Community Language Learning
This methodology is not based on the usual methods by which languages are taught. Rather the approach is patterned upon counseling techniques and adapted to the peculiar anxiety and threat as well as the personal and language problems a person encounters in the learning of foreign languages. Consequently, the learner is not thought of as a student but as a client. The native instructors of the language are not considered teachers but, rather are trained in counseling skills adapted to their roles as language counselors.
The language-counseling relationship begins with the client’s linguistic confusion and conflict. The aim of the language counselor’s skill is first to communicate empathy for the client’s threatened inadequate state and to aid him linguistically. Then slowly the teacher-counselor strives to enable him to arrive at his own increasingly independent language adequacy. This process is furthered by the language counselor’s ability to establish a warm, understanding, and accepting relationship, thus becoming an “other-language self” for the client.
people have been struggling to devise such methods of teaching as would prove very effective in learning process. Teacher of all ages have tried in this field. Every age has its popular methods of teaching. This teaching methodology has been undergoing a sophisticated evolution. In the same way the people of our advance age loves the methods that use multimedia profligately. This model proved very effective in learning process. The learners were considered as clients and their needs were fulfilled by counselor, i.e. teacher. The modified form of this method is the community language learning. In this method of teaching language the class is considered a group The basic philosophy behind the process of learning with this method is the interpersonal relationship .The learners and teacher interact in this context and facilitate learning by valuing and prizing each individual. This process decreases the anxiety through the support of interpersonal communication among interactive learners.
Teacher becomes an encouraging element in this process and students take his help as guide not as a master. In Community Language learning process “teachers see their students as “whole” persons, where their feelings, intellect, interpersonal relationships, protective reactions, and desire to learn are addressed and balanced.”
It is a typical method of language learning and in this method Students sit in a circle, with the teacher and use their first language to develop an interpersonal relationship. This relationship increases the students with the others. Student express himself in native language and teacher translate it back in target language. The learners attempt to reiterate it in the English used by the teacher. In the same way other students follow the process. This process continues for quite some time until learners are able to apply the words in new language without teacher’s translation.
Goals of community language learning
This method not only teaches students to use the second language communicatively, but also tries to persuade the students to take the responsibility task for their own learning. Teacher and student consider each other as a complete whole and mental power and talent are not separated from feelings. An environment of mutual support, trust and understanding between both learner (clients) and the teacher (counselor) is prerequisite of this process.
Characteristics of community language learning method
The method is characterized with the following features:
Student are clients and teachers are councelors, In this method students and teacher is assigned a typical role. Student is considered as clients and the teacher as a councelors”.
Mutual trust is essential, An association of reciprocal trust and support is essential to this learning process.
Learning with help of native language, In this process Students are allowed to use their native language, and teacher provides the translation which is practiced afterwards to learn the second language. In this way the clients become used to the new language.
Inductive method for teaching grammar, Community language learning does not permit the direct teaching of grammar, so it is taught inductively.
Students oration is recorded, A portion of language spoken by the students are recorded and listened for correction and record. Afterward it becomes text for the learner and makes work easy.
Application of the target language by the learner, The learners apply the target language without help and without translation when they are convinced enough about their skill of second or target language.
Not the language but the process, Learners are egged on to express their feelings about learning process. Such expressions are appreciated and encouraged by the teacher.
Wide variety of learning activities, There is a wide range of activities which is included in this process. These activities might focus on grammar pronunciation, new sentences or recorded portions.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Community Language Learning
There are advantages and disadvantages to a method like CLL. The affec¬tive advantages are evident. The threat of the all-knowing teacher, of making blunders in the foreign language in front of classmates, of competing against peers all threats which can lead to a feeling of alienation and inadequacy are presumably removed. The counselor allows the learner to determine the type of conversation and to analyze the foreign language inductively. It is interesting to note that the teacher can also become a client at times: in situations in which explanation or translation seems to be impossible, it is often the client-learner who steps in and becomes a counselor to aid the teacher. The student-centered nature of the method can provide extrinsic motivation and capitalize on intrinsic motivation.
But there are some practical and theoretical problems with CLL. The counselor-teacher can become too non-directive. The student often needs direction, especially in the first stage, in which there is such seemingly endless struggle within the foreign language. Supportive but assertive direction from the counselor could strengthen the method. Another problem with CLL is its reliance upon an inductive strategy of learning. I have already noted in Chapter Five that deductive learning is both a viable and efficient strategy of learning, and that adults particularly can benefit from deduction as well as induction. While some intense inductive struggle is a necessary component of second language learning, the initial grueling days and weeks of floundering in ignorance in CLL could be alleviated by more directed, deductive, learning by being told. Perhaps only in the second or third stage, when the learner has moved to more independence, is an inductive strategy really successful. Finally, the success of CLL depends largely on the translation expertise of the counselor. Translation is an intricate and complex process that is often easier said than done; if subtle aspects of language are mistranslated, there could be a less than effective understanding of the target language.
