Affective-Humanistic approach

Affective-Humanistic approach

It was, however, at about the time that the audio-lingual method was de­clared nonviable, that the eminent sociolinguists Hymes in the United States and Halliday inEngland began speaking and writing about the importance of seman­tics and of the theory of communication. These theories, humanistic theory in psychology which underscored the importance of students as human beings, and a new cognizance of the affective factors and personality traits that influence learning gave rise to a series of hypotheses, methods, approaches, and tech­niques. Attention to semantics gives the learner a variety of behavioral, linguistic, and paralinguistic alternatives (gestures, sounds, stance, etc.) for conveying a message. Humanistic psychology has brought back the pivotal importance of motivation and personality factors in language learning and the necessity for making the learner feel valued by teachers and group-mates in the classroom.

The basic principles of this method:

1. Respect is emphasized for the individual and for his/ her feelings.

2. Communication that is meaningful to the learner is emphasized.

3. Instruction involves much work in pairs and small groups.

4. Class atmosphere is viewed more important than materials or methods.

5. Group-mates’ support and interaction is needed for learning.

6. Learning a foreign language is viewed as a self-realization experience, and relating to other people.

7. The teacher is considered as a counselor or facilitator. He should be pro­ficient in the target language and the students’ native language, since translation may be used heavily in the initial stages to help students feel at ease; later it is gradually phased out.