Learning a language is a process by which the learners develop the
language capability to communicate. Kimble et al (1963: 133) in Brown (2000: 7)
states that learning is a process in which one gets the knowledge of a subject
by study, experience or instruction. Language learning is a conscious effort to
learn a language by following the direct instructions in the rules of the
language.  It is a behavioral change in
which the language learners deploy the conscious system to lean and use the
language more effectively.

Language Teaching

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Before teaching any subject, the nature of the subject must be
analyzed in order to apply the most effective way to enhance the learning and
teaching experience. For this purpose, linguists from the past hundred years
are trying to design an appropriate method and teaching style to cater the
needs of the language learners. Throughout the 20th century new approaches and
language teaching methods were proliferated to achieve maximum result. Some of
the approaches and methods achieved wide level of acceptance. So the teaching
from passive learning shifted to active learning in the classroom. Kelly (1969)
and Howatt (1984) have established that most of the current issues in language
teaching are not specifically new as the trend and learners’ needs are always
varying. The conventional role of teaching and methods led to eclecticism or as
we call post method era which empowers the teachers with skills, knowledge and
autonomy (Kumaravadivelu; 2001). The empowered teachers can now devise an
alternative to methods by choosing the strategies according to the needs of the


Mackey (1965), comparing teaching with science, pointed out

Any meaning of method first must distinguish between what a teacher
teaches and what a book teaches. It must not confuse the text used with the
teacher using it, or the method with the teaching of it. Method analysis is the
one thing, therefore; teaching analysis, quite another. Method analysis
determines how teaching is done by the book; teaching analysis shows how much
is done by the teacher. (p. 139)

The Mackey citation shows that we are now reached to a state of
heightened awareness – the awareness that will make us continuously recycle and
reflect upon the same old ideas. This awareness is fast creating called as post
method condition.

Language Learning and Teaching

There is no need to formally teach the first language but it needs
a conscious effort to learn the foreign language.  To facilitate the learning and teaching of a
foreign language, many methods were introduced time to time which reshaped the
learning and teaching style. To make the process more effective James Dean
Brown (1995) presented four different categories into which language teaching
activities can be divided. The first step in language teaching is to define
what the students actually need to learn. The defining process will help to
organize the instructions to meet those needs of the learners. Presentation of
the lesson depends upon the organizational instructions which will lead the
teacher to reflect on the teaching style and practice what has been taught
(Brown; 1995). The shift from teacher centered learning to student centered
learning enabled the teachers to be more autonomous in the selection of the
methodology, activities and material according to the needs of the learners.
Now language teachers are not only the teachers to practice the theories but
also work as theorists. Learning and teaching of the language shifted from
conventional methods of teaching to more facilitated idea as it is called

Importance of Oral Skills in the Pakistani Context

The importance of speaking skills is crucial for the learners
of any language. Without speech, a language
is reduced to a mere script. The use of language is an activity which takes
place within the confines of our community. For many
years, learners were being taught speaking skills by drilling, repeating
sentences and by practicing textbook based dialogues as if language is a
confined set of rules which can be produced by learning the structures and
repeating them. Whereas, language is a unique system of utterances and it is
linked to the fact that the potential number of utterances in any human
language is infinite. In late twentieth century, it was concluded that people
do not learn the pieces of the language instead they learn the pieces of the
language by interacting with other people. Since there was a need that learners
should interact during the lessons therefore, a new approach called
Communicative Language Teaching arose (Richards, 2006).

considerable efforts have been made to the reform of English language
curriculum in Pakistan, Pakistani learners’ English performance, does not meet
the standard required. There are a limited number of elite class private schools
students who can communicate in English language effectively. This shows the
implementation of different approaches in public and private sector schools of
Pakistan. The factors responsible for limited success of ELT in Pakistan’s
mainstream schools include lack of proper curricula, dry teaching styles that
overly focused on grammatical details, students, learning media, inappropriate
texts, and testing and evaluation. Among all these factors, teaching speaking
skills is the most neglected area in Pakistan’s mainstream schools due to a number
of factors; unavailability of competent English language teachers in mainstream
schools, selecting conventional and inappropriate approaches to teaching
speaking skills, unavailability of resources, and less importance to oral

Teaching Methodology

The field of English Language Teaching is in transition in this era
of global community. Neither the conventional methods nor the recent ones, when
used alone, can facilitate the English proficiency required in this era of
global community. From the inception of English language teaching, it has been
one of the tradition and transition (Howatt 1985, Kelly 1969, and Richards
& Rodgers 1986). In language teaching, there are three main views which
shape the methodology. The structural view sees the language as a structural
system while the functional view treats it as a vehicle to accomplish certain
language functions. The third principal, interactive view treats the language
as a mean to social interaction that is used in conversational exchanges.
Because of different views about language itself, many methods from different
views about language were introduced in the last century especially in English
language teaching as it has become the global language. Language teaching and
learning, as pointed out by many language researchers, is a complex process
which cannot be addressed by using a single individual method (Kumaravadivelu;
1994). Prabhu (1990) argues that teacher is more sensitive to the success of
the learner as it is the teacher who needs to decide variety of teaching skills
according to the needs of the learners. So teaching using a single methodology
is impossible as at different point the needs of the learner will be different.
Whenever a teacher uses a method, it has some certain goals and in language
teaching the goals of learning and teaching of a certain language are numerous.
These goals lead the language teacher to be eclectic and more autonomous in
choosing the right methods depending upon the situation.

Importance of Teaching Oral Skills in Pakistani Context

Ur (1996) states speaking included all other skills of knowing that
language. For this reason there is a need to focus on teaching oral skills in
the classroom. In Pakistan it is being observed that even the high achievers in
English paper are unable to communicate in the language and cannot hold a
conversation or can have a very basic introduction dialogue. Students from
private sector schools can effectively speak in English language even though
they are sharing the same socio-economic background as the public sector
schools. Many linguists argue that there is a need of communicative approach in
order to enhance students’ oral skills.

Johnson (2006) states that the use of learner-centered classroom
activities including group discussions, speeches, storytelling, drama, debates,
poem recitation, songs, and tongue-twisters could alleviate the problem of low
oral skills. These classroom activities improve student’s active participation,
motivate and expose students to authentic use of English language in context.
Many researchers have also proven that students are much more ready to interact
with each other with more complex responses than with their teacher (Achmad and
Yusuf 2014: 151) ‘students feel comfortable working, interacting and making
mistakes with their partners rather than with their teachers and corrective
feedback from peers are found to be less daunting than the correction by

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