Despite its weaknesses CLL is a potentially useful method for the foreign language classroom as long as teachers are willing to adapt it to their own curricular constraints. That adaptation requires a relaxing of certain aspects of the method. For example, you might avoid the initial, complete depend¬ence stage by using CLL in an intermediate language class. Or you might provide more directiveness than CLL advocates. As is the case with virtually any method, if you have solid theoretical foundations a broad, cautiously enlightened, eclectic view you can derive valuable insights from diverse points of view and apply them creatively to your own situation.
Techniques For community language learning
The linguists have endorsed the following techniques for this method of learning language.
Recorded texts spoken by Students, In this method students are induced to speak about the language and process of learning. Their talk is recorded on tapes or any other media and afterward it is used as a text for listening.
Dictation, It is the duty of the teacher to transcribe the recorded text with translation in the mother language for using it as activity.
Deliberation on learning Experience, After very activity teacher pauses his lesson and discuss the experiences of the learners as divulged by them. He encourages them to speak about the learning process.
Repeated listening of the recorded texts, Students listen their recorded texts in their own voices and ponder over them for correction and understanding of the language. (Students listen to their own voices on the tape in a relaxed and reflective environment)
Self correction, Students are encouraged to correct themselves as far as language is concerned teacher states something in target language and students are made to correct themselves.
Students are divided in Small Group, Students are divided in groups from 2 to 5 members and they try to create new sentences using the transcript and then share these sentences with the whole class.
The client is completely dependent on the language counselor.
First, he expresses only to the counselor and in English what he wishes to say to the group. Each group member overhears this English exchange but no other members of the group are involved in the interaction.
The counselor then reflects these ideas back to the client in the foreign language in a warm, accepting tone, in simple language in phrases of five or six words.
. The counselor aids only as the client hesitates or turns for help. These small independent steps are signs of positive confidence and hope.
The client turns and begins to speak the foreign language directly to the group
The counselor aids only as the client hesitates or turns for help. These small independent steps are signs of positive confidence and hope.
The client speaks directly to the group in the foreign language. This presumes that the group has now acquired the ability to understand his simple phrases.
This presumes the client’s greater confidence, independence, and proportionate insight into the relationship of phrases, grammar, and ideas. Translation is given only when a group member desires it.
The client is now speaking freely and complexly in the foreign language. They presume group’s understanding
. The counselor directly intervenes in grammatical error, mispronunciation, or where aid in complex expression is needed. The client is sufficiently secure to take correction.
The counselor intervenes not only to offer correction but to add idioms and more elegant constructions.
At this stage the client can become counselor to the group in stages 1, 2, and 3.
Reviewing the techniques
Techniques Principles Situation/ Effect
Tape recording students’ conversation
Motivation for learners and able to recall the meaning in first conversation Short Conversation
Reflection on experience
Students reflect on what they have experienced
Students share their difficulties and experiences in the process of learning
The opportunity to translate his or her utterances Dialogue- translate native language to English
Students need quiet reflection time in order to learn Concentration on new language learning
Enable students develop an inner wisdom about where they need to work Aroused learner’s spontaneity in learning English
Small group tasks
Students can begin to feel a sense of community and learn from each other Encouraged cooperation, not competition among learners
Community Language Learning is a ground-breaking approach. It is the only method that really focuses on the feelings of the students and tried to address affective factors in learning. It combines the language learning with the dynamics and principles of counselling. There is one major limitation of this method. The teacher must be eloquent in both the target language and the students’ mother language. The other weakness of the process is its restriction to small groups.
Inspire of the limitations the method has some specific priorities over other methods which are the tape recording and transcription. This method builds confidence in the learner. He not only learns second language but also increases his understanding of the mother tongue.
Community Language Learning is the most responsive method in terms of its sensitivity to learner communicative intent. However, learners’ intents may vary considerably and this would lead to contradicted needs and interests which would enlarge the scope of teaching and lead to disorganization. The appropriateness of the counseling metaphor is also criticized upon which it is predicated; there is no evidence that language learning in classrooms indeed parallels the processes that characterize psychological counseling. Nevertheless, certain application of this method could be applied in integration with other methods in an eclectic approach.