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Aims The Board of Management
ELTJournal is a quarterly publication for all those involved Roger Bowers
in the field of teaching English as a second or foreign The British Council
language. It seeks to bridge the gap between the everyday Chris Kennedy
practical concerns of ELT professionals and related disci- University of Birmingham
plines such as education, linguistics, psychology, and socio- Alan Maley
logy that may offer significant insights. National University of Singapore
ELT Journal aims to provide a medium for informed dis- Ron White
cussion of the principles and practice which determine the University of Reading
ways in which the English language is taught and learnt Cristina Whitecross
around the world. It also provides a forum for the exchange Oxford University Press
of information among members of the profession world-
University of London and University of Essex
The Editor of ELT Journal is supported by an Editorial
Advisory Panel whose members referee submissions. Their
decisions are based upon the relevance, clarity, and value of The Editor
the articles submitted. Keith Morrow
The views expressed in ELT Journal are the contributors'
own, and not necessarily those of the Editor, the Editorial The Reviews Editor
Panel, or the Publisher. Philip Prowse

The Editorial Advisory Panel
Contributions Rosa Lenzuen
Contributions are welcome from anyone involved in ELT. Sociedade Brasileira de Cultura, Rio de Janeiro
Contributors should consult the current Guide for Tony Lynch
contributors before submitting articles, as this contains University of Edinburgh
important information about the focus and format of Kumiko Murata
articles. Articles not submitted in accordance with the Waseda University
Guide will not be considered for publication. The Guide is Dermot Murphy
published in the January issue of each volume or can be Thames Valley University
obtained on request from the Editor. Mary J. Schleppegrell
If you wish to write a review for ELT Journal, please con- University of California, Davis
tact the Reviews Editor. Unsolicited reviews cannot be Barbara Seidlhofer
accepted for publication. University of Vienna
Barbara Sinclair
University of Nottingham
Correspondence Penny Ur
Editorial: The Editor, ELT Journal, Homerton House, Oranim School of Education, Israel
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ELT Journal Volume 51 Number 2 April! 997

Editorial 97
Geoff Thompson Training teachers to ask questions 99
David Hayes Helping teachers to cope with large classes 106
Charles Clennell Raising the pedagogic status of discourse intonation
teaching 117
Chrissie Boughey Learning to write by writing to learn: a group-work
approach 126
C. F. Green, Developing discussion skills in the ESL classroom 755
E. Ft. Christopher,
and J. Lam
Matthew Peacock The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of
EFL learners 144
Mark Tully English: an advantage to India? 157
Rama Mathew English in India: a response to Mark Tully 765
Survey review
Nancy Lake Learner training in EFL coursebooks 769
Michael Hall and Intercultural Competence. Vol. 1: The Secondary School
Laura Muresan edited by L. Sercu; Vol. 2: The Adult Learner edited by
A. A. Lensen et ai;Issues in Cross-Cultural Communication
edited by G. M. Willems 183
Gillian Porter Culture and Communication edited by K. Kitao; Developing
Ladousse Prototypic Measures of Cross-Cultural Pragmatics by
T. Hudson et al.\ Achieving Understanding: Discourse in
Intercultural Encounters by K. Bremer et al. 187
Rhiannon Williams Cambridge Word Routes Anglais-Frangais; Cambridge Word
Routes Anglika-Ellinika; Cambridge Word Routes Inglese-Italiano;
Cambridge Word Selector angles-catald; Cambridge Word Selector
Ingles-Espanol 189
Key concepts in ELT
John Field Classroom research 792
Correspondence 794
Announcements 198

E-mail dilly@essex. Telephone:+44 1206 872217. CERTIFICATE in English for Teaching English (CETE) An English course for classroom management. CERTIFICATE in Teaching English for Specific Purposes (CTESP) A course for experienced graduate EFL teachers concerned with ESP teaching (Summer term). UK. For further information please contact: D Meyer (POELJ). communicative activities. scholarship and education. CERTIFICATE in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (CTEFL) A course for experienced qualified teachers wishing to improve their knowledge of basic disciplines and their understanding of methodology (Autumn term).ac. Colchester. Wivenhoe Park. teaching techniques and materials. Department of Language and Linguistics. plus the Cambridge Examination in English for Language Teachers (Spring term).uk Promoting excellence in research. Facsimile:+44 1206 873107. CO4 3SQ. University of Essex.EFLUnit Department of Language and Linguistics DIPLOMA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (DTEFL) A modular nine month course for experienced graduate teachers. University of Essex .

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Students age in range from 11 years to adult. the professional choice If you would like to receive a free sample video please complete the slip below.. with on the retail price for a photocopiable worksheets. Looking at Language Classrooms is a new video teacher development package and presents a range of authentic language classrooms recorded on location. notes and transcripts. trainer's limited period. of teaching and learning. Contact the address below for details. Cambridge University Press Address: ELT Marketing The Edinburgh Building Shaftesbury Road Postcode: Cambridge CB2 2RU Format required: TEL: (01223) 3M997 FAX: (01223) 3*5984 . in state and private institutions with native and The lessons show learners in their non-native English teachers.ELT 6438 CAMBRIDGE NEW ELT Looking at Language Classrooms Video A unique opportunity to observe real teaching in real situations . Special offer! 10% discount Full print support is available. Name: For full details. please contact: Institution:. Please state whether you CAMBRIDGE require VHS PAL. VHS SECAM or VHS NTSC UNIVERSITY PRESS format.. It provides a own classrooms carrying out their rich resource for exploring different aspects normal activities. Each of the 4 cassettes contains one complete lesson and one or more lesson extracts.

we have learnt to make great efforts to ensure that our publication policy and procedures reflect an international perspective. and much of the routine communication with the In-house Editor in Oxford is carried out this way. and in this sense ELT Journal is very definitely an institution. However. the denning characteristic of a new elite. and comments on articles submitted to the Journal are usually sent to the Editor this way. and still is. if articles are rejected. almost all members of the Editorial Advisory Panel have email. Because electronic communication is instantaneous. No institution in the world is immune to the effect of technological change. a matter of hot debate among the editorial team of the Journal and their advisors. we are happy to notify contributors by email that their article has been accepted. neither of these developments is to be welcomed. and slightly expanded in this issue. slipped in unobtrusively in Volume 51/1. the abstracts. From an editor's point of view. or extracts from it. or if we are asking for revisions. Is this over- sensitivity on our part. At the moment. despite all the claims made about the Internet turning the world into a global village. notably making it much easier for the Editor to give substantial feedback to contributors on articles they have submitted. and those who do not.Editorial If you look carefully at the inside front cover of ELT Journal. It is the address where you can find ELT Journal on the World Wide Web. Over the past few years we have made quite a number of changes on the editorial side to adapt to and take advantage of the possibilities offered by electronic communication. then we prefer to send a 'snail mail' letter. Both the Editor and the Reviews Editor have email facilities. since the text sent by reviewers. or is there something about the formality of a letter in an envelope that makes it more appropriate for 'bad' news than a message flashing up on your computer screen? And there is the question of time. As the note makes clear. However. Most worryingly. the information is actually quite limited—the contents list of the current issue. Looking at this division from an international point of view. it is clear that it not a matter of the first world versus the third world. and we try to ensure that the articles we publish represent a broad spectrum of interests and concerns. there are many in the third world who do. ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 97 . can easily be printed out and incorporated in a letter. There are many in the first world who do not have access to email and the Internet. Our view of ELT is an inclusive one. is essentially a divisive medium at the moment—between those who have access to it. It will not be a surprise to readers to learn that the use to be made of the Web pages provided by Oxford University Press has been. Because ELT Journal is published in the UK but has a readership all over the world. you will notice a small change. This arrangement has a number of advantages. though. electronic computer-based communication is very restricted. One has to do with etiquette. and some useful contact addresses. this move towards electronic communication has also raised some interesting questions. in fact. The problem here is that electronic communication. But in contrast to the almost universal availability of paper-based postal communication. there is the question of exclusivity. and is. people expect instant answers—and they expect to be able to send material just before a deadline.

but it is one where little practical help for teachers is available. no publication. another in our Key Concepts series. and have even on occasion received and processed handwritten ones from writers without access to a typewriter. South Africa. We want to offer all our readers and contributors the best service possible. this is not a path down which we are intending to travel. by asking the right questions. Some journals now insist that all articles are submitted on disk or by email. and all communication with authors is carried out electronically: no email. We start with two articles on the status and role of English in India. and the UK. tin this issue o Articles based on work in Australia. For a journal committed to inclusivity. and gives examples of how this is put into practice. but they suggest that the ideas have much wider application. and reacting to it appropriately. This is an area which has been increasingly highlighted in recent years with the growth of interest in discourse analysis. and reviews of books on intercultural competence. and bilingual thematic dictionaries o And finally. Mark Tully's is adapted from a lecture he gave recently on this subject. 98 Editorial . o And the first of what we hope will become a regular feature exploring the same issue from different perspectives and presenting some different viewpoints. we risk disappointing writers and readers who have access to it. In the next months and years we shall be looking at ways of building on and developing from this small beginning. The context of their work is with undergraduates. access to this particular aspect of the brave new world. o A survey review of learning training in EFL coursebooks. if we turn our back on the new technology completely. Korea. o An article from Charles Clennell on discourse intonation. Rama Mathew provides an invited response. o Is authentic best? Matthew Peacock offers some evidence to fuel the long-running debate. teachers can help their students to express their own views on topics in the language classroom. And yet. Christopher Green and colleagues show how pair and group work can be used to develop discussion skills with EFL/ESL learners. in which John Field explores classroom research. We are delighted to receive articles on paper. this poses problems. or do not want. But in any development we will be conscious of those who do not have. Thailand. David Hayes's article draws on experience with a project in Thailand to discuss some principles of in- service teacher development. but what is 'best' is relative. and who might be looking to the Journal to develop new and important forms of interaction among members of our profession. Our launch of the Journal pages on the Web is the first step towards this. This article sketches a theoretical background. o Two articles involving innovative approaches to group work in skills teaching: Chrissie Boughey illustrates the possibilities (and the problems) of using group work in the teaching of writing to trainee health care workers in South Africa. India. Hong Kong. o Two articles for teacher educators: Geoff Thompson looks at ways in which. and to link them to ways of helping teachers to cope with large classes. Needless to say (I hope). He also explores the importance of listening to what their students say.

g. Indeed. The set of categories is fairly unsophisticated. The tips often given to trainees may seem sensible. ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 99 . but they are not presented as part of a coherent approach. we hope. Although this is clearly a crucial skill. but in practice it works satisfactorily with trainees. it is not always easy at first to see how they work in combination. The approach is based on a method of categorizing questions which is intended not only to show the main options in a systematic way. Harmer 1991) only deal with the skill briefly and incidentally. what options are open to them. their primary aim is descriptive rather than pedagogic. but many books aimed at trainee teachers (e. is that trainees will have a wider range of techniques for exploiting texts and situations in the classroom. Introduction As trainees on initial teacher-training courses soon realize. The main purpose of setting up the categories is not simply to provide a checklist for use in preparing teaching activities (although it serves that function as well) but to help sensitize trainees to what they are actually doing with their questions. Training faa^fears to Geoff Thompson One of the main forms of interaction between the language teacher and the learner is through questions. The final outcome. There are some useful overviews. and does not cover important aspects of questioning. This article describes an approach to helping trainee teachers ask questions effectively. Doff 1988. The subject has received attention in studies of classroom interaction (especially Long and Sato 1983). Nuttall 1982). particularly in books focusing on the teaching of reading (e. in a systematic way. as will become clear below. However. we have also used this approach successfully with experienced teachers on in-service training. The problem of training teachers to ask questions is one that we have faced in our work with trainees at the University of Liverpool. there is a tendency to assume that it can only be picked up through trial and error. but these sources are not easily accessible to trainees and. if at all. asking questions effectively in the classroom is not always as easy as it seems. in any case. but also to lead naturally towards a consciousness-raising discussion of important aspects of teacher-learner interaction in general. Categorizing The system that we use for categorizing questions depends on criteria questions that are relatively simple in themselves. The experience has led me to devise a way of categorizing question types in order to help trainees understand.g. and what else they might be doing. The discussion of these topics is designed to lead on naturally to a discussion of more general aspects of the interaction between teacher and learners.

g. therefore. it is not always explicitly applied to the questions teachers themselves ask. since they hardly know where to start—whereas asking the same question at a later stage. and in deciding how to introduce new language to the learners. and how. We find that this kind of problem is best dealt with when it arises in teaching practice: if it happens in class. At this stage. For example. we tend to gently sidestep them in the early stages. by Gower et al. one basis for categorizing questions that certainly needs discussing at some point is specificity: how vague or specific a question is. when. and why it is used. the problems that arise from trainees' attempts to apply the categories provide the main basis for the awareness-raising that is the pedagogic justification for introducing them. and that teachers can therefore direct those questions at weaker 100 Geoff Thompson . they need to consider how the new language (e. for example. Inexperienced teachers sometimes start a lead-in stage (e. and purpose (or function). after they have read the text.g. of course. may well trigger a useful debate. the present continuous) is formed. with some adjustments. Indeed. but which do not fit easily into the system we want to lead them towards. Form The first dimension that we aim to elicit relates to the grammatical form of the question: whether it is of the yes/no type or the wh. Another issue which arises sometimes is that of direct versus indirect questions—the difference. rather than focusing on this in the 'asking questions' session.g. 1995: 139) that yes/no questions are generally easier for learners to answer. in order to arrive at a classification. If everything goes well. For example. When these suggestions for ways of categorizing questions come up. what it refers to. preferring to help the trainees. However. very familiar from descriptions of English grammar. we would cover it as part of a more general review of how the trainees can keep their own use of language in the classroom as comprehensible to the learners as possible. they often suggest categories which are interesting to explore. inevitably. Normally.type. Can anyone tell me what the figures are for their country?'. they already know that in analysing their own knowledge of English. these three dimensions can be applied to particular examples of questions which teachers ask. it tends to have an effect on the lesson that the trainee will remember and want to discuss afterwards. It is sometimes pointed out (e. they come up with the insight that. This distinction is. We begin by asking the trainees to work out their own system of classification for the questions they might ask as teachers. the usual response from the learners is stunned silence. between 'How much do people in your country spend on their pets?' and 'I've no idea how much people in other countries spend on their pets. content. If we take the text that I will be discussing below (about how much money British people spend on their pets) the kind of question I am thinking of is 'How do you think people ought to treat their pets?'. with a little prompting. Not unnaturally. to make the link with the three dimensions of analysis they have met elsewhere in the course: form. a pre-reading discussion) by asking a question which is so vague that it is almost unanswerable.

of course. of course. These. represent a simplification of what really happens in classroom communication. By combining these three sets of criteria. However. Personal facts (e. but in recent years language teachers. we arrive at a basic list of 12 question types (Table 1). To a great extent. if he or she does not. since they are primarily teaching a means of communication rather than a specific topic of communication. the difference hinges on the simple fact of whether the teacher already knows the answer or not: if he or she does. Training teachers to ask questions 101 .question to the same person. do opinions. the question is merely intended to prompt the learners to display their comprehension and/or command of accurate English. Purpose This distinction forms the third dimension. This most often consists of the information in the text or situation on which the teaching is based. the initial simple distinction made here does not quite account for all the question types: it is. of a yes/no question followed up with a wh. which may well lead to increased motivation and more investment by the learners in the learning process. have realized that their subject allows them to ask about a great many other things. Outside facts refer to information which is not specifically related to the learner. or opinions. Teachers are one of the few professional groups who routinely spend their lives asking questions to which they know the answer. in particular. In Table 1 the question types are ordered roughly from those which demand least personal investment from the learner (and teacher) to those which demand most. Once they have committed themselves that far. but the category may go beyond that to facts about the world outside the classroom. Most teachers are now aware of the advisability of personalizing at least some of the questions that they ask. learners. more useful to look at whether the teacher behaves as if he or she knew the answer or not. A yes/no question (especially if the answer is fairly obvious or non- controversial) encourages learners to accept a part in the interaction. Content The second dimension relates to the content of the question: whether it asks about outside facts. 'personalization' does not necessarily mean that real communication is taking place: I shall argue that another distinction applies independently of distinctions in content. the purpose of the question will normally be to gain new information.g. needs a fuller response. 'Do you have any pets?') relate to the learners' own lives. But it is also worth remembering the salesperson's technique. One great advantage of this is that it allows the learners to have some degree of control over the input. personal facts. of course. inviting their learners to talk about themselves rather than only talking about information provided by the textbook. It relates to the purpose of the question: whether it is for display or communication. As we shall see. in fact.questions to elicit more detailed information. or use yes/no questions to check basic understanding of a text or situation before moving on to wh. even if they are shy or hesitant. it is easier for them to continue the interaction by answering the follow-up question which. as. but they provide a useful overview.

outside fact communicative 9 yes/no personal fact communicative 10 w/i. Scott et al. on outside facts which the teacher already knows. some kind of selective progression through the list can often help to link teaching materials to the learners' own lives and opinions in a simple but effective way.g. personal fact display 5 yes/no opinion display 6 wh. opinion communicative It should be noted that the order is not meant to reflect a rigid progression of question types that the teacher might work through for any given text or situation—indeed. 1984) that it is worth approaching input materials with a much wider range of question types. has focused on the informa- tion provided to learners by the textbook and other teaching materials—i. Table 1 Form Content Purpose 1 yes/no outside fact display 2 wh. you might like to think of a set of your. outside fact display 3 yes/no personal fact display 4 wh. own. I ask the trainees to questions read a text and devise questions that they might ask about it in each of the twelve categories. personal fact communicative 11 yes/no opinion communicative 12 w/i. certain types would probably be incompatible within the same teaching sequence (see the discussion of examples of types 3 and 9 below). Some of the question types are likely to prove more difficult to construct than others. However. Nevertheless. in activities such as comprehension questions on written texts. The following illustrative questions are numbered to correspond to the question types in Table 1. Devising To explore the implications of the categorization. opinion display 7 yes/no outside fact communicative 8 w/i. The newspaper report below is typical of the texts we use. and I have written sample questions based on it to illustrate the categories. 1 Are cats cheaper to own than dogs? 2 How much do dog owners spend on pet food each week? 3 Do you have a dog at home? 4 Which of the pets mentioned in the text do you have? 5 Do you like dogs? 6 Which kind of pet do you prefer? 7 Do dogs usually live longer than cats? 8 Why do dogs need insurance? 102 Geoff Thompson . Traditionally.e. Before looking at the questions. encouraging the learners to place what they are reading or listening to in the context of their own existing knowledge and opinions. there has been increasing recognition (e. and quite possibly to develop a more critical attitude towards the input (Wallace 1992). questioning in the classroom.

But by CLIVE NELSON they still cost more than £6.000 according to the figures in Wild About Animals magazine. 2. expensive—£400 a year for its The cash goes on toys. in establishing that the learners have understood enough of the text to be able to handle questions which demand a greater personal investment (and suitably framed questions can. are those in the middle of the list. of course.11. plus an extra £236 a year. life but it still Cats are cheaper to own. e. If the teacher says simply 'Good'. South East and Yorkshire tradi- A study found that dog own. roughly. However. treats and insur. It also typically signals that the exchange is over. do you spend on your pets? 11 Do you find the information in the text surprising? 12 Why do you think people spend so much on their pets? Some of the question types are relatively easy to devise. On the one hand. it seems odd to talk about display questions when the topic is personal fact or opinion (Questions 3-6). regardless of the content of the question. We emphasize the fact that even types 1 and 2 serve an extremely valuable purpose. vet bills and food during a dog's Families in London.000 on their pampered Even keeping a rabbit can be pets. It is clear that there is very little difference. costs £9. 9 April 1992 Display questions The questions which often cause the teacher some difficulty. 9 Do you have any pets at home? 10 How much a year. which may well signal that the real purpose of asking the question is not to gain information. the label 'display' is often justified by the teacher's behaviour. the lifetime. These might seem by definition to be genuinely communicative.nomic depression means noth- ance. and which are usually argued over by the trainees. The activity then leads to a discussion of the usefulness of these types. and 12. During an average dog's life It may be a dog's of 12 years. the survey showed. play a crucial role in guiding the learners towards the necessary level of understanding).g.072.tionally spend more on their ers spend £15 a week on pet pets. To a large extent.000 ANIMAL lovers pay out more during their average lifespan. this depends simply on the kind of response that the teacher gives to the learner's answer. or between Questions 4 and 10. 1. than £9. ing to pet lovers. magazine spokesman said: 'Eco- on vets' fees. average three-year life. An embarrassingly obvious example Training teachers to ask questions 103 . in form or content at least. this is a clear sign that he or she is only listening to whether the learner's answer is grammatically correct.' Today. the bill adds up to an astonishing £9. A food. between Questions 3 and 9. in that the teacher is unlikely to know the answer. and that it is time for another learner's grammar to be checked. treats.

D: I'll give you a sick note/it's Mary P: I'm probably known by er Angela at work but D: Oh P: I told the receptionist/she said have you got another name/I said Mary/she couldn't find me under my surname A simple acknowledgement like this signals that the questioner is not only interested in the information but also expects the answerer to volunteer more information. In the following exchange1 between a doctor (D) and patient (P). Questions 7 and 8 above are labelled communicative on the assumption that the teacher either genuinely does not know the answers 104 Geoff Thompson . and was asking the students what members of their family did. In both cases. the doctor's acknowledgement ('Oh') encourages the patient to explain a bit more about the confusion over her two first names. but ignorance. The first is where the teacher is not of the same nationality as the learners: here questions about the corresponding situation in the learners' country or culture are a simple but effective resource. if he or she does not. whether real or feigned. and where teachers frequently exploit their own lack of knowledge to set up opportunities for communication. the teacher may actually know the answer. the questioner will then typically go on either to ask for more information or to offer related information of his/her own. of a teacher treating a personal fact question as a display question came several years ago from a trainee I was observing. Not knowing the The other questions that can be difficult to devise are communicative answer questions about outside facts. Even in a general EFL context with learners of the same nationality as the teacher. is both personally excusable—because he or she is not expected to be an expert on that subject—and pedagogically advisable—because it helps to vary the roles and the balance of power in the classroom. The second is in ESP. There are two cases where this situation does not apply. The exchange went like this: T: What does your father do SI: Teacher T: He's a teacher/good/what does your father do S2: My father dead T: Good/and what about your father Acknowledging the A more normal non-classroom response is to acknowledge the content response of the answer. The problem arises because traditionally it is expected that the teacher will know not only more facts about the language than the learners but also more facts about the world. He was trying hard to ask personalized questions to practise the vocabulary of jobs in English. The interaction is thus extended beyond the initial question and answer. where learners will often have greater knowledge of the specialist subject than the teacher. a little ingenuity makes it possible for the teacher to think of questions to which he or she does not—or plausibly might not—know the answer.

and purpose—and lead into a broader examination of interaction between teacher and learner. L. Oxford: Oxford Uni- Gower. Newbury House. Bulgaria.. Hungary. content. J. Conclusion I have argued that the approach outlined here is useful in giving trainees relatively simple guidelines for preparing questions to ask when working with a text or discussing a situation.). Quintanilha. 1984. University of Foreign Language. Cambridge: Cam. Romania. M. 1992. C. bridge University Press.. Scott. 1995. They are encouraged to see that one way in which they can improve their questioning is simply by getting into the habit of using an interested 'Oh' rather than an authoritative 'Good' as the normal response to answers from their learners—not least because this forces them to think of the kind of questions which will lead to the kind of answers to which 'Oh' is an appropriate response. its main training function comes from the fact that certain of the question types are difficult to construct As we have seen. is one of the key insights that trainees should gain from their discussion of questioning techniques. English Language Studies Unit at the University Long. He previously taught in China. and Algeria. Teaching Practice Handbook (2nd edn. Sato. Wallace. 1982. Reading. However. or behaves convincingly as if he or she did not. Training teachers to ask questions 105 . Walters. teaches on the Unit's initial Certificate in TEFL/ Long (eds). R. Geoff Thompson is a lecturer in the Applied guage Teaching (2nd edn. A. and also of teachers' questions' in L. and S. 1988. 1983. M. These implications go beyond the factors that are explicitly labelled—the form. versity Press. the discussion of the reasons for this is intended to raise the trainees' awareness of the implications of choosing different types of questions. Phillips. Learning to say 'Oh'. ELT Jour- Doff. 'Classroom of Liverpool. Turkey. 'Using a "standard exercise" References in teaching reading comprehension'. London: Heinemann. Lon- don: Heinemann.H. Saudi Second Language Acquisition. Teach English. He is course director of the MA in foreigner talk discourse: forms and functions Language Teaching and Learning.). M. Bayer. London: Longman. MA: Arabia. as in the doctor/patient conversation above. E. Classroom Oriented Research in ESP. and L. Zanatta. D. We point out to trainees that 'behaving convincingly' in this context may mean leaving the question open if the learners cannot answer it—however much that goes against the grain. and CJ. Received July 1996 Note Nuttall. Liverpool. 1991. Teaching Reading Skills in a 1 Data supplied by Sultan Al-Sharif. nal 38/2: 114-20. The Practice of English Lan. Seliger and M. The author Harmer.H. C. Rowley. Carioni.

