It was only after the emergence of psychology as a branch of science that interest on the evolution of methods based on the research findings of how human acquire learning and how they respond to different modes of teaching took a paradigm shift. And as part of a changing world system, the methods have also evolved to become more effective over the years. (Anthony, E.M. 1963).
Most of us learn to speak at least two languages. Our first language (L1) is known as our native language, and is acquired from our childhood years. The Second Language (L2), also known as foreign language, is acquired as taught in schools, or by living in a state where another language is spoken. Acquiring the first language in most situations is as effortless as learning normal routines. We learn it because we are exposed to it most of the time. On the other hand, learning a another new language calls for greater effort and dedication, and persistent application of the trial and error methodology. (Sally Morrison). The emphasis on this type of language teaching is on how an individual can successfully grasp a second language over a given period of time. It is suitable for the classroom as well as the individual student, because every student who wants to learn a new language has different learning needs, and the instructor has to choose the right method to be used in teaching the classroom which can be easily understood by everyone and does not alienate any student in the class. (JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall, p.3).
The existence of various methods for learning the second language has made the task for instructors simpler albeit more strenuous. On the one hand, they have a fine array of systematic learning to suit different needs and tastes. On the other, they have the unenviable task of studying each method separately, and then they choose the method best suited for the purpose.
3. Approach, Design and Procedure
Richards and Rodgers developed a three levels framework to help instructors in choosing the right method. The three levels: Approach, Design, and Procedure, are interrelated to each other as the content of each level directly affects the contents of the other levels. Richards and Rodgers implied that in order to select the best method, we should look at each method as a separate series of theories and applications, and that the methods can be evaluated by comparing and coordinating the three interrelated levels. Now let us define the three levels first. (Richards, J. and T. Rodgers. 1986).
Approach refers to a particular theory that supports and serves as a foundation of any methodology. No methods exist alone unsupported by theoretical views, and that is why methods and theories must be viewed together. Design is the creation of