The Diferences Between Approach, Method and Technique In the Students’ Dictionary of American English author of Cynthia Barnhart (2008: 400), a method is defined as a way of doing something, system in doing thing, or order in thinking. And teaching is defined as work or profession of the teacher, act of one who teaches, or instruction, percept, doctrine. So a language teaching method can be defined as a system or way of teaching a language that developed by some experts to make the language can be received by the students. But in describing methods, we sometimes still do not understand with the differences among the similar words of approach, method and technique. In attempt to clarify this difference, Edward Anthony (1963: 7) identified three levels of conceptualization and organization, which he termed approach, method, and technique. He stated: An approach is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language teaching and learning. An approach is axiomatic. 1t describes the nature of the subject matter to be taught. Method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts, and all of which is based upon, the selected approach. An approach is axiomatic, a method is procedural. Within one approach, there can be many methods. A technique is implementation - that which actually takes place in a classroom. It is a particular trick, stratagem, or contrivance used to accomplish an immediate objective. Techniques must be consistent with a method and therefore in harmony with an approach as well. From the identification made by Anthony above we can conclude that in one approach there can be many methods applied, and in one method there can be many techniques used. So what thing can be called a method? Further Jack Richard (1999: 16) states that “a method a theoretically related to an approach, is organizationally determined by a design, and is practically realized in procedure”. So something which is called as a method should have three levels of conceptualization and organization within it, they are approach, design and procedure. First level is an approach. An approach of the language studies refers to theories about the nature of language and the nature of language learning. The theories about the nature of language consist of an account of the nature of language proficiency and an account of the basic units of language structure. And the nature of language learning consists of an account of the psycholinguistics and cognitive process involved in language learning and an account of the condition that allows for successful use of these processes that serves as the source of practices and principles of language teaching. In order for an approach to lead to a method, it is necessary to develop a design as the second level for an instructional system. Design is the level of method analysis in which we consider what the objectives of a method are and how language content is selected and organized within the method. The language content which is selected and organized within the method is the syllabus model the method incorporates, the types of learning tasks and teaching activities the method advocates, the roles of learners, the roles of teachers, and the role of instructional materials. And the last level of conceptualization and organization of a method is procedure. Procedure encompasses the actual moment to-moment techniques, practices, and behaviors that operate in teaching a language according to a particular method. At the level of design we saw that a method will advocate the use of certain types of teaching activities as a consequence of its theoretical assumptions about language and learning (approach). At the level of procedure we are concerned with how these tasks and activities are integrated into lessons and used as the basis for teaching and learning. From the explanation above we can conclude that approach is something which dealing with the nature of the language and language learning; method is something which dealing with the procedure of teaching language based on the approach that have been taken; and procedure is something which dealing with the implementation of the procedure that have been arranged.
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