Cognitive method

Cognitive method

The Cognitive Code Theory or method is nothing more than the old, well-known inductive approach in which learners are given examples (models) of language in a context or a situation and are then helped to discover the rules or generalizations which underlie the structure or communicative expression em­bodied in them. Despite the fact that this information has been available for cen­turies, many articles continue to speak endlessly about the cognitive code theory versus the habit formation theory.

Good teachers today, as in the past, follow the cognitive code theory to the extent that they present a linguistic item or category through tasks and activities which will lead to habit formation, which will in turn lead to fluency and accu­racy in pronunciation, morphology, and syntax. By loosening direct control and encouraging the use of spontaneously emitted utterances from the repertoire of linguistic items they have stored in their memories, students have always been led by good teachers to in-class communication which duplicates communication in the real world. The difference today is that a larger percentage of teachers and texts focus on communication as the major objective of language teaching.

The basic principles of this method:

1. Language is rule-governed cognitive behaviour, not habit formation, thus language learning is viewed as rule acquisition not habit forma­tion.

2. Instruction is often individualized; learners are responsible for their own learning.

3. Grammar must be taught but it can be taught deductively (rules first, practice later) and or inductively (rules can be stated after practice).

4. Pronunciation is de-emphasized; perfection is viewed as unrealistic.

5.Readingand writing are as important as listening and speaking.

6. Vocabulary instruction is important, especially at intermediate and advanced levels.

7. Errors are viewed as inevitable, something that should be used con­structively in the learning process.

8. The teacher is expected to have a good general proficiency in the tar­get language as well as an ability to analyze it.