Principles of structural approach in teaching language

The structural approach is based on some principles which are explained here under:

  • Importance of Speech. In the learning of a language, speech is more important than reading and writing, the reason being that language is learnt orally first. Then speech becomes the basis for acquiring other skills like reading and writing, In the structural approach, speech is given more importance, It is the sheet anchor of this new approach. This principle is therefore very sound as it lays the foundations of language learning.
    Thus this approach helps in better teaching the language.
  • Formation of Language Habits. The structural Approach takes care of the fact that learning a language is a habit-formation process. Here a lot of drill work is given to the learners. The students are given a lot of practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Thus the structures arc well fixed up in the minds of the learners. When language learning is based on the principle of habit formation, everything becomes natural to the language learner. It may be of speaking, reading or writing all these skills are efficiently learnt through practice. Then the language becomes a natural gift to the person who makes use of it.
  • Pupil’s Activity. For learning the language, the students are expected to be very active. In the structural approach, the pupil’s activity is given more importance as compared to the teacher’s activity. Moreover, the best teaching takes place if both the teacher and the students are actively involved in it. The structural approach takes. care of it.
  • Mastery of Structures. In the structural approach, emphasis is laid on the mastery of structures. One structure is taken up as the teaching point. Listening, speaking, reading and writing practice is given to the learners step by step. The more aural-oral practice given to the learners, the better would be the result. Aural-oral work forms the basis of effective learning of the language material. The emphasis, therefore, need to be laid on all four skills. It will ensure mastery of structures.
    And mastery of structures results in effective learning of the language.
  • Meaningful Situations. In the structural approach, the teacher is expected to create meaningful situations. That makes the teacher’s work interesting. Moreover, the students can learn the structures very well. The different types of meaningful situations can be created by facial expressions, dramatization and actions. The resourceful teacher faces no difficulty in creating meaningful situations
  • Teaching One Item of Language at a Time. In the structural approach, only one item is taken up at a time and taught to the students. In this way, the students can grasp it well. A new structure is taught by using the vocabulary already learnt by the students. The second structure is introduced when the learner acquires mastery over the first structure.