It is based on the author's previous experience in north-east Thailand. such as the two-day INSET course developed in north-east Thailand which is the subject of this article. in part by exploring the use of classroom techniques appropriate for large classes on its topic-based and skill-based courses. The belief that these characteristics may also apply in other contexts is given support by Ibrahim's (1991) study of the effects of INSET courses on the implementation of a new primary school curriculum in Malaysia. initial teacher training appears to do little to help teachers deal with the issues raised by teaching and learning in large classes (Hayes 1996. and his continu- ing involvement there in teacher development work. often ill-prepared to deal with the situation in which they find themselves in schools. This article examines an in-service training session developed for use in the state sector in Thailand which aims to help teachers to come to terms with some of the problems found in large classes. which I shall now discuss. This course is grounded in a number of basic principles of teacher development. development concluding that: knowledge utilization and implementation will be more extensive under the following conditions: (1) the school organization and climate are supportive and well organized. therefore. and that they give rise to a number of problems. and (7) [there is] active involvement of the participants in [the] learning activities. In-service training provided by the Project for the Improvement of Secondary English Teaching (PISET)3 has attempted to deal with this. In a wide-ranging report on INSET in the Netherlands. (4) [the] subject matter [is] relevant to [the] job. (2) the content of the in- service training activities is geared to the professional spheres of influence of the participants. (5) practical skills [are] presented. Helping teachers to cope with large classes David Hayes The issues raised by teaching in large classes1 are rarely addressed in pre- service training courses. (6) extra time [is] invested in in-service activities. it has also investigated the problems caused by large classes on training courses. Veenman et al. (3) [there is] clear advance explanation of the goals of the in-service programs. Introduction Classes in schools in many parts of Thailand may contain between 45 and 55 students. Many teachers consider that these classes are too large. 106 ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 . Silvester 1994). Those teachers—and they are numerous—who have to cope with classes that contain 50 or more learners are. Principles of in.2 However. service teacher (1994: 314) explored characteristics of effective in-service activities.

wherever feasible.) This initial basic principle also leads to the precept that training methodology should be primarily task-based and inductive. even though that experience may have been reduced to routines over the years. Accordingly. so that teachers are able to see immediately the relevance of the discussion to their own classrooms. or to encourage specific teaching/learning behaviour—to ask themselves why should they teach in one way rather than another. or in terms of other factors such as the course techniques. and relevant to them. then. the credibility of some key personnel [the trainers] and the poor facilities. For PISET it is axiomatic that all training should be directly centred on the everyday school situation. Coping with large classes 107 . which Ibrahim explains as follows: One could attribute this to the weaknesses in the courses. resulted from an analysis of the International Network for Class Size Studies (INCLASS) research questionnaires completed by teachers in the Nakhon Ratch- asima province of north-east Thailand. As in Malaysia (Ibrahim 1991).-as well as the possibility of reassessing them.: 125).In that case. for example. Perhaps it is these training styles that give rise to the kind of lament one hears from some trainers: 'We keep giving them courses. but they still teach in the same old way'. that for INSET activities to be effective it is desirable that teachers should be active participants in their own development. (See also Lamb (1995) on the importance of taking account of INSET participants' existing beliefs about teaching and learning. In these ways course participants are provided with content which is immediately familiar. successful transfer of training was not achieved. Veenman et al. especially since there is evidence to suggest that teachers themselves value the experiential as opposed to the transmission approach (Hayes: forthcoming). teachers in Thailand had become used to a diet of lecture-based or transmission style INSET courses. The course also utilizes as input video clips of teachers in their own classes. deriving from classroom experience. the limited time allotted for the courses. All PISET activities are founded on this basic principle. The structure and activities of the course on coping with large classes under discussion. It is surely better if courses try to develop the analytical skills which are an integral part of continued self-development. Clearly. training courses value participants' existing knowledge. putting into practice to a large extent Bax's (1995) recommendations for content-negotiable teacher develop- ment activities. and not treated as mere empty vessels waiting to be filled. and Ibrahim agree. (ibid. teachers should play a part in the preparation of training courses. recognizing that they will have their own perceptions of teaching and learning. which were informative rather than experiential. This also means that courses provide opportunities to make explicit these perceptions. Such modes of training do little to encourage teachers to consider rationales underlying the use of particular classroom activities. accessible.

On PISET in-service courses it is equally important that the trainers should themselves be teachers. as in the present instance. Some teachers also 108 David Hayes . is a first step in encouraging them to research their own classrooms. They devise the majority of their own training courses. training in ERICs is. Initial work investigating teachers' concerns has suggested that they can be divided into five areas: discomfort. practical. Not only that: affording teachers an opportunity to validate their 'vast repository of classroom experience which. (1994) as being likely to lead to effective in-service activities. 1996). ideally. since there is no room to move about.4 To extend this principle still further. clearly focused and explained. precisely because of the former's classroom experience. control. then. which can make the process of solving things which teachers see as problems that much easier. Pair and group tasks enable participants to make available to others the wealth of knowledge and experience.5 To sum up. previously confined to individuals. to say to other teachers 'I have tried this for myself and it works'. a collaborative process. Characteristic (1) is not within PISET's control. with their emphasis on relevant. Problems of large INCLASS has promoted interesting research on the problems faced by classes teachers of large classes. thus helping to reinforce the validity of the training proceedings. and to become less dependent on the pronouncements of 'experts'. In either case they are able. Usually this support is freely given. but just as important is the opportunity for teachers to share ideas and experience with each other. evaluation. obviously. This classification is supported by comments made by teachers in north- east Thailand who completed the INCLASS research questionnaires. Using practising teachers as trainers has been shown to be valued by the participants themselves.or in-service—has been negatively evaluated (Hayes 1997. when shared with other teachers. and learning effectiveness. attempt to take account of characteristics (2)-(7) identified by Veenman et al. Discomfort Many teachers are worried by the physical constraints imposed by large numbers in confined classrooms. individual attention. and even where they have not done so. All training is conducted by teachers who run English Resource and Instruction Centres (ERICs) in provincial schools. Training given by 'experts' from local universities. and sought their support in general terms for teacher development activities. in effect. they are able to test the teaching ideas in their own classes and provide feedback to modify a course written by someone else. classroom-centred content. can lead to a body of theoretical insights and practical procedures' (Naidu etal. Trainers collaborate with teachers. They feel unable to promote student interaction. 1992: 262). though at regular meetings of school principals ERIC trainers have often explained the programme. on the other hand—whether pre. PISET teacher development courses.

for example when I want to practise speaking. 8). Often I didn't have enough opportunity to listen to them all. (ibid. It [is] difficult to control the students and I don't know what they have learnt because there are a lot of students. the teacher can't control them. I'm not sure that my students get what I've taught exactly. I can give the attention to them well. Control Teachers are often worried by the discipline aspects of large classes. Learning All teachers want their students to learn English. . some students who aren't interested in class will disturb the others . When students do activity. Coping with large classes 109 . available research evidence indicates that class size may not be the problem many teachers think it to be. if student achievement is the criterion. They are under- effectiveness standably worried if they don't know who is learning what. Some maybe under- stand—but some maybe not understand and the teacher don't know what. If the students are too many. Large size of class makes me very frustrated and tired and I feel hopeless to manage the class successfully. and are worried if they cannot do so. when we have the activities in class. They feel they are unable to control what is happening. and that the classes become too noisy. he also recognizes that there may be other factors at play: Even if we were able to demonstrate 'definitely' that class size need not affect learner achievement. As Allwright (1989: 3) has pointed out. If it is a small class. . However. I must speak very loud and make me sore throat. It is noisy. Evaluation Teachers feel a responsibility for checking all of their students' work. It takes a long time to check all of the students' exercises. we would still have an abundance of evidence to tell us that teachers. I don't have time to help all students but only some. Then the teacher can't control the class. feel that teaching in large classes is physically very wearing (this is connected with the problem of 'control'): The students can't move easily and some students don't do the activities. I don't know whether their pronunciation is right or wrong. it will be difficult to control or solve their problems. for example. Individual attention Many teachers are concerned that they are neglecting the needs of their students as individuals. they make a loud noise. There's not enough room (space) to do the activity—overcrowded. have a whole range of cogent reasons as to why smaller classes are preferable.

with the objective of clarifying ideas and descriptive terms ('What do you mean by . It hopes. whilst negative comments may include the amount of noise in group or pair work. There is always the possibility. The training Each course begins with an awareness-raising element. After an initial viewing. but one who is well organized and able to generate enthusiasm for learning English among her students. or the (small) amount of error correction. . that some topics which the session will cover may not arise from teachers' initial comments. looks at classroom management. above all. The video does not attempt to show a perfect lesson. some may be irrelevant. it looks at the everyday lessons of an ordinary classroom teacher. worksheets are used with a second (and perhaps a third) viewing of the video. These help participants to identify important features necessary for later develop- ment. with input course provided in the form of a video containing highlights of lessons with a A wareness-raising typically large class. Equally. The comments from teachers I have cited indicate that many of them are unhappy with the size of their classes. course participants are asked to rate the lesson impressionistically on a scale of 1 to 10. or the way in which they assist the teacher. They are then asked individually to write down things that they liked about the lesson and things that they didn't like. students' extensive use of English. positive comments may focus on the friendly atmosphere of the class. ? ' ) before class feedback. At this stage the tutor organizes the comments into related groups—for example. and for a number of reasons. Each member of a group is given a different worksheet focusing on one of the five areas of concern. What follows was developed for the context of Thai secondary schools with about 50 students per class. Given that class size is most unlikely to be reduced in the foreseeable future. focuses on students engaged in using English for a real purpose. and examines the part students play in class organization. Many of the issues raised by the teachers will be ones addressed in later stages of the session. The in-service course on coping with large classes aims to make a start with that process. shows how the teacher introduces new language and develops controlled and free practice. To counter any possible omission. Rather. For example. and asked to complete it while viewing. Some of the approaches discussed may be relevant elsewhere. and also to help to develop teachers' analytical skills. the teacher's use of Thai in the class. however. It chronicles the stages of a lesson. teachers need to be helped to come to terms with their problems. especially with classes which are considerably larger. . the worksheet dealing with the area of control has the following questions: How does the teacher get the attention of the class? What does she do? 110 David Hayes . The lists of likes and dislikes are then discussed in groups. to show teachers that solutions are possible. and so to alleviate the genuine distress some feel at their self- perceived inability to teach effectively in crowded classrooms.

cut them out. Some teachers worry about being able to see and be seen by all of the students. teachers feel that the physical constraints of a classroom with large numbers of desks and chairs often prevent them from doing the kind of interactive activities that they would like. Tutor feedback on this exercise. charts. Possible extensions to this activity can come via consideration of the classroom environment as a whole. and asked to draw a plan. arrangement of the class in groups serves most of these purposes best. but this one is in groups. and chalkboard. Participants are led to consider the advantages for student- centred language learning activities of organizing the classroom in this way. in contrast to the drabness of a classroom lacking these things. and move around easily to monitor activities. teachers are asked to repeat the activity for their own rooms once they return to their schools. perhaps even a book corner. indicating doors. can show how the positioning of desks at an angle to the board rather than head-on can make a difference to lines of vision. Teachers Coping with large classes 111 . see and speak to each other. windows. Participants are asked to recall how the classroom on the video is arranged. Next they are asked to draw scale representations of the teacher's and students' desks on a piece of paper. using a large scale plan on manila card and groups of 'desks' attached with blu-tack. Training activities Below are some examples of training activities for each of the problem areas described above. a students' notice board. as well as students' ability to see the board. and then in groups. What does the teacher do before she says anything to the whole class? How does the teacher speak to the class? Does she speak softly? speak normally? shout? Participants report to their group on what they have been asked to investigate from the video. Examples on video or in the form of photographs or slides can show a lively room full of displays of students' work. Having worked together on a typical classroom. There is obviously nothing that can be done about the size of classrooms or the number of desks and chairs needed for the students. of a typical classroom (they can measure the classroom they are using for the training course). Generally. Discomfort As we have seen. but the optimum organization of furniture in a limited space is something that can be tackled. They have to consider which arrangement best enables students to see the board. Each group of teachers is given some sheets of graph paper. and which allows the teacher to see and talk to the students. Ample opportunity for collective discussion of each issue is given in later stages. In most schools classes are still arranged in rows. according to scale. first of all. and arrange them on the plan for a class of 50 students sitting in rows. and move around easily to do activities. but there is no class feedback at this stage.

and to try to define the differences between the two kinds of noise. Purely on a decibel count. If agreement is not possible. Often this results in suggestions for rotas for undertaking particular duties. it may be worthwhile to train the students to rearrange the classroom for lessons in which the primary focus is group or pair work. cleaning the board. if students began a task before instructions had been completed. of course. whereas free practice noise sounds like a disorderly hubbub. mechanical drilling (though this may have its place). and tried to quieten them if they became too boisterous: if it was necessary to address individuals she did so by name. They review the relevant worksheet on the video lesson. Both demonstrations are audio-taped and then replayed. Lack of floor space need not prevent a room from being an attractive place to be. They are then asked to come up with practical ways to ensure that giving responsibility to students doesn't mean that chaos results.g. Where rooms are shared with other subject teachers it may be possible to jointly agree on a new arrangement (perhaps easier to implement in Thailand now that the Ministry of Education has adopted a new problem-solving. To do this would obviously require a high degree of class control. and waited for quiet before she began. on whether rooms are allocated for subjects or for classes. etc. this is often regarded as well-regulated noise. However.) and decide which of these could be done by students rather than the teacher. The training course examines this through demonstrations of choral drilling and the free practice of a pair work activity. and teachers are asked to decide which of the two is loudest. Control Teachers' concern over the issue of control may be linked to teacher-centred perceptions of the classroom. What is possible in any given school depends. e. Participants brainstorm all the management activities that occur in a class (distributing worksheets. collecting books. choral drilling is usually loudest. Participants then try to think of their own attention-getting signals (a clap of the hands. it becomes clear that pair and group work noise can be said to be more productive than simple. and the selection of group 112 David Hayes . She always gave a clear signal when she wanted to speak. But if one looks at the kind of language used in each activity. and see that the teacher never attempted to compete with the class by shouting for attention. might then consider how best to utilize the available wall space in their own classrooms. for example) and also list together the classroom language that they might use at various learner levels in situations where noise might be a problem. Further activities in this area centre on ways of making students more responsible for control. She encouraged her class to speak at normal levels. or if the noise level increased during activities. From this basis teachers are led to consider ways of keeping the noise level to a minimum. which is the next area of concern. The question of noise in pair or group activities is often cited as a reason for large classes being difficult to control. process skills approach to the secondary school curriculum).

teachers feel that slow learners perform very badly in large classes. which participants saw as one way to help establish control in a class. if all activity is teacher-fronted. The intention is to help teachers see that not all students need individual attention in every lesson: for some. This is an important factor when considering evaluation. Individual attention As noted in the previous section. These can range from seating plans (as long as students sit in the same places) to name cards and simple games. a quick check that they are doing the activity correctly will often be enough. Giving greater responsibility to students is also explored in the next two sections. teachers see that most activities were carried out in pairs and groups. accompanied by a desire to ignore the person calling out. collecting or returning materials or books. and for what reason. An important advantage is that students can learn from each other—mixed ability groupings are preferable for this.leaders to liaise with the teacher—for example. Again. and so lists of advantages and disadvantages are elicited from them. The teacher herself moved around the room. and so experience is shared. however. But to do this with several classes of 50 students is not so easy! Some teachers seem to be better at learning names than others. If they cheat or simply copy Coping with large classes 113 . participants list all the different ways of learning names that they have ever used. A simple mathematical exercise enables participants on the course to conclude that. Using names is the initial step in showing students that teachers care about them as individuals. Feedback then provides a useful stock of name-learning techniques which can be tried out in schools. and any games are demonstrated. course activities start with teachers being asked how they would feel if someone called out to them without using their names ('Hey. then in a typical 50 minute class either all oral practice is mechanical drilling or each of 50 students can only have at most one minute of teacher time. Further. Participants describe techniques they recommend. you!'). Evaluation Teachers are often somewhat suspicious of the idea of students working together. Feelings are usually ones of annoyance. whereas others will need closer guidance. What will they do for the other 49? Reviewing the video worksheet. At the most basic level. monitoring and assisting as necessary. this may be linked to a teacher-centred view of the classroom. in establishing good teacher-student relationships. the teacher shown on video addressed her students by name. The worksheet asks for an estimate of how many students she talked to. Disadvantages usually centre on the possibility of students copying or cheating. however. In this section. Teachers themselves are also very concerned about how they can express this care through the amount of time devoted to individual students in a large class. Transferring these reactions to the teacher-student situation in the classroom makes teachers realize the importance of learning names. It has another more important function. it brings into focus the part that students working in groups have in helping each other: the teacher does not have to do everything. In groups.

and a similar activity shows how errors can be minimized through techniques such as oral preparation for writing or writing in groups. dictation. such as students exchanging books or correcting their own work while the teacher gives the answers. free paragraph writing. and the setting of attainable objectives is stressed. matching sentence halves. one lamenting the hopelessness of keeping up to date with the correction of all written work. the advice given to them. Teachers are given a list of writing activities (e. and students checking work in pairs before the teacher gives the answer. From this it is concluded that controlled writing activities are the quickest to correct. Teachers listen. A final activity hopes to promote such changes. and for continuing 114 David Hayes . There is a simple response to the complaint that checking all of the students' exercises is very time-consuming—don't do it. It may be just a teacher's perception that students do not learn as well in a large class as in a small one. Individual action plans are discussed by groups before final versions are written up. Teachers must work within the constraints of their own school organization. The resulting information is used by trainers to write reports for departmental officials.) and asked in groups to grade them according to how much time they think it would take for a teacher to correct them. any change must result from individual teachers modifying their own classroom behaviour and leading students to alter theirs. if the teacher is doing all of the correction it would still be a lengthy business.g. they will also learn nothing! Teachers are therefore encouraged to develop a sense of responsibility among their students. and write down the steps in the various techniques proposed. The dialogue can be role-played or recorded on tape. Learning effectiveness It was noted earlier that available research evidence cannot prove any conclusive link between class size and learner achievement. re-writing sentences to match pictures. students writing answers on the board and being corrected by other students if necessary. gap-filling. Free writing cannot and should not be altogether avoided. the other explaining how involving the students more saves time. The range of activities outlined above has shown some ways in which teachers may be helped to feel less overwhelmed when confronted by large classes. Even so. However. etc. training course usually by means of a questionnaire. If they do so. and the sphere of learner training is considered at various points in the course. then perceptions of learning effectiveness in large classes may be altered. Techniques are discussed. Participants are asked to review all of the previous course activities. Evaluation of the All PISET training sessions are summatively evaluated by participants. it is important that the perception be examined. and the solutions to problems jointly worked out. If this is the case. They then discuss which techniques they think appropriate for the controlled writing activities on the list given previously. writing paragraphs following a model. Alternatives are therefore proposed via input in the form of a dialogue between teachers in a staffroom. in order to devise an action plan for their own particular classes for the following semester.

but is far from easy to accomplish. One teacher who completed the INCLASS questionnaires had obviously found his or her own personal way to cope with the challenge of large numbers. as I have argued. For the of training for key personnel in Britain. assistance from four full-time advisers. 4 a very minor problem. of mately 50 students as being 'large'. 31 a problem 5 See Hayes (1995) for a fuller discussion of the but not a major one. been able to make their own adjustments without this assistance and. what games are interesting. It is to be hoped that such INSET courses will help in the process of 'challenging. and then reconstructing ingrained practice and long-held beliefs' which. course development. tionnaires (INCLASS. as perceptions of this Administration providing assistance in the form will vary from context to context. what thing you should adapt. and I would like to end by citing this teacher's advice: If you have to teach in large classes. Thai Ministry of Education. were one of the major problems. Eight reported large confining themselves to a trainer development classes to be their major problem. This INSET course hopes to help some teachers to take the first step along that path. They will like English and often we'll get some important information from them. whom I was one. teacher development principles underlying and 2 no problem at all. teachers' reactions are overwhelmingly positive. It really works. Try it. Classes Research Project). the first important thing you have to do isfindingsome students who can help you. 1996). And the students will tell you what they want to learn more. 20 said they role. change needs to be validated through personal experience. I am working with book presentations to resource centres and teachers' perceptions of a class size of approxi. For the most part. Received March 1996 Notes 3 This was originally a joint Thai-British govern- 1 There can be no quantitative definition of what ment project. formerly known as the 4 Native speaker 'experts' generally played no Lancaster-Leeds Language Learning in Large part in the direct teacher development process. and purposes of this article. a crucial aspect of any training course is the opportunity it affords for teachers to exchange ideas and talk about their own experiences. PISET activities. Coping with large classes 115 . what games are boring. Though I do not have specific data for the course on coping with large classes. ultimately deconstructing. This is a good thing because these students can practise more and they can help you. with the Overseas Development constitutes a 'large' class. of course. as Pennington (1995: 705) has noted. PISET continues—is even 2 Sixty-five teachers completed the International expanding—as a project run entirely by the Network for Class Size Studies research ques. Others within the Thai context have. interviews with a number of teachers from the north-east and other regions of Thailand have clearly indicated strong support for the type of training delivered by PISET (Hayes 1997. Conclusion From some points of view there may be nothing very radical in any of the strategies for coping with large classes discussed here. leads to lasting change in teaching practice. But in a context where teachers have traditionally been seen as the unquestioned givers of knowledge.

