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PMTEFL: Parallel Method for Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Updated on November 18, 2014

PMTEFL: A Fresher Introduction

Parallel Method for Teaching English As A Foreign language (PMTEFL) does possess some major advantages over other methods in use, though many a number of methods have been framed and are in practice around the world. In some methods where a total environment of English is created for making the communication effective and impressive, the use of any language other than English is strictly excluded. Here the learners are prompted to be accustomed to the listening and using of English in a step-by-step development process. But it has been found that using English in some parallel way with the mother tongue leaves a deeper impact on a larger number of learners and the performance curve of the class shows a steeper rise presenting an air of satisfaction for the venturing instructors.

For foreign non-English learners of English , synonyms are not enough to give them ideas. One word or two in their mother tongue give them a prompt access to the idea and the parallel practice tends to get them one step forward to attempt communication. And this article is an attempt to bring into focus some realistic features of PMTEFL.

Language and its multidimensional facets in a learner

In an individual a language has many dimensions. For him it is a means of communication, a frame to hold and support ideas and information, a sensible and expressible part of his greater consciousness and a lot more which are yet to be defined well. So if we take all these dimensions into a sensitive consideration, we will discover some amazing characteristics in our language learning behaviors. The feeling, excitement, and role of the first language in the acquisition of a second language, if left unexplored, may cause a substantial setback in the performance of the whole class.

Apart from discussing the grammatical and rhetorical points, a language teacher has a lot to do for sensing the dimensions of the mother tongue from the learners' viewpoint and for accommodating this sense in his strategies of teaching.

PMTEFL and Translation method

PMTEFL differs from the Translation method in some unique way. In the latter the languages come one after another and special importance is given on some rules of grammar and rhetoric; but in the former the presentation and practice are completely parallel and consists to practices of two simultaneous ways of expression putting emphasis on usages and styles.

The instructor, if alone, needs to play double role here. In one role he will utter a short sentence in the mother tongue, then he will utter the English version. He will then ask a learner to deliver a sentence in mother tongue following his previous pattern and another student will stand with the English version. The instructor will continue to deliver two versions of selected patterns and the learners will continue to repeat it in pairs.

Patterns for PMTEFL

PMTEFL has many points in common with other methods. PMTEFL attempts to add some mother language like feeling to the foreignness of English for easing the weak learners or for removing the weakness from the learners' minds.

For practice in both the versions the instructor carefully lists the patterns from simple to more involved, includes provision of substitution in each pattern. With repeating of patterns in paired versions by different learner pairs the pattern soon gets acquired by the whole class. The instructor selects and programs the patterns in such a way that with the acquired patterns the learners may venture to communicate more and more complicated and compounded ideas.


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    • HLesley profile image

      Lesley Hebert 3 years ago from New Westminster, BC Canada

      I suggest you write a proper introduction which clearly explains the method before you discuss the advantages. Also, perhaps you could present some arguments against the method and then say why you disagree with them.