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Community Language Learning

COMMUNITY LANGUAGE LEARNING

Background
Community Language Learning (CLL) is the name of a method developed by Charles A. Curran and his associates. Curran was a specialist in counseling and a professor of psychology at Loyola University, Chicago. His application of psychological counseling techniques to learning is known as Counseling-Learning. Community Language Learning represents the use of Counseling-Learning theory to teach languages.
Within the language teaching tradition Community Language Learning is sometimes cited as an example of a "humanistic approach." Links can also be made between CLL procedures and those of bilingual education, particularly the set of bilingual procedures referred to as "language alternation" or "code switching." Let us discuss briefly the debt of Community Language Learning to these traditions.
As the name indicates, CLL derives its primary insights, and indeed its organizing rationale, from Rogerian counseling. Counseling, as Rogerians see it, consists of one individual (the counselor) assuming "insofar as he is able the internal frame of reference [of the client], perceiving the world as that person sees it and communicating something of this empathetic understanding" (Rogers 1951). In lay terms, counseling is one person giving advice, assistance, and support to another who has a problem or is in some way in need. Community Language Learning draws on the counseling metaphor to redefine the roles of the teacher (the counselor) and learners (the clients) in the language classroom. The basic procedures of CLL can thus be seen as derived from the counselor-client relationship. Consider the following CLL procedures: A group of learners sit in a circle with the teacher standing outside the circle; a student whispers a message in the native language (U); the teacher translates it into the foreign language (L2); the student repeats the message in the foreign language into a cassette, students compose further messages in the foreign language with the teacher's help; students reflect about their feelings. We can compare the client-counselor relationship in psychological counseling with the learner- knower relationship in community language learning.


CONTENT

A. Theory of learning
Curran's counseling experience led him to conclude that the techniques of counseling could be applied to learning in general (this became Counseling-Learning) and to language teaching in particular (Community Language learning). The CLL view of learning is contrasted with two other types of learning, which Curran saw as widespread and undesirable.
The first of these describes a putative learning view long popular in Western culture. In this view, "the intellectual and factual process alone are regarded as the main intent of learni ng, to the neglect of engagement and involvement of the self" (Curran 1972: 58). The second view of learning is the behavioral view. Curran refers to this kind of learning as "animal learning," in which learners are "passive" and their involvement limited (Curran 1976: 84).
In contrast, CLL advocates a holistic app roach to language learning, since "true" human learning is both cognitive and affective. This is termed whole-person learning. Such learning takes place in a communicative situation where teachers and learners are involved in ":'an interaction ... in which both experience a sense of their own wholeness" (Curran 1972: 90). Within this, the development of the learner's relationship with the teacher is central. The process is divided into five stages and compared to the ontogenetic development of the child.
In the first, “birth" stage, feelings of security and belonging are established. In the second, as the learner's abilities improve, the learner as child begins to achieve a measure of independence from the parent. By the third, the learner "speaks independently" and may need to assert his or her own identity, often rejecting unasked-for advice. The fourth stage sees the learner is secure enough to take criticism, and by the last stage, the learner merely works upon improving style and knowledge of linguistics appropriateness. By the end of the process, the child has become adult. The learner knows everything the teacher does and can become knower for a new learner. The process of learning a new language, then, is like being reborn and developing a new persona, with all the trials and challenges that are associated with birth and maturation. Insofar as language learning is thought to develop through creating social relationships, success in language learning follows from a successful relationship between learner and teacher, and learner and learner. "Learning is viewed as a unified, personal and social experience. “The learner is no longer seen as learning in isolation and in competition with others" (Curran 1972: 11-12).

B. Basic Principle of CLL
Curran concludes that the techniques of counseling can be applied in learning and teaching language. The main task of counselor is to reduce the learners’ in security, threat, and anxiety. A group of ides concerning the psychological requirements for successful learning is included under the acronym, SARD:
S stands for security. Unless learners feel secure, they will find it difficult to enter into a successful learning experience.
A stands for attention and aggression. CLL recognizes that a loss of attention should be taken as an indication of the learner's lack of involvement in learning, the implication being rhar variety in the choice of learner tasks will increase attention and therefore promote learning. Aggression applies to the way in which a child, having learned something, seeks an opportunity to show his or her strength by taking over and demonstrating what has been learned, using the new knowledge as a tool for self-assertion.
R stands for retention and reflection. If the whole person is involved in the learning process, what is retained is internalized and becomes a part of the learner's new persona in the foreign language. Reflection is a consciously identified period of silence within the framework of the lesson for the student "to focus on the learning forces of the last hour, to assess his present stage of development, and to re-evaluate future goals" (la Forge 1983: 68).
D denotes discrimination. When learners "have retained a body of material, they are ready to sort it out and see how one thing relates to another" (la Forge 1983: 69). This discrimination process becomes more refined and ultimately "enables the students to use the language for purposes of communication outside the classroom" (la Forge 1983: 69).

