Language learning theories

learning theories


There have been different language theories such as a behaviorist, cognitivist, consructivism, etc. I will present you a chart of how we can apply some of this theories as a teachers:

Theorist Name of theory How does it relate to what we do?
Skinner Behaviorism

As teacher we need to focus in the motivation that we can develop in our students through the relationship that we create with them. For example, students who are behaviorally disengaged receive teacher responses that should further undermine their motivation. This theory would apply with positive reinforcement in the class so the students will keep motivated.

Bandura Social learning


This theory says that children learn to observation, so I think that the classroom needs to be an enviroment where they can learn. We can use symbolic models, which involves real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books, films, television programs, or online media. Also I think that in this case the teacher will be an important role model.

Erikson Stages of development

This theory will apply to understand better in which stage the student is and according to that help teachers develop according activities. In other words create activities or tasks that help the students with the stage they are. Teachers who apply Erikson’s theory in the classroom create an environment where each child feels appreciated and also feels comfortable with learning new things and building relationships with peers without fear.

Vygotsky Social cognitive development

An important elemente in Vygotsky’s theory is the ZPD (Zone of proximal Development) where teachers should give their guidance to their students and allow them to develop the skills. I think it would apply in tasks that elicit knowlodge from the students. Also, the group activities will be very important because learning according with this theory is socially acquired, so peer instruction and collaboration are important. Another important learning tool are videos and interactive worksheets to assist the students through scaffolding.

Krashen Theory of second language acquisition

According to this theory the important in Language adquisition is not the grammar rules but the communication. As a teacher we need to focus in the acquisition of language. Activities should be confortable for the students where they feel good communicating with their classmates, they don’t focus on the grammar rather in the communicative act.

Bruner Constuctivism

In this theory as a teachers we need to focus on structure. Anoher aspects are to to maintain and direct a child’s spontaneous explorations, facilitate their interest toward learning and have a sequence that help them elicit their knowledge.

“As long as you live keep learning how to live”



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