Translation as an Aid in the EFL Classroom
Teachers are generally agreed that affective variables in second language acquisition are fundamental. How these variables should be measured, however, is another cup of tea: there is strong disagreement regarding the validity of research studies in this area.
Some researchers view aptitude at language learning as a prerequisite for successful foreign-language acquisition. But then, all of us learned at least one language well: we therefore must all have aptitude at language learning--and yet many of us do not readily seem to learn a foreign language. To complicate matters further, many learners who test high on a linguistic aptitude scale do poorly at learning another language than the native one; and vice versa, low scorers on aptitude may become proficient in other languages.
Could it be that the determining factor in foreign language learning is the didactic methodology? The last two or three decades have seen a plethora of methodological approaches. Was each one successively discarded because judged inadequate? How about the current method being hyped? Could it be that there is no ideal way to learn a language and that learning capacity is an individual characteristic? Given the fact that with each formal method there are some who take to it as to water and others who fail miserably, individual learning style may indeed play a prominent role in language acquisition.
In the last couple of decades we have seen grammar translation, audio-lingual, cognitive code, programmed instruction, the direct method, the Silent Way, Suggestopedia, the Natural Approach, and other approaches. The socio-psychological perspective is currently favored by many researchers... including teachers of EFL. What characterizes the approach is that it is not specific to foreign-language learning but to all learning. So, what's new? Most teachers will agree that attitudes, motivation, and...