What are the merits and demerits of structural approach in teaching English?

English can be taught through structural approach way. Structural-approach is the product of natural evolution of the working of the different methods of teaching English. It is based on sound principle of language learning. The structural approach means the arrangement of words in such a way as to form a suitable pattern.

Any language has its own structure or skeleton, which gives a decent appearance. A structure is a pattern, a particular arrangement of words to indicate grammatical meanings. It may be a word, a phase or a sentence.

For example, ‘How old’ is a structure, which can be explained by structural approach method-how old…?

1. (a) Have you been seen the Konark Temple? – Teacher

(b) Yes, I have seen it. – Student

(c) How old is this temple? - Teacher

(d) The temple is one thousand years old. – Student

2. (a) How old are you? – Teacher

(b) I am 10 years old. - Student

Merits of Structural Approach in Teaching English:

(i) It has emphasis on the four fundamental skills, such as, listening, understanding, speaking, reading and writing.

(ii) It facilitates the learning of English by imparting knowledge of its structures.

(iii) It promotes everyday English.

(iv) It enables the students to speak English correctly.

(v) By the learning of the structure of sentence the child automatically learns grammar, word order and use of words.

Demerits of Structural Approach in Teaching English:

(i) It is suitable for lower class students.

(ii) Continuous teaching of structures and their repetition make the atmosphere dull.

(iii) Reading and writing ability of the students are neglected.

(iv) It is very difficult to get skilled teachers for this purpose.

(v) It is not suitable for the higher classes.