Saturday, 27 August 2011

Language teaching history - 17 - 18 centuries. Jan Comenius.

Since the European vernaculars had increased in prestige and utility, it is not surprising that people in one country or region began to find it necessary and useful to learn the language of another country or region. Thus the focus in lan¬guage study shifted back to utility rather than analysis during the 17* century.

Perhaps the most famous language teacher and methodologist of this period is Jan Comenius, a Czech, who published books about his teaching techniques be¬tween 1631 and 1658. Some of his techniques were the following:

use imitation instead of rules to teach a language;
have your students repeat after you;
use a limited vocabulary initially;
help your students practice reading and speaking;
teach language through pictures to make it meaningful.

Thus, Comenius, for the first time, made explicit and inductive approach to learning a foreign language, the goal of which was to teach use rather than analy¬sis of the language being taught.