Paper Example on Language Teaching

Published: 2021-07-14
1542 words
6 pages
13 min to read
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
Literature review
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English is currently used to communicate globally. Therefore, the work of English teachers as second foreign language tutors has gained prominence. However, there are many challenges that they face in their practice. These include students lacking motivation, being away from what is being taught, bad behavior that might cause a distraction, students thinking in their native language and isolation of English subject as an island away from the other topics. This is why teachers have decided to use different methods to improve the knowledge of acquiring the second language. This method usually depends on the instructional setting. In this instance, the traditional instructional setting is going to be analyzed in teaching foreign learners. Cognitive information process theory is then going to be applied in this instructional setting. Evidence based show and tell instructional practice is also going to be used in analyzing teaching international students and the theory underpinning the practice.

Traditional instructional setting and learning theories

The instructional setting is frequently different from the natural setting. A natural approach is when students acquire knowledge of the second language through comprehensible input (Horton & Jacobs, 2003). It emphasizes in reading and listening comprehension for students who are learning the language for the first time. The instructional approach, on the other hand, is characterized by communicative interactions where the beginning students are taught language one at a point in a strict sequence, sometimes there is feedback from the teacher on an error made by the student, and there is limited time taken to learn the foreign language. There two types of instructional language. The types include traditional and communicative language teaching. In communicative instructional teaching, the teacher focuses more on interaction as the ultimate means of learning the second language. On the other hand, in traditional instruction (which we are using in our analysis in this case) the second language is mostly traditionally taught in the classroom. The teacher teaches the students almost everything they need to know, and that is the only contact that they have with the foreign language. It is also sometimes known as communicative language. It has been seen as a better version of the audio lingual method that used to access previously.

There are various learning theories that align with instruction sets. This approach generally aids the instruction set in coming up with the presentation of rules and the sequence to be followed (Mitchell & Robinson, 2012). These methods include cognitive, behaviorist, and constructivism. Behaviorist theorist believes that knowledge is usually independent of a human being. They accept as true that a learner is blank and can only learn things from experience which stimulates responses in the body and leads to behavioral change. In this instance, we are not going to use the behavioral theory because it is more applicable to the communicative instructional teaching that traditional. Constructivism theorist similarly states that learners construct new ideas from intimate knowledge or prior experience. It says that learning depends on how the student interprets what is being taught. This does not align with the traditional approach of teaching, therefore, will not be applicable in this instance. However, Cognitive theorist believes that most of the learning occurs through internal processing of information. It states that human comprehends the information that they receive rather than a mere response to stimuli. This directly aligns to the traditional instruction setting because in this approach of teaching most of the learning takes place in class rather than through interaction. The teacher is the one who gives the students all the information they need to know.

Instructional focus and acceptable performance standards

The instructional focus in this in this instance is working with students who are foreign learners using the traditional approach of instructional learning and the cognitive theory. This will include using the method and the instruction set to solve the challenge that a teacher might face while teaching foreign learners English as a second language. The performance standard that is acceptable to the teacher and those who are working in the department is 40%. This includes written, comprehensive, and spoken the language. A student who gets below this after all the rules of the instruction set is applied will have to re-take the course. This is because it will mean that the learner has not comprehended enough information of what they are being taught. However, this is not to say that any student will be left behind in the teaching practice. Everyone will be involved equally to ensure that they all perform to the best of their capability.

Appropriate instruction strategies to address area of focus

To ensure that the international student acquires as much knowledge as possible, the teacher will try to make sure that they learn as many things as possible in class. This is essential because even if they do not interact with native speakers or modified input, they will still comprehend a lot about the language (Jackson, 1973). The more information they receive, the more they will process internally. Other instruction strategies that might be helpful to address the area of focus include Error correction. This is where the teacher gives feedback on error particularly if a student violates rules in linguistic during classes or in a midterm test. The teacher also ensures that the foreign language learners learn one thing at a time and is not overloaded with new ideas. This will help them comprehend the information they are being fed easily. Also despite not having a lot of time to learn, the teachers should ensure that all the students get equal time while being taught. This is through setting a strict schedule on class attendance.

Empirical instructional practices

According to research, the practical approach in teaching has the greatest impact on the performance of students. For a teaching instructional practice to fit as an empirical approach, it has to be supported by solid research instead of case studies or untested theories (In Lange & National Society for the Study of Education, 1967). It also has to have a substantially higher effect on the performance of students and be able to be used in a wide range of subjects. Some empirically based teaching instruction practices include a question to check for understanding, set clear goals, show and tell, learning graphically, a lot of practice, be flexible on how long it takes to learn, provide students with feedback among others. In this case, we are going to analyze show and tell empirical instructional practice since it is directly related to the traditional approach of teaching and might be applied side by side.

Evidence based instructional practice: Show and tell

In this instructional approach, the teacher starts their lessons by sharing information with their students while tell' involves molding to them how it is done(Gredler & Johnson, 2004). As long as the teacher knows what the students' needs to learn by the end of the lesson, they tell them what they need to know the model to them how they will be able to conduct the task practically. It not practical to spend the whole lessons having students listens to you. A teacher should give time to showing while giving focus to what matter most. In this instance, while teaching the students a foreign language, it is important to feed them with information to comprehend then start showing them how to spell, pronounce, articulate, understand, etc. them. This is related to traditional instructional practice because in this approach most of the learning is done in class. It can be used to enhance

This empirical instructional approach can be supported by both behavioral theory and cognitive theory. This is because through showing; it stimulates response to students who could have otherwise not comprehended the information through only telling them. Showing might lead to behavioral change towards the information. Therefore, it can be considered as a very vital part of learning (Gredler & Johnson, 2004). On the other hand regarding cognitive instructional approach student process the information that they receive rather than merely responding to stimuli. Change in behavior is observed but because it is what is going through the head. The learner's mind is compared to a mirror because it is the one that is reflected behavior. Therefore the two theories can be directly aligned to the show and tell theory.

Conclusively, the traditional instructional setting has been used to analyze teaching foreign learners. In the traditional approach, most learning takes place in class. Cognitive information process theory is related to the instructional setting because it entails that most of the learning takes place through being fed information and not through the day to day experience. The Empirical instructional practice compared to this instructional setting is show and tell. It is supported by both cognitive and behavioral theory.


Gredler, M. E., & Johnson, R. L. (2004). Assessment in the literacy classroom. Boston: Pearson/A and B.

Horton, M., & Jacobs, D. (2003). The Myles Horton reader: Education for social change. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.

In Lange, P. C., & National Society for the Study of Education. (1967). Programmed instruction. Chicago: NSSE; distributed by the University of Chicago Press.

Jackson, B. (1973). Education and the working class: Some general themes raised by a study of 88 working-class children in a northern industrial city. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Mitchell, B., & Robinson, F. C. (2012). A guide to Old English. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.


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