Maxims of Language Teaching

Maxims of Language Teaching

Maxims of teaching are of universal significance. They help the teacher to teach systematically. The different maxims of teaching are as follows:

1. Known to Unknown

  •  It is based on the fact that a learner knows something
  •  It is considered that old knowledge lays the foundation of new knowledge.
  • Previous knowledge of a learner can be used to increase and widen the outlook of a learner.
  • E.g., pronoun can be taught only when the learner has knowledge of noun.

2. Simple to Complex

  • First simple things should be taught and then complex things.
  • By learning simple things learners feel encouraged and confident thus they can easily understand complex things.
  • For example, if learners are to be taught about complex sentences then they should be first taught about simple sentences

3. Concrete to Abstract

  • Those things which can be felt with our five senses are known as concrete (real) things where as things which can be imagined are known as abstract things.
  • Things taught with the help of concrete objects last for longer period.
  • For example, a learner can imagine about golden apple only if he has seen an apple and golden color.

4. Analysis to Synthesis

  • Simply, analysis to synthesis means from detailed to summary.
  • A complex problem when divided into different parts can be understood easily.
  • For example, when a learner is taught the different parts of a sentence then he is able to understand the synthesis of sentences.

5. Induction to Deduction

  • In induction few examples are given and then a conclusion is drawn
  • In deduction, first a rule is made to known and then examples are given.
  • Teaching should proceed from induction to deduction.
  • For example while teaching narration, few examples of the conversion of direct into indirect speech should be given and then a general rule of the conversion should be concluded.

6. Near to Afar

  • A learner is acquainted with his/her immediate environment. Thus examples from his/her environment should be given first and then examples from other environment/surrounding should be cited.
  • This helps in step-by-step learning.
  • For examples while teaching noun, examples from learners’ immediate environment, i.e. from class should be cited, such as fan, desk, chair, and other examples such as train, Aeroplan, lake and river should be given afterwards.

7. Whole to Part

  • The learners should be taught the whole lesson first and then its parts should be analyzed and studied intensively
  • For example, first a full sentence should be taught then its part- subject, predicate and words should be analyzed.

8. Psychological to Logical

  • While teaching the interest, aptitudes, capacities and learners’ difficulty level should be kept in mind.
  • Individual differences of the learners should also be kept in mind.
  • For example, vocabulary and basic structure of a language should be taught first depending on the needs and requirements of the learners and then they should be arranged in a logical way.

9. Particular to General

  • First, particular statements should be given and then a general rule should be formed,
  • For example, a few examples of past continuous tense should be given first and then it should be generalized that this tense is used to denote the actions that were going in the past
  • It is based on the inductive method.

10. Empirical to Rational

  • Empirical knowledge is based on the observation and experience.
    whereas rational knowledge implies to arguments and explanation.
  • First, empirical knowledge of the learner should be discussed and then rational views.
  • For example, it can be discussed that how the subject or object of direct speech changes into indirect speech.

11. Actual to Representative

  • For efficient teaching, actual objects should be shown to the learners as far as possible.
  • This helps in concrete learning.
  • For example while teaching noun, concrete/actual objects can be shown such as fan, chair, apple and potato and later they should be represented in the form of pictures or models.

12. Definite to Indefinite

  • The learners should be first taught definite things, and then indefinite things.
  • For example if definite rules of grammar are taught then the learners will have good knowledge.

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