Methods of foreign language teaching has a definite relation to p h y s i o 1 o g y of the higher nervous system. Pavlov's theories of "conditioned reflexes", of the "second signaling system" and of "dynamic stereotype" are the examples. Each of these interrelated theories bears a direct relation to the teaching of a foreign language.
According to Pavlov habits are conditioned reflexes, and a conditioned reflex is an action performed automatically in response to a definite stimulus as a result of previ- ous frequent repetitions of the same action. If we, thoroughly study the theory of conditioned reflexes we shall see that it explains and confirms the necessity for frequent repetitions and revision of material pupils study as one of the means of inculcating habits. Pavlov showed that man's higher nervous activities - speaking and thinking - are the functions of a special system of organic structures within the nervous system. This system is developed only in man. It enables the brain to respond to inner stimuli as it responds to outer stimuli or signals perceived through the sense organs. Pavlov named this the second signaling system.
Consequently one of the forms of human behaviour is language behaviour, i. e., speech response to different communication situations. Therefore in teaching a foreign language we must bear in mind that pupils should acquire the language they study as a behaviour, as something that helps people to communicate with each other in various real situations of intercourse. Hence a foreign language should be taught through such situations.
Pavlov's theory of "dynamic stereotype" also furnishes the physiological base for many important principles of language teaching, e. g., for the topical vocabulary arrangement.
Methods of foreign language teaching is most closely related to linguistics, since linguistics deals with the problems which are of paramount importance to Methods, with language and thinking, grammar and vocabulary, the relationship between grammar and vocabulary, and many others. Methods successfully uses, for example, the results of linguistic investigation in the selection and arrangement of language material for teaching. It is known that structural linguistics has had a great impact on language teaching. Teaching materials have 'been prepared by linguists and methodologists of the structural school. Many prominent linguists have not only developed the theory of linguistics, but tried to apply it to language teaching. The following quotation may serve as a proof of this:
"It has occurred to the linguist as well a s to the psychologist that the foreign language classroom should be an excellent laboratory in which to test new theories of language acquisition."
Methods of foreign language teaching like any other science, has definite ways of investigating the problems which may arise. They are:
1. a critical study of the ways foreign languages were taught in our country and abroad;
2. a thorough study and summing up of the experience of the best foreign language teachers in different types of schools;
3. experimenting with the aim of confirming or refuting the working hypotheses that may arise during investigation. Experimenting becomes more and more popular with methodologists. In experimenting methodologists have to deal with different data, that is why in arranging research work they use mathematics, statistics, and probability theory to interpret experimental results.
In recent years there has been a great increase of interest in Methods since foreign language "teaching has many attractions as an area for research. A great deal of useful research work has been carried out. New ideas and new data produced as the result of research are usually developed into new teaching materials and teaching techniques.
It should be said that we need research activities of the following types: descriptive research which deals with "what to teach"; experimental and instrumental research dealing with "how to teach". More research is now needed which compares different combination of devices, various teaching aids.
Supplement 2. Methods of Foreign Language Teaching
At the term of the 17th century Volfgang Ratichius (1571-1635) complained about contemporary methods of LT stressed rote learning and grammar at the expense of reading and spearing. He initiated the principle of cognitive leaning of Latin translation as a basic means of semantization and emphasized on repetition as a favored technique. But it remained for his successor, the famous Czech educator Ian Comenius (1592-1670) to devise new methods of LT based on new principles. Instead of rules, I. Comenius used imitation, repetition and plently of practice in both reading and speaking.
In 1631 Ian Comenius published his book "Ianua linguarum reserata" - "The Gates of Languages Unlocked" in which he described new methods of language teaching based on his principles. The book included a limited vocabulary of a few thousand word; each used in a sentence which gave some indication of meaning.
"Orbis Pictus" (1658) is another book by Ian Comenius in which a Latin text is accompanied by illustrations and translations into the mother tongue. Great attention is paid to direct associations between