Language Learning: Basic Approaches and Methods

There are many forms of language learning. Teachers with their individual styles master different approaches to ease their students into fluency in a new language. Here are some examples of basic approaches and methods in teaching a language:

1. Direct method

Teachers of this method speak to their students only in the language they want to learn. Not much emphasis is put on grammar and other structures.


Image source: Berkeley

2. Immersion

This learning method lets the learner experience the language by joining and sometimes living with a community of native speakers.

3. Grammar-translation method

This kind of language learning is primarily graphic. It is suitable for those who are learning language for further study, translation, or another developmental purpose. This method constantly refers to the connection of the new language to the native language.

4. Structural approach

This approach emphasizes grammar and other structures involved in learning a language. The words are usually dissected before practicing.

5. Audio-lingual

This method lets the students listen to dialogue and practice it until they can use phrases and bits of conversation in their own communication goals. The goal is to make language learning a habit and a part of the thinking process.


Image source:

There are other methods for learning but these five are the most commonly used. Teachers can use one or a combination of methods for certain levels. Whichever the preferred approach, what’s important is the teacher aids the student in expressing himself freely in another tongue.

Ines Cano Uribe is a language teaching, training, and employment professional from the UK. She is currently finishing her studies at the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) to become a clinical psychologist. For more information on her professional life, visit this page.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s