the learner. This new centrality changes the conventional concept of instruction. It radically changes the roles in the classroom and may be hard to accept.

Yet it seems worth discussing. It may work very well and be very effective, if it is not the only one but one of the approaches used. The new role of the learner brings about some psychological problems related to his performance in the classroom.

It is quite natural that if the burden of what is happening in class is shifted to the learner, while the teacher only facilitates the process creating the appropriate psychological climate, the performance of the learner will most likely involve psychological stress.

Or more stress than before. In the new context, being in a group, with the teacher who only coordinates and facilitates the process, the learner, more than before, faces such challenges of psychological nature as: He must demonstrate the ability to cooperate with the teacher and compete with his fellow-students, he has to learn to cope with success and failure.

The learner has to be very sensitive to how his fellow-students feel in relation to himself and to each other. As was said above, the new approach implies more psychological stress on the learner.

But I dare suggest that this stress is stimulating and creative. Let us now view Humanistic Approach as applied to a Russian learner. It seems it has special meaning to us, since the lesson, especially at our schools, revolves around the authoritative role of the teacher.

The centrality of the teacher is generally a dogma that is seldom questioned. It is not very common that the learner feels at ease and relaxed, unless he is lucky to have a teacher or teachers who practices humanistic approach often without being aware of it.

He is just guided by intuition. For this particular reason Humanistic approach acquires a special significance for the Russian learner.

It is a situation which might be most welcome in our classroom.

Humanistic language teaching

The Teacher Undoubtedly, it makes new demands on the teacher, since the teacher will have to give up some of the conventional practices.Jan 01,  · If you have some sympathy with the idea of the teacher doing more than imparting knowledge in a given subject area, you may well feel attracted to some of the ideas associated with a humanistic approach to language teaching.

Humanistic language teaching is a complex teaching method that aims to develop students’ basic language skills and inner self, at the same time. Although some experts claim that humanistic language teaching is inappropriate for language acquisition, in my opinion, it is highly beneficial for students for various reasons.

Humanistic language teaching is an approach based on the principle that the whole being, emotional and social, needs to be engaged in learning, not just the mind.

Example A teacher always responds to the content of learners' written work, not just the quality of the language. The Humanistic Approaches to Learning An explosion of new and radical approaches to learning a language came to light in the s.

These approaches are often grouped under the title of Humanistic Approaches due to their method of concentration, touching on the innate ability and capacity that all learners are presumed to possess. language learning problems are more likely to come from psychology than from linguistics (p).

Many humanistic methodologies in language teaching and learning were introduced as early as the s. They were the Total Physical Response, the Silent Way, Community Language Learning and Suggestopedia. Business English teaching is same with the teaching of other languages, and they both have the view of language teaching methods, at the same time it has influence on the choice and application of the method and model of business English teaching.

Humanistic Approaches to Learning English | Language Teaching Methodology