S. 116 David Hayes . involved in teacher and trainer development in Lamb. The author Hayes. ELT Journal 49/3: Veenman. 'Appropriate methodology: the Silvester.L. Thai secondary school'. 'Articulating the context: David Hayes is project manager of the ODA- INSET and teachers' lives' in D. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice of Education. 1994.A. 1991. University of Leeds. 'The impact of in-service training on teacher behaviour'.). S.A. 1995. 'Prioritising "voice" over cation 10/3: 303-17. M. 'The consequences of INSET'. B. and M. and Sri Lanka. Educational first. of Leeds. He has an MA Hall Macmillan. Thailand: A study of teacher perceptions in a System 23/3: 347-57. R. and has been Studies of Changemakers. Teaching and Teacher Edu- Hayes. ELT Journal 49/1: 72-80. 1995. Lancaster-Leeds Language geneity: an account of teacher-initiated research Learning in Large Classes Research Project. 1996. Ramani.. Van Tulder. Stuart (eds. ELT Journal 46/3: 252-63. M. Before that he was a lecturer at the School tional Perspectives.A. 'Is class size a problem?' and V.References Naidu. and foreign language in the UK. Bax.M.. and the UK. The teacher change cycle'. Voeten. Lancaster: University of Lancaster. Allwright. London: Macmillan. Thailand. 1995. Unpublished MEd Hayes. H. 'In-service teacher develop. from the University of Lancaster. N. M. and is working Ibrahim. D. Shivakumar. K. towards a PhD on teachers' perceptions of teaching and learning within their wider socio- sia for the New Primary Curriculum (KBSR)' in educational context. second. 1992. 1997. He has taught English as a K.A. ment: some basic principles'. 1994. 1995. TESOL Quarterly 29/4: 705-31. Lewin with J. University. E. Hayes funded Primary English Language Project in Sri (ed. Pennington. Senegal. D. "vision": reaffirming the centrality of the teacher in ESOL research'. dissertation. 252-61. Neeraja. into large classes'. 1989. D. 3. Viswanatha. J. Innovation in Developing Countries: Case Nigeria. Lanka.). System 34/2:173-86.S. 'In-service training in Malay.A. 'Researching hetero- Report No. In-service Teacher Development: Interna. 'Initial teacher education in content of teacher development activities'. Malaysia.

it advocates a systematic approach to the teaching of the pragmatic and discourse functions of English intonation through a consciousness-raising methodology that uses authentic academic oral texts. but how she says it. Failure to make use of the appropriate pragmatic discourse features of English intonation may result in serious communication breakdown between native and non- native speakers of even advanced levels of proficiency. regardless of language or cultural taught background. Firstly. and examine three crucial reasons why lack of prosodic skills may jeopardize effective communication in 'on campus' contexts.' This cliche is worth bearing in mind when one considers the communication problems even proficient non-native speakers face when interacting with native speakers in tertiary-level academic contexts. illocutionary force. This article sets out a case for teaching the pragmatic (discourse-based) features of English intonation to overseas students studying on tertiary-level ELTcourses. and inter-speaker co-opera- tion and conversational management/The article concludes with a brief sketch of strategies for effective pedagogic intervention to help students develop appropriate skills in these three areas. Chun 1988. Secondly. teaching Charles Clennell At the heart of many cross-cultural misunderstandings lie problems associated with intonation features of learner English. Reasons why Why do many tertiary-level learners lack competence and confidence in intonation is the area of English intonation? There are a number of related reasons poorly for this. although there is evidence of a growing interest in this area in recent years (Thompson 1995. I shall argue that the successful use of discourse intonation could well be the key to effective cross-cultural communication. in relation to propositional content. Introduction 'It's not what she says. Drawing on data and materials developed for an EAP oral language programme. and as such are unfamiliar inadequately to most overseas learners of English. It seems that discourse intona- tion is a comparatively neglected field in ELT. Drawing on data from advanced level EAP learners. I will look at the reasons why intonation is particularly problematic for EAP learners. Kenworthy 1987). Bradford 1988. these discourse and pragmatic functions are not ELT Journal Volume '51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 117 . the discourse/pragmatic functions of English prosody understood and appear to be specific to the English language. in order to improve cross-cultural communication at both receptive and productive stages.

at the level of decoding messages. Bradford 1988. for three important and interrelated prosody in NS/ reasons: MMS interaction 1 The propositional content (essential information) of the message may not be fully grasped. By using the broader term 'prosody' we make it clear that all these features play a significant part in delineating pragmatic intention. and a lack of precision in describing suprasegmental features of phonology. Propositional Without shared prosodic awareness. Brown 1977: 90). 2 The illocutionary force (pragmatic meaning) of utterances may be misunderstood. Some A failure to make full use of English prosodic features has crucial consequences of consequences in NS/NNS oral interaction. 1980: 31). although a growing number are turning their attention to prosody in discourse settings (see. Zawadski 1994. which includes stress and intonation. Because stress (on a single word or in phrases) has as one of its chief acoustic correlates a change of pitch. a course tutor is asking a student for clarification: 118 Charles Clennell . interference from the learners may be a problem. 3 Inter-speaker co-operation and conversational management may be poorly controlled. there is the problem of materials. English prosody—particularly its discourse function—is not adequately dealt with by most available pronunciation coursebooks in ESL. including teachers of English. So intonation relates to the contrastive use of pitch movement over stretches of speech and the influence this has on meaning. mainly because of their inherent opaqueness in the discourse. content listening comprehension in English becomes a more difficult activity for both parties. especially if they are speakers of oriental languages. And. Rogerson and Gilbert 1990. Oral communication becomes inadequate more difficult for both parties. 'Prosody' is a broader label. we can consider both word and phrase stress to be subsumed under the term intonation (Brown etal. which have a tonal and rhythmic structure sufficiently different from English to make even basic competence in the discourse features of English intonation extremely difficult. In this example. Few if any teachers come to TESOL courses with an adequate understanding of English intonation in natural discourse. Definition of 'Intonation' is a broad term used by phoneticians to describe the effects terms of contrastive pitch movement (Crystal 1987: 423) on the meanings of utterances over stretches of speech (Cruttenden 1986: 9. readily appreciated even by native speakers. but also rhythm and voice quality as well as other paralinguistic (non-verbal) features (Crystal 1987: 169). for example. Roach 1983: 112). finally. Thirdly. Kenworthy 1987). Native speakers of English mark the propositional content of the message with stress and pitch in such a way that the content is hierarchically differentiated in terms of its perceived importance to the speaker (Halliday 1985: 53.

and lead to listener fatigue. this Singhalese speaker has effectively 'neutered' the pragmatic intention of the utterance. for example. For example. Illocutionary force The illocutionary force or the pragmatic intention of the utterance may not be clear to both parties. This can be done. Native-speaker listeners will assume that their interlocutor will follow this method in allocating pitch and stress until checked otherwise. the propositional meaning might be identified as a request to know whether the paper would be given or not. This system of hierarchical prominence is sometimes referred to as tonic (Halliday 1985: 53) or nuclear stress (Crystal 1969: 205). verb. Learners frequently have listening difficulties because they try to identify every item of the utterance. FINish this V ASSignMENT By placing prominence on three items (modal auxiliary. So when a non-native speaker asks a similar question it is likely that several items will receive equal prominence. the most prominent marking (1) being the most important item (in this case. and so on. and lead to further communication problems. and lack of empathy (Clennell 1996). 1 5 6 4 7 3 8 2 V WHEN did you say you'd give your paper? (mid/high key) Each lexical item in this utterance would be differentiated by relative pitch prominence. boredom. which means identifying the syntactic or sentence elements (subject/verb/object/complement/ adverb). the second most important (2) being the object 'paper'. Such analysis can be extremely wearing over prolonged exchanges. The failure of non-native speakers to pick Teaching discourse intonation 119 . The tutor will have to infer for him or herself what the student's intention might be (in this case. as in When ? MUST we \. students need to be familiar with a range of possible pragmatic choices in a given speech situation. and examining the implied speaker intentions behind each choice. by exploring different ways of expressing polite requests in an academic (assignment-oriented) environment. Thus. and misunderstand the propositional content of the message. syntactic decoding. native speakers are obliged to carry out a different method of decoding which is more laborious and slower—namely. but are unable to perceive what is intended to be significant by the speaker. a request for information about due dates). the word 'when'). in reply to the wh- question given above. Overseas students unfamiliar with tonic prominence frequently fail to perceive the logical prominence of key items. This simple statement could be perceived as an evasive tactic rather than a polite request. Clearly. Because non-native speakers do not (in general) follow this system. the tutor's reply to the student's request about his assignment might be The \ DUE date II is next \ FRIDay This response might not appear to be either complete or appropriate to a learner of English expecting a direct answer. and object) rather than one.

Failure to perceive significant pitch change can create subtle misunder- standings in.»WAS (mid/high key) This is a relatively small phonetic change. or we could be decidedly prominent in our pitch choice when excited or angry (see McCarthy 1991 for a useful discussion on this topic). or a combination of the two (Halliday 1985: 57). 1980: 24). It is worth noting that students can be shown the consequences of such a subtle change in prosody by simply highlighting similar samples of native-speaker texts in their natural contexts. the confusion between conducive questions (in which the speaker already has a reasonably clear expectation of the answer) and non-conducive questions (in which the answer is unpredictable) (Tench 1988 cited in Thompson 1995: 239). for example. and drawing their attention to the pragmatic implications as they arise. By 'key' I mean the choice of relative pitch made by the speaker 'which is independently meaningful' (Brazil et al. in English. up sarcasm. The choice of higher key makes the crucial difference here: you can imagine how \THRILLed I . this is normally limited to a rise or fall. the topic is not finished—in contrast to the first version. This choice is more far-reaching than we may realize. but with profound consequences for meaning. A technique for exploring this kind of approach is demonstrated at the end of this paper. both the tone and key are high: did you ex^PECT a high mark? (mid/high key) Failure at this level to perceive the speaker's intentions and expectations can easily disrupt the flow of the discourse. Two prosodic elements—tone and key—work in different ways to mark pragmatic intention. Conducive questions carry (almost invariably) a falling tone: you were ex^PECTing a low mark? (mid/low key) Whereas in non-conducive questions. We could play safe and remain in a neutral band. for example. And yet this is not in itself a 120 Charles Clennell . where the dominant fall indicates topic termination.e. One might imagine the following comment from a tutor who has just been asked to take two extra students into his tutorial: you can i/»MAGine how \THRILLed I was (mid/low key) To reverse the pragmatic intention requires only an overall change of pitch on the tonic syllable. By 'tone' I mean the choice of pitch contrast the speaker makes. is well known. with a corresponding reversal of tune1 on the tail2 of the tone group3 combined with a mid/high key. The next example shows how sarcasm is conveyed by the astute selection of a rise/fall tone and a mid/low choice of key. Notice how the rising tone in the second version marks additional discourse information—i.

The discourse function of such a technique can be readily appreciated when shown on a transcript and the interlocutor's reply highlighted. say. Imagine a university library where an overseas student of Lebanese Arabic background (A) is asking for a library loan card. the need to mark questions with a rising tone may be self evident. and it is important that tutors are able to express themselves accurately. the pragmatic role of intonation can be potent in conveying the speaker's intentions in speech acts (Searle 1969) such as persuasion. Rises are given to questions when the speaker does not have a clear expectation about the reply.particularly difficult feature to train our learners to perceive. There is an identifiable need for a close examination of. Examples like these are not hard to find in the normal conversational demands of academic life. but how seldom are such subtleties identified by learners as problematic or. more important. Here is an illustration of how a failure to appreciate specific prosodic features could cause genuine communication breakdown of a quite dramatic and unexpected kind. or apologies. for example. but on inspection realizes it is the wrong one: Teaching discourse intonation 121 . Clearly this is not so. That this may not be made clear on the surface is a culturally marked feature of English. In an informal chat with peers. making excuses. This cross-cultural breakdown in communication can be rectified if both native-speaker staff and non- native speaker learners are able to explore these misunderstandings in post-tutorial discussions. So. Confusion is often caused when students are advised that questions 'always carry a rising tone' (one drawback to approaching language teaching from the lexical or sentence level). He is handed a form by an overworked male assistant (B). the delivery of a seminar paper—there will be ample opportunity to practice giving rhetorical questions with falling tones. and how this moderation may fail altogether to achieve its pragmatic intention. for instance. you /* COULD write it \that way (mid/low key) just as you handled the intro^DUCTion well with a marked falling tone and low key selection may sound to the untuned ear like unreserved praise. In addition to this. In speech contexts where conventions are clearly understood—as in. it is possible for learners to start from the premise that they do have an idea of what reply will be given. as we have demonstrated above. addressed by ELT specialists as a problem worth exploring? Yet such misunderstandings are common. and know that they are being understood. the different ways tutors moderate their criticism in order to avoid giving offence. so that in our next example the tutor's criticism is marked by a characteristically low key.

where it would seem that the speaker was using an LI rule that says stressed syllables indicate emphasis rather than topic salience (Gumperz 1990). The point is that the essential coherence of spoken texts in English is maintained by prosodic features (stress. On our EAP courses we now have a phonological component which deals specifically with identifying and reproducing prominent stress in different academic contexts. using video recorded extracts of native-speaker students interacting with their tutors. There's no need to be rude By placing the stress on the premodifier 'wrong'. and the verb 'give'. as in the example just quoted. information that is presumed by the speaker to be shared knowledge prior to this moment in the discourse. Non-native speaker students need to know that their selected strategies for coping with pitch prominence in English may be unproductive and even dangerous. appeals to others in the queue for support] A: \ \ . I gave you what you ASKed for [irritated. pausing. e. and imagine how it might be spoken by a native speaker. management Let us take the earlier example from the Lebanese speaker. and the object of the transaction 'form'. You have \GIVEn me the W WRONG form B: Sorry. Most of the remaining items are given information. instead of on the head noun 'form'. personal pronouns 'me'.g. so that in the first tone group. the last lexical item 'form' would receive prominence. i. adding to the weight of the accusation the fact that the assistant is being untruthfuL Negative ethnic stereotyping can easily be fostered by such an encounter. Without this phonological coherence. it also preserves the distinction between what is conversational given information from what is new (Brown 1983). Inter-speaker Not only does intonation differentiate the relative significance of the co-operation and items in a message. Ex\CUSE me + you've given me the wrong \FORM The information-bearing items would be different in both tone groups. 'you'. described by Chafe (1992: 39) as the interrelationship of 122 Charles Clennell . But it is possible to make use of such incidents to highlight the need for learner awareness of the social consequences of inappropriate prosodic choices. prominence would now be on the verb 'excuse'. in the sense that the initial apology set up this expectation. In the second tone group.e. In his subsequent denial he reiterates this accusation. Even the contentious item 'wrong' may be perceived as given information. WRONG form B: OK.e. A: Excuse \ME. what is being marked as prominent is new information. In both cases. the student (unintentionally) turns what might have been a simple observation into a direct accusation. rather than the personal pronoun 'me'. N O it is the W . i. pitch) which differ- entiate given from new information. the apologizing word.

unmarked tonic syllables are located at the ends of tone groups. by highlighting in transcripts of authentic oral interaction those prosodic markers that. by getting non-native speakers to interview and converse with native speakers. the conversation can become extremely dense and confused. Pedagogic There are a number of related reasons why English prosody is both a implications crucial tool for effective oral communication and inherently problematic for non-native speakers. relative pitch choice is always significant and part of discourse competence. marked tonic syllables may occur on any item for contrastive reasons. but there is also a need to clarify and summarize some principles of curriculum selection. Teaching discourse intonation 123 .g. We also need to demonstrate its systemacity or grammaticality. record transactions (Clennell 1995). The question is. Slade and Norris 1986). First of all. act anaphorically in the speech situation. semi-active and inactive' information shared between speaker and interlocutor. Some guiding principles are: tone group divisions are acoustically recognizable. e. The equivalent in the written medium would be a text without punctuation. and phonologically salient texts. Suggested teaching When devising teaching activities teachers should aim to develop activities receptive awareness of prosodic skills before practising production by a systematic exposure to meaningful. with learners being invited to mark with a 'g' those items that carry tonic prominence. such as Brazil's referring tone (see Bradford 1988 for exercises in this feature). and by getting students to mark perceptually significant prosodic features (Clennell 1986). pitch change marks inherent complete/incomplete dichotomy of speaker. tonic syllables normally occur on one item in a tone group. tonic syllables are perceptually salient through pitch change. for example. what can we do about it? Some practical suggestions have already been made in the course of the paper. we need to clarify the different roles of prosody in oral communication. and then getting students to transcribe these conversations. by doing interviews (Economou 1985. This sort of coherence (and cohesion) can be demonstrated to students in the same way that syntactic cohesion can be demonstrated. The given/new dichotomy can be illustrated in the same way. 'active. These include functions such as: information marker (prominent stress) discourse marker (given/new) conversational manager (turn-taking/collaborating) attitudinal or affect marker (mood/feeling) a grammatical/syntactic marker (clause boundaries/word classes) pragmatic marker (illocutionary force/intention of speaker). authentic.

1980. Intonation in Context. etc. M. nent (tonic/nuclear) syllable. At this point you may wish to elicit prosodic differences as they appear to the learners after they have listened to a tape and followed the transcript. be without it'. Johns. and invite them to evaluate them. \ fall Discourse Intonation and Language Teaching. tone group boundary Brown. Prosody: Models and Methods. 1 Tune = intonation contour or movement over Brown. Questions of Intonation. G.. and raise to consciousness both the salient form and pragmatic functions of English intonation (Clennell 1996).).g. ClenneU. 1977. with the teacher acting as a native-speaker staff member. 'The neglected role of intonation in communicative competence and proficiency'.). with a lecturer after a lecture. 124 Charles Clennell . 2 Transcribe these recordings and put the text on an OHT with certain key prosodic features accentuated in the way they have been marked in this article. 1988. Prospect 2/1: 89-98. 1992. 1980. Currie. NJ: Lawrence tones (a contour) and usually with one promi. 1988. 'Prosodic structure and the given/ pause new distinction' in A. London: Croom Helm. Coulthard. with a tutor discussing a paper. References Modern Language Journal 72/3: 295-302. Edwards and L. Cam. Chun. Bradford. and J. 1983. Ladd (eds. In this way it is possible to highlight the pragmatic/discourse functions of English prosody in a meaningful context. Hillsdale. 5 Invite students to listen to the native-speaker texts with the transcription available on OHT. v fall-rise Brown. K. I will conclude with a technique being developed for use with EAP students at my own institution. which may be of interest to readers. B.. 3 Tone group = the smallest unit of meaning in Talking Data Transcription and Coding in English. e. London: Longman. s rise London: Longman. at the library putting in a request form. and suggest ways of improving the communicative aspects of their language. consisting of a distinctive sequence of Discourse Research. 1 Record native-speaker students on campus interacting in different informal speech situations. G. 'Stress: No ESL lesson should bridge: Cambridge University Press. Kenworthy. Berlin: Springer Notes Verlag. C. Listening to the Spoken Lan- extra emphasis on stressed syllables guage. 2 Tail = any items in a tone group that succeed Chafe. Lampert (eds. 1986. G. Cutler and R. W. several items. and C. Record and transcribe these interactions. Erlbaum. D. with a peer over coffee after a lecture. D. language' in J. 4 Show students their own texts. Received March 1996 Key Brazil. 'Prosodic and functional units of the tonic syllable. 3 Ask the students to perform the same interaction tasks among themselves. Identify and prioritize specific prosodic problem areas.

1988. London: Cambridge University Tench.A. Zawadski. Developing Communicative Com. M. P. and he has published a number of papers Newbury House. Teaching Casual Crystal. D. Cambridge University Press. on his research into the communication strategies Halliday. (eds. Prospect 10/3: 4-18. Press. In Tempo.K. Intonation. Melbourne: Deakin University Press. Spoken and Written of second language learners from a classroom Language. and L. He is currently co- McCarthy. 1996. J. 1983.). Sydney: NCELTR. Sydney: NSW The author Education Department. Charles Clennell is a senior lecturer in TESOL at Gumperz. ordinating the MEd Studies TESOL course at guage Teachers. interests include phonology and interlanguage petence in a Second Language. ELT Journal 49/3: 235^12. Cambridge: Cambridge University prosody in a discourse-based approach to oral Press. C. D. Norris.K. Prospect 11/3: 17-28. Teaching discourse intonation 125 . different pedagogic tasks'. Halliday Scholarship for his work in tion. Cambridge: bridge University Press. 1990. 1985. 1987. 1987. New York: studies. The Roles of Intonation in English Press. discourse perspective. Teaching English Pronuncia. rials for EAP programmes. 1994. English Phonetics and Phonology. Discourse: Frankfurt: Peter Lang. C. as well as developing aural/oral mate- versity Press. Slade. 'The conversational analysis of the Centre for Applied Linguistics (CALUSA) at inter-ethnic communication' in R. P. M. 1990. Discourse Analysis for Lan. Scarcella the University of South Australia in Adelaide. Crystal. 1995. Prosodic Systems and Intonation Conversation. 1969. 'Promoting the role of English Clearly. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni. P. 'An interlanguage discourse Roach. His etal. perspective on the communication strategies of (Revised edn. A. 1991. Cambridge: Cam- Cruttenden. In English. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Thompson. and J. Adelaide: NCRC. H. M. D. CALUSA.A. Searle. Speaking Clennell. Speech Acts. interaction'. D. Rogerson. Economou. London: Longman. 1986. 1985. 1986.Clennell. 1995. Gilbert. S. 1994): Cambridge: Cambridge second language learners when performing University Press. 'Teaching intonation on Language. Coffee Break: Authentic Australian Casual Conversation. J. In 1994 he was awarded the Kenworthy. Cambridge: Cambridge University questions'. J. classroom discourse research. 1969.

and partly to the reluctance of mainstream lecturers to transfer the time they previously devoted to the delivery of content to the development of skills. however. By externalizing and giving 126 ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 . This is partly due to the large numbers of students in many classes. At tertiary level. This process also succeeds in giving thoughts a permanence which they would not have in their unwritten state. which in turn leads to enhanced learning. Another powerful source of resistance can be the tension caused by having to develop language-related skills and deliver content in 'content-heavy' curricula. many lecturers in mainstream departments are still opposed to the idea that the development of language-related skills should either take place in their classes or form part of their own work. The capacity of writing to function in this way would appear to rest on a number of inherent characteristics: 1 Writing is a process of 'exploring one's thoughts and learning from the act of writing itself what these thoughts are' (Zamel 1982:197). for example. introduction As the term 'language across the curriculum' gains currency in more and more countries. Applebee 1984) and tends to rest on the function of writing as a tool for clarifying and extending thought (Biggs 1988). by now. This article discusses the relationship of writing to learning as a means of motivating lecturers to develop language-related skills. The claim for a relationship between writing and learning is. and to achieve both these aims in large classes. Learning to write One way of overcoming opposition to the idea of developing language by writing to learn within the mainstream curriculum is to demonstrate that support for the development of language-related skills (especially writing) can often result in greater engagement with the content of the curriculum. and describes a writing pro- cess aimed at overcoming the problem of large numbers by getting stu- dents to write in groups. Such opposition often derives from lecturers' own perceptions of what language is and how it is developed. well documented (see. ELT practitioners are increasingly endorsing the use of the mainstream curriculum to develop language and language-related skills. a group-work approach Attempts to use the mainstream curriculum of tertiary institutions to de- velop reading and writing skills can often be problematical.

and rewriting in response to considerations such as the way in which the ideas generated by the act of writing relate to the purpose of the text and the audience who will receive it. it is clear that this relation- ship will only hold true if learners employ writing practices which facilitate the interaction with thought described in point 4 above. 4 In speaking. Using a process Current practice in both ELT and first language pedagogy exemplified approach to the by. writing is a lonely process requiring writers to explore. 2 All texts are written for an audience even if (in the case of a diary or a journal) that audience is the writer him or herself. The result of this is that. The process of organizing and ordering these thoughts means that the writer has to examine and manipulate those thoughts thoroughly. and revise those thoughts more readily than if they had not been written down. if by learning to write they can also enhance their learning. the act of writing allows writers to reconsider. therefore. 5 The linear form of a finished piece of writing requires that thoughts be ordered and organized. Learning to write by writing to learn 127 . revising. Central to such practice is a process of writing. a process which is conducive to learning. oppose. 3 In contrast to speaking. writing is produced and received in a context which is devoid of support for the communication of meanings (Cummins 1986). rather than on instructing students about the assignments characteristics of a 'good' piece of writing. meanings must be explicit. and make connections between propositions for themselves. many of our students need to learn to write. The need to pay attention to the audience of the text prompts writers into anticipating and considering viewpoints other than their own. be completely shared. tends to focus on teaching and writing of facilitating the development of what have been shown to be 'good' mainstream writing practices. and rewriting to be developmental. a case can be made for using the mainstream curriculum to support the development of writing and other related skills. White and Arndt (1991). Speakers and listeners prompt each other by providing or questioning links between proposi- tions. Understanding of the need to be explicit forces writers to engage with the propositions contained in their text more than in speaking. In order to capitalize on the relationship between writing and learning. in writing. However. clarify. permanence to thoughts. revising. In contrast to speaking. in fact. The result of this is that propositions contained in the content of the text are likely to be more rigorously scrutinized than if they were simply thought about. for example. In doing so they help each other to construct a meaning which may not. In order for this process of writing. Although the above reasons might provide justification for claiming a relationship between writing and learning. meaning is constructed through a process of interaction which involves both the speaker and the listener.

since their own understanding of disciplinary content may itself be limited. The class was multilingual. multi-lingual learning environment. speakers of Afrikaans for whom English was a second language. A lecturer who had taught the class for a previous block. This article therefore describes a class in which students worked in groups to produce multiple drafts of a joint assignment. The attempt to use the mainstream curriculum to develop reading and writing skills was prompted by lecturers' perceptions that lack of proficiency in this area lay at the root of many of the learning problems experienced by their students1. the use of other languages was encouraged in group discussion. in that it consisted of speakers of the indigenous African languages for whom English was a second. The benefit of having students write in groups is not evaluated simply in terms of a reduction in lecturer workload however. moreover. and often necessary. The class of 30 students was then divided into five homogenous groups of six according to the rating of academic performance which had been assigned. Preparation for As part of the preparation for teaching it was necessary to divide the teaching class into the groups in which they would work for the duration of a block of work. Setting up the The class which is the focus of this study comprised 30 first year students study of occupational therapy at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa. or even fourth language. The use of peer reviews may suggest itself as an obvious means of alleviating this workload. however. 128 Chrissie Boughey . its size allowed the process to be examined in some detail. which were then submitted to the lecturer for feedback. was asked to grade the students according to their academic performance during the period of her teaching. and students submitted all written work in English. one of the greatest problems in trying to implement such an approach is the onerous task of providing this feedback. third. The group-writing approach was made possible by the department's decision to teach group work in order to develop their students' capacity to work as members of healthcare teams in the future. and read and marked the assignments submitted by individual students as part of their continuous assessment. peers are not always in a position to comment on the ideas generated in a piece of writing. In line with the university's aim of developing a multi-cultural. and native speakers of English. but as Mangelsdorf (1992) has shown. although the lecturer spoke only in English. In large mainstream classes. Although the class in this study was small (30 students). some form of constructive feedback to the successive pieces of writing is usually desirable. The decision to divide the class into homogenous groups was taken in an attempt to avoid groups being dominated by academically stronger members of the class. developing students' capacity to work as peer reviewers is not always easy. In mainstream classes. since it is also argued that the experience of group writing is itself conducive to the development of good writing practices.

a gatekeeper to check that the group did not deviate from the aims they had set themselves for the session. Although issues such as grammatical accuracy and the use of vocabulary were not addressed specifically. A collection of readings consisting of journal articles relevant to the task was prepared and made available to students. The composition of groups was then announced and the principles underlying that composition explained. the mainstream lecturer produced first draft stage a descriptive marking scale which ranged from 0-10. in order to provide an element of consistency. students were told that the next block of work would work approach to focus on the writing of an assignment intended to generate learning. Much of the writing. and students were told that some lectures would be redesignated as writing sessions in order to allow groups to write together. and that the secretary's task would be to write down the words and sentences which the group decided upon. the structure of the essays and the accuracy of referencing were. who were also encouraged to consult a handbook of internal medicine and a book discussing the principles of occupational therapy intervention. and whether those arguments were supported by evidence. The writing task The writing task focused on how students would choose to treat a hypothetical client suffering from AIDS. groups were asked to rotate roles around the group as they came to each writing session. possibly because students had assumed Learning to write by writing to learn 129 . The idea of writing in groups and submitting group assignments was then discussed. The descriptions in the scale addressed issues such as whether the writing was analytical rather than descriptive. The remaining two members of each group were simply designated 'participant'. Each group was then asked to select a chairperson to co-ordinate writing sessions and facilitate discussion during those sessions.Introducing a group. the lecturer reminded them that good team work involved planning the use of time to meet a deadline. Perhaps the most striking of these was the extent to which they exhibited characteristics of the spoken language. Examination of these first drafts revealed a number of problems. for example. whether arguments were developed. When this had been done. lacked necessary explicitness. With the exception of the role of chairperson. and not to write an interpretation of the results of the group's discussion. and ensuring that schedules were adhered to as closely as possible. Evaluating writing at In order to evaluate students' writing. and writing the process of drafting and redrafting writing in response to constructive feedback was explained. It was decided that the role of chairperson should be permanent. and a secretary to act as scribe for the group.In the first session. a /timekeeper to check that the group did not deviate from the schedule set for each session. Students were then invited to negotiate a deadline for producing a first draft of the assignment.

