The Natural Approach was developed by Tracy Terrell and Stephen Krashen, starting in 1977. The natural approach shares many features with the direct method. Both the natural approach and the direct method are based on the idea of enabling naturalistic language acquisition in the language classroom. They differ in that the natural approach puts less emphasis on practice and more on exposure to language input and on reducing learners’ anxiety. Principles: 1 . In the Natural Approach the teacher speaks only the target language and class ime is committed to providing input for acquisition. . Comprehensible input is presented in the target language, using techniques such as TPR, mime and gesture. 3. Learners start to talk when they are ready. 4. Specific objectives depend on learners’ needs, skills and level. 5. No importance of error correction, drilling or conscious learning of grammar rules. 6. Visual aids are. essential. 7. The essence of language is meaning. Vocabulary (not grammar) is the heart of language. 8. Grammatical structures are acquired in a predictable order. 9.
Students can use both the target language and their first language 10. Group techniques are similar to Communicative Language Teaching. Stages of the approach: 1. Preproduction 2. Early production 3. Speech emergence Students’ roles: 1 . Students’ roles change according to their stage of linguistic development. Learner takes decisions on when to speak, what to speak about and what linguistic expressions to use. 2. In the preproduction stage students participate in the language actively without having to respond in the target language. 3.
In the early- roduction stage students use single words, short phrases, they fill in charts and use fixed conversational patterns. 4. In the speech emergent phrase, students involve themselves in role play and games, contribute personal information and take part in group problem solving. Teacher’s roles: 1 . The teacher is a primary source of comprehensible input in the target language. 2. A teacher creates a classroom atmosphere that is interesting, friendly. 3. The teacher chooses a rich mi of classroom activities. The teacher is responsible for collecting material and designing their use.
The materials should be based on elicited students s and interests Advantages 1 . It incorporates both lexical and grammatical acquisition. 2. It differentiates between acquired and learned knowledge. Disadvantages 1. Its main weakness is that all classroom teaching is to some degree limited in its ability to be interesting and relevant to all students. 2. The students can emerge at different times and it is hard to determine which form of language input will be comprehensible to the students. 3. It does not focus on error correction.