Linguistics Valleys

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Theory of Teaching: Behaviorism and Cognitivism

The Difference between Behaviorist and Cognitivist

In teaching and learning process, we know that there's two theory of teaching, i. e. behaviorism and cognitivism. Those who follow the behaviorism called as behaviorists, and those who follow the cognitivism called as cognitivists. Both of them are a good way in teaching and learning process, but there are some differences between them which is very significant. The followings are the differences between them which taken from some aspects of those theories.

1. Control
Behaviorist: presentation of "scientifically" graded language items.
Cognitivist: grading, but not so "scientifically" controlled. Cognitive grading is also important, in terms of what the learner brings to the activity of learning.

2. Error
Behaviorist: should not be made
Cognitivist: can be made, since through errors one can learn.

3. Exposure
Behaviorist: necessary, but in a linguistically controlled way.
Cognitivist: plenty, necessary.

4. Grammar
Behaviorist: correct forms to be acquired.
Cognitivist: forms that invite the forming of generalisation for developing rule-governed behavior.

5. Practice
Behaviorist: drills, constant repetitoon necessary.
Cognitivist: is important, but rote learning and meaningless repetiton is out.

6. Role of the Learner
Behaviorist: a passive recipient of planned instruction.
Cognitivist: an active processor of learning. One whose internal data processing mechanism operate.

7. Role of the Teacher
Behaviorist: one who teches, plans, presents language items and exercises, makes students repeat drills and gives correct language forms.
Cognitivist: one who creates opportunities for learning to occur with the help of the learner's data processing mechanism.

8. The Language Syllabus
Behaviorist: based on the structures and vocabulary of language presented systematically.
Cognitivist: colud be less systematically presented structures and vocabulary, functions, notions, situations, cognitive functions, etc.

9. Grading of Items
Behaviorist: Strict, clear, step by step (lock-step method)
Cognitivist: not so definite, since the individual language learner is involved.

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