Strategies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) show differential developments over years. Traditional classroom settings of language learning are becoming less and less viable for effective language learning and acquisition. This paper aims to provide a schematic presentation of five major approaches to TESOL namely, vocabulary, communicative, whole language, total physical response and musical approaches.
The vocabulary approach is a long adopted method for TESOL. Research on Chineses students (Gu and Johnson, 2006), for example, shows vocabulay-based strategies enhance vocabulary repertoire as opposed to language proficiency.
The communicative approach, meanwhile, introduces a different perspective on language learning and acquistion. Based on situtational immersions (Anderson, 1993), adopting a communicative approach helps learners acquire meaningful language skills in real situations, nothwithstanding lack of fully structured syllabus.
For a more holistic method, research on whole language approach shows whole language approach is more effective for overall literacy skills such as word recognition rather than specific comprehension ones (Stahl and Miller, 1989).
A fourth approach is total physical response. Through internalization of language, learners acquire basic language skills via re-productions of natural-like first language development methods. This has shown to be effective in retention tests (Asher, 1966).
A musical approach, finally, is one which shows usefulness for limited proficiency students (Fitzgerald, 1994). One cardinal bridge between language and music, research shows, is rhythm and rhyming by which learners master basic language phonemic patterns.
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