Historical Events of Influence
The main historical events influencing language teaching refer to the rapid development of information technology, its impact on average lifestyle, and the unprecedentedly high availability of knowledge sources achieved due to said progress. The philosophy of teaching languages with the help of media studies is centered around honing the basic language skills of a student. They need to be improved to the point where the grammar capabilities and theoretical knowledge of the language suffice for further language acquisition without the immediate need for theoretical backing. The connection of historical influence with this philosophy lies in the recent technological progress that allows the teacher to implement any sort of content intended for consumption by the native speakers of the given language into the curriculum, removing the barriers of artificialness present in most English-as-a-second-language programs.
Related Schools of Thought
The school of thought indirectly aligning with this teaching philosophy is that of cognitive psychology in language learning. This is supported by the fact that content produced for native speakers prevails in the utilization of metaphor as a powerful source of contextual meaning and additional analysis of any piece of information. Behavioural psychology supplements this teaching philosophy with its heavy emphasis on naturally occurring action, reaction, and emotional responses densely spread throughout most pieces of media, as opposed to the content of a theory-based course.
Language Acquisition Theories
This philosophy relies on the element of naturalness of the first language acquisition nativist theory. Given the disparity between the content offered by the language’s media sources and that of ESL coursebooks, information devoid of unnaturalness provides the student with a more efficient language-learning curve. Secondly, the interaction hypothesis as the second language acquisition theory is suggested to further increase the student incentive in learning the language because the active discussion of media events of the student’s personal preference using its source language yields a welcoming response from the student due to the content’s relevance and the opportunity to reflect one’s identity.
However, this philosophy, due to its advanced scope, works effectively with students in the stages of adolescence or adultery. Despite the better second language acquisition demonstrated by children from the age of six, it is preferred that students are over fourteen years old. It is also recommended for students to have grasped the basic theoretic concepts of grammar associated with the B1 knowledge level. Another reason for this recommendation is the fact that most media in the source language is too complex for a thorough analysis at a younger age.
General Learning Theories
Next, this philosophy incorporates elements of the Cognitive Load Theory in the sense that mastering language skills by interacting with literary, visual, audio, and mixed media enables the students to improve their short-term memory. Furthermore, it also affects the ability to decipher meaning while gaining experience in the language while evenly spreading the workload throughout various points of personal interest. Another aspect of this philosophy stems from constructivism, theorizing that assignments of individual research need to be carried out entirely in the source language and pertain to the analysis of any given piece of media. As such, this approach provides students with an insightful way to develop independent research skills on a certain topic while broadening their understanding of the language.
The main factors influencing the learning process are that of individual topical preferences and the educational background of the student. That is, the focal point of this philosophy is the opportunity for a student to learn a language without the need to cram with theoretical coursebooks. Therefore, they must find excitement in the educational material offered by the teacher in order to fully delve into the immediate subject and subconsciously improve their language skills. Secondly, this approach thrives on the student’s awareness of the general concepts of media and versatile preferences in its consumption, which is why different levels of awareness yield learning curves varying in rapidness.
As it is evident from the nature of this philosophy, the most useful learning styles are the visual style and learning through reading and writing. One of the traits of these styles is emphasis on huge volumes of information processed during class which resembles this philosophy. The composite structure of classes involves mixing the consumption of content with independent opinion formation and research in the foreign language, highlighting these styles as the primary tools of learning.
The strategies that most people use regarding this philosophy revolve around leveraging one’s personal interest in the process of language acquisition. The theoretical language concepts intended for rehashing are incorporated in the course by the model of the student’s attempt to analyze the subject without initially focusing on grammar. According to this model, the teacher will be assisting the students by correcting their mistakes and simultaneously clarifying the theoretical matter.
Sociocultural factors of importance in this philosophy include the currently trending media content and the learner’s cultural background of dealing with any given subject that the teacher suggests is used for language acquisition. As it happens with controversial pieces of media, beforehand analysis is required for any topic of discussion in accordance with the societal and cultural boundaries before it is approved. The interactive learning approach serves as the centerpiece in this regard, encouraging the student to participate in choosing the matter of discussion and analysis.
English as a Global Language
Teaching English as a Global language is relevant to this philosophy due to the fact that the student is exposed to the present cultural reality of the language they are learning directly, rather than through ESL programs with varying degrees of reality misrepresentation. This serves as the mean of broadcasting the realia of this language and its related phenomena to the learners and offering them credible insight into the global value that this language poses.
The Communicative Approach
This philosophy views the communicative approach as one of the foundational guidelines of learning in that the teacher is the immediate interlocutor during class. Communicative situations emerge per the individual class topic and the student is encouraged to communicate meaning. It also offers students an opportunity to share their personal stance with the teacher, hold a conversation with them, and react to their responses accordingly using the language they are learning. Provided the media content approved for the class is that of valid interest, this philosophy entirely utilizes the communicative approach.
Owing to the complex nature of any potential class subject in this philosophy, pragmatics is highly implemented in the educational course. This is evident from the fact that most books, films, newspaper and scholarly articles, and art pieces possess a multitude of layers of meaning and subtext that require profound analysis to be deciphered. As this directly pertains to the sphere of pragmatics, the expression of meaning through secondary, unconventional methods, the connection between this philosophy and the sphere of pragmatics is immediate.