Behaviorism and Cognitive Theories in Teaching English Essay

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Behaviorism and cognitive theories in teaching English
Behaviorism and cognitive theories are two of the three main categories of learning theories. Each of them has its own special aspects in teaching and learning.  While Behaviorism focuses only on the objectively observable aspects of learning,Cognitive theories look beyond behavior to explain brain-based learning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_theories, 2012).
If some teacher likes to get correct responses, use reinforcements and punishments, maybe he is using behaviorism in his teaching. Behaviorism is an approach to psychology that combines the three elements: philosophy, methodology and theory. Behaviorism focuses on one particular view of learning: a change in external behavior achieved through a large amount of repetition of desired actions, the reward of good habits and the discouragement of bad habits. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_theories, 2012) In the classroom this view of learning led to a great deal of repetitive actions, praise for correct outcomes and immediate correction of mistakes. In the field of language learning this type of teaching was called the audio-lingual method, characterized by the whole class using choral chanting of key phrases, dialogues and immediate correction. Within the Problem Based Learning (PBL) environment, students may be encouraged to engage with the learning process and their peers within the group by positive reinforcement from a skilled facilitator to increase positive actions of engagement, contributions and questioning. (Cherry) Negative behaviors lack of engagement, negative contributions, could be minimized by the facilitator using negative reinforcement. Within the behaviorist view of learning, the "teacher" is the dominant person in the classroom and takes complete control,evaluation of learning comes from the teacher who decides what is right or wrong. The learner does not have any opportunity for evaluation or reflection within the...

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