Whole Language Approach
Language Learning vs Language Acquisition.
Language Learning approach is how some countries (i.e. Singapore) who use English as a first language teach their students. Many schools and language centres focus on this as teaching is intentional, training controls pace and teaching proivdes direct instructions in the rules of the language.
The challenges of this approach is that the drilling thru assessment books are boring and language learning becomes laborious because it is a conscious effort.Very little creativity is involved with no or very little critical thinking.
Students also cannot see the whole picture as all the drills are compartmentalised or taught as isolated units or skills.
Language Acquistion approach is how countries that have English as a non-primary language approach the teaching of English.
It is an unconscious process and does not presuppose teaching and pace can be controlled. Emphasis is on the text of communication and not the form. The focus is on the communicative process of the language and not just the learning of rules and structure.
This creates more meaningful communication and acquiring the language rules without a conscious effort makes learning more enjoyable as it is not about the knowledge of the language but the ability to use the knowledge to communicate.
Unfortunately, this approach cannot work for countries taking the language learning approach.
BELOVED uses a whole language approach which sees language as a whole entity and writing, speaking, reading, and listening should be integrated to create meaning. In whole language, learning is built upon the real experiences and background knowledge of the learner.
THE WHOLE LANGUAGE APPROACH
Learner’s engagement with whole language starts with a story that he can relate to, and/or real-world issues and themes that is relevant to his community and life.
It is all about making new discoveries of themselves, of others and the world around them that makes the whole language exciting as the means to communicate the students’ own personal voice.
The Whole Language Approach will produce:
Mastery of language with a different approach but still meeting the ministry of education requirements.
Creativity in writing.
Critical thinking skills so that students can form opinions and arguments.
A love of reading that would enhance and enrich their language skills.
Learning values and oral communication thru group discussions.
An environment with an adequate context for language acquisition.
A global view through variety of text both written and oral.
Learning becomes meaningful, when our students have the confidence in who they are and what they stand for, they have a personal voice that communicates clearly, a strong conviction to what and why they are learning, and the courage to take risks to create and persevere despite the odds.