C. Types of learning and teaching activities
As with most methods, CLL combines innovative learning tasks and activities with conventional ones. They include:
1. Translation. Learners form a small circle. A learner whispers a message or meaning he or she wants to express, the teacher translates it into (and may interpret it in) the target language, and the learner repeats the teacher's translation.
2. Croup Work. Learners may engage in various group tasks, such as small group discussion of a topic, preparing a conversation, preparing a summary of a topic for presentation to another group, preparing a story that will be presented to the teacher and the rest of the class.
3. Recording. Students record conversations in the target language.
4. Transcription. Students transcribe utterances and conversations they have recorded for practice and analysis of linguistic forms.
5. Analysis. Students analyze and study transcriptions of target language sentences in order to focus on particular lexical usage or on the application of particular grammar rules.
6. Reflection and observation. Learners reflect and report on their experience of the class, as a class or in groups. This usually consists of expressions of feelings - sense of one another, reactions to silence, concern for something to say, etc.
7. Listening. Students listen to a monologue by the teacher involving elements they might have elicited or overheard in class interactions.
8. Free conversation. Students engage in free conversation with the teacher or with other learners. This might include discussion of what they learned as well as feelings they had about how they learned.

D. Usual Classroom Techniques
1. One class consists of 6-12 students who sit in a circle.
2. The teacher stands outside the circle.
3. A student pronounces a message in L1 loudly.
4. The teacher whispers the message in L2.
5. The student repeats the L2 message to his friends loudly.
6. This process is done repeatedly and recorded.
7. At the end of the class, this record is played again and transcribed.
CONCLUSION
Community Language Learning is the most responsive of the methods we have reviewed in terms of its sensitivity to learner communicative intent. It should be noted, however, that this communicative intent is constrained by the number and knowledge of fellow learners. A learner's desire to understand or express technical terms used in aeronautical engineering is unlikely to receive adequate response in the CLL class.
Community Language Learning places unusual demands on language teachers. They must be highly proficient and sensitive to nuance in both L1 and L2. They must be familiar with and sympathetic to the role of counselors in psychological counseling. They must resist the pressure "to teach" in the traditional senses. As one CLL teacher notes, "I had to relax completely and to exclude my own will to produce something myself. I had to exclude any function of forming or formulating something within me, not trying to do something" (Curran 1976: 33).
The teacher must also be relatively nondirective and must be prepared to accept and even encourage the "adolescent" aggression of the learner as he or she strives for independence. The teacher must operate without conventional materials, depending on student topics to shape and motivate the class. In addition, the teacher must be prepared to deal with potentially hostile learner reactions to the method. The teacher must also be culturally sensitive and prepared to redesign the language class into more culturally compatible organizational forms. And the teacher must attempt to learn these new roles and skills without much specific guidance from CLL texts presently available. Special training in Community Language Learning techniques is usually required.
Critics of Community Language Learning question the appropriateness of the counseling metaphor upon which it is predicated, asking for evidence that language learning in classrooms indeed pa rallels the processes that characterize psychological counseling. Questions also arise about whether teachers should attempt counseling without special training.
CLL procedures were largely developed and tested with groups of college-age Americans. The problems and successes experienced by one or two different client groups may not necessarily represent language learning universals. Other concerns have been expressed regarding the lack of a syllabus, which makes objectives unclear and evaluation difficult to accomplish, and the focus on fluency rather than accuracy, which may lead to inadequate control of the grammatical system of the target language. Supporters of CLL, on the other hand, emphasize the positive benefits of a method that centers on the learner and stresses the humanistic side of language learning, and not merely its linguistic dimensions.
References

Richards, Jack C. and Theodore S. Rodgers. (1999). Approaches and Methods In Language Teaching, A description and analysis. United States of America: Cambridge University Press
Hasibuan, Kalayo, and Muhammad Fauzan Ansyari. (2007). Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Pekanbaru: Alaf Riau Graha UNRI Press
Larsen, Diane and Freeman. (1986). Technique and Principles in Language Teaching. Hongkong: Oxford University Pess

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4 comments:

fahrurozi said...

punya bukunya gak gan??? penting nui lagi skripsi...

martos said...

@fahrurozi: ada gan, referensi no.1 ebook, no.2 print out and 3 copyan.

fahrurozi said...

posisi dimana gan.. tolong ebook nya kirm ke email q yah... q dah cari-cari buku disemarang cuman dapet 1.. besok mo ngadap ke dosen nya..

martos said...

Maaf ya gan, bukannya ana ga' mau berbagi, tapi karena posisi kita sangat jauh, ana di Riau, Pekanbau.
Tapi agan bisa download bukunya di internet koq. Hampir semua buku tentang English Language Teaching ada gan.
Baca Artikel INI gan, untuk sekalian register gratis untuk download gratis, kualitas bukunya bagus-bagus gan.

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