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Aims, Content and Principles of FLT in a Secondary School

Aims of teaching

Aims are the first and most important consider in any teaching.

Hence the teacher should know exactly what his pupils are expected to achieve in learning his subject, what changes he can bring about in his pupils at the end of the course, at the end of the year, term, month, week and each particular lesson, i.e., he should know the aims and objects in foreign language teaching in schools.

The terms “aims” and “objectives” are clearly distinguished in accordance with the suggestion given by R.Roberts. Here is what he writes: “The term “aims” be reserved for long term goals such as provide the justification or reason for teaching second languages... the term “objectives” be used only for short-term goals (immediate lesson goal), such as may reasonably be achieved in a classroom lesson or sequence of lessons”.

The changes the teacher must bring about in his pupils may be threefold:

practical – pupils acquire habits and skills in using a foreign language.

educational – they develop their mental abilities and intelligence in the process of learning the foreign language;

cultural – pupils extend their knowledge of the world in which they live. Therefore there are three aims, at least, which should be achieved in foreign language teaching: practical, educational, cultural.

Practical aims:

In modern society language in used in 2 ways: directly or orally, and indirectly or in written form. Thus we distinguishoral language and written language. Direct communication implies a speaker and hearer/listener, indirect communication implies a writer and a reader. Hence, the practical aims in teaching a foreign language are 4 (four) in number: listening, speaking, writing and reading.

When adopting the practical aims for a secondary school course the following factors are usually taken into consideration: the economic and political condition of society, the requirements of the state; the general goals of secondary school education; the nature of the subject and the conditions for instruction.

Educational aims:

Learning a second language is of great educational value. Through a new language we can gain an insight into the way in which words express thoughts and so achieve greater clarity and precision in our own communications.

Since languageis connected with thinking through foreign language study we can develop the pupil’s intellect. Teaching a foreign language helps the teacher develop the pupils’ voluntary and involuntary memory, his imaginative abilities and will power. Indeed, in learning a new language the pupil should memorize words, idioms, sentence patterns, structures and keep them in long term memory ready to be used whenever he needs them in auding, speaking, reading and writing.

Cultural aims:

Learning a foreign language makes the pupil acquainted with the life, customs and traditions of the people whose language he studies through visual material (such as post cards with the views of towns, countryside and people; filmstrips for example, “Great Britain”, “What Tourists Can See in London”, “Disney Land” films) and reading material delaying with the countries where the target language is spoken. F.L.T. should promote pupils’ general educational and cultural growth by increasing their knowledge about foreign countries, and by acquainting them with progressive traditions of the people whose language they study.


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