and will have to live with the issue. since students fail to anticipate their audience's reaction. Our reasons for treating the family are long term: family members are directly affected by Patrick's death. In writing. the group states that the sort of knowledge an occupational therapist needs to treat a client consists of facts on AIDS from notes. was a failure on the part of the writers to subject the propositions offered in the writing to proper scrutiny. The group's assumption that the client would be suicidal might be a projection of how they imagine 130 Chrissie Boughey . In this extract. Who is the 'we' behind 'our'? Why are the writers of the piece selecting a target group? And. no context is created for what the students have to say. co-workers and inner self and in doing so omits to remember that possibly the most important source of knowledge is that derived from the occupational therapist's assessment of the client. and what is the 'issue'? A second problem. who is Patrick. on another level. In writing. In classroom interaction. Students were aware that the primary audience for their writing was their lecturer. First drafts were also characterized by the inclusion of a large number of unsupported assumptions. Consider the following extract from a first draft produced by another group: [We need] to help them [the children] cope with the personal/ psychological problems as a result of their father's infection. which forms the opening paragraph of one of the drafts. and assumed that the context the lecturer had created in the classroom would also hold true for their writing. the lecturer might be expected to challenge the notion of 'personal/psychological problems' by asking 'What do you mean? Are personal problems the same as psychological problems? How do you know the children will have personal/psychological problems?'. and the students often failed to make those links for themselves. No mention of suicide had been made in any of the readings handed to the students about their hypothetical client. closely related to this lack of explicitness. that the context which had supported the construction of meaning in the course of classroom interaction would be automatically carried over into their writing. however. while Patrick himself will die. The following extract. Consider the following: We chose the patient as our main target so that we can prevent him from committing suicide. provides an example: Our main target groups are the family and Patrick himself. In the following extract. this statement goes unchallenged. there is no immediate audience to help or prompt writers to make links between propositions.

but to prompt them to reflect upon what they had written. and to consider the possible existence of viewpoints other than their own. in the form of direct questions in the body of the text. and made it possible to provide feedback on each piece of writing. The fact that students were able to discuss and interpret that feedback as a group also resulted in it being scrutinized and reflected upon more meaningfully than might otherwise have been the case. The aim of asking questions was not to instruct students. Learning to write by writing to learn 131 . students often perceive feedback as criticism rather than as the constructive and well-meaning suggestion it is intended to be. but by asking 'How do you know?'. Feedback given to the entire group's work meant that the issue of criticism was not nearly as sensitive as it might have been if directed at individuals. The number of unsupported assumptions which characterized all first drafts provided evidence that these students had not internalized the rule fundamental to academic discourse: that claims must be substantiated. they would feel in a similar position. Failure to understand what is required in order to produce a piece of academic writing could be taken as further evidence that these first year students had not been initiated into the culture of the university2. A final point about the writing at first draft stage was that it showed very little evidence that students had made any effort to read or even consult the texts they had been given. Response to Response to writing at the first and subsequent draft stages provided writing constructive written feedback. Feedback also aimed to challenge unsupported assumptions. We didn't choose the family and community What do you mean by 'bad'? Why would it be better to discuss the matter with him first? because he might feel bad if this matter isfirstdiscussed with others rather than with him. not by identifying them as such. The rationale for this was that the feedback would develop the sense of audience which students appeared to lack. An example of the way in which this feedback was provided follows: Who are 'we'? Who is 'the patient'? We chose the patient as our main target so that we can prevent him how do you know he ie going to commit suicide? from committing suicide. The fact that students were writing in groups meant that it was only necessary to provide feedback to a maximum of five pieces of writing at any one time. A second advantage in having students write in groups was reflected in the way feedback was both perceived and received by students. According to Harris (1995). This had enormous impact on lecturer workload. It was felt that doing so would help them develop an awareness of the need to be explicit in writing.

some groups show greater improvement than others. A final. this cannot be confirmed. 2 Observation suggests that the environment of the group meant that an awareness of audience was more immediate than it might otherwise 132 Chrissie Boughey . It is possible that this difference could have been accounted for by differences in group dynamics. The purpose and point of referencing within academic writing was also made more apparent by this process. and possibly more constructive. Groups 3 and 4. and to examine the propositions expressed in their writing more rigorously. Table 1 Group 1 2 3 4 5 First draft 4 4 2 2 3 Final draft 7. By reading drafts of writing submitted throughout the course.4 Although all groups show a marked improvement between first and final drafts. and since no attempt had been made to observe individual group dynamics during the process. and very important. and to the lecturer on her teaching. Mention of these readings at appropriate points in the text provided a context and a reason for students to read. Response to writing was not limited to the provision of constructive feedback. the mainstream lecturer was able to use her actual teaching to respond to problems which classroom interaction had failed to reveal. both start with a base mark of 2. since students were not specifically asked to evaluate the way in which their own group had worked together. however. However. Group 3 achieving a more harmonious and efficient working environment than Group 4. Evaluating the Marks awarded at first draft stage are compared to those awarded to process final drafts in Table 1. Examination of consecutive drafts of writing shows that this feedback was crucial in getting students to be more explicit. in that it provided feedback to students on their learning.5 8. the writing of all groups improved as a result of the process. for example. feedback than would otherwise have been possible. While it might not be possible to make statements about why some groups appeared to make more progress in their writing than others.5 6. An attempt to assess the contribution of group work in general to this improvement prompts the following observations: 1 The fact that students were writing in groups allowed the lecturer to provide more detailed. The process of writing therefore became reciprocal.6 5 6. yet Group 3 achieve 1. way in which the lecturer was able to respond to her students' writing was to refer them to readings which had been provided at the beginning of the course.6 more marks for the final draft than Group 4.

have been. saying that. while others benefitted. Although it is undoubtably true that some students were disadvantaged by the mark assigned to the group assignment. or to rectify you if you have misinterpreted the information.. it provided an invaluable experience. the group writing experience may have provided more practice in manipulating ideas than would otherwise have been possible. your opinions and the way you interpret certain information is brought forward. Your fellow students then get the opportunity to see the issue from a different perspective. Challenges such as 'We can't say that because. At the end of the block. 4 Many students commented on the amount of research the group had carried out. Since this research was eventually structured into a coherent form. conflict was reported in many groups. In general. because of 'shyness'. as individuals. students were asked to use class time to produce individual written responses to the question 'What do you think you have learned in this block of work?'. and some students stated that they would have preferred to have submitted individual assignments3. While it might not be desirable for students to write in groups all the time.' were common in group interaction. However. they would not have been able to consult so many sources. Received January 1996 Learning to write by writing to learn 133 . It is possible that much of the plagiarized and regurgitated writing produced at tertiary level exists because students lack the confidence to speak in their own voice. a group writing experience could be an important means of introducing many good writing and learning practices to students who might otherwise not be exposed to them because of the large size of their classes. group writing provided a means of engendering the confidence necessary for students to do this. 3 Many students commented that working in groups meant that they had said and written things they would not normally have done. experience suggests that it would have been possible to mediate this mark in order to achieve a more accurate assessment of individual development. a more just reflection of students' individual progress and ability might have been obtained. Had the mark of the group assignment been mediated by a mark awarded to this piece of writing. Conclusion Although the group writing experiment was not without problems. the group writing experience was considered favourably both by the students and the mainstream lecturer concerned. Students' individual assessments of the group writing experience frequently stress the same point: In being able to interact in the group. If this is so..

G. TESOL Quarterly 16/7: 195-209. ELT Journal of academic literacy as a process of accultura. development could be implemented in the Harris. Harlow: Longman. 'Peer reviews in the ESL rules and conventions of the academy. 1986. 1988. B. Zamel. lecturer. Applebee. 1992. 42/2: 97-101. 134 Chrissie Boughey . Literacy by Chrissie Boughey has taught EFL in the UK. V. Milton Keynes: The Society for Spain. ELT Journal 46/3: 274-84. 1988. 'Literacy in the university: an anthropological approach in G. The author Clanchy. Taylor. 1988. She therefore acted as writers need writing tutors'. where she Learning Strategies and Learning Styles. 'Writing and reasoning'. group activity. South Africa. 1984. and V. V. and a number of countries in the Middle Research into Higher Education and The East.N. Clanchy. She now essay writing' in R. Schmech (ed. Beasley. M. tion. Ballard. 1982 'Writing: the process of discover- References ing meaning'. H.K. 1991. develop language. R. Ballard. composition classroom: what do the students 3 Jacobs (1988) provides an interesting discussion think?'. B.R. 'Co-operative goal structure: a 2 Ballard and Clanchy (1988) see the acquisition way to improve group activities'. 1988. Bock. Arndt. 1986. on the relationship of reward to the quality of White. 1995 'Talking in the middle: why mainstream curriculum. Process Writing. Nightingale. Jacobs. J.). in which students acquire knowledge of the Mangelsdorf. K. works at the University of Zululand. J. the role of the author was to academic achievement' in Cummins and facilitate and research ways in which language Swain.Notes Cummins. J. In 1990 she was appointed Researcher in Open University Press. Degrees. New continues to use the mainstream curriculum to York: Plenum Press. College English consultant and advisor to the mainstream 57/1: 27^2. 'Language proficiency and 1 In this study. A. 1988. Language Across the Curriculum at the Univer- Biggs. Review of Educational Research 54/4: 577-96. 'Approaches to learning and to sity of the Western Cape. and J. and P.

As a result. and motivation to develop the topic to any significant degree. there is little direct learner involvement in the discussion process. Green. Introduction Discussion skills are often undeveloped in the EFL/ESL classroom. The learner's perception may be that there is no real reason to participate actively in the discussion. A solution adopted by many teachers involves the use of structured or guided discussions. Since the topic for discussion is imposed. R. nor are they engaged in observing and evaluating their peers or themselves. we argue that the use of a learner-centred and cognitive approach. are to be found in Alexander (1968). Wallace (1980). Finally. students' level of proficiency. As a result. as a result of negative experiences. While the guided approach provides some security for learners. and Ur (1981). many teachers quickly abandon planned discussion programmes. we might call this approach objective and non-heuristic. This usually happens when students display a lack of interest in developing suggested discussion topics. Learners receive content input just before the discussion itself. they are then given roles to play. and follow pre-determined steps through to the end of the discussion. and may help prevent communication breakdown. which allows students to choose and organize their own topics. learner cognitive engagement with the task. including some exceptionally good ones. and analyse findings. Hargreaves and Fletcher (1981). F. and time constraints. is likely to produce more positive results for both learner and teacher. Lam Despite the clear benefits of developing the ability of students to discuss issues of importance and interest through the medium of English. Christopher. A combination of potent inhibitors are responsible for this situation: large class size. are likely to be poor. carry out peer and self-observation and evaluation. Examples of this approach. and structured. simply stop holding them. the teacher provides feedback on the whole performance. E. '&son skills C. many teachers never attempt discussions or. Learners do not choose the topic. or decide on specific lines of enquiry to pursue. defined. Heyworth (1984). These typically provide a framework within which learners are constrained to operate. The EL T Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 135 . and J. Language prompts or appropriate wordings are usually provided. In this article.

our experience is that a learner-centred approach. but largely ignores the experiences. Haswell (1993: 90) describes how self-evaluation. and existing knowledge that individual learners might bring/to bear on a discussion topic. However. processes. and lower the affective barriers (often so firmly in place) against the use of the target language in peer interaction in the classroom. Discussion activities are often deemed appropriate for advanced classes only. both peer and self- evaluation raise students' awareness of the links between learning objectives. Selection of topics It is worth noting here that there is an almost total lack of research data for discussion on the effects of second language learners controlling the selection of topics for discussion. learners develop a metacognitive awareness of the recursive nature of the learning process. learners choosing their own topics and expressing their views in a non- standard or localized form of the target language—at least initially— may help to bolster the cultural solidarity of the class. in which the common cultural background of the learners might limit the range of topics of potential interest. Ellis (1990) offers some evidence to support the notion that acquisition is enhanced when teachers allow students relatively free choice of topic. and downplays the cognitive and interpersonal factors which must be present in any meaningful discussion (Green 1993). is likely to help them to evolve into effective life-long learners. based on role play. may be used 136 C. Green et al. An heuristic We would argue that discussion skills work should be subjective in approach orientation. in particular. which. It provides oral practice of a more or less controlled nature. so that they are aware of the degree of cognitive-linguistic success being achieved. . Further supporting evidence is offered in a small-scale action learning project carried out by Slimani (1992). This active engagement between students and their learning allows them to integrate mentally the various stages in the learning process in a holistic way. it may also determine the degree of convergence students adopt to target- language phonological and lexico-grammatical norms. In fact. with carefully chosen groupings. by requiring them to reflect directly on their own and others' performances rather than relying on formal pre-structured modes of formal evaluation. and that it should provide learners with a very substantial element of evaluation and feedback. and outcomes. Free choice of topic may well be of particular importance in monolingual classrooms. critical factors of personal involvement and unpredictability are mostly absent in this approach. F. Developing Underpinning the rationale for a learner-centred approach to the learner autonomy development of discussion skills is the need to encourage students to become increasingly independent and self-directed in their learning. values. helps students to 'learn in their own voice'. The approach is overly concerned/with linguistic factors. However. on the grounds that relatively high levels of linguistic competence have to be reached before discussions may be attempted. in turn. As a result. In such situations.

Each group draws up a list of possible discussion topics. deriving principally from their current professional. using a variety of instruments to record data. Finally the groups decide on ways to enrich and extend the topic or. Groups. and lose the little confidence they possess. to choose a new topic. We offer below an overview of the approach we advocate. effectively with most levels of learner. claiming that extroverts are more likely to communicate effectively than introverts. Post-discussion: First there should be peer feedback from the observer-evaluators. The teacher may then give feedback on content. where English is the medium of academic communication. If heterogenous groups are formed. Problems caused by the silent participant are better known than those created by socially-skilled and overly assertive group members. If preferred. while the confident ones might feel that no satisfactory progress is being made. at least in the early stages of the second language learning programme. and which we have trialled extensively in our university. then. a topic for discussion is selected and divided into manageable areas of enquiry for the time available. and personality type. academic. Next. and for any type of course. willingness to express oneself in the target language. and so become bored and discouraged. should be as homogenous as possible in terms of both linguistic ability and personality type. Individual contributions depend on a knowledge or experience of the topic under discussion. the whole topic may be researched and thought about by each participant. intra-group dynamics. and linguistic appropriateness. Discussions carried out in relatively homogeneous groups might well lead the more introverted student away from his or her concern with rule-obedience and correctness to a more unselfconscious and fluent expression of personal knowledge and views. introverted personalities may well feel crushed by the more expressive participants. Pre-discussion Discussions depend for success primarily on the willingness of all the Forming the groups participants to make substantial and coherent contributions to the process. Discussion: The groups discuss the topic while partner groups of observer-evaluators monitor the process. Implementing a In our approach there are three stages in the implementation of a classroom classroom discussion: discussion Pre-discussion: Viable discussion and associated partner groups are formed. Responsibility may then be apportioned among individuals for researching and exploring particular aspects of the topics. to groups and individuals. alternatively. We have found groups of four to be the most appropriate number of participants for fluent interaction. or developmental concerns. This procedure is described in detail below. Krashen (1981) has taken account of the basic personality types in his model of second language acquisition. Developing discussion skills 137 .

the observer- evaluators sit with the discussion group and monitor the proceedings. become substantially learner-centred. shadowing. Green et al. the discussion and post-discussion stages. Their findings are reported back in the post-discussion stage. two. if necessary. and setting objectives for their coverage. and the reviewing of video and audio tape recordings of discussions). Discussion We decided to examine possible means of observing and evaluating the Peer observation discussion. this helps to increase confidence and fluency in the use of the second language. and evaluate the process. Systematic repair and enrichment of language should take place at the post- discussion stage. or all of three and evaluation main ways. and 1989). While this exercise is of receptive value for the observers. (the observer ring. the initial framework it derived from the brainstorming stage begins to take the form of a more substantial framework for use in guiding the discussion along relevant lines of enquiry. and to offer advice. as well as the pre-discussion stage. . and provides a means of mapping out possible content areas. Instead of reverting to the use of LI or L2 prompts to complete this stage. Identifying and Some learners find it quite difficult to generate and organize discussion organizing the topic topics in their first language. In this way. 138 C. Peer evaluation may be carried out in one. and of feedback value for the participants. For the collection of storable data. the extra pressure of trying to think and communicate in a second language adds considerably to the problems in the early stages of the discussion programme. The role of the teacher in the discussion stage is to pass unobtrusively from group to group. forestalling possible breakdowns in communication caused by students having insufficient language to realize intended meanings. we believe it is far more desirable for the teacher to pre-teach brainstorming and mind-mapping techniques (Buzan 1974. 1988. This allows the teacher to focus his or her feedback far more effectively. The next step is the formation of partner groups of observer-evaluators. Learners can help to solve this problem by identifying and listing sub-topics. In this way. F. but also to observe. for its modification. Observer-ring: While a group conducts its discussion. Part of the teacher's role will be to check that the framework is sound. by targeting points not picked up by the learners. describe. The reason for having these groups is to ensure that students have reasonably frequent opportunities not just to participate in discussions. The topic areas chosen by groups are often so broad as to require breaking down into manageable areas of enquiry to suit the time constraints of particular programmes. as well as a framework for the investigation of each topic area. observers need to complete observation and evaluation sheets (see Figure 1). it leaves no permanent record for subsequent reference. and providing opportunities to repair and develop relevant language points.

shadowing provides for intensive one-to-one peer-evaluation. the recording of each group should be made away from the classroom. We have found that some practice in contributing and responding empathetically can be very useful in getting learners to understand how others think and express themselves. A specified member of the partner group sits next to. At a pre-arranged point in the discussion. just behind a discussion group participant. The functions are given for guidance. and to raise observer awareness of what to focus on while observing intra- group dynamics. the results could be analysed to find out who is predominantly above the line. Those participants making a large number of contributions would have their names recorded above the line. and the possible development of long-term reciprocal 'buddy' pairings. Developing discussion skills 139 . the shadow may substitute for the participant and adopt his or her line of argument. The data collected might also provide evidence of a poorly constituted grouping in need of reorganization. This technique may also be used for empathy building. If possible.fiveassessments have been carried out. An example of an observation exercise best carried out by one-on-one shadowing is given in Figure 2. or better. This exercise could be carried out regularly and when. in a quiet space.Figure 1 Behaviour Number of Contributions Student Student Student Student Student Student A B C D E F 1 Total number of contributions made 2 Responding supportively 3 Responding aggressively 4 Introducing a new (relevant) point 5 Digressing from the topic A less structured way of carrying out this exercise would be for observers simply to draw a horizontal line across the middle of a piece of paper. Provided the findings are not interpreted in a judgemental way. who is usually below. while those making fewer contributions would be placed below it. excellent results can be obtained if the camera is fixed on a tripod. yet not always the easiest to exploit in practice. and who has changed position. However. and there are sufficient remote microphones in position. and the poor sound quality often obtained sometimes mocks the effort put into setting up the recording. Any details missed during the discussion may be added to the table in the post-discussion stage. Using video and audio recorders: This means of collecting data is perhaps the most obvious. say. this kind of exercise can be a great motivator. Shadowing: Whereas the observer ring involves all observer-evalua- tors in recording data on all the discussion participants. The presence of cameras and recorders can be very distracting.

. I must Voice gets louder Holds up one hand interruption and finish . eyes wide to begin speaking has an opinion rises towards end open about this . This is of particular benefit to students who feel uncomfortable about giving and receiving peer-evaluation feedback in front of the whole class. . . Green et al. I can speak more fluently. where they entered a paragraph of commentary on each discussion session. ? term. F. language use. Post-discussion The main concern during this phase will be for learners to review and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the discussion with peers and the teacher. . group for support Video gives the best possible feedback because it provides a simultaneous display of contributions. sociolinguistic strategies. . The journal was used to create a written dialogue between individual students and the teacher. Replaying early videos of a group discussion. Figure 2 Functions Language used Pronunciation Gestures 1 To prevent Please . using assessment criteria. . and accuracy. But there are also some aspects I can improve in the future. Keeping reflective Another advantage of recording discussion sessions is that the video journals may be reviewed by individual students as a post-discussion activity. voice Smiling. negative with speaker 4 Interrupting to What do you Stress on uncertain Leans forward obtain more mean by . . I Stress Peggy Looks around the previous speaker think that. He or she might like to consider assessing students at a later date. group dynamics. Assessment The teacher will be particularly busy recording data during the discussion stage. and faster finish speaking 2 Helping somebody I wonder if Amy Stress Amy. and comparing these to later recordings of the same group. . This in turn may strengthen their resolution to progress still further. but I can't Stress the Eye contact made disagree agree.. Data gleaned from video review were frequently in evidence in the reflective journals students were expected to keep. . I am active on this topic and express my own opinion confidently. . voice falls at information end of question 5 Supporting the / think Peter made Stress good Looks at Peter previous speaker a good point about. should help students to perceive that progress has been made. like that I can use more appropriate body language.? of question 3 Interrupting to Sorry. 6 Not supporting the Unlike Peggy. . as in the following sample entry from a first-year student: I think my performance in the discussion is better than the last time. . The great advantage of this procedure is that it can deliver a far more complete profile of discussion performance than any other technique. . to make recommendations for future modifications and 140 C. . We have used a four-band scale which we find works quite effectively (see Appendix).

D: Relates his opinion to either A or B. Of equal importance is the need for learners to establish lines of enquiry for future discussions. In fact. it should link in coherently with preceding and subsequent discussions. by way of illustration: A: Starts practice discussion by giving opinion. F: Asks E a question to clarify his or her opinion. etc. rather. and compositions which extend and elaborate the topic discussed. A: Responds to D. improvements. Not giving a new idea but expressing either agreement or disagreement with A and B. A short section from a moves frame follows. D: Introduces new idea. Summaries of the main points of the discussion. making reference to the assessment criteria or any other collected or recorded data. writing tasks may be carried out. This technique helps more reserved participants to develop confidence in making contributions. If the role of the teacher appears to have been understated in our description of the discussion process. B: Responds to A. agreeing or disagreeing. It could also be used on ESP. EAP. and at all post-elementary linguistic levels. agreeing or disagreeing. the paramount aim should be to merge the phases into a seamless whole. since we view the teacher's role as being of Developing discussion skills 141 . and encourages the smooth flow of the discussion. In addition. are particularly valuable. this approach could be used to develop discussion skills in any seond language. this is simply a consequence of the approach advocated here. which can be used as a point of departure for systematic practice and future application. Most repair and enrichment of grammar and vocabulary will also take place during this phase. B: Responds to D. A major aim in developing discussion skills should be the creation of a recursive flow between the various phases. and General English courses. This is also the most appropriate time to practise and raise awareness of the prosodic and paralinguistic phenomena recorded during the discussion stage. This is essential to lend a sense of progression and coherence to a series or programme of discussions. Both the learners and the teacher will have recorded linguistic data. E: Answers F. Conclusion We have attempted to provide a rationale to support an experiential and process-oriented approach to the development of discussion skills in a second language. Although we have used English as the language of exemplification. This is also the time for the teacher to give one-to-one feedback. It is not desirable for a single discussion to be seen as a completed and closed task. C: Responds to both A and B. Another worthwhile post-discussion activity is to practise elements of group dynamics within the parameters of a moves frame. E: Responds to D. agreeing or disagreeing.

