The Natural Approach is one of the approaches that are used for teaching or learning foreign languages. As the word ‘natural’ itself suggests, this approach focuses on the acquisition of basic language skills in a naturalistic manner in a class setting. Major emphasis is laid on communication.
The teachers are not expected to strictly pay attention to grammar or constantly correcting the errors that the students might make. This method was originally developed by Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell. This method pays attention to the use of certain activities that make the process of learning the language easier. Such activities include content activities, activities based on personalizing language, games and problem-solving activities.
The basic aim of this method is to develop communicative skills. One of the three basic principles of this method is that speech production can never be forced. It can take some time. Moreover, speech production goes through certain stages. This method is often used for beginner learners.
Since this method is quite natural, teachers are expected to create situations that the students find interesting and motivating. Constant error correction and drilling are ways that might lead this method to be counterproductive. It is imperative that the teachers come up with creative ways. Emphasis is put on the content, personal experiences and other fun activities such as games.
This method has been widely used. In fact, it has remained popular because of several reasons. One of the reasons is the fact that this method is easy to apply and quite simple to understand. This is one of those methods which the teachers could conveniently apply with other teaching methods. It really depends on how the teachers make use of it. This method focuses on easy and interesting communicative input. It is built in a way that the learners do not experience anxiety.
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