Humanistic Approaches to Language Teaching

Humanism gives importance to the inner feelings, thoughts and emotions of the human being; it focuses on the development of the self-concept of the student. Feeling good about oneself is the first and foremost factor. Maslow’s hierarchy of “Self-actualization” deals with all the levels of human emotions and needs. The individual is given a lot of importance.

The humanistic approach is a method of teaching language which lays great stress on humanism and considers it to be the essential element in the process of teaching. Some of the important principles in the humanistic approach are the development of human values, increase in self-awareness, sensitivity towards emotions and feelings and active student participation in the process of learning.

There are some affective factors in the language learning process which are divided into two types: individual factors which consists of self-esteem, inhibition, motivation, anxiety and extroversion-introversion; and rational factors that contain cross-cultural processes, empathy and classroom transaction.

The humanistic approach is a learner-centered approach where each and everything is done keeping the learner in mind. Humanists discourage both reward and punishment as the student will get used to praise and will simply work to be appreciated rather than making the effort because it is truly required.

What is Emotional Intelligence - Emotional Intelligence Children and Training

At this point in time, everyone is obsessed with the idea of success. In the past, the idea of success was directly related to intelligence. However, it was noticed that despite being excellent performers in the field of academics, many individuals failed to be successful when they entered the professional life. After a detailed research psychologists came to the conclusion that in order to be successful in life we need to develop what is called, ‘Emotional Intelligence''.Now the question arises what is emotional intelligence?

In simple words emotional intelligence refers to the ability of a person to keep under control not only his own emotions but that of others too. It includes non-cognitive skills like self discipline, persistence and patience. According to Goldman,

''If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. ''

Thus in order to be successful in life we need to have both IQ and emotional intelligence. One must know how to keep oneself emotionally motivated. We should learn from our losses and not let them make us depressed or hopeless. Besides this, we should have such a strong and positive character that the others confide in us trust us. This goes a long way in winning healthy relationships in every field which is the biggest demand of the present day world.

Cooley's Theory: "The Looking Glass Self"

You might have come across numerous people in life who will be of the view that the judgments of other people regarding them do not matter to them. Whatever people may say, their public image does affect their personalities. The reason is that people interact with each other every day and when they will come across something day in and day out; they will eventually accept it as reality. This reminds me of the Hitler’s saying which states that if you lie again and again, a time will come when people will start to believe in that lie.


Let’s compare two students: one is just an average student while other is really an extra ordinary genius. If the achievements of the average student are recognized by teachers and his peers, he will automatically develop self confident and eventually he may end up doing something extravagant for the world community. On the other hand, if the achievements of the genius students are constantly rejected, he may become dejected from life and may think of him as worthless and may end up as nothing but crap. You will come across such examples in your everyday life and its nothing but a proof that public image does matter to people.

To summarize this concept, I will mention three points.
1) One thinks how other people of him.
2) One makes judgments based on the judgments that other are people make of him
3) One develops a self image based on their judgements.

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