Ellis. For the teacher this will not necessarily mean a complete breakdown of the process of discussion. 1988. Evaluating classroom interac- Acquisition. 1992. self- directed learner competent in organizing his or her own learning long after programmes of formal instruction have ceased. 1968. Alderson and A. Longman. language acquisition'. crucial importance. Green. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. P. the development of the efficient. R. providing as it does a source of information. Arguing Ur. T. 'Student self-evaluations and Alexander. bridge: Cambridge University Press. and feedback for the discussion participants. Oxford: Blackwell. Second Language Acquisi- London: Pan. 1993. . London: BBC. English Teaching Forum Evaluating Second Language Education. independent. London: Evans. Heyworth. Instructed Second Language Stimani. that is. in J. This approach to discussion skills work can contribute to an important educational initiative. 1981. For and Against. 1984. BBC. Learning. 'Learner drives in second tion'. Cam- 31/1: 2-5. D. Use Your Head. since extra peer pressure will be brought to bear on recalcitrant participants to prepare more effectively. Received April 1996 References Haswell. animation.ll. F. Krashen. R. T. intra-group dynamics are likely to suffer. 1993. the teacher does have to restrain his or her involvement. C. Student Self-Evaluation: Fostering Reflective Buzan. Green et al. Y. Beretta (eds. tion and Second Language Learning. 1980. Oxford: Buzan. Make the Most of Your Mind.G. 1990. MJ. 1974. A heuristic approach to discussions also demands that learners take more responsibility for organizing and carrying out their own learning. as a consequence. Hargreaves. Study Skills in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. However. 142 C. they will not be able to contribute effectively to the discussion and. and M. 1981. London. if participants fail to reflect on and research their particular areas of enquiry. F. particularly during the pre-discussion and discussion stages. (ed.). S. Buzan. Cambridge University Press. Macgregor. London: developmental change' in J. L. T. Fletcher. Pergamon. Play for EFL. Discussions: Advanced Role Wallace.F. 1989. Use Your Memory. C.). Clearly. Discussion That Work.. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1981. Cambridge: and Discussing. R.

His main research interests are the dynamics of oral interaction.Appendix Band B BandD — Ability to express ideas clearly and accurately — A standard of speech problems which makes to other participants in the discussion comprehension markedly difficult — Readiness and ability to participate confidently — Use of mostly fragmented language items and in discussion phrases — Appropriate turn-taking and sensitivity to — Little understanding of what others say other people and ideas — Little evidence of preparing and reflecting on — Evidence of considerable reflection on issues the topic under discussion — Low level of ability to respond to new ideas — Ability to take in the ideas of fellow partici- — General reluctance to contribute. She teaches a wide range of years. and turn a discussion in useful direc- — Sharing of ideas and experiences that are basically relevant to the issues tions — Ability to respond more or less appropriately — Ability to stimulate others' ideas and lead to new ideas raised in discussion discussions — Ability to counter arguments logically and persuasively The authors Language Centre of the University of Science Christopher Green has been teaching ESL for 22 and Technology. Centre of the University of Science and Technol- Elsie Christopher has been based in Hong Kong ogy. Developing discussion skills 143 . and complex issues discussion debated — Evidence of general understanding of the issues raised in the discussion — Ability to question assumptions and existing beliefs. Almost half of this has been spent in Hong language and communication courses to under- Kong. where he is currently senior-instructor in graduates and postgraduates. Jacqueline Lam is an instructor in the Language and pedagogic grammar. where she co-ordinates the postgraduate for eight years and is an instructor in the EAP programme. interlanguage. the Language Centre of the University of Science and Technology. either by pants and build on them initiating or helping to maintain the discussion — Ability to formulate fundamentally logical and dynamic coherent arguments BandC — Ability to sum up conclusions reached — A standard of speech production that does not Band A consistently hinder comprehension — Control of language that allows finer shades of — Control of language more or less adequate for meaning to be expressed.

a claim often made but rarely. attention.g. I propose that research to date on this topic is inadequate. who add that authentic texts bring learners closer to the target language culture. and we suggest that testing these subjective impressions will result in better guidance being available for the selection of teaching materials. who refer to this as the 'classic argument'. Far fewer authors maintain that authentic materials reduce learner motivation because they are too difficult: Williams (1983:187. Two beginner-level EFL classes participated. and Morrison (1989: 15). and that further research is justified by the importance accorded authentic materials in the literature—particularly the large number of untested claims that they increase learner motivation—and their widespread use in EFL classrooms worldwide. and there is still insufficient rationale for or against their use. and enjoyment. Results from two observation sheets and a self-report questionnaire indicate that while on-task behaviour and observed motivation increased significantly when authentic materials were used. self-reported motivation only increased over the last 12 of the 20 days of the study. Many EFL teachers certainly have faith in authentic materials as motivators. and Bacon and Finnemann (1990: 459-60). Proponents of this view include Allwright (1979:179). 144 ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 . A definition of motivation relevant to teachers was adopted-learner interest. Introduction Many authors have asserted that authentic materials have a positive effect on learner motivation in the foreign language classroom. if ever. 1984: 26). The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of EFL learners Matthew Peacock This article describes a classroom research project to investigate whethe authentic materials increase the classroom motivation of learners. Freeman and Holden (1986: 67). Learners may or may not be better served by authentic materials. learners also reported authenti materials to be significantly less interesting than artificial materials. King (1990: 70). Little. and Singleton (1989: 26). and both used authentic and artificial materials alternately. exercises found in coursebooks and supplementary materials). Freeman and Holden (1986: 68). Devitt. Swaffar (1985: 18). persistence. However. action. Little and Singleton (1991: 124). Many writers claim that authentic materials motivate learners because they are intrinsically more interesting or stimulating than artificial or non-authentic materials (by which I mean materials produced specifi- cally for language learners. making learning more enjoyable and therefore move motivating. tested. e.

persistence with the learning task. the content validity of the attitude assessment component of the quantitatively analysed part of the study is called into question by the fact that only 3 of the 23 items used on the survey mention method or materials. not the communicative teaching approach they used along with the authentic texts. and levels of concentration and enjoyment.: 21). as indicated by levels of attention or action for an extended duration. motivation. only authentic materials are mentioned in their conclusions. Subjects were 29 American college students studying German or French as a foreign language over 30 weeks. hypothesized that it is possible to increase motivation toward foreign language study by using the communicative method and authentic materials (ibid. The qualitative data collected over a period of 30 weeks give some support to their conclusions.: 7). (1986) researched the effectiveness of traditional second language instruction using traditional grammatical methods and texts (ibid. it is possible that the favourable learner responses reflect the effects of the former to an undetermined degree. attention. she found from comments in teaching logs that learners reacted favourably to their use (ibid. Both the linguistic progress and attitudes of participants were tested. and that the large number of assertions that this is or is not the case have not yet been sufficiently tested. Two quasi-experimental studies directly address the question of learner motivation from authentic materials. that all students were enthusiastic about and very well motivated by the use of authentic materials (ibid. No statistically significant differences between the control and experimental groups were found. There is no other mention in the survey of the materials used. action. compared with the communicative approach when combined with the exclusive use of authentic materials. Kienbaum et al. they asked if the course was stimulating and if the texts. and culture and language achievement. Scores from just three items on an attitude survey were used to assess learners' satisfaction with the 'method used to teach the course' (ibid. tapes. and visuals were interesting. which recommend the use of authentic materials in college foreign language classes. however. I conclude that it is certainly possible that using authentic materials has a positive effect on learner motivation in the classroom. note. Four classes totalling 43 students studying Spanish as a foreign language took part in her study.: 1). Background to For this study.: 25-6). However. However. I chose this definition of motivation as I agree with them (ibid. Kienbaum et al. Gonzalez (1990) researched the effect of authentic materials on learners' attitude. Kienbaum et al. She found no statistically significant difference in motivation when authentic materials were used (ibid. though this result was based on answers to only one question in one self-report questionnaire.: 106). 'motivation' is defined in the terms put forward by the study Crookes and Schmidt (1991: 498-502): interest in and enthusiasm for the Definitions materials used in class.: 498-500) that no studies so far adopt learner enthusiasm. and enjoyment as referents for and Authentic materials and motivation 145 .: 118). However.

A class 'on-task percentage' that day could then be calculated. Learners The learners involved in this study were beginner-level students in two classes at a South Korean university EFL institute. two short articles. enthusiasm. and self-reported motivation. materials not produced for second language learners. Materials For the purposes of this research a commonly accepted definition of authentic materials was used: materials produced 'to fulfil some social purpose in the language community' (Little. until all learners had been observed 12 times (see Appendix 1). Their average age was 20. as coursebook supplements. Observation sheet 2 was used to assess overall class motivation generated by the materials in use. some television listings. 1989: 25)—that is. Observation sheet 1 was used to quantify learner on-task behaviour. despite the fact that the long hours learners spend in classrooms perhaps make this motivation an important factor in language learning success. Examples are newspapers. Observers entered 'V if learners were on-task and '2' if they were off-task. and Singleton. 18 were male and 13 female. observed motivation. and songs. doing similar activities—but with a different type of material—may be attributed to the materials in use at the time with more assurance than would be the case with differences between two classes. an American pop song. Ushioda (1993: 1-3) calls this view of motivation 'practitioner-validated'. which predicted and analysis that when authentic materials were used levels of on-task behaviour. The possible effects of topic and activity as intervening variables are discussed below. Group-work activities were very similar (though not quite identical) every day. as manifested by levels of learner interest. Most of the students stated that they needed English for future work or study requirements. The daily activity consisted of a discussion in groups of three on a topic given to the learners. activity. an advice column from a local English-language newspaper. Data was collected over a seven-week term (20 times in each class on 20 different days). Devitt. reasoning that differences in motivation among the same learners with the same teacher. and some English- language magazine advertisements. and adds that enhanced learner participation and enthusiasm are significant outcomes in themselves. overall class motivation. poems. The first step was to find. adapt. Data collection This study aimed to test the experimental hypotheses. I attempted to use groups as their own controls. and pilot the three data collection instruments needed to measure on-task behaviour. persistence with the 146 Matthew Peacock . Data was collected while learners were working in groups of three. Among the authentic materials used with the classes in this study were two poems. Both classes used artificial materials one day and authentic materials the next. One class contained 16 learners. and self-reported motivation would increase (or decrease) significantly. There was no control group. I taught both classes. components of motivation. and the range from 18 to 24. the other 15.

91 (p = 0. This coefficient is based on correlation between the independent on-task and off-task frequency counts of a non-participant observer and the class teacher on five days of the pilot study. 6. Observations were made while the activity using the target materials was drawing to a close. self-report learner questionnaire which aimed to measure levels of motivation generated during class by the materials in use (see Appendix 3). to avoid learner misunder- standing. The inter-rater reliability for observation sheet 2 was r = 0. along with 516 learner questionnaires (for which the response rate was 100 per cent. the learners' LI. The questionnaire was translated into Korean.80 (p = 0. the whole class were videotaped on three other days while I filled out observation sheet 1. 3. designed to allow learners to give in their own words their views on the materials used that day. The tapes were viewed again a few days later while three new observation sheets were completed. From this total a class mean score for the day was computed. and 7 against items 4. as learners filled them out at the end of the activity) and notes from 80 student interviews.97 (p < 0.91 (p = 0.004) using the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula (Hatch and Farhady 1982: 246). The aim was to detect any unforeseen practical problems in using them. enjoyable/unenjoyable. Authentic materials and motivation 147 . During the pilot study data collection instruments were tried out over a period of nine days. The third data collection instrument was a highly structured. and to collect data to test the reliability of the instruments. during which a total of 40 hours of class were observed and recorded and 40 each of observation sheets 1 and 2 were collected.009. I suggest that these correlations are an indication of a high level of both inter-rater and intra-rater reliability. n = 34). To assess intra-rater reliability. making a total of from 7 to 49 for each complete questionnaire. suggesting that a high level of both inter-observer and internal reliability occurred. correlating totalled scores on items 1. anonymous.).learning task. 5. Intra-rater reliability was computed at r = 0. Questionnaires were completed by each learner at the end of the daily activity.g. Further tests were carried out after the main study.03). concentration. etc. n = 9). which appeared alongside the English version. It consists of seven closed items on a semantic differential scale of adjectives expressing motivation (e. 2. The inter-rater reliability for observation sheet 1 was r = 0.001. and 8 over the nine days. and enjoyment during class (see Appendix 2). Further (qualitative) data was collected via five-minute post- class interviews (two learners each day). A daily total score for each class of between 8 and 40 was thus produced. The reliability for the full instrument was r = 0. This coefficient of equivalence is based on correlation between the scores of a non-participant observer and the class teacher. who independently completed identical sheets on the nine days of the pilot study. interesting/ boring. Each item scored from one to seven. Additionally a split-half reliability check was carried out to check the internal consistency of the observation sheet. Each item was scored on a scale of one (low) to five (high). This coefficient is based on correlation between on-task counts from the two sets of observation sheets.

n = 516) using the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula.001. It also shows that over the term on-task behaviour decreased on days when artificial materials were used.91 (p < 0. perhaps indicating that learners took time to adjust to the unfamiliar idea of using authentic materials. As with on-task behaviour. there is less than one chance in a thousand that the difference occurred by chance. Overall class Results indicate that overall class motivation significantly increased motivation when the learners in this study used authentic materials. day. The reliability for the full instrument was r = 0. to investigate whether type of material (artificial or authentic) had a greater effect on motivation than class (A or B). and 78 per cent of the time when using artificial materials. 2. based on the 516 forms completed. or activity. Figure 1 reveals a time effect—the difference by type of material becomes very marked only after Day 8 of the study. 148 Matthew Peacock .001 for correlations between all items. but only adjusted in the second week to the novel idea of using them. The difference in mean total scores was very significant at p < 0. and 7. The internal reliability of the learner questionnaire was evaluated during the main study by item analysis and by a split-half reliability check. indicating adequate learner comprehen- sion of the meaning of all items. learners were on task 86 per cent of the time when using On-task behaviour authentic materials. and increased on days when authentic materials were used. 6. there is a noticeable time effect—the difference by type of material becomes very prominent from day 8 of the study. Results Overall. a result indicating that authentic materials significantly increased learner on-task behaviour. and 4 against items 5. An item analysis wasfirstcarried out to check the questionnaire's internal consistency—that items were correctly understood and used by learners.001. Significance levels were p < 0. The split-half reliability check correlated total scores on items 1. a result indicating that authentic materials significantly increased overall class motivation. suggesting a high level of reliability. The difference in mean percen- tages by type of materials was very significantly at p < 0. All the data from observation sheets 1 and 2 and the learner questionnaires were analysed separately via repeated-measures multi- variate analysis of variance. Correlations between scores for all items were computed. Figure 2 shows a clear difference by type of material.001—that is. Mean scores over both classes were 29 out of a maximum possible of 40 when using authentic materials and 23 when using artificial materials. perhaps indicating that the class was more motivated by authentic materials.

Figure 1: 100 On-task behaviour for all 98 learners 96 94 92 90 88 86 84 82 80 78 76 74 72 70 68 66 64 62 60 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Day using authentic materials using artificial materials Figure 2: Overall class motivation 40 scores for all learners 38 36 34 32 30 28 26 24 £ 22 8 20 W 18P 16 : 14: 12 = 10 = 8 = 6= 4F 2 0 i i i t i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Day using authentic materials using artificial materials Authentic materials and motivation 149 .

At first sight it too shows little difference by type of material./ \ . That is. 150 Matthew Peacock .04 (n = 304).308. It became apparent that a time effect also exists for learner questionnaires. though much less so than for on-task behaviour and levels of overall class motivation. after the first eight days of class a difference by type of material becomes evident. Questionnaire scores for all learners just for days 9 to 20 were then analysed statistically. and 38. and authentic materials thereafter—for days 9 to 20 inclusive. omitting data from days 1 to 8. mean scores over both classes were around 38 out of a maximum possible of 49 when using authentic materials. as it does for on- task behaviours and levels of observed motivation.7 when they were using artificial materials. which is significant at p = 0. as against around 39 with artificial material. that is. Figure 3: Learner questionnaires: 49 - mean scores for all 47 - learners 45 43 41 39 37 . Learner motivation Overall results (that is. there is less than one chance in twenty that the difference occurred by chance. This probability level is lower than the p < 0. However. Overall. and indicates that there was a significant increase in levels of self-reported motivation when learners were using authentic materials from days 9 to 20 inclusive. There was little difference in mean scores between the two types of material. for days 1 to 20 inclusive) from the learner questionnaires indicate that there was no significant difference in self- reported learner motivation when learners used authentic materials. mean scores were 40. further analysis was done after careful study of Figure 3. The difference in mean scores by type of material is 1. learners preferred artificial materials for the first eight days.'•'"' ~^—"^— 35 — * * £ 33 0 31 - « 29 e 27 a 25 S 23 21 19 17 15 13 11 9 -t ~ i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i 7 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Day using authentic materials using artificial materials Figure 3 shows data from the daily learner questionnaires. Overall.05 previously set for the study.2 when learners were using authentic materials.5. n = 516). The difference was not significant (p = 0.

A further interesting and useful finding was that individual item analysis (for item 1—'interesting/boring') of the learners' questionnaires revealed that. but a bit too difficult for me c very effective . more vocabulary interesting . . The following is a selection of representative interview quotes from learners talking about artificial materials during interviews. not so good very good . . . Responses varied a great deal. The implications of this last finding will be considered below.038. . which to a certain extent restricted the responses of these beginner-level learners. . practice was OK The following is a selection of representative quotes from learners talking about authentic materials. its very exciting I wanted . . also in chronological order: a good idea. . Unfortunately the interviews had to be conducted in English. makes us try to imagine makes us think about correct expression . difficult to discuss was too hard for us (expands our) view of society Authentic materials and motivation 151 . funny its not new (too familiar) useful for description it caused a lot of conversation refreshing rather impractical it was all too much (for me) topic is good not so good somewhat boring . . . Post-class Pairs of learners were interviewed by the teacher at the end of each of interviews the 40 data collection sessions (20 with each class). . . Learners were asked their opinion of the materials used that day. and comprise a useful body of learner comments on and impressions of the materials used. overall. . . variety more boring than most (materials) hard to comprehend We don't know English poem (structure). . learners found authentic materials to be significantly less interesting than artificial (p = 0. in chronological order: (material was) typical same as other materials material didn't (encourage) discussion language is too easy develops speaking power made me thoughtful more exciting than other materials not different . . . making a total of 80 interviews conducted over the seven weeks of the study. n = 516). . .

to the effect that authentic materials are more motivating because they are intrinsically more interesting. as they may increase their learners' levels of on-task behaviour. The finding in this study was that. . . but vocabulary was very difficult More difficult but useful . . These findings are a preliminary indication that this is not the case. at least for the learners who participated. Very worthwhile . but hard to understand (because of vocabulary) (very useful) because subject is concrete very. and a more precise picture of the effects of different materials on learner behaviour in the classroom. . . These results also indicate that. but not because they were more interesting. and involvement in the target activity more than artificial materials. . 152 Matthew Peacock . . gives us a lot of real information Discussions and In the light of these findings. because it's different less interesting . very useful material. however. learners were more motivated by authentic materials. . . . concentration.) They may. For this reason it was not possible to say whether authentic materials motivated learners or not. . had meaning to me Very impressive I don't like this song The best this term Very exciting . This stands in direct contrast to the large number of assertions listed above. overall. . I like it got useful real information same as other materials I want more like this Interesting . (It is possible to speculate that this would apply equally in intermediate and advanced classes. interest in the materials in use is quite separate as a component of motivation from levels of attention or action and persistence with the learning task. I recommend that teachers of adult EFL to conclusions beginners try appropriate authentic materials in their classroom. I suggest that in classroom motivation research. . treating these two as separate components of motivation would lead to a clearer under- standing of the meaning of the construct 'motivation'. reduce the levels of learner interest engendered by the materials used. topic is very hard to us I prefer it It's so difficult not so useful boring because I don't watch TV it was real . It is important that materials selected for the classroom motivate learners. learners reported authentic materials to be significantly less interesting than artificial materials. so one criterion for the selection of materials should be their effect on motivation. . None of the authors who assert that authentic materials motivate learners make this distinction between separate components of classroom motivation.

this would almost certainly not have been the case. and term—I propose that the main variable in the study was the type of materials. It could be argued that the topic (and to a lesser extent the activity based on the material. One indication that levels of class interest in the topic or activity did not significantly affect levels of motivation is the fact that after day 8 of the study. allows one to speculate with more assurance that the effects are possible in other classes. Received August 1996 Authentic materials and motivation 153 . Also. I was unable to control for their effects. being unable to reliably isolate and quantify their inherent motivational level. day of the week. or scores on the post-class learner questionnaires. I suggest that the classes were representative of South Korean university-level EFL classes. They may well remain as a minor variable. observed motivation. Although classes were not the same every day—varying by activity. If motivational levels of the topic or activity was a major variable. who were all beginners. absences.The generalizability of the results is limited by the small scale of the study and the level of the learners. the use of authentic materials invariably resulted in higher levels of on-task behaviour and overall class motivation. the fact that the finding that classes did not differ significantly from each other in levels of on-task behaviour. though these were similar every day) might have affected results. weather. thus making it possible to ascribe differences in motivation more surely to this factor.

Holden (ed. D. Singleton. D. Purdue University. to Language Teaching. Smythe. D. Texts: Theory and Practice.. 1989. C. Foreign Language Annals 23/1: 65-70. R. West Virginia University. E. and D. Singleton. Motiva. room. and D. Rowley Matthew Peacock taught EFL at university level MA: Newbury House. 'Authentic texts. 'Teaching languages and Johnson and D.. lear- Calumet. Milton Keynes: Open Univer. K. 1991. 1985. foreign language: a cognitive model'. O. Research Design The author and Statistics for Applied Linguistics. 'Communicative reading' in K. number of years as Head of Studies of the Foreign room Research. Language Journal 69/1: 15-34. Farhady. Welty. and is now teaching in the Department of 1986^ Communicative Competence in Foreign English at the City University of Hong Kong. J. D. ERIC No. Johnson (eds. Hatch. E. 1985. ner attitudes. in South Korea for eight years. 1989. and strategies of pedagogical grammar and language awareness university foreign language students and their in foreign language learning' in C. 1982. and R. London: EdD dissertation. nal 43/1: 14-18. 1983. E. Academic Press: 171-88. and learner on-task behaviour. Williams. P. 1990. including a Hopkins. 'A linguistic and a cultural Allwright. Modern Gliksman. Unpublished Communicative Language Teaching. London: Modern English Swaffar. ELT Jour- Learning 41/4: 469-512. Morrison. and M. Finnemann. James and P. S. programme evaluation. niques of Teaching. B. communication practice' in C. W. Language Institute of Yonsei University. J. and H. disposition to authentic oral and written input'. M. C. materials evaluation. Morgantown. J. G. Indiana. motives. E. Russell. Gardner. G. Crookes. UMI-DA9121862. Brumfit and K. 'Authentic Nunan. 'Reading authentic texts in a Publications: 67-9. London: Longman: 123-32. West Virginia. Garret (eds. C. Learning Foreign Languages from Authentic versity Press: 167-82. recently completed his PhD at the University of Kienbaum. Bacon. 1982. 'Redefining motivation from the students' participation in the French classroom'. A Teacher's Guide to Class. 1990. and P.). Teanga 13: 1-12. 154 Matthew Peacock . Schmidt. Devitt. Gonzalez. S. His Language Learning with Authentic Materials. 1979. and S. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall. He sity Press.. R. 1993. D. B.References King. 'Using news broadcasts for tion: reopening the research agenda'. Understanding Language Class- listening materials' in S. Freeman. Dublin: Authentik. current interests include methodology for TEFL. 1986. 'The role of the integrative motive on Ushioda. Language authentic listening comprehension'. L. The Communicative Approach Little. 1991.) Tech. 1990. Language Awareness in the Class- Modern Language Journal 74/4: 459-73. study of the attitudes. A. Essex. and S. Canadian Modern Language Review 38: 625-47.). L2 learner's point of view'. rooms. ED 275 200. 1989.). Final Project Report. 'Language learning through competence: can they live happily together?'. Holden. D. 'A Little. Perspectives in Culture with Authentic Materials'. Porter (eds. Oxford: Oxford Uni.

Place yourself in an unobtrusive position in the classroom. not really 1 2 3 4 5 very much so 4 Add final comments at the bottom of the sheet if you wish. Categories 1 = student on-task. 7 The materials in use are challenging for the students. 10 11 4 Observe students one by one. not really 1 2 3 4 5 very much so 1 This sheet is for observing the class as a whole. not really 1 2 3 4 5 very much so Observation focus Levels of student motivation generated by the 5 Mark the students' activity level (effort/intensity of application). of students present Level of class low 1 2 3 4 5 high Type of materials (circle one): artificial/authentic 3 The students are enjoying the activity. not really 1 2 3 4 5 very much so Description of materials 4 The students are paying persistent (extended) attention to Activity the learning task. consecutively. clockwise around the class. then pass on to 14 the next student. 'on-task' : engaged in the pedagogic work of the day then complete Observation Sheet 2 'off-task' : a complete lack of attention to the set task Appendix 2 Observation sheet 2 Overall class motivation (adapted from Nunan 1989:110) Observer Date: D M Y 1 Mark how involved in the learning task the students are. not really 1 2 3 4 5 very much so 2 Complete this sheet when the activity is drawing to a close. not individual students. 6 7 2 Do not participate in the lesson. 2 = student off-task 7 Continue until all students have been observed 12 times. No. 3 Circle ONE number for each statement below. teaching materials in use.Appendix 1 Observation sheet 1 On-task behaviour (adapted from Hopkins 1985: 95) Scan number Observer Dates D M Y Student Teacher Time of class number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 No. low 1 2 3 4 5 high Instructions 6 The students find the teaching materials interesting. 3 is an average mark for any one item. of students present Level of class 1 Type of materials (circle one) : artificial / authentic 2 Description of materials Activitv 3 Instructions 4 5 1 These observations are designed to measure levels of learner motivation generated by the materials in use. 8 The materials in use are appropriate for the students. Identify students by name. Comments: Authentic materials and motivation 155 . 15 16 6 Write the numbers in sequence down the data sheet. 8 9 3 Start the observation when the students have been working together in groups or pairs for two minutes. not very involved 1 2 3 4 5 very involved Teacher Time of class 2 Mark the level of student concentration on the learning task. 12 13 5 Every 5 seconds write down the category best describing the observed student's behaviour at that moment.

