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A Functional Approach to Language Teaching Is Effective for 21st Century Students

In: English and Literature

Submitted By emip
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A FUNCTIONAL APPROACH TO LANGUAGE TEACHING IS EFFECTIVE FOR 21st CENTURY STUDENTS

The functional approach is a methodology that allows the learner to “function” effectively; is based not in the linguistic analysis of the content to be taught but on what is usually designated as the learner’s needs. Regarding Halliday´s theory, this approach is concerned with the way language is organized to fulfill communicative functions. What is more, it aims to account for three basic kinds of meaning, the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual and last but not least each element in a language is explained by reference to its function in the total linguistic system.

In the 21st Century the learner’s needs are not the same now as the ones in the 20th century since the students are not the same nor the society. In the 21st Century classroom, Teachers are facilitators of students’ learning and creators of productive classroom environments in which students can develop the skills they will need in their workplace mainly. As the 21st Century classroom is student centered, teachers no longer function as lecturers but as facilitators of learning. The students are learning by doing, so they need to be aware of their participation in the language production. Today there is an increasing emphasis on involving students in decisions affecting their own learning- getting them to take responsibility for their own learning decisions, and to consciously develop learning skills, and now students’ role is really important in the language production.

In the functional approach, language is taken as a tool for global communication, so as global communication is the ability to provide and access information across cultures through speaking, listening, or reading and writing; it is a must to say that teaching learners how to master these language skills is vital. Taking into account…...

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