By Saad eddine Akhajam
Morocco World News
Meknes, June 16, 2013
Applied Linguistics is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses many other fields such as translation, sociology, psychology, learning a language and language teaching.
Applied Linguistics was created to solve problems incorporated with learning a language and teaching. Linguists and psychologists came up with various theories of learning to try and solve these problems. Some of the most notable researchers were Pavlov, Skinner, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Hymes.
These researchers conducted various studies on how animals and people learn. During this process, Pavlov and Skinner coined the term behaviorism, Vygotsky created his social theory, and Hymes formed his communicative competence theory.
All of the researchers shared the intention to show how people learn in general, and more specifically, how people learn a language. Various methods of teaching were educed from the research, and these methods linked theory and practice.
In the classroom, teachers are obliged to abide by the methods of teaching that improve the students’ abilities to learn a language fluently and accurately. Teachers are expected to use the teaching methods because they are a part of the pedagogy of teaching a language. Unfortunately, when it comes to the actual practice of teaching, this is not always the case. Some Moroccan teachers do not respect the methods of teaching because they say the atmosphere in the class and the methods are dichotomous to one another.
Still, many researchers reinforce the idea that teachers should be as eclectic as possible in their teaching process. This means teachers have to incorporate individual differences while targeting the whole class so the students’ needs are satisfied. In Moroccan classes, we find only a few students who are interested in learning a language, but the majority of students do not care at all. I know many teachers who use their own methods that have never existed at all, and they justify their answer by the students’ carelessness. This is not a reasonable answer.
There are teachers who are lucky enough to be professionally developed. They have to conduct action research to diagnose their teaching process and solve any problems immediately. Schools need more competent teachers that should know how to deal with students and face challenges that may arise.
This is a big problem that needs to be solved. In this modern era, learning a foreign language is crucial because it is the only tool that allows people to communicate with people overseas. Teaching a language, English in particular, needs more emphasis. Decision makers, as well as teachers, should work hand in hand to create a productive generation.
There is no doubt that theory and practice are in great contrast. However, decision makers should solve this problem by selecting competent teachers and paving the ground so that teachers can feel at ease working with their students, and can do their job appropriately.
Edited By Allison Kraemer
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