(1982: 646) Teaching materials Do not write your name on this sheet. interesting If the word at the end of the scale only slightly describes your ideas and impressions about the concept. interesting boring : :_ . Use the scales as follows: unsatisfying : : : : :_ _ satisfying If the word at either end of the scale very strongly describes your ideas and impressions about the concept. you would place your checkmark as follows: boring : : X : : : : interesting boring : : :0R : X : : interesting 156 Matthew Peacock . . _ appealing place your checkmark as shown below: boring X : : : : . OR . interesting :_ : :. exciting : : : : :. we want your own ideas and impressions. Fill it out and give Mark ONE 'X' on each line: it back to your teacher.Appendix 3 Learner questionnaire (adapted from Gliksman et al.dull Please mark ONE 'X' on each scale to show how you rate the following concepts. you would unappealing : : : : :. . _ boring The purpose of this questionnaire is to assess the value of the above teaching materials which were used in class today. you would place your checkmark as follows: boring : X : . monotonous boring : : :_°JL: : :: X interesting If the word at either end of the scale describes somewhat your ideas and impressions about the concept (but not strongly so). _ enjoyable not to assess the performance of you or your teacher. _ meaningful This is not a test. interesting absorbing : : : : :. There are no right and wrong answers. unenjoyable : : :.

Introduction This lecture is about English in India and the problems that arise out of the use and role of English in the sub-continent. On the other hand. London. Oxford University Press. English: an advantage to India? Mark Tully This is an edited version of the Oxford University Press/BBC Lecture given at the English-Speaking Union. there was only one hall which was specifically set aside for Indian languages. Near to where I live in Delhi. elite culture. It was noticeable that there were five halls occupied by publishers very familar to readers of this Journal: Penguin. Of course even 2 per cent of 900 million is a sizeable number of people—18 million—so it is no wonder that all those commercially- minded international publishers were represented at the Book Fair. almost fifty years after independence. and of preserving an alien. I have many views on India which people in the UK regard as eccentric in some ways. Macmillan. Recently I was at the Book Fair in Delhi. but its advertising rates are considerably lower. The Times of India group publishes an English daily newspaper and a Hindi daily newspaper. The Mabarat Times. I tell you this to demonstrate what I have to describe as the inferior position of Hindi and other languages in India. In fact. The circulation of the Hindi daily. including Indian publishers in English. Yet the strange thing is that Hindi is one of the five most widely spoken languages in the world. but also a means of continuing the suppression of Indian thought. the highest figure I have seen for Indians who can manage English adequately is 5 per cent. but does not have a single bookshop selling books in Hindi. I am not surprised because it is my belief that India is a very different country. and some would argue it is as low as 2 per cent. is far greater than the circulation of the English one. I want to suggest that this dominant role of English is not just an unhealthy hangover from colonialism. it is quite difficult to find a bookshop selling books in Hindi in Delhi. But that still leaves a huge number of Indians who cannot speak the language which dominates so much of the life of their country. It also attempts to suggest some of the answers to these problems. and it is my hope that India will remain a very ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 157 . there is a market which has a lot of English bookshops. and broadcast on the BBC World Service in February 1996. and many others. However.

And I am strongly in favour of the development of Indian English—but more of that later. K. to some extent. and indeed loyalty to the country which has been so generous to me. and an annual sum was set aside for 'the revival and improvement of literature. But then along came Macaulay's famous recommendations of 1835. is proof that the colonial mentality in this part of the world still. and I can tell you it does survive. he said. The result of Macaulay's recommendation was the acceptance by the Governor General. Of all the eccentric ideas I have. I want to maintain English as one of the languages of India. What is significant is that at that time no mention was made of the language to be used for that education. Therefore I believe that problems seen through Indian eyes look very different from those seen through English eyes. and for the encouragement of the learned natives of India. I do not want to stop the teaching of English in India. I am asked with incredulity 'Surely you don't want to rob Indians of the gift of English now that it's the language of international business. as though that could not be questioned. the very survival of that phrase. Macaulay's attitude to Indian languages and literature was summed up in his famous words 'I have never found one who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth more than the whole native literature of India and Arabia'.and I do not believe that Indian culture and Indian civilization can survive healthily and flourish unless the original languages of the country flourish too. and compu- ters?'. publishing. In 1813 the Charter of the East India Company was renewed for another twenty years. I am told I am an inverted snob. As someone who makes no secret of my affection. would be utilized for 'imparting to the native population a knowledge of English literature and science through the medium of the English language'. too. I am extremely proud of the high esteem of Indian writers in English like Vikram Seth. The simple answer to all those allegations is that I do not want to rob Indians of English. the one which I find produces the greatest sense of amazement is the suggestion that the present status of English in India is unhealthy. and for the introduction and promotion of knowledge of sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories in India'. R. that 'the great object of the British Government ought to be the promotion of European literature and science among Indians'. different country. That was left ambiguous. Narayan and many others. because they are very English in India significant. But what I do not want to maintain is English on top of Indian languages. All funds. 158 Mark Tully . Or I am told 'It's essential to keep English as the link language'. I am accused of wanting to rob Indians of an advantage that no one can take from me. The origins of Let us look at the origins of English in India. survives. I want to see the other languagesflourish. or that I have gone native—incidentally. and I do not want to kill off Indian English. William Bentinck. science.

The route to power. one of the arguments still used for the maintenance of the status of English in India is that the Indian languages are not rich in scientific terms! They would have been if Indian science had developed in Indian languages. proud of their status as brown sahibs. a pattern that survives. the emphasis on English is so strong that the students emerge with a very English: an advantage to India? 159 . Khanna. Macaulay did say he hoped that the babus would be 'interpreters' between the British and the people they ruled. perhaps more than in many other countries. and riches. not dignifying them with the title 'language'.K. The babu raj of which they laid the foundation still survives. or any other European language. It is generally assumed that Bentinck and Macaulay wanted to create an army of clerks who could fill the lower ranks of the British administration in India. under which students are required to learn the federal language. there is a wide difference between what the law says or what the government says and what actually happens in practice.' Macaulay also hoped that the Indian English speakers would enrich what he called 'vernacular dialects'. although never accepted as such by the white sahibs. of course. There is what is known as the three languages policy in schools. the position of Indian languages is much stronger. all the linguistic laws and educational laws are bypassed by the ever-expanding English-medium private sector. a Professor of Linguistics. at situation least. And. R. It was intended to be the language of the Indian elite and it still is.L. Ironically. not the interpreters. He wanted them enriched with the terms of science borrowed from Western nomenclature. Macaulay's recommendation set the pattern for the development of English in India. the Doon school. lies through English. to some extent. In one of India's most prestigious public schools. and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population. the language of their own state. a Reader in English. so that the burden remains the same. even today. and A. prestige. The curse of the nation will not rest upon the Enghsh but upon us. and in that they were superbly successful. in their joint introduction to a collection of papers called English Language Teaching in India (1995) have said that the most significant sociological consequence of sustaining English in India has been a major social division between those for whom English is the medium of instruction in prestigious public—that is to say private— schools. Agnihotri. and those who largely study English as a subject in ordinary government schools. And in Hindi- speaking states they have to learn another Indian language. But in India. Officially the medium of instruction in schools is the regional language. The present Obviously there have been changes since independence. But in fact they turned out to be the oppressors. Mahatma Gandhi once wrote 'It is we the English-knowing Indians that have enslaved India. Hindi. and English. to this day. In theory.

They contrast the situation in India with that in China. Robert Phillipson and Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (1996) have written 'the consequence of the current language policy is that many among the younger generations of Indians are being deprived of familiarity with their cultural heritage.' I said 'I wish I spoke it better. which of course can only come about as a result of more widespread education and better health policies. and their implementation. police. his own admitted weakness in Hindi. and all the rest are now allowed to sit their exams in their regional languages. In employment. can only be obtained through the knowledge of the language or one of the languages of that culture. for those who come from homes where English is not spoken. customs. in theory. and India cannot simply hope for that magic without making the enabling social changes—in education. land reforms. the position has improved. Rajiv Gandhi said to me 'You speak very good Hindi. faulty knowledge of Hindi. Once when I was interviewing perhaps the most famous son of the Doon school. of course. but in practice there is still a long way to go before opportunities are equal. He has also stressed the need to empower women. When he heard this.—that help make the market function in the way it has in China. A deep knowledge of a culture. having made very little progress in his plans for modernization. etc. foreign service. I said in Hindi 'Put the microphone a little lower'. for instance. In a recent book Amartya Sen and his colleague Jean Dreze (1996) have produced copious figures to show that India's economic backwardness is in large measure due to the failure of its education and health policies. and quite probably of an education that would enable them to contribute to the solution of Indian problems in the future'. healthcare.' And a part of that was.' He laughed. too. because when you go round the Secretariat at Delhi and see the senior civil servants there you do not find many of them who are not extremely fluent in English. and almost certainly sat their civil service exams in English. and said 'I wish I did. The civil servant said to me quite simply 'He was not educated as an Indian and so he did not understand India. one might almost say the acquisition of a culture. Applicants for the elite cadres in the civil service.' Recently I was talking to a member of the civil service who had worked very closely with Rajiv Gandhi and we were discussing why he was defeated in an election after five years. But I sometimes wonder what happens to those who sit their exams in regional languages. to the emphasis on expanding universities when the crying need has been and still is for primary education.' This is a sober reminder 160 Mark Tully . In an article in English Today. He has pointed. as in education. The renowned economist Amartya Sen has argued that India is a particularly elitist society and that is why so many of the problems of the rest of India have received inadequate attention. 'The magic of China's market rests on the foundations of social change that had occurred earlier. Rajiv Gandhi.

The English-medium schools attract the best teachers. the status of English is directly related to the failures of the Indian education system. the pupils with the home backgrounds which give them the best chance of making good use of their natural ability. N. The result of all this is that the vast majority of schools remain beyond the pale for all those with the means to educate their children. What's more. what is the answer? Well. because those with the influence to improve education do not send their children to Indian language-medium schools. Unless we end this exclusion of our native literature and our aesthetic sensibilities from the study of English literature our English studies will be rootless and solitary. Those who know English are ignorant of vernacular literature. But what is the response of the elite to those epics? They condemn them as promoting communalism. or I would prefer to say. Elitism. But in relation to this. which is rather better than mine. Another problem created by English is that only those. These problems are heightened by the way that English is taught. I believe the answer to this particular problem is that the elite should care and develop a deep understanding English: an advantage to India? 161 . as I said earlier. the resources to provide modern facilities. Sriraman (1994) have written. This is shown by the enormous popularity of the television versions of those epics. It may seem that I have gone off at a tangent here.' The heroes of most Indians are not to be found in Shakespeare. Krishnaswami and T. and on Hindi or other language-medium schools. and and these economic problems concern English? Well. when prosperous parents really didn't even consider anything but a private education. but in the Mahbaret. How do this elitism economics. with a proper understanding of Indian languages can also understand the problems of the majority of Indians. The result is that I am often ashamed by my Indian friends' knowledge of Shakespeare and other branches of English literature. as against the Western idea of secularism. So. and to everyone in India who at the moment seems to believe that economic liberalization on its own is going to be the answer to all the problems of the country. and most obviously perhaps. I think very English directly. and those who are pundits in our regional literatures cannot express their ideas in English. 'Our glorification of Western literature and critical traditions is not even clearly motivated as it was in the case of Macaulay: it is based rather on conditioned thinking and ignorance. to all of us. One of the problems which English creates for the economic development of India is that of not concentrating on the education of the mass of people. because first. and the brightest pupils. they take no interest in the education provided there. and other great epics. the Raman. The texts which are studied are still the traditional texts. It is as though we were back in Britain in the days when I was educated.

as they sometimes seem to do. particularly for Hindi. that I meet far too many people who whenever I speak to them in Hindi answer me in English. and the biggest round of applause I got during the interview from the studio audience was when I said my problem with Hindi is. it's all right for you to speak to me or the messengers in Hindi. they can then ensure that the versions of the epics which are made for television reflect the greatness of the literature. They would then have the best of all worlds. as it is at present. of Indian literature. but each time I spoke to him in Hindi he would reply to me in English. living as they do in a multilingual society. many Indians are not aware of this problem. that most Indians actually welcome English-speaking foreigners who attempt to learn their language. and it must be linked to India as well as to international culture. Wherever I went I was greeted like a hero for having done this interview in Hindi. At present almost all Indian education is orientated solely towards passing examinations. There are arguments in favour of doing that. however. partly that I'm not a very good linguist. With considerable temerity I recently agreed to do an interview on Zee TV in Hindi. the link language of the elite. of course. my speaking of Hindi rather like my father did and the other English people who used to be in India did—all that didn't seem to matter. So it is not as though many. I often tell the story of my early attempts to learn Hindi. not just. I asked the head clerk in the BBC office to help me by conducting our business in Hindi. and not to an archaic concept of British culture. but to speak to the burra babu in Hindi is very insulting to him indeed. in frustration. And the tragedy of this is that Indians. But then. 162 Mark Tully . I turned to my driver and said 'You speak to me in Hindi.' The strange thing is. that such great literature should be thrown in the dustbin because some politicians seek to gain political advantage from it. but also more than that. There is no doubt that English as a status symbol means a distinctly inferior status for Indian languages and sadly. an inadequate knowledge of any language. not crammed. and in no subject is that more so than in English. Eventually. And I found that all my grammatical infelicities. But perhaps the most damaging of all the effects of English is to promote the snobbery of the English-speaking elite. English must be taught in an Indian manner. and the driver laughed and said 'Oh well. why will he not speak to me in Hindi?'. rather than suggesting. have a natural talent for learning languages. The solution? So what can be done about all this? One apparent answer is simply to encourage the spread of English in India so that it becomes the genuine link language of the country. There is no reason why they should not be educated in what I would contend should be their mother tongue and yet become highly proficient in English too. because of its value in the employment market. At the same time it must be taught. instead of—as they often have now if they go to one of the many not-so-good English medium schools—the worst of both worlds. for some reason.

helped on its way by the all-India popularity of Bombay films. Perhaps if the advocates of Hindi had not been so unwise. Opposition to English is one of the planks of the right wing Hindu Bharatia Janata Party. and of the left. And of course. let's see what damage the effort would do. and thereby gain all the advantages a natural mastery of it would give them. the problem could have been solved. It is a country with a great tradition of freedom of speech. and I have never heard a satisfactory answer to it. And again. be no question of compulsion.In these days of the global market English is a very valuable asset. with its stress on the oneness of nature that we in our nature-exploiting scientific culture need to learn from. obviously. Indians have established a very high reputation in the software business. It is a civilization with languages. Linguistic purists object to that. too. with ancient roots. and why shouldn't India capitalize on it? India also has a unique tradition of film making. reasons for maintaining a high standard of English in India. And if an attempt was made to make it the link language of all India or a genuine link language what would happen? Well. But let's leave aside all those problems. as one might argue America and Australia were. But it is not too late. There must. All these arguments are. and had not given the impression that they wanted to impose their language on the rest of India. The political problems caused would be impossible to handle too. And that is a culture. So another good reason for keeping English is to take advantage of the international TV market and film market in English. and it would do irreparable damage not just to Indian languages but also to Indian culture. because Hindi is the largest language. in the form of the parties backed by the traditionally deprived castes. I believe. it would have gradually been accepted as preferable to English as a link language. And the bath water is dirty because English is the link language of the elite. It would mean a massive educational effort in just one subject. obviously. If the disadvantages of English in that role had been spelt out by politicians in non-Hindi speaking states that would have helped. first of all I do not believe the enterprise could ever succeed. but if we leave that rather important point aside. which have survived colonialism. but there could still be a natural spread of Hindi. not undermine. It would rob most of those who had already left school of full access to the national language. But if the bath water is dirty it must surely be changed. Mahatma Gandhi suggested simple Hindi in the Roman script as an answer. here English is a huge advantage to them. but it is arguable that if Hindi had been allowed to spread naturally. provided English: an advantage to India? 163 . when we come to computers. I have to admit that the question of a link language is a difficult one. Surely it cannot be right to build Indian nationhood on the foundation of a foreign language? India is not a linguistic tabula rasa. in my view. for not throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Delhi: Sage. and that it is not just linguistic chauvinism to claim that the present position of English in India is divisive. and T. Indian Economic The author Development and Social Opportunity. Supposing the elite were to change their attitude to Hindi. Sriraram. (1994) English Correspondent in 1993. R. every effort is also made to encourage the development of regional languages. and hence dangerous. and A. Khanna (eds). as I said before. But one of the major barriers to Hindi is that of all the major Indian languages it is. 1996. and they have yet to show they are willing to shed that power and share their knowledge with their fellow Indians. Madras: DR Publishers. Sen. N. so that no one could say English imperialism was being replaced by Hindi imperialism. until he became their South East Asia Krishnaswami. India throwing away its language resources?' English Language Teaching in India. Isn't there a lesson there? I hope I have managed to persuade you that English creates problems in India. to take a pride in speaking it. BBC in Delhi as Chief of Bureau for over 20 years. Oxford: Mark Tully was born in India. Yet the language of most agricultural universities is English. Dreze. the one which seems to attract the most scorn from the elite. References Phillipson. and T. R. That's perhaps because Hindi is the greatest threat to the elite's beloved English. 1996. He still lives in Delhi. 'Is Agnihotri. but to find that place we have to accept the damage it causes at present. And these villagers live mainly by agriculture. The present status of English in India gives enormous power to the elite. J. You probably know that Mahatma Gandhi said India lived in its villages. but not. Tamil. Skutnabb-Kangas. what a difference that would make. or Gujarati. and A. and worked for the Oxford University Press. New English Today 45: 12/1: 23-6.L. Any realistic assessor must accept that English can be of enormous value to India. in its right place. The language of villagers is certainly not. It's all right to be proud of Bengali. for some strange reason. now works as a freelance writer and broadcaster. 164 Mark Tully . Hindi.K. and Teaching in India. 1995.

can survive. I must hasten to add that I do not completely subscribe to the answers he puts forward. English will help us to achieve globalization. English is one of those languages. but should rather see that other languages flourish so that the culture and civilization. In our relations with the rest of the world. The question that is of concern here is. Before I make my comments on some of the specific points that Mark Tully has made. and which surface whenever the notion of a lingua franca for the country is discussed. Having said that. i. fluency in two or three languages even before they enter school. Sou a response to Mark Tally Rama Mathew Introduction I would like to attempt an analysis through Indian eyes of the current role and status of English in India. As Agnihotri and language policy Khanna (1995) rightly point out in their introduction. and an economy that will ensure a qualitatively better life for all of us. albeit with a big difference. modernization. but should not be given a dominant position internally. especially about the problems that the 'unhealthy hangover from colonialism' has given rise to. This would lead to resistance from different quarters for reasons which are grounded firmly in prejudice and inequalities. We have an edge over monolingual countries in that we acquire two. and brings with it the cultural and academic tradition of the colonizers. and translating the multilingual and multicultural ethos into concrete classroom transactions. The three The key question is that of multilingual education. and what can be done to turn it to advantage. We must remember that India is a multilingual country. should be link languages within the country. of which language is a manifestation. or indeed Hindi. by creating a meta-linguistic awareness. Therefore it seems that the question of a link language itself is problematic. we need to capitalize on the asset children have. I must admit that I am largely in agreement with him. it has hegemonic tendencies. and use them for a variety of purposes. English is the key external link language. But this does not necessarily mean that English. or three. A link language I would like to endorse Tully's comment that we should not maintain English above other Indian languages.e. We will also need to work on the EL T Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 165 . how do we deal with a legacy that we have been forced to inherit? The answer very definitely is not by 'making' another (Indian) language the dominant language. or sometimes four languages with ease.

and encourages learners to practise reading unseen texts and writing different kinds of texts for different purposes. 'My mother/ father is not educated. and results indicate that it has. But then. This has involved the development of new syllabuses. and has a very harmful backwash on teaching and learning. except in areas where there seem to be some difficulties. have better facilities. psyche of our students (and parents). not necessarily because of the new English course. The CBSE-ELT Curriculum Implementation Study has been set up to monitor and evaluate the course in operation. However. she/he doesn't know English'. The examination scheme is largely skill-based. the state-run schools have little to offer by way of good education in general. which do not feed into one another in terms of teaching or learning. but because of fundamental problems in administering a standardized national curriculum uniformly throughout the country. testing procedures. and attract better-qualified teachers. parents. and students have to learn three separate languages. I believe the reason why the project had to focus on English language teaching (and not Hindi or any other regional language) is because it was paid for with British money. and children. The CBSE ELT Project referred to above (funded by the Overseas Development Administra- tion (ODA). the examination system encourages cramming. and teacher training initiatives. that is only one part of the story. and supported by the CBSE) is an example of how English is prioritized over the teaching of other languages such as Hindi and Sanskrit. had a beneficial backwash. This is also true of the bilingual schools like the Kendriya Vidyalayas 1 and the Navodaya Vidyalayas 2 . The reform English Curriculum of the Central Board of Secondary Education 3 (CBSE) has been revised by experts. which are found throughout India. India has a language policy which provides for three languages to be learnt in school. teaching materials. with the intensive involvement of teachers. With the exception of a couple of states. however badly run. But given the present unhealthy situation in which English-medium schools. let alone competence in three languages. who equate good education with English-medium education. education on the whole is in a pitiable state: the curriculum is irrelevant to students' real-life needs. The texts and activities in the books reflect to a considerable extent the culture and life of India. One often hears the comment. and teachers are not competent to handle a learner- centred classroom. We would of course be naive to think that this will be an easy job. where students are quite competent in English compared to their counterparts in Hindi/ regional language-medium streams? I believe the answer is that the 166 Rama Mathew . Curriculum There are instances of a few curricular reforms in recent years. by and large. It is also significant that this project is set within the context of the English-medium stream (Course A) and not the Hindi-medium stream (Course B). Therefore the three-language policy tends not to work. But why did it have to be carried out in the English-medium stream.

English-medium schools even in villages seem to attract a substantial number of parents compared to those supporting the high-profile project. Even when students do not drop out. Another example is the Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project (APPEP). which offers only English- medium education to children of its employees (both teaching and non- teaching). education is delivered through the vernacular. since experience had shown that for a majority of the students English-medium education was difficult. The following examples illustrate the importance of securing parental support. Although one of its aims is to increase enrolment in vernacular-medium primary schools.e. English in India: a response to Mark Tully 167 . where parents. take into account then- languages. in practice. organizations responsible for the Hindi/regional language school systems were not terribly keen on revising their syllabuses! There has since been a change in the policy of the funding agencies: the ODA. the assumptions it makes about learner levels and needs. At this level. The role of There is another task that we need to undertake along with multilingual parents schooling: educating parents. English medium education. however impover- ished. For the underprivileged. A small-scale project of this kind is being tried out on the CBSE-ELT Curriculum Implementation Study. and the quality of education it imparts. APPEP). and capabilities. and teachers of other languages and subjects are being oriented to what a learner-centred classroom means in terms of the kind of work learners are required to do in class. empowerment of women. and build on them. since English-medium schools do not have permission to continue beyond class V (age 9-10) (personal communication with the Social Develop- ment Officer. however illiterate they may be. unattainable. is a dream they would like to see come true. and so on. the European Commission. what we have at the end of schooling are disillusioned teenagers. However. because they wanted their children to get better jobs than they had themselves (personal communication with the English teacher of the school). at whatever level. motivations. is an urgent priority as we operationalize multilingualism in classrooms. But the possibilities it seems to promise are. and the World Bank are all now concentrating on primary education in state schools. the notion of an acceptable (Indian) English norm for the class. If we want education to help us to solve problems of illiteracy. the kind of support parents can give at home. etc. A school attached to a central university. the key issues are the same: the relevance of the curriculum. aspirations. tried to find out from parents how many would like a mother- tongue medium stream. The support and involvement of both parents and teachers is essential. Students from these private schools have to switch to government schools subsequently. i. health. The response showed that the parents were not willing to accept a change. we will need to start from where learners are. ill-equipped for jobs which require either English or regional languages. principals.

