Humanizing Foreign Language Instruction Based on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Authors: ALI SEIDI (Corresponding author)1, TAHEREH MAHMOUDIAN DASTNAEE2, NARJES ABADATI3, ZAHRA DEHNAVI

Humanistic ideas in education are widely known since in the 60s and 70s the work of well-known psychologists such as Rogers or Maslow put forward theoretical bases for the humanistic movement. The writings of proponents of humanistic language teaching such as Moskowitz (1978), Stevick (1990) and Arnold (1999) have focused on the cognitive, affective and physical needs of the learner and several alternative methods for language teaching have offered different ways of putting all these ideas into practice. Humanistic language teaching places great emphasis on the human natural capacity for learning. This article emphasizes that humanistic education is more dependent on the inner need for self-evaluation. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is an example of emphasizing the inner value of learning for individuals which can be used as a framework for foreign language teaching. Basic needs, safety needs, belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs all have their own implications to our language teaching in a humanistic framework.

Keywords: Humanism, hierarchy of needs, self-actualization, language teaching

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