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The Conceptual Basis of Second Language Teaching and Learning

The Conceptual Basis of Second Language Teaching and Learning

1. Humanistic Education and Experiential Learning
Pict: http://www.bju.edu
a. Competing concepts of education

Education is about knowledge: what it is, and how it is to be acquired by succeeding generations of learners, and thus by succeeding generations of humanity. However, this idea that knowledge is some kind of community to be traded in intellectual marketplaces known as schools and universities is only one of many characterizations. It is a debate between those who believe that education is a matter of making meaning for the learner on the one hand, and those who believe that the function of education is to facilitate the process whereby learners make their own meaning, on the other. Those subscribing to the second view, and I would count myself among them, would agree with Oscar Wilde, that “Education is an admirable think, but it well to remember from time to time that noting that is worth knowing can be taught”.

b. Humanism and experiential psychology

According to Kohonen (1992), experiential learning has diverse origins, being, derived from John Dewey’s progressive philosophy of education, Lewiln’s social psychology, Piaget’s model of development psychology, Kelley’s cognitive theory of education, and the work of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers in the field of humanistic psychology.

To my mind, the most to articulate examination of humanism and experiential learning and relation to language education is provided by Kohonen (1992), who argues that the experiential model offers, “potential for a learning atmosphere of shared partnership, a common purpose, and a joint management of learning” (p.31).

c. Inductive and deductive learning

Deductive leaning is a process of adding to our knowledge by working, from principles to examples. According to Cohen and Manion (1980), deductive reasoning went unchallenged from the time of Aristotle to the middle Ages, when the philosopher Francis Bacon turned the process of working from principles on its head.

2. Communicative Language Teaching (CTL)

a. A new view of language

  • Reconceptualizing language
  • Tailoring courses to learners
b. Learner needs
  • Learner-centered education
  • Defining learner-centeredness
The concept of learner-centered education has been controversial, mainly because it is susceptible to multiple interpretations.

Learner involvement in the learning process

At this point, it is necessary to turn from the concept of learner-centeredness to the closely related concept of learning-centeredness. A learning-centered classroom is designed to enable the learner to make critical pedagogical decisions by systematically training them in the skills they need to make such decision.

Lerner-centeredness is therefore not an all-or-nothing concept. It means that in the learning process we used both students-center and teacher-center balance.

Learners-centeredness: another dimension

The learner-center refers to classroom, it’s not means that learners are involved in making choices about what and how to learn but in which learners are actively involved in the learning process, classroom in which the focus is on the learner in the sense in which they do all the work.

Principles of adult learner

The following the principles underpins the practice of adult learning. They were formulated by Brundage and Macheacher (1980), who have carried out extensive research into adult learning.

  • Adults who value their own experience as a resource for further learning or whose experience is valued by others are better learners.
  • The learner reacts to all experience as he/she perceives it, not as the teacher present it
  • Adults do not learn when over stimulated or when experiencing extreme stress or anxiety. etc
Negotiated curricula
  • The contributions of Learner to the learning process
  • Moving learners along the negotiation continuum
This is particularly true of steps 4-9, whish focus on learning process, and can be introduced alongside steps 1-3, which are more content oriented.
  • Step 1: make instruction goals clear to learners
  • Steps 2: allow learners to create their own goals
  • Steps 3: encourage learners to use their second language outside the classroom
  • Steps 4: raise awareness of learning process
  • Steps 5: help learners identify their own proffered and strategist
  • Steps 6: encourage learner choice
  • Steps 7: allow learners to generate their own tasks
  • Steps 8: encourage learners to become teachers
  • Steps 9: encourage learners to researchers 

Task-based language teaching is an approach to the design of language courses in which the point is collection of tasks. It draws on and reflects the experiential and humanistic traditions, as well as reflecting the changing conceptions of language itself.


Long, for instance, suggest that a task is a piece of work undertaken for oneself or for others, freely or for some reward. Thus examples of tasks include dressing a child, buying a pair of shoes, making an airline reservation, writing a letter and etc. Long 1985: 89

Richards, Platt and Weber suggest that a task is an activity or action which is carried out as the result of processing or understanding language, For example, drawing a map while listening to a tape. Using a variety of different kinds of tasks in language teaching is said to make language teaching more communicative.


The essential difference between a task and an exercise is that a task has a nonlinguistic outcome, while an exercise has a linguistic outcome. Success will be measured in nonlinguistic terms (whether the person is too hot, too cold, or comfortable). In contrast, the following is an exercise; the outcome will be a set of structures. Success will be decided in linguistic terms.

There are three important principles of task design.
  1. The authenticity principle;
  2. The form / function principle;
  3. The task dependency principle.

Authentic data are samples of spoken and written language that have not been specifically written for the purposes of teaching language. The advantage of using authentic data is that learners found target language items (for example comparative adjectives and adverbs) in the kinds of contexts where they naturally occur, rather than in contexts that have been concocted by a textbook writer. Finally, this will help learners because they will experience the language item in interaction with other closely related grammatical and discourse elements.


The task sequence, adapted from Hall and Shepheard (1991), illustration how such an approach might be used to help students make sense of time relationships.

Working with another student, match the use of the present perfect with the sentences by writing a letter in the column.

Draw timelines for sentences 2-5 similar.
Answer the questions


Prior tasks provide learners with the language models and experiential content that they will need to carry out the tasks that follow. Note also builds, it is also self-contained, being able to stand alone in its own right.

The questions:

1. What is the meaning Inductive and Deductive Learning?

What is the differences between Inductive and Deductive Lerning?
  • Inductive Learning is as a way of adding to our knowledge of the words. In inductive, one works form examples to principles, rules, and generalizations.
  • Deductive Learning is a process of adding to our knowledge by working from principles to examples.
The differences both of them:
Inductive is a way of adding knowledge.
Deductive is a process of adding knowledge.

2. What is the relationship of the conceptual of SLTL?

Which one is the best?

  • The relationship of the conceptual of SLTL for understanding current directions in the field, also tried to put practical flesh on these conceptual bones by illustrating the points with extract from classrooms and teaching materials.
  • All of part in conceptual of SLTL is important.

Some of articles that related to the topic are:


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