CBSE. an autono- mous organization set up by the Ministry of References Human Resource Development (MHRD) of Agnihotri. 'The English singularity: a the Hindi medium. The India. and attempt to enrich the experience either by providing alternatives or by the exposure of issues from within the experience itself. integration through quality education. (age 12-13) evaluation. L. and teacher development. R. ELT Journal 50/2: 160-67. Received October 1996 Notes secondary levels for students in all schools 1 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) are governed by affiliated to the CBSE. medium stream. meant for the English. 'Linguistic imperialism: Afri- English Course A. the Government of India to cater for the children of defence and other central govern. Multilingual education should be our primary concern in a country as large as India. Robertson (1996: 35) is of the view that Culture goes where culture wants to go and is not entirely controllable. Implementation Study funded by the ODA and 3 The CBSE is a national Board which adminis. view from Scotland' in Focus on English I. Located Delhi: Sage. which studies the concept of teacher-as- ters examination at the secondary and higher researcher and evaluator. and will allow us to participate in international activities without being guilty of leading the majority of the population up the garden path. the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. give children a sense of its relative value. What 'education' can do is ride a trend. Hyderabad. curriculum regional language up to class VIII. and A. meant Project Director of the CBSE-ELT Curriculum for the Hindi-medium stream. pick up a cultural theme. Khanna. predominantly The author from rural areas. She is and offers the CBSE's English Course B. Conclusion Phillipson (1996: 165) sums up what I am trying to argue for: Multilingual schooling. (eds. 1996. Her areas of interest and specialization medium of instruction is the mother tongue/ include testing in the classroom. all over the a complex topic. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samithi. It will help us to preserve the diverse cultures that we are so proud of. an autonomous organization set up by the MHRD to cater to the needs of gifted children. but offer social studies through Robertson. can perspectives'.) 1995. education should be multilingual rather than 'X-medium' or 'Y-medium'. English Language Teaching in India. New ment employees in transferable jobs. 168 Rama Mathew . K. the KVs follow the CBSE's Phillipson. but the important issue is that in a multilingual society. R. 1996. Located in the districts of Rama Mathew teaches in the Department of different states (with the exception of two Evaluation at the Central Institute of English states). New 2 Navodaya Vidyalayas are governed by the Delhi: British Council. terms which implicitly exclude or subtract languages. R. the scheme seeks to promote national and Foreign Languages (CIEFL). that it is difficult to do justice to briefly. explore it.

95 Teacher's Book ISBN 0 13 253360 X £10.20 Teacher's Book ISBN 0 521 42570 0 £8.40 English File 1 Clive Oxenden and Paul Seligson Oxford University Press 1996 Student's Book ISBN 0 19 435519 5 £8.50 ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 169 .Survey review: learner training in EFL coursebooks Nancy Lake Activate Your English (Pre-Intermediate) Barbara Sinclair Cambridge University Press 1996 Student's Book ISBN 0 521 42568 9 £6.80 Teacher's Book ISBN 0 19 435652 3 £10.25 Teacher's Book ISBN 0 17 556725 5 £11.95 Workout Pre-Intermediate Kathy Burke and Paul Radley Longman 1995 Student's Book ISBN 0 17 556724 7 £7.50 Workbook ISBN 0 13 253386 3 £4.10 First Choice Lyn Woolcott Phoenix ELT 1994 Student's Book ISBN 0 13 253329 4 £7.35 International Express (Pre-Intermediate) Liz Taylor Oxford University Press 1996 Student's Book ISBN 0 19 435650 7 £9.60 Teacher's Book ISBN 0 17 556545 7 £7.50 In Advance Richard Side Longman 1994 Student's Book ISBN 0 17 556433 7 £8.95 Workbook ISBN 0 17 556726 3 £4.45 Workbook ISBN 0 582 071046 £4.70 Workbook ISBN 0 19 435529 2 £4.15 Workbook ISBN 0 19 435654 X £4.45 Teacher's Book ISBN 0 582 070988 £7.00 Workbook ISBN 0 521 42569 7 £4.80 Teacher's Book ISBN 0 19 435520 9 £12.95 The Pre-Intermediate Choice Sue Mohamed and Richard Acklam Longman 1993 Student's Book ISBN 0 582 071070 £8.

'cognitive strategies are the specific actions which contribute directly to the learning process'. Metacognitive strategies are used 'to oversee. Holec (1985: 264). The three chief components of learner training are learning strategies.' Furthermore. Learner training: The literature on learner training provides useful definitions and goals of definition and learner training. Introduction The aim of this review is to provide a brief summary of the purpose and essential aspects of learner training. Learning strategies contribute directly to the attainment of a new language system (Rubin 1987). Ellis and Sinclair (1989: 2) state that learner training 'aims to help learners consider the factors that affect their learning and discover the learning strategies that suit them best. that is to enable him to carry out the various steps which make up the learning process. and are subdivided into cognitive and metacog- nitive strategies. is considered as the best way of ensuring that learning takes place. 'strategic knowledge'. (O'Malley and Chamot 1990: 8) Essentially. and to examine the extent to which learner training is presented and developed in seven recently published general English language coursebooks for adult learners. and evaluate the learning process (Dickinson 1992). on the factors that enhance or inhibit it. and 'task knowledge'. metacognitive knowledge. insights and concepts that they have acquired about language and the language learning process'. regulate or self-direct language learning'. which is the learner's understanding of which strategies work best under which circumstances. they are used to identify the learning task. and on him or herself as a language learner. Without them students are 'essentially learners without direction or opportunity to plan their learning. encourage collaboration and co-operation between teacher and learner. monitor their progress. they will not be able to perform the functions of an autonomous learner. Metacognitive knowledge includes 'beliefs. for example. As defined by Rubin (1981: 118).' Oxford (1990) feels that the aims of learner training are to make language learning more meaningful. create awareness of the choices available in language learning. maintains that 'to teach goals the learner to learn. select and monitor the use of the appropriate cognitive strategy. This analysis extends and develops the discussion presented by Ellis and Sinclair in their article 'Survey: Learner training in EFL coursebooks' (ELT Journal 46/2). which is the learner's beliefs and views on how learning takes place. (Rubin 1987: 25). or review their accomplishments and future learning directions'. More specifically. and attitude (Wenden 1991). It focuses their attention on the process of learning so that the emphasis is on how to learn rather than on what to learn. which is the learner's under- 170 Nancy Lake . (Wenden 1991: 34) Wenden defines three types of metacognitive knowledge: 'person knowledge'. determine whether the task has been satisfactorily completed. learners' involvement in their own learning will ensure a greater chance that they actually learn what they want to learn. and facilitate learning and practice of strategies that encourage independence and enable self-directed learning.

Activate Your This offers the broadest and most comprehensive learner training of the English coursebooks analysed. The main objective of learner training is to enable a learner to become autonomous or self-directed. The learner must be willing to accept the additional responsibility and believe that he or she is capable of managing it. There are frequent opportunities for the learner to take steps towards self-directed learning. that is. Attitude can be negatively affected by prior experience in an educational system which promotes teacher depen- dency. evaluation of the usefuhiess of lesson activities. a variety of both cognitive and metacognitive strategies and opportunities to utilize their metacognitive knowledge. and offering explanations (or alternatives) for the areas which received a low score. once it is brought to the learner's attention and he or she is given opportunities for reflection. and thus gain greater control over the learning programme. with a determination of goals and actions for continued learning. to accept responsibility for making and implementing decisions at each phase of learning. in particular the self-evaluation and task- evaluation exercises. a sense of helplessness. are graded. standing of how a certain task should be completed. Metacognitive knowledge is an important component because. the opportunity to choose a particular activity from a variety offered. that the acceptance of greater responsibility will make. identification of problem areas and appropriate solutions.) Below I summarize my findings for each coursebook. it will enable the learner to reassess and revise his or her knowledge. so that with increased confidence and practice in the language and in managing certain aspects of the learning Survey review: Learner training in coursebooks 171 . These lead from the initial needs analysis to regular self-assessment. both towards his or her role in the learning process. the complexity of the new role. in this book learner training is maintained consistently throughout. This was to ensure objectivity and to provide guidance. The final scores for each coursebook can be found in Table 2.) Coursebook The coursebooks were analysed according to the criteria listed in Table analysis 1. and to a final self-assessment at the completion of the course. which are based on the research reviewed briefly above. The learner's attitude. A three-point scale was used to determine the extent to which a coursebook incorporates each separate criterion. the reason for doing the task. and a low level of self-esteem and self-image. and ability to learn. the lack of awareness of one's metacognitive knowledge. (see Holec 1979 and Dickinson 1987. is also important. the conflicting demands. providing learners with the various stages of self- direction. Many of these activities. One very noticeable feature is that while some coursebooks provide a strong introduction to learner training. especially on time. identifying its strengths and weaknesses. but gradually taper off to no mention of the topic whatsoever. (See Appendix for these tables. and the resources required for its completion.

and they are clearly explained. especially in conducting self-assessment. the definition of various aspects of learner training. such as outlining goals for further studies. tests that incorporate formal testing and self-assessment. Prime examples of this are: the tips that are featured in the special sections on the reading and 172 Nancy Lake . they are not given training either. and for strategies such as learner diaries or phrase books. programme. For certain phases of self-direction. it would enhance learners' understanding of what is expected. as they are able to have more say in the learning process. In order to assist the learner in completing the language and learner training activities. The book does not seem to touch on the psychological needs of the students as they begin to take over responsibilities traditionally held by the teacher. repetition. and yet much is expected of them here. and the role to adopt in each learner training activity. It is likely that students will not have been exposed to a vast amount of learner training. a more general outline of the roles the teacher should adopt. tapescripts. or referring to a previous reading or listening exercise. In the introduction to the teacher's book. students can provide greater feedback and explanation. the necessary resources are provided. with concise steps and illustrations. in that they include the strategies and techniques necessary for this level. or references (where applicable) to the parts of the text where additional information is offered. and the rationale for doing so. and further suggestions and practice in the workbook. English File This coursebook has some very strong elements of learner training. advice for assisting students in the various stages of self-direct learning. or one who accepts it. and vocabulary recording. particularly in goal-setting and self-evaluation. additional support could be offered to enhance the information already provided. In particular. such as grouping. A teacher who is familiar with the concept of learner training. Learner training activities are well signposted. the procedure to follow. and by utilizing the grammar review. Other items that could be added are: a more comprehensive list for suggested answers (as in the exercise in Unit 2 where students brainstorm strategies for each skill). translation. for the teacher. Likewise. All of these features should help to motivate learners. an answer key with explanations for certain questions. and encouragement and opportunities for reflection for the teacher's own self-evaluation and evaluation of the exercises. many are integrated into the language learning of the lesson. and increase their willingness to respond if there were more structured and illustrated examples. are stated in a clear and concise manner. will be able to provide a fairly comprehensive programme through the use of this coursebook. Another strong feature is the degree to which advice and support is given. These include grammar references. This coursebook offers a strong development of learner training. but certain aspects could be covered in greater depth than at present. Not only are they not consulted in their attitudes toward this. the materials are appropriate.

and helps to make the material more meaningful. With respect to the tests. such as maintaining the vocabulary notebook. which could be provided in the teacher's book if not the student's book. This coursebook also provides opportunities for self-direction. complete with a labelled illustration. like many in the sample. and the advice on managing class notes and photocopies given in the workbook. or completing the workbook units. may be beneficial. Students have the opportunity to activate their strategic and task knowledge in the 'Focus' sections. 14). and on their ability to manage certain aspects of their learning. or evaluate the usefulness of the activities. such as a needs analysis. a word bank. is the attention given to all three types of metacognitive knowledge. students could be given opportunities to evaluate their performance on other language skills and areas. which provides exercises for students to complete. although not to the full extent desired. Another feature of learner training which is present. utilizing the study tips. students are able to assess their own performance at the end of each task. the listening and speaking drills where each phase is presented and advice provided. Another strong element is the range of resources provided for the student. Numerous tests are given. there is one activity featured in all 'Check Your Progress' tests which allows for self- evaluation. Another opportunity for self-assessment exists in each grammar summary. only answers for the workbook tests are easily accessible to the learner. or to managing their own learning. including tapescripts. In terms of fluency. some initial training. and their person knowledge in an integrated grammar exercise. including regular review tests in both the student's book and the workbook. offers some very crucial aspects of learner training. First Choice The summary on the back cover of the student's book states that 'the varied activities are set in realistic professional contexts and allow a Survey review: Learner training in coursebooks 173 . This coursebook. as in the 'focus on reading' section. it is acknowledged that some students 'may have dogmatic ideas about how they want to learn' (p. and has potential for others. which are largely summative. even for self-assessment. As this may be contrary to their expectations. However. Unfortunately. In the teacher's book. a list of classroom phrases for students to translate. which is structured so that students have to determine for themselves whether they understand a particular point. yet there is no place where students may express this. where students reflect on their use of certain strategies and resources and their reasons for not utilizing those identified. a travel phrasebook. Perhaps. on a gradual basis. additional information-gap exercises. the 'study tips' that are offered in each unit. and gives some choice of strategies in certain activities. writing processes (in the student's book). there does not seem to be any opportunity for students to express their feelings towards learning English. and two comprehensive term tests in the teacher's book.

face-to-face. where the attainment of the language can be quite daunting. This is demonstrated by the choices and personal contributions the learners can make in a number of activities. All these aspects could be covered to some extent in English. and the work- shops. they should be able to express their views on the best way to learn. and by the suggestions they can make regarding the content of the course (through the needs analysis questionnaire). Without these facets of learner training. As these learners have some experience in learning English. via the telephone and correspondence. especially at this level. the coursebook cannot adequately develop learner autonomy. They should be given opportunities to admit their feelings towards the language and language learning generally. leading them to discover ways in which they can organise their own studying more effectively and 174 Nancy Lake . (p. Since the coursebook is intended for adults 'who need to communicate effectively through the medium of English at their workplace. The development of learner autonomy is an important concept in the design of the coursebook curriculum. including a focus on appropriacy. In this way. In Advance In the publisher's catalogue description. and to a much greater extent in the mother tongue. but there are many others which have been neglected. and why. and the level they should be striving for. and it indicates that suggestions for helping students develop more effective learning strategies are forthcoming in the teacher's book. while travelling and in a variety of social contexts'. The introduction to the teacher's book states that 'the book contains a strong element of learner autonomy and seeks to challenge students. students are encouraged to make choices about what and how they learn . These are important aspects of learner training. two of the key features listed are 'effective strategies to improve spoken and written skills. Learners need to know which strategies they are applying. Inclusion of learner training is only mentioned in the introduction of the teacher's book as a general strategy of the curriculum design. cognitively and affectively. ix). and may not be the learners' own desire so much as a requirement for their career. The element of choice as another general strategy is explained more fully. creativity and imagination bringing a dynamism to the learning process'. the use of which is supported in the introduction to the teacher's book. register and error analysis' and 'learner independence elements which offer students guidance on how to organise learning'. ix) strategies for coping with these situations and for turning them into unique learning opportunities are critical. stating that 'this element is intended to help the students become more responsible for their own learning and to enable them to have some autonomy when continuing to learn after their course has finished' (p. their personal involvement. the course is fulfilling its claim (on the back cover of the student's book) that 'students are encouraged to make choices about what and how they learn. . They need to determine not only the skills they require but the level of ability they now possess. ' . degree of learner autonomy. .

and that they may be dealing with affective problems of boredom and frustration. Learners are guided in how to use induction and transfer to increase their knowledge of English grammar. and can be maintained throughout the course. and a pocket book. Surprisingly. in terms of advice and alternatives. such as identifying problem areas and setting aims. the approach taken towards learner training differs from the other coursebooks in the sample. or planning for further language development. It is made clear to the learners that they are engaging in learner training. reconsideration of aims. offering practice and development of a range of cognitive skills. both awareness and long-term training is given. and they are practised again in later units. such as tapescripts. if the teacher chooses to refer back to the learner training unit. The purpose of these strategies and the method for each are made clear to the students. thereby enabling them 'to learn positively and independently' (p. and to take on more of the tasks traditionally done by the teacher. reflection on attitudes towards continuing learning. the coursebook lacks regular self-assessment of the learners' ability and a final evaluation upon the completion of the course. Learner training is expanded upon in the teacher's book. vocabulary. This last can be detached for use Survey review: Learner training in coursebooks 175 . Learner training takes up the whole of the first unit in the student's book. it suggests challenging them to examine and confront these problems. an answer key which includes the relevant grammar summary to explain the answer for the relevant questions. International This coursebook claims to offer a 'discovery approach to grammar' and Express 'strategies for effective vocabulary learning'. The photocopiable materials in the teacher's book provide further strategies for learning vocabulary. and providing them with the necessary guidance to do so. However. Further on in the introduction. other relevant sources. extend their study skills' (p. there is no concluding lesson for evaluation. the coursebook has very strong elements of learner training. In these two areas. These are not only demonstrated but also practised. advice on how often to review. and evaluate. For vocabulary. Acknowledging that students at this level may find the strategies they use less effective than before. and encouragement. learner training is explicitly stated and explained. Since the learners are at an advanced level. All of these would be vital in encouraging learners to continue their language study independently. and applies learner training equally to each language skill. This forces them to be honest in their attitudes. and so achieve greater independence from the teacher. Another notable strength of this coursebook is the range of resources available in the student's book. 4). Students are presented with a range of strategies and techniques in the first unit. 4). and grammar. the strategies they apply. but the main part of the programme exists in both student's and teacher's book. Learner training has a significant start. and will have to reflect on.

the metacognitive knowledge and attitude towards learning that it elicits from the learners. and the choice for students to mark their own test. One final point is that the strong attributes of the vocabulary learning section could be applied to other language skills. the tools needed for these activities (a monitor sheet and the tests and answers) are available only in the teacher's book. and teachers are encouraged to pass copies on to their students. and the guidance it provides for teachers to adequately deliver the learner training. but the teacher's book has a section entitled 'Using the learner training pages'. Frequent reference to specific pages in the pocket book is made throughout the lessons. to provide additional explanation. while 'clear signposting throughout helps students to understand exactly what they are learning and why'. social English. In the publisher's catalogue. The publisher's catalogue states that 'a strong learner training Intermediate programme within the course promotes learner independence and helps develop study skills'. Although learner training is not explicitly stated. and includes information on grammar. and phonetic symbols. the self-check exercises. and the language areas to which the strategies are applied. No mention of learner training is made in the student's book. beyond the coursebook. This is because the learner training offered in this coursebook does not include all the essential factors. 'Thinking about learning' is an important component of learner training. there are suggestions that Intermediate Choice it may be offered. but ultimately the teacher decides whether or not to offer them this opportunity. It is limited in the number and type of strategies it addresses. Workout Pre. do not allow for any reflection upon. concise. providing more well-rounded learner training. However. self-monitoring and self-evaluation after each task. There are opportunities for self-direction. regular self-analysis. there is never any opportunity for them to discuss their attitudes or concerns about this or anything else in the process of learning. individual choice of the preferred strategies for learning vocabulary. in the contribution learners can make to the programme. Although it is acknowledged in the teacher's book that students will be unfamiliar with the approach to learning grammar. the autonomy they can exercise. and with references to the appropriate resource. which indicates which pages of the coursebook 176 Nancy Lake . and the fact that it is regularly and distinctly included in the course is commendable. and other useful information on business correspondence. though simple. or discussion of the actual assessment or possible solutions. the series is described as having 'a cognitive approach to encourage students to think for themselves and gain a sense of achievement'. The Pre. but the value of what is actually offered is minimal. mathematical terms. The student's book includes sections intended to provide learners with the opportunity to consider and improve upon their own learning strategies. They are photocopiable. Similarly. such as the initial needs analysis.

increased responsibility. This well-developed learner training programme is somewhat dimin- ished by the fact that in many respects the teacher is still expected to play a traditional role in the classroom. in addition to the sections focusing on a particular skill or language component. This of course. showing that there is a higher regard for combining learner training with regular language work. but each one may emphasize a different aspect. the learner training pages is included in the student's book. All the coursebooks in the survey offer variety and flexibility in the activities. offering one of the most comprehensive. and exercises to practice them. because they existed to a larger extent in the teacher's book rather than the student's. Each learner training page follows a basic format: awareness activities. either in the student's book or in a supplement. certain criteria such as self-assessment and opportunities for self-direction were minimally included. Survey review: Learner training in coursebooks 177 . This would also enhance the guidance for teachers. and carefully compiled learner training programmes in the sample. since many of these activities would have remained as they are with or without the embedded learner training. or the chance to self-assess. Conclusion Four of the criteria used in this analysis were found at a sufficient level in the coursebooks analysed: integration. Reference is sometimes made to a previous learner training page to adopt a similar activity used for a different skill. thereby lowering the overall rating. Each of the six learner training pages refers to a specific language skill or component. Each coursebook surveyed offers embedded learner training. reflects the general principle of the coursebook more than learner training in isolation. accessible. In some coursebooks. In order to ensure that all aspects of learner training are applied to each endeavour. accessibility. nor any reference to. Other criteria. Workout scored highly on many of the essential elements. and opportunities for decision-making. and meaningful language input and reference materials. variety and flex- ibility. who could then see the complete picture. suggested strategies. are devoted to learner training. such as explicit focus on the process of learning and clarity of learning instructions. and this is always with respect to an activity focused on language work. such as methods for creating opportunities. did not receive full marks. a more general outline could be offered in the introduction. explicit learner training is also integrated. No aspect of. most often in the pre-listening and pre-reading activities. The greatest evidence for this is the fact that the learner training programme is contained in the teacher's book. Despite the positive attributes. it would provide knowledge of what is being taught and why. instead of being treated as a separate entity. If the proposed programme were readily available to the learner.

With one exception, materials in all the surveyed coursebooks are
accessible to learners. The activities are appropriate for the particular
level through the type and manner in which strategies are presented, the
type of activities, the clear and concise instructions, and the support
provided in the way of examples and illustrations.
All the coursebooks in the survey include adequate reference materials,
although they vary in which ones they offer, some including additional
exercises or grammar references, and others tapescripts, language
reviews, or test answers. Others still provide more creative and extensive
resources, such as vocabulary lists of essential content areas and a
separate handbook of basic reference material. None offers all of the
essential ones. This may demonstrate what the author feels is either
necessary or comprehensible to the learners, or what he or she believes
should be in the control of the teacher.

Two aspects of learner training are not included at all, or not to an
acceptable degree, in these coursebooks. The first has to do with breadth
of focus. The coursebooks surveyed consistently give more emphasis to
learning strategies than communication strategies, although some
introduce various social/affective strategies. A related issue is the
range of language skills and components to which learner training is
applied. Only Activate Your English, Workout Pre-Intermediate, and In
Advance apply learner training more or less consistently to listening,
speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar. The others
concentrate mainly on strategies for vocabulary and grammar, such as
inferencing, memorizing, and induction. In all the coursebooks,
embedded learner training is applied to listening and reading through
the initial exercise, which requires advance organization and prepara-
tion. This kind of application is quite common, even in coursebooks
which do not overtly promote learner training.

The second aspect concerns the balance of technological and psycho-
logical preparation. Although some coursebooks acknowledge that
learners may feel frustration or have preconceived ideas of learning,
there is no opportunity for these feelings and opinions to be
communicated, either in an open class discussion or in private
student-teacher consultation. This ought to be an essential ingredient
in coursebooks requiring students to manage more steps in the learning
process. Similarly, with the exception of Activate Your English, there is
no concluding stage of learner training in the form of an overall self-
evaluation, course evaluation, or re-setting of goals from which to
embark upon the next course, or on self-study.

As can be seen in Table 2, there is great differentiation among many of
the criteria for providing learner training, especially in the scope of
learner training provided. The range is from Activate Your English and
Workout Pre-Intermediate, which encompass all three components of
learner training and a wider range of language skills, to First Choice and
The Pre-Intermediate Choice, which focus only on learning strategies.
178 Nancy Lake

The coursebooks also vary in the number of activities affording
'opportunities for self-direction' and 'self-assessment and monitoring'.
Activate Your English provides both as integral features of each unit.
Others, such as English File and International Express, also provide
both, although not to the same extent, limiting the choices and the
impact learners can make on their own learning and progress. Similarly,
there is a range in feedback and tests, from English File, which offers
several reviews and comprehensive tests, to First Choice, which offers
none. This may signify a difference of opinion on the value of external
Finally, the varying degrees of support and guidance given to teachers
demonstrates that some authors are more aware than others of the
average teacher's understanding of the concept, and of the need for
concise information and direction in order to effectively help learners
achieve autonomy. This range has a positive significance. Although
some aspects to not exist in certain coursebooks, the fact that there are
some where they can be found is reassuring, and their inclusion may well
exert a beneficial influence on future coursebooks.
Sinclair and Ellis (1992: 223) concluded that, despite the fact that a
coursebook did not always 'deliver on its promise of a learner-training
dimension', it was encouraging that there were attempts to provide
learner training in the present study. The same overall conclusion is
reached here. There are criteria, as previously discussed, which are
integral to the concept of learner training. Without these elements, the
learner is receiving only partial learner training, and will not be
adequately equipped with the skills and confidence to attain autonomy
in learning. There is always a danger that this concept will lose
credibility if coursebooks produced in the future continue to neglect
certain key requirements of learner training.
For teachers, this means that caution should be used in choosing
coursebooks specifically for the learner training they claim to provide.
However, as discussed, there are coursebooks on the market, especially
those published most recently, which provide excellent training in
particular aspects of learner training. By using or adapting this method
of assessing the extent and value of learner training activities, and by
using their own creativity and understanding of their students' needs,
teachers can choose coursebooks which will provide well-structured and
comprehensive learner training materials for their students.

