Reaction Paper to Comprehension-Based Approach in English Language Teaching
The Comprehension Approach refers to several methodologies of language learning that emphasize understanding of language rather than speaking. It is a pedagogical/instructive principle, which can be found in a number of methods and in practical listening comprehension;
- comprehension should be taught by teaching learners to understand meaning in the target language;
- the learners’ level of comprehension should always exceed their ability to produce language;
- productive language skills will emerge more naturally when learners have well developed comprehension skills;
- such an approach reflects how children learn their first language.
The Comprehension Approach scholars share the belief that
- comprehension abilities precede productive skills in learning a language
- the learning of speech should be delayed until comprehension skills are established;
- skills acquired through listening transfer to other skills; and
- teaching should emphasize learner stress-free environment etc
Its other Principles: Listening comprehension is very important and is viewed as the basic skill that will allow speaking, reading and writing to develop spontaneously over time given the right conditions.
- Learners should begin by listening to meaningful speech and by responding nonverbally in meaningful ways before they produce any language themselves
- Learners should not speak until they feel ready to do so; this results in better pronunciation than if the learner is forced to speak immediately
- Learners progress by being exposed to meaningful input that is just ne step beyond their level of competence
- Acquirers was not always 100% in the studies, there were statistically significant similarities that reinforced the existence of a Natural Order of language acquisition. Rule learning may help learners monitor (or become aware of) what they do, but it will not aid their acquisition or spontaneous use of target language.
- Error correction is seen as unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive;
The important thing is that the learners can understand and make themselves understood. If the teacher is not native (or near native) speaker, appropriate materials such as audiotapes and videotapes must be available to provide the appropriate input for the learners. B. Reaction to the Comprehension Based Approach The Comprehension- Based Approach refers to several methodologies of language learning that emphasize understanding of language rather than speaking I chose Comprehension Based Approach among other approaches because based on experience I applied many of its principles in teaching English and Science to Grade Six students.
I believe that teaching English using Comprehension Approach to the learners is the very core and heart of letting your pupils learn the English language. Comprehension Approach is the true essence of teaching the English language. Learners cannot write and speak English effectively if they cannot understand/comprehend their lessons at hand. This supported by Comprehension Based Principle that comprehension abilities precede productive skills in learning a language. Teaching comprehension skills in English is a vital tool of the pupils in studying their other subjects like Math and Science.
Math teachers complained to me all the time that the reason their students failed in solving math problems is because they cannot understand what is being asked in the problem. They said that their pupils do not know how to comprehend the problem which presupposes that their problem is their English comprehension skills rather than their computing abilities in Math. The same goes with my Science class, scientific concepts cannot be understood all at once by the students in Science so I have to teach them how to understand science facts and concepts.
I let them listen first to my explanation and description of a science fact and concept. I also translate some of the English terms to the native language for them to digest the subject matter. I concur to the principle of Comprehension Based Approach that listening comprehension is very important and is viewed as the basic skill that will allow speaking, reading and writing to develop spontaneously over time given the right conditions.
I also agree to its principle that learners should begin by listening to meaningful speech and by responding nonverbally in meaningful ways before they produce any language themselves and to the principle learners progress by being exposed to meaningful input that is just one step beyond their level of competence . A lot of my lesson plans was geared in developing comprehension skills of my students in English. I taught the learners how to understand the meaning of the target language through many ways.
For instance before letting the students read a passage or a story, we unlock difficulties of some vocabulary words that are new to the pupils. After reading the story and the passage, pupils were made to answer questions in relation to the story to check whether they understand the story or the passage. Another instance where I teach them comprehension skills is when I teach them the skill of getting the context clue. Context clues are words and phrases in a sentence which help students define the meaning of an unfamiliar word.
I teach them how to understand the unfamiliar word by how it is used in the sentence and through the help of its neighboring words which are clues to lead them to define the unknown word. This kind of skill is buttressed upon the principle of Comprehension Based Approach wherein productive language skills will emerge more naturally when learners have well developed comprehension skills and comprehension should be taught by teaching learners to understand meaning in the target language. Learners need not produce the unknown word in the target language unless they harness their comprehension faculties.