Situational method

Situational method

At the end of 1960s and the early 1970s there can be found traces of the so called situational approach which later gradually grew into communicative method. While the United States was concerned about what to use in place of the audio-lingual approach, France was using and exporting an audiovisual method which made extensive use of filmstrips and tape recorders or cassettes. At the same time, many teachers and textbook writers in Great Britain were advocating the situational method. Both methods had their ardent followers and their oppo­nents. Again, however, both methods were used to good effect by teachers who had the courage to adapt and to transfer the newly learned material to social situations other than those for which it was initially’presented and, above all, to follow their own intuition in modifying the methods to suit their teaching styles and their students’ learning styles.

The basic principles of this method:

1. The spoken language is primary. All language material is practiced orally before being presented in written form (reading and writing are taught only after an oral base in lexical and grammatical forms has been established).

2. Only the target language should be used in the classroom.

3. Efforts are made to ensure that the most general and useful lexical items are presented. Grammatical structures are graded from simple to complex.

4. New items (lexical and grammatical) are introduced and practiced situationally (eg. At the post office, at the bank, etc.).