Different Types of Language Teaching Perspectives and Methods

Structuralist Perspective

·         Argues that language is a systematic framework of codes, signs, symbols and meaning. Thus, for the language to be acquired, it should be scientifically dissected and objectively studied.

Behaviorist Perspective

·         Argues that our brain is a ‘tabula rasa’ or completely empty, void of any language learning, which means learners acquire language unconsciously through operant conditioning and habit formation or from imitation, to reinforcement and finally acquiring language.

Cognitivist Perspective

·         Argues that acquired language learning is present in learners’ brains and that innately stationed cognitive processors play a very significant role in producing words, constructing sentences, and conveying meanings through this acquired learning which is used generally in actual communication or performance.

Constructivist Perspective

·         Argues that the moment we are born, mental structure is hereditarily inherited, which is considered as the basic foundation of all succeeding learning, and developed over time through assimilating and accommodating new language information.

Social Interactionist Perspective

·         Argues that language acquisition is a collaborative process in which learning from social interactions integrates with the knowledge already stored in language learners mental structure.

Which of these language teaching perspectives and methods do you agree most and why?

            I concur to the proposition of ‘Constructivist Perspective’ because I believe that mental structure is born with us and subsequently developed through assimilating and accommodating inputs throughout our daily experiences. Moreover, it is my belief that mental structure is frailly filled with information fed by the lullabies of our mothers, the constant greetings from our fathers and the voices of our surroundings even since we are growing inside our mothers’ womb. This is proven by our behaviors such as coos, cries and smiles---when we were babies, that we unconsciously understand and we respond in return.

Therefore, this less developed knowledge is basically the very foundation of all cognitive processes, which means that it would be a whole lot difficult to accommodate new inputs and information without it.

Pride and Prejudice: My Novel Analysis on Courthsip and Marriage in The Philippines

            The novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’, was published in the year 1813 by an English novelist, Jane Austen. The plot rotates around the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she dwells on the issues concerning manners shaped by social decorum, morality, social status, and mostly on the dependence of women towards marriage to ensure financial stability.

            The novel was written during the English Regency, which encompasses the years 1811 to 1820. During these years, people, especially women, give marriage the utmost importance because women’s financial survival depends on it, since women have no power of earning money, they considered marrying as a duty.

            In the novel, public occasions, specifically dancing or balls, play a very important role in finding a spouse because it allows men and women to have a private conversation, thus, acquainting them with each other. Other than this occurrence, there is no possible event in which women are allowed to be acquainted with men, since a lady must wait to be introduced to a gentleman because she is not allowed to introduce herself. Love only develops during instances when both man and woman are left to converse alone. There is none proper tradition of getting a woman’s hand, as suggested by the novel. 

On the other hand, in the Philipines, on the same year the “Pride and Prejudice’ was written, proper seeking of a Filipina’s hand is very essential. Unlike balls and private conversations, seeking a woman’s hand in the Philippines is bounded by certain traditions. “Tuksuhan (teasing) is a means for 'feeling out' a woman's attitude about an admirer or suitor”. If the woman denies the man’s feelings and start avoiding him, the man’s persuasion over the woman is hopeless. The positive side of this is that he does not place himself in the spot of embarrassment because he did not immediately state his feelings towards the woman he like.  Filipinos, as much as possible, avoid losing their faces. Basted (from English busted) is the Tagalog slang for someone who fails to reach 'first base' in courting a girl because she does not have any feelings for him to begin with.” However, if the woman suggests intentions of accepting her suitor, then the suitor can instantly court her and the ‘tuksuhan’ eventually ceases. The man, then, is allowed to do the next ‘serious’ step, which is the “panliligaw or ligawan, the Tagalog terms for courtship, and the romance begins.” The man has to visit the woman’s family and introduce himself formally to her parents. It is expected for a man to show himself in the woman’s family, since it would be very informal for a man to court a woman without informing the woman’s parents. It has been believed, that in the Philippines, “courting a Filipina means courting her family as well”. In some cases, Filipino men would perform “harana ( serenade) to the women at night and sing songs of love and affection (kundiman) to her. A” 'home-run' is one where the girl formally accepts the man's love, and they become magkasintahan (from sinta, love), a term for boyfriend-girlfriend”. After a very time-consuming courtship, if the couple decides to commit themselves with each other and marry, the Filipino tradition of pamamanhikan (from panik, to go up the stairs of the house), wherein the man and his parents visit the woman's family and ask for her parents blessings to marry their daughter, and at the same time, an occasion for the parents of the woman to get to know the parents of the man. During this event, the man and his parents offer pasalubong (gifts) to the woman and her family. In this period, the wedding date is formally settled.

In the perspective of a 21st century-woman, these customs and traditions about marriage and courtship, both during the English Regency and in the Philippine context, are rarely practiced today. Mobile messaging and Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) through social media, became the medium of ‘courtship’ which involves neither efforts nor assured sincerity, and intentions are screened by monitors and keypads which results then, mostly, to unsuccessful relationships and even marriages.

Marriage is ever dynamic due to the changing time, and is not solely bounded by a universal belief but of local traditions as well.

What is a Mixed Methods Research?

Given the different characteristics of the quantitative and qualitative methodologies, it stands to reason that the combination of the two will result in another unique set of characteristics

First, many people think that any study in which both quantitative and qualitative data are collected is a mixed methods study; this isn’t necessarily true. In some cases, it just means we’re conducting two studies simultaneously. 
For example, I could conduct an opinion poll of local school parents by asking them to comment on the characteristics they looked for as they started a search for a new superintendent (i.e., qualitative data). Within the same opinion poll, I could provide them with a list of possible school starting times and ask them to rank them according to their preference (i.e., quantitative data). Although my poll would be asking for responses requiring both types of data, it’s not a mixed methods study. To put it simply, one set of data is not being used to complement or explain the other by merging or connecting the two (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004).

Mixed methods studies can be considered simultaneous when both quantitative and qualitative data are collected at the same time, or can be considered sequential, where one type of data is collected after the other (Creswell, 2014). These are not part of a larger quantitative study, where multiple variables are observed, manipulated, and measured (e.g., experimental research), nor are they a standard qualitative model (e.g., a case study or grounded theory). Mixed methods studies are just that, an approach to answering research questions that requires data collection and analysis of the type called for in a given study.

Even though, as a research method, mixed methods approaches are different from qualitative and quantitative approaches, many of the same tools still apply. 

For example, if you’re collecting quantitative data, your sampling procedures must adhere to the rules and guidelines for studies of that type. Ideas such as using a small purposive sample for qualitative research and needing a large sample for quantitative research still hold true.

Finally, while they are separate methodologies, in order to conduct a good mixed methods study, you should be very familiar with the components of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. In addition to the commonality of tools, the same philosophical underpinnings still apply; the paradigm you choose will be based on your axiology, ontology, and epistemology.

To summarize all this, before you consider conducting a mixed methods study, ensure that:

1. You have a good overarching knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research.
2. You understand the assumptions underlying each research method.
3. You have a good working knowledge of the analytic procedures and tools related to both quantitative            and qualitative research.
4. You have the ability to understand and interpret results from the quantitative and qualitative methods.
5. You are willing to accept and forego methodological prejudices from training in a prior discipline.
6. You understand the different disciplines, audiences, and appropriate studies where mixed methods are            acceptable.

What is Convenience Sampling and Example

This sampling technique is often called accidental sampling and uses participants that just happen to be in a given place at a given time. 
For example, imagine a pollster asking opinions of shoppers in a mall. The sample is convenient because they’re already there, but the generalizability is limited because they just happened to be in the mall at a given time. I was shopping with my wife at a mall in Miami a couple of weekends ago; one large department store was conducting a sale aimed at local Hispanic youth and had one of the local radio stations broadcasting in Spanish from within the store. Imagine a newspaper reporter was there asking shoppers their thoughts on ending the war in the Middle East. The results probably wouldn’t represent all shoppers in the other stores in the mall, much less the city in general. The argument could be made that they are generalizable to other Spanish- speaking youth, but are they really? What about the kids who were working, simply not interested, or didn’t have enough money to go shopping that day. Aren’t their opinions important too?

What is Snowball Sampling and its example?

This is a type of purposive sampling used by many qualitative researchers because of its ease of use in identifying a small number of participants. In order to get the general idea, imagine the researcher making a small snowball and then rolling it down a hill; as it goes along, it gets bigger and bigger. The same idea applies to this type of sampling; the researcher identifies a small number of participants, perhaps even one, and then asks those participants to recruit other potential participants for the study they are in.

 For example, in the qualitative aspect of the study about hazardous waste being used in the Appendices of this book, researchers could use snowball sampling; study subjects whose health had been negatively affected by living close to the chemical processing plant help identify neighbors and others whose circumstances are similar. Sampling of this type helps the researcher identify potential participants who might otherwise have been missed.