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Carla Croso Ochuzzi
Approaches and studies
Historical awareness as a first step
In this chapter we will see the historical perspective into our approach to language
teaching theory, in addition to thinking about our own personal history; we will do this in
three ways: orienting ourselves in the literature on the history of language pedagogy;
exploring an historical document as an example of a first- hand study.
A good way to start developing a language theory is to look at ourselves and to explore to
what extent our second language teaching has been influenced by our own language
learning and teaching experiences, there are different kind of events that can be expected
to influence our teaching.
1 Informal childhood language learning
2 The way we were taught language at school and how we respond to such teaching
3 Other formal or informal second language learning experiences as an adult
4 People in our milieu think and said about languages
5 Language training at university
6Any formal language teacher training we may have had
7 Our past and present language teaching experience
8 Discussions with other language teaching
9 Reading on language pedagogy
We can reconstruct our personal history as language teachers and estimates what
particular ideas, have shaped our past and present thought on second language teaching.
We can also introspect where these influences have come from.
Through studying the history we can gain perspective on present- day and trends and find
directions for future growth. Knowing the historical theories it makes more sense for us
when we are teaching if we have the necessary background knowledge.

Historiography of language teaching
Paucity of studies
Establish a descriptive record of the development of the language pedagogy in the past
General historical surveys
It is probably because of the wish to give perspective that so many of the writings on
language teaching begin with an historical introduction to current developments; the
historical antecedents are often no more than a backdrop to set off with bold strokes.

An historical survey should (but rarely does) distinguish between the history of the ideas
on language teaching and the development of practice, because evidence from polemical
or theoretical writing cannot be treated as the same as evidence from language teaching

The views of philosophers or reformers are sometimes expressions of a reaction to
contemporary practices. Their criticism may indeed offer clues to common practice, but the
possible bias of the writer must be born in mind.
These descriptions indicate how one writer felt about certain method, the historian of
language must also exercise critical caution in citing evidence from historical writings in
support of modern viewpoints, a few of the noteworthy historical surveys available(1)two
examples of a chronological approach, and (2) a thematic treatment.

1. General chronological treatment
The most common approach to language has been to describe the development
chronologically from antiquity to the present in Teaching analysis, Mackey
(1965:141-151) describes in a few pages the main periods of the evolution of
language teaching from ancient Greece and Rome through the Middle ages and
following centuries down to modern times.

2. Thematic surveys
In a survey of the past 2,500 years of language teaching has three distinguishing
First, this impressive study is based on an examination of some 1,200 primary
sources from antiquity to the modern era.
Second, Kelly has not followed the customary chronological treatment of language
teaching history but instead traces the origin and development of different themes
or aspects.
Third, the features he has examined have been systematically chosen, basing
himself on the conceptual framework of Mackey (1965) he has explored the
historical antecedents or equivalents of Mackeys scheme.

With all aspects under review appear to suggest historical precedents of some
kind, it is obvious from Kellys account that there are some on which the historical
search is far less rewarding.

Language teaching history needs both approaches needs both approaches to

Each other, i.e., the synchronic study of language teaching and learning at a given
stage in history in its social and educational context, and the diachronic
description of the development of different features and aspects.

Studies of historical aspects
At the present state of our knowledge, the study of particular aspects, is perhaps
more fruitful than further global studies.
Another classic illustration of the kind of specialized study needed as a basis for a
better historical perspective is offered by an investigation on the teaching and
cultivation of the French language in England during Tudor and Stuart times by
Lambley (1920).
This case study of second language teaching and language use in a given period
within the sociopolitical context of one country is of particular interest to the history
of language teaching because its central topic is the period of the vernaculars, a
phase in the development of language teaching, to which Mackey and Kelly have
attributed so much importance.

The reason, then, for learning French- to use Kelly's analysis of aims- was 'social'.
The practical value of French as a second language in England, the methods included
formal study under a tutor, study of dialogues, and contact with French native speakers.
Two of the most popular French teaching grammars, had been written by two French
tutors, Giles Duwes, and John Palsgrave.
Lambley describes Duwes' an introductory for to learn to rede, to prononce, and to speake
French (1534). Palsgrave's work, L'esclarecissement de la langue francoyse (1530). The
methodological conflict between teaching by 'rules' or by 'practice'. Duwes, it appears on a
good emphasis vocabulary and practicing verbs and their transformation 'I have, have I?
Why have I? 'I have not, have I not?' Rules of grammar reduced to a minimum.
-The study of primary sources
On present-day thought to examine primary sources for example, theoretical and
polemical writings, older teaching grammars and others. Primary sources need not to be
documents of great antiquity. The status studies or' state-of-the-art reports sources
drawing our attention to significant events. All the primary sources we have mentioned can
be treated as 'theories'.

-The IPA Articles
The six articles of the International Phonetic Association were a brief declaration of
principles of L2 teaching which were formulated in the eighteen- eighties. And appeared
on every issue of the review of the IPA, Le matre Phontique. This documents as a T2
'theory' of language teaching it will be analyzed : (1) general topic and point of view of the
documents, (2) the historical circumstances; (3) the view of the language and language
learning, (4) the approach to language teaching, (5) an assessment of the document in the
contemporary context, (6) it's significance today.
The progression in teaching a language in accordance with the IPA articles can therefore
be summarized as a four-stage process:
Stage 1: sounds and phonetic transcription
Stage 2: elementary study with 'inductive' grammar
Stage 3: continuation of stage 2 plus written composition
Stage 4: continuation of stage 3 plus systematic grammar study, translation from and into
the foreign language of consecutive passages and study of literary texts.
In this chapter they are in favor of giving language teaching theory historical depth, the
book suggested three ways of doing so.
1. By examining autobiographically our own personal background of language teaching.
2. Reviewing the historical literature which we found is patchy but contains a lot of helpful
3. By studying an historical document at first-hand which was illustrated by the example of
the IPA articles.