Psychological Principles Applied to the Teaching of English Strategies For Beginners: Questions at the Heart of Pragmatic and Strategic Policies

What Principles are to be applied in the Teaching of English is much debated and ever since educational Psychology are introduced Linguistics argue in the mechanism of them. These questions are at the heart of a pragmatic and strategic policies in the general field of Teaching of English in the early 21st century , and they urgently demand answers if these theories are not to be seen by teachers as yet another example of arid scholasticism . Teachers need to be able to make informed and engaged choices about the theories they encounter, to take a critical stance towards them, and to deploy the resulting insights in their own critical practice. Perhaps, since ‘teaching literature is always already teaching theory’, and since students ‘are always already inside theory’, ‘Theory can be taught best as theorising. Without in any sense denying the importance of ingesting the theoretical work itself or appearing to promote once more a simplistic empiricism, Psychological principles are being followed in teaching all the subjects in the curriculum.

The word “teaching” derives from the old Germanic, meaning “show or point out,” and originally referred to the art of showing. This art embraced a broad range of techniques whereby a teacher could compose and arrange the elements of a class which would be persuasive through its intellectual, emotional, and dramatic appeal to students. Over the last two millennia, the scope and application of teaching have radically changed, and it has accumulated multi-fold significance through changing literary, intellectual, and social contexts. There are a number of spheres in relation to which the art and cultural practice of teaching  has achieved articulation: the political sphere, which oversaw the birth of theory; the institution and discipline of philosophy, whose spokesmen have often standardize the teaching, integrating it with logic and metaphysics; the entire sphere of education system, in which teaching has often assumed a central role, and continues to this day to exert a pervasive influence in the teaching of composition; and, of course, the sphere of literary criticism, which continues to draw from the wellsprings of good teaching, especially in its focus on language, tropes, and the relation between speaker or writer and audience.

Modern education is said to have been psychologised. In teaching English also, some psychological principles are followed. They are followed in institutionalized practice as well as general theories. But such is not the water bottle tight compartment, instead free and flexible.

 (1) Teaching should proceed from easier to harder aspects of the language. For example, the students memorize basic sentence patterns used in day to day conversation easily. The facility gained in a foreign language enables the learners expand the grasp of the language material in respect of proper phonetic pronunciation and vocabulary items in slow and steady process.

(2) Proper selection and gradation of the material should be looked into.

(3) Principles of interest and ability should be adopted in the selection of subject matter, words and nodes of expression.

(4) Many words must not be introduced at a time. It is an important principle of language learning. No leaner by him ever invented language. Good speech is the result of imitating good models. The model should be intelligible. Imitation followed by intensive practice helps in the mastery of the language system word by word in easy module.

(5) Lesson units should be made on the basis of learner’s ability.

(6) The teacher should begin with oral work, which will give the pupil the sense of progress and make language learning, living and real.

(7) Language teaching should be connected closely with pupil’s life. Real language ability is at the habit level. It does not just mean knowing about the language. Make language patterns as habit through intensive pattern practice in variety of situations connected closely with pupil’s life. In fact the habitual use of the most frequently used patterns and items of language, should take precedence over the mere accumulation of words.

(8) Different branches of teaching should be coordinated.

(9) Students should be motivated at the beginning of the lesson so that the method may satisfy the psychological law of readiness.

(10) New knowledge or skill should be linked tip with pupils past experience following the psychological principle of associations.

(11) The new material should be presented in such a way that the pupil’s interest is always alive. The satisfaction that he gets from the lesson will strengthen his learning bond.

(12) Pupils should be given enough practice in acquiring a particular skill so that the repeated exercise of a learning bond may increase its strength; the lack of exercise will decrease it.

(13) Pupils should be given ample scope for application of the newly learnt skill which will lead them to perfection. While teaching literature we need a proper system of gradation of the language material means. Grading involves grouping and sequence. Grouping concerns (i) the system of language, and (ii) its structures. Grouping the system of language means what proper phonetic pronunciation, words, phrases and meanings are to be taught.
Thus we have:
(i) Phonetic grouping, i.e. grouping according to proper phonetic pronunciation. For example, words having the same sound are placed in the one group as, cat, bat, mat, pat, fat, sat; it, bit, fit, hit, kit, it, etc.

(ii) Lexical grouping, i.e., grouping according to lexical situations. Example: school, teacher, headmaster, peon, class-room, library. All these words are grouped around “school.”

(iii) Grammatical grouping, i.e., grouping according to similar patterns as, my book/ his book, (pattern grouping): in the room, in the corner/ in the class/in the garden, etc. (phrase grouping)

(iv) Semantic grouping, i.e., grouping according to meaning. Example: school, college, university; bicycle, rickshaw, car, tonga, train, aeroplane, etc,.

(v) Structure grouping, i.e., grouping in the structures means how the selected items fit one into the other-the proper phonetic pronunciation into the words, the words into phrases, the phrases into the clauses and sentences, and the sentences into the context.

(14) Students should practice correct forms of the language.
(15) The principle of Transfer of Training has a definite place in teaching English in that the mother-tongue and English have may identical elements in them.

(16) The proper phonetic pronunciation of English should receive priority. Proper phonetic pronunciation should be given their due place in the scheme of teaching. Proper phonetic pronunciation should not be presented in isolation. They should appear in proper expressions and sentences spoken with the intonation and rhythm which would be used by a native speaker.

                     1.Showalter, Elaine, Teaching Literature (Blackwell, Oxford, 2002).
                     2. Introduction to Psychology by Morgan & King, TATA  McGRAW   HILL Publishers.
                    3. Introduction to Psychology by Hilgard & Atkinson,TATA McGRAW HILL Publishers. |