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Deductive and Inductive Approach Essay

1) Disadvantage and advantage of a deductive approach to grammar teaching.

A deductive approach starts with the presentation of a rule and is followed by examples in which the rule is applied. It is also called rule-driven learning. There are several disadvantages and advantages of this approach. As for the disadvantages, starting the lesson with a grammar presentation may be off-putting for some students, especially younger ones because they may not have sufficient metalanguage such as grammar terminology, or not be able to understand the concepts involved. Next, grammar explanation encourages a teacher-fronted, transmission-style classroom. Third, explanation is seldom as memorable as other forms of presentation, such as demonstration. Forth, such an approach encourages the belief that learning a language is simply a case of knowing the rules. As for the advantages, it gets straight to the point, and can be time-saving.

Many rules can be more simply and quickly explained than elicited from examples. This will allow more time for practice and application. Also, it respects the intelligence and maturity of many students, and acknowledges the role of cognitive processes in language acquisition. Next, it confirms many students’ expectations about classroom learning, particularly for those learners who have an analytical learning style. Finally, it allows the teacher to deal with language points as they come up, rather than having to anticipate them and prepare for them in advance.

2) Pros and cons of an inductive approach to grammar teaching

An inductive approach starts with some examples from which a rule is inferred. It is also called discovery learning. There are several advantages of this approach. First, rules learners discover for themselves are more likely to fit their existing mental structures than rules they have been presented with. Second, the mental effort involved ensures a greater degree of cognitive depth which again, ensures greater memorability. Third, students are more actively involved in the learning process rather than being simply passive recipients. Forth, it is an approach which favors pattern-recognition and problem-solving abilities. Fifth, if the problem-solving is done collaboratively and in the target language, learners get the opportunity for extra language practice. Finally, working things out for themselves prepares students for greater self-reliance and is conducive to learner autonomy.

However, there are several disadvantages as well. First, the time and energy spent in working out rules may mislead students into believing that rules are the objective of language learning rather than a means. Second, the time taken to work out a rule may be at the expense of time spent in putting the rule to some sort of productive practice. Third, students may hypothesize the wrong rule, or their version of the rule may be either too broad or too narrow in its application. Forth, it can place heavy demands on teacher in planning a lesson. Fifth, however carefully organized the data is, many language areas such as aspect and modality resist easy rule formation. Finally, inductive approach frustrates students who would prefer simply to be told the rule.


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