Survey review: Learner training in coursebooks 179

References Rubin, J. 1981. 'Study of cognitive processes in
Dickinson, L. 1987. Self-Instruction in Language second language learning'. Applied Linguistics
Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University 2/2: 117-31.
Press. Rubin, J. 1987. 'Learner strategies: theoretical
Dickinson, L. 1992. Learner Autonomy, Volume 2: assumptions, research history and typology', in
Learner Training for Language Learning. Learner Strategies in Language Learning. A. L.
Dublin: Authentik. Wenden and J. Rubin (eds.). Hemel Hemp-
Ellis, G. and B. Sinclair. 1989. Learning to Learn stead: Prentice Hall.
English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Wenden, A. L. 1991. Learner Strategies for
Press. Learner Autonomy. Hemel Hempstead:
Holec, H. 1979. Autonomy and Foreign Language Prentice Hall.
Learning, Oxford: Pergamon/Council of Eur-
Holec, H. 1985. 'Taking learners' needs into
account in self-directed learning', from 'Aspects The author
of autonomous learning', in Discourse and Nancy Lake has an MA in ELT from the
Learning. P. Riley (ed.). London: Longman. University of Warwick. She is presently an ESL
O'Malley, J. M. and A. U. Chamot 1990. instructor with the Metropolitan Separate School
Learning Strategies in Second Language Acqui- Board in Toronto, Canada. She teaches full-time
sition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ESL adult classes for the Catholic Cross-Cultural
Oxford, R. 1990. Language Learning Strategies: Services, a non-profit organization which provides
What Every Teacher Should Know. New York: assistance to refugees and immigrants residing in
Newbury House. Canada.

180 Nancy Lake

one-off activities. vocabulary lists. Summary of criteria used Scope of learner training Extent to which all three components of learner to analyse learner training—learning strategies.e. adapt. benefit. or treated as a separate issue. is it applied to a particular language focus. and answers Guide for teachers Extent to which the purpose. transcripts. the method of completing the activity. role of learner and teacher. metacognitive knowl- training activities edge. and the mode in which it is done Self-assessment and Tools included to enable students to assess and monitoring evaluate their performance and progress Feedback and tests Extent to which students are given explanations for the correct answers in the answer key and progress tests Meaningful language input Inclusion of additional materials for the students' and reference materials reference. or long-term training Breadth of focus Range and combination of different strategies Clarity of learning Extent to which procedures are clearly and simply instructions defined Explicit focus on the Extent to which the purpose of an activity is clearly process of learning stated and therefore obvious to the student Integration Extent to which the activity is incorporated into the language learning activities (i. Appendix Table V. and cognitive strategies and evaluate the activity Self-direction Opportunities for individual choice of activities. are explained and demonstrated Motivation Amount of encouragement given to learners. level. such as grammar notes. previous learner- training experience. and the level of interest it will generate Survey review: Learner training in coursebooks 181 . so running the risk of being a 'time-waster'?) Accessibility Suitability of activities to the age. and attitude—are included in the content of the unit Type of learner training Awareness-raising activities. and procedures for learner training. and needs of the students Variety and flexibility Range of approaches and activity types to suit different interests and learning styles Balance of psychological Extent to which activities address both kinds of and technical preparation preparation needed by the learners to meet with success Pairing of metacognitive Opportunities for students to reflect upon.

Table 2: Results of coursebook Criterion A B C D E F G analysis Scope of learner training 3 2 0 2 1 1 3 Type of learner training 3 2 0 3 3 1 3 Breadth of focus 2 1 1 1 1 0 1 Clarity of learning instructions 2 3 1 1 3 1 2 Explicit focus on the process of learning 3 2 1 1 1 1 2 Integration 3 2 2 2 2 2 3 Accessibility 3 3 2 3 2 1 3 Variety and flexibility 3 2 2 2 2 2 3 Balance of psychological and technical preparation 2 1 0 2 0 0 2 Pairing of metacognitive and cognitive strategies 3 2 0 2 1 0 3 Self-direction 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 Self-assessment and monitoring 3 2 0 1 2 0 1 Feedback and tests 3 1 0 2 1 1 2 Meaningful language input and reference materials 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 Guidance for teachers 2 2 1 3 2 0 2 Motivation 3 2 1 2 2 1 1 Total 44 31 15 31 28 14 34 Key A Activate Your English B Engfe/i File 1 C F/rsf C/io/ce D In Advance E International Express F The Pre-lntermediate Choice G Workout Pre-lntermediate 182 Nancy Lake .

Centre for Languages represented in these three books. people. Hogeschool. Afd. especially for ISBN 87 7307 497 7 those in Eastern Europe who feel the EU model is applicable to their own situation. which relates lan. and particularly municative competence is now seen as inadequate important in relation to the teaching of English. without an awareness of the cultural dimension of It is not just that English has more native speakers interacting in a foreign language. (Willems: 11). £16. Aalborg University. are obvious and deliberate. The parallels with a lingua franca guage to the context in which it is used. Seen from the perspectives of a native speaker If. it does not have an entirely Leuven. PO Box 33. Postbus 30011. and the special position of Interaction between non-native speakers calls for English as a global lingua franca. A New portant element. the establishment of a third culture (tiers culture!) in which 'to negotiate respectfully their different Just as linguistic competence was supplanted by ways of viewing life and human interaction' communicative competence. language speakers and foreign learners than any ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 183 .: The Secondary School drawn from a number of other fields which are Edited by Lies Sercu. (especially those living abroad) must be very NL-6503 HN Niijmegen. Hence the need than any other language except Chinese. 'value-free' culture. standardization within the European Union (EU) to those outside it. Aarup Jensen. But it has become harder to draw geo- graphical or domain boundaries around English. BEF 625 for curriculum in every country. an international Both volumes are available from The Teacher syllabus? And to what extent is English a case Training Centre. as is claimed. com. Denmark 1995 399pp. and Spanish has little currency in Hogeschool Gelderland Press. apart. Lorentsen. the majority of interactions in and a non-native speaker in Romania. Available from Mrs D. ISBN 87 7307 498 5 or providing the rudiments for. and Arabic are far more culturally loaded. Belgium. Centre for Languages and rejecting one pedagogic approach in favour of Intercultural Studies. for example. B-3000 language? Of course. more significant is that it has far more second- This integrates interpersonal skills as an im. Nascholing the culture is tied up closely with the nation and its en Dienstverlening Onderwijs. what is for cross-cultural or intercultural competence. a global language rather than just a foreign Blijde Inkomstraat 21. another. and goes much deeper than Challenge for Language Teachers and mere knowledge and awareness of the culture Trainers in Europe (Landeskunde or civilisation). With Romanian or Danish. the relevance of culture. then clearly raise three major issues: the changing definition of non-native speakers will have a stake in the competence in language learning. 1996 296pp.50 The culture belongs to the people who speak the ISBN 90 74762 09 3 language. Hendriks. spoke Edited by Gerard M Willems no French). BEF 1325 But how far do these books go towards proposing. Its insights are Vol 1. Niimegen Africa or Asia. Faculty of Arts. KULeuven. Netherlands. Jaeger and classroom and in the curriculum does not involve A. Educatieve Faculteit. Reviews Intercultural Competence. and Intercultural Studies. Woodrow Wilson. these books English involve a non-native speaker. but other major world languages such as Chinese. and the proportion of non-native speakers Gelderland. 2: The Adult Learner cultural syllabus to what already takes place in the Edited by A. One of its attractions may be that adding on a pre-packaged Vol. Denmark Standardization within the EU has implications 1995 188pp. French has lost a Issues in Crosscultural lot of ground since the Treaty of Versailles (where Communication: The European negotiations were conducted in English because Dimension in Language Teaching the American President. Aalborg University. Russian. small. K.

trainee teachers. taking cues from the multilingual bibliography. Part 2 with learning it. a country that they research the culture in depth. and Part 3 with teaching it.other language (Crystal 1987: 287). competence is and how it relates to com- How relevant are the conventions of British municative language teaching and the teaching politeness to a German and a Japanese doing of culture. The two volumes entitled Intercultural Com- petence are the output of a two-year Lingua Volume 2 includes articles on the role of the project set up to create a flexible methodology Internet and of stays abroad in acquiring guide for teaching intercultural communicative intercultural competence. and the culture of British terms. students. it is quoted and referred to in other papers. provides invaluable opportunities for virtual contact with the foreign culture. This Danish cultural perspective gives the TV. Although intercultural competence to university students'. time than adults. they argues for the inclusion of intercultural are relevant and informative to anyone with a competence in the curriculum at tertiary level. and expectations. This division corresponds to the distinction made The articles by S0derberg. and could therefore have been Volume 1 focuses on secondary education. the papers are directed at teacher trainers. whereas This. which is Business School. a business environment'. ethnography. and what they can glean from Both volumes include the same extensive face-to-face interaction. Stays abroad are more competence. in the book. It concludes with three practical papers business in English? They will have to find their suggesting how intercultural competence can be own way of communicating with each other. CD-ROM. researchers. how to teach it in the taking into consideration what they know in ad. Volume 2 focuses on adult education. teaching methodology as currently practised in Increasingly. Volume 2 is divided into three parts: Part 1 people is only a small part of the culture which deals chiefly with intercultural competence as a goes with English. and that these an overview of communicative foreign language two groups far outnumber the native speakers. who have more free practitioners from Denmark. to ensure Most of the papers are from Denmark. and develops its theme through takes place between non-native speakers (Jenkins theoretical essays establishing what intercultural 1996: 10). The first article. besides providing the 184 Reviews . The more theoretical Volume 1 consists of seven papers. concept. classroom. It starts with essays. therefore be given ethnographic tasks. built into teaching materials. by Cardel Gertsen. For adults with little time for stays in just ahead of Italy and Ireland (Hofstede 1994: the foreign country. 'Intercultural communication and negotiation in adults have a lifetime of experience to draw on. and go whose people come third in the foreign language beyond superficial first impressions of difference. and textbook from the perspective of an integrated Europe. situation with their learning situation. The project involved researchers and suited to younger learners. of course. Clear and brief. based on the example between andragogy (the art and science of of a study programme at the Copenhagen helping adults learn) and pedagogy. e-mail. therefore. Each volume consists mainly of a set of they are unlikely to be beneficial: students should papers originally produced at a working seminar. They are self-directing and relate learning to their social The balance in both volumes between theoretical roles. but for some reason other's responses. not just ELT. about helping children learn. communication in English Europe. including syllabus questionnaire which is regrettably not included and curriculum designers. Unlike children. Belgium. and more specific In Part 3 practical and theoretical articles attention is given to the teaching of other alternate. writers. The volumes focus on all foreign language teaching. It professional interest in the role of culture in includes statistics based on answers to a language teaching in Europe. The third article. the new technology of cable 213). and how it can be developed during vance of the other person's cultural background school exchanges. but without careful preparation many. and practical papers offers something of interest to all potential readers. for instance. while placed at the beginning of the section. trainers in language and communication skills. and by Binon and Claes. Jaeger's 'Teaching European languages than to English. and the World Wide Web book a distinctive flavour. will be of special interest and as learners are quick to integrate their life to teachers of Business English. provides a framework for intercultural training consultants. The native speaker model is only Volume 1 has a glossary of intercultural becoming irrelevant. competence league table of EU nations. and Ger. implies a need for training in Britain languishes near the bottom of the table.

which provides the (Vol. This taxonomy could serve as a justify the production of two volumes. quite different essays. 1: 8). in the hands of an English. We also errors) and phenomena that can lead to confusion wondered whether there was sufficient specific at three levels: propositional.g. starting point for identifying and analysing difficulties encountered by other non-native Much of the text has the feel of ideas and speakers when communicating in a lingua franca arguments conceived in other languages. focusing on just of (trainee) teachers (Vol. research and takes them closer to deriving 'didactic implications' for the development of 'a The two volumes have been designed for a teacher education strategy in the context of the different readership: practitioners at secondary international dimension' (p. 'Defining training courses. relational. whereas Willems' influence educational policy through the main concern as an anthropologist is to decisions they take. and to competence' in Volume 1 becomes. and British authors. cross-cultural learning are questionable to us. Jaeger's 'Teaching need to raise native speakers' awareness that culture: state of the art' is included in both. Pouw points to a volume to another: thus. they serve citizenship)—European affinity and integrity. allows readers to read teaching intercultural communicative competence' the theoretical analysis. and reference to the school situation in Volume 1 to contextual. recognize cultural differences. socio-pragmatic) which teaching suggestions and sample teaching underline the existing needs of people from materials they include.a summary of their individual contributions oriented teacher training seminar on methods for elsewhere in this volume. and adopt a realistic approach to them. Mtiller and Sercu in Volume 1 for the variety of speech-act selection. and for selecting appropriate leads to problems of style. 'shared values'. the impact of the central ideas would The theoretical part of Pouw's article is followed have been greater with tighter editing and more by concrete examples of erreurs latentes (latent careful co-ordination between the papers. and 'our common syllabus and curriculum designers. He gives examples of common We would particularly recommend the articles by failures at different levels (e. 1: 105). There is a good deal of overlap from one paper to another. and communication produced by non-natives should Aarup Jensen's 'Defining intercultural not be taken at face value (pp. intercultural exercises and exercises in inter- cultural language awareness' (Vol. Whilst there is arguably much to be said for with financial assistance from the Commission of using cultural stereotypes as a basis for raising the European Union. There is also a teaching and teacher training. who can heritage' (emphasis added). but share a common intercultural issues should be included in the aim: to create the basis for European curriculum. French. not achieve his avowed aim of rinding bridges Reviews 185 . background to the more practical suggestions. the editors' specified aim of 'opening the eyes' not Pellow gives a sociologist's view. Dutch. stereotypes and emphasize cultural conflict. with the incorporate awareness-raising tasks in teacher insertion of an extra page of text. three in French.background for the teaching of intercultural The papers are written from a variety of competence. Overall. Their joint contribution also teachers might have welcomed even more synthesizes the conclusions of their separate practice-oriented contributions. competence. Sercu The article by Buffet and Willems. disturbingly high number of typing errors and Whyb'ra's criteria for selecting written texts for spelling mistakes. and German. 215). This at these three levels. which strain the themes and tasks for both foreign language reader's concentration. Written by French. discoursal. Mtiller's two contributions have similar language teaching. but also of 'our culture'. 19. six of the nine papers are in cultural awareness. 1: 117) which is meant for German classes. Miiller offers 'a series of different cultural backgrounds who need to types of exercises for comparing cultures. in but is equally applicable to other languages. also suggest good reasons why professional perspectives. providing clear objectives intercultural competence for the adult learner' in regarding the multicultural dimension in foreign Volume 2. in fact. which is in part provides 'a possible outline for a one-day practice. and tertiary levels. and indeed from one Along with other contributors. as Such stylistic and textual flaws are largely absent the texts he has chosen focus on national from Issues in Cross-cultural Communication. The introduction is in inexperienced or insensitive teacher they may English. From this point of view. in order to develop There is undoubtedly much of interest and value communicative strategies and crosscultural in Intercultural Competence for ELT practitioners. communicate with each other. titles but are. Many French or English.181).

to those in branches of cultural study The last two contributions are practice-oriented. sociology are some and inspiring: Whitehead's Anglo-Flemish case of the disciplines referred to) who wish to know study. too. very Administrator at the College of St Mark and St beginning. and perhaps to cur- strength of these and many articles in this volume riculum designers or others who need to prepare lies not only in their content. perhaps to 'a way of shaping the mind' (Cohen 1971. which saw new pan-European.e. relevant to Romanian speakers of a foreign Jenkins. the first of the cultures. 55). Cultures and Organisations: (origins of misunderstandings) (pp. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of The phenomenon of erreurs latentes. Crystal. They are thus "loaded" like the a bilingual readership. and English as a Foreign Language: linguistic mastery of a foreign language to the time for a change'. Academy of cultures.A. She is also Director of the negotiations with representatives of other PROSPER-ASE Language Centre. The reviewers they are more successful at acquiring accuracy Michael Hall has worked in various areas of ELT than appropriacy. London: Basic Books. UK.across cultures and promoting the sharing of with a good enough command of English and/or European values. independently from the original programming. and that this is not a book (Hofstede 1994. 186 Reviews . John. and a coherent Why are three of the articles written in French? and reader-friendly linking of ideas.' If so. a programming of the mind teaching of French. having a complete knowledge of the language (p. 193-6) are Software of the Mind. the Middle East. quoted by Willems. 'Native speaker. one in programme enables it to do. and Laura Muresan. and References bring about what the authors call a 'change in Cohen. a breaking away from current mental Adaptations to imperatives of culture' in Wax patterns' (p. College of St Mark and St John. Centres to be set up with support from the British Issues in Cross-Cultural Communication is likely Council. He was Adviser to the British Council learning foreign languages from an early age. He is now Academic and Centre mind—needs to be included from the. then efforts English and the other in French. p. 'Introducing a European dimension into the applications of their own field to language initial teacher education'. Bucharest. In-service training and communica. London: HarperCollins. French. culture is seen as languages of the European Union. In other words. G. 1987. raising their awareness of Michael Hall. IATEFL Newsletter 13: point of being perceived by native speakers as 10-11. (ethnography. which specializes in teaching Business to prove useful to language teachers and trainers English and developing cross-cultural awareness. the Far East. tion courses should not forget the relevance of Laura Muresan is a lecturer in English and these cultural aspects to professionals and other German at the Academy of Economic Studies adult learners who have to participate in (ASE). Perhaps because French is one of the two official In the theoretical contributions.) Anthropological Perspectives on Educa- with the unexpected. and de Jong's 'English. Romanians tend to achieve speaker. but fail to achieve a similar grasp of the culture reflected in that language. D. 1971. But this book's minds are programmed by growing up in a certain potential audience is greatly reduced by expecting social context. 1996. 177) which will equip them to cope (ed. to be able to 'load' other cultural models. J. they also have a clear themselves for the increasing standardization of structure and direct style. teaching and to the development of a European or its place in learning about other cultures'. 1994. It might have been better computer that subsequently performs what the to produce two versions of this book. tion. anthropology. multicultural dimension—a the creation of five regional English Teaching sort of multifaceted programming of the Centres. this may result in latent errors in Europe. Y. examples and relevant anecdotes. good use of concrete education in the European Union. p. the programming characteristics of other national Plymouth. The trans-European identity. and developing the skill of behaving Economic Studies. i. 'The shaping of men's minds: mentality. non-native language. Since Romanians start Australia. communication) and sources des malentendus Hofstede. Cambridge: Cambridge University effect on la communication ulterieure (subsequent Press. 71): 'Our purely about teaching English. the Romania's Language Centres project. and their Language. 193). and or misunderstandings. quoted stress that some of the writers specialize in the by Pellow. Bucharest. Plymouth. should be directed at making individuals aware of their own programming.

there are suggestions for using films. Doshisha book's general title. and includes role plays. The problems discussed by pragmatics. It also crops up cultural differences in education or travel settings. concerning questions of A general impression emerged from the research cultural practices in conversation.). in recent months. University of Hawaii at Manoa subject of 'Japanology' to practical hints for 1995 198pp. for example. about classroom practice. and are a rich concern for limiting misunderstanding between bibliographical resource for any interested different cultural groups. etc. with just a few surveys Some of the surveys. in its pragmatic sense. what they all have in common is a behaviour. Bremer. The papers about agenda. family life. whereas the third covers a wider Dougill. and survey papers of a curious kind of insularity intonation. and beliefs. Culture is. and if not to rewrite them. announce. symposiums. and J. Kyoto 610-03. particularly the one by or reports of small. through issues of Elsewhere. Two of the three books that seems to be specific to people thinking about under review are exclusively devoted to cultural teaching in Japan. Achieving Understanding: Discourse in It is difficult to imagine a target audience for all Intercultural Encounters the papers in this collection. roleplays. Yamaguchi Shoten Kyoto Culture and Communication is a collection of 1995 310pp.Brown with the probjem of cultural misunderstandings. Vasseur. such as helping 'intercultural' in their titles and have been learners to check that their remarks about other appearing regularly in my mail. £30 papers from the 1994 JALT Kansai Conference ISBN 4 8411 0787 8 on Culture and Communication. and P. literature. £15. Japan. but that perhaps is K. and South Ameri. turn-taking. Tanabe. C. etc. Over the past ten or teacher. the nature of papers resulting from this type of all- Simonot. capital ' C (art. twenty years aspects of cultural behaviour which are full of potential for misunderstanding have been observed under the microscope.D. would find interesting to explore. which deal specifically Thom Hudson. and survey papers culture takes a prominent position on the ELT (research. Fujiwara's and seminars with 'cultural'. as all three of these teacher and materials writer.. However. About half of order) them simply offer ideas for developing communicative competence and awareness of Developing Prototypic Measures of functions in the classroom. whereas one of them is essentially borrow for topics of action research projects. or for classroom Cross-Cultural Pragmatics teaching. The remainder. simultaneous talk. M. etc. Despite the (Available from Susan K. comers conference. Rimmert. American cultural encounters. Roberts. Emily Deter. it focuses exclusively on Women's College.-T. colloquiums. of cultures are formulated in a neutral and non- course. lightweight research projects. devoted to a broader range of interaction point to areas that teachers of any cultural group (European. classroom-oriented issues of acquired their own jargon and status—proxemics Culture and Communication. North African. action research or small There is an ebb and flow to the manner in which project research reports. etc. The Enclose cheque made out to Susan Kitao with articles cover a range of topics. seem neither more nor less variety of issues.Culture and Communication books indicate in their different ways. or paper contains interesting ideas. It ranges from Culture with a judgmental way. Two of the books are important than the problems I have encountered concerned almost exclusively with Japanese and with other Asian and non-Asian nationalities. Second Language Teaching and Curriculum range from a slightly obscure introduction to the Centre. Two of the books are about research certainly ideas teachers in other situations could projects. Developing Proto- typical Measures of Cross-Cultural Pragmatics Reviews 187 . M. for example.99 cultural aspects of communication fall into three ISBN 0 582 08644 2 categories: ideas for classroom teaching (using films. status.). transfer to other cultural situations. customs. textbooks). interested teachers will be able to adopt and ments of publications. discuss such interesting issues as listener However. Broeder. a vast topic. such as Rimmert's. whereas the third is Other papers. Those concerned with the Longman 1996 270pp. as. and have After the practical. as a classroom is a case in point. helping Japanese students or their teachers to ISBN 0 8248 1763 X cope with areas of difference. and there are can). These books seem to be part of an classroom practice contain good ideas that incoming tide. multi-cultural'. Kitao. there is still Edited by Kenji Kitao a lot to be done. Japanese problems of communication. and so on to help learners cope with attitudes and conceptual systems.

but the putting title. the responses are: three speech acts—requests. However. Excuse me. for instance that native of research for research's sake. though I non-native speaker responses to common remained a little puzzled to the end by the term situations. less imposition). a relationship). 'oral semi-direct measures' (cues for native and non-native speaker moves and responses in a language laboratory or in role-play strategies. but at this point we seem to be moving situations). such as intonation more reference in the bibliography to work on patterns. assessment compared to those on other aspects What to make of 'Oh. which is not the speakers use different strategies to be polite. At just 66 pages the report itself is short. the next step. One would also have expected less linguistically challenging. each with cued and free The second response is obviously inappropriate. + D or . education and business—is buried away towards Let us take two examples. but it is difficult to find information about the taught. and slightly off. For such people. the distracters may Shohamy. such as that of Elana multiple-choice tests. But then I am not a researcher in this field. come by. this picture frame is stiff (p. The report begins with a that one of the ways in which native speakers description of the testing instruments. including those to the very small section 115). However. I found a number of classroom teachers and materials writers. authors' stated aim. The negative impression remained as. and self-assessment measures. some of the reflects the limitations of this work. fairly predictable and limited in scope. This sort of data is not always easy to 'cell'. the references do not seem when compared with the responses researchers to be particularly up-to-date and the bibliography had collected from native speakers. and the way the project was set up. In the oral testing in EFL or ESL. In focused on a small sample of Japanese learners in several of the items. and common sense would seem to indicate sample used for development. appendices contain a mine of useful data for flicking through the book. but neither of the others seems to me inappropriate ended responses following a description of a or wrong. Excuse me. to be fair. But this is an area which is not much aim. may wish of the tests. the manage to be more polite is with the use of development of which is the researchers' main intensifiers. 118). They unfamiliar acronyms. but one hardly number of bibliographical references to self. especially since that learners adopt strategies for being polite which are more obvious and straightforward and there is no index. responses: written (multiple-choice tests or open. The research illustrates the end of the paper. three different ways. notices since the language itself is so wrong. it is 117)? Although the researchers found that the made clear that self-assessment is a major part of non-native speakers lacked the 'right' language. but readers would 188 Reviews . It selects not have a napkin on their dinner tray (p. Overall. please. the rationale for the project in practical much to do with the limits of their general terms—the need for performance assessment in linguistic ability as with any pragmatic failure. simple markers. non-native speaker responses were certainly The report itself is on the first phase of research culturally adequate and in no way offensive. of testing. There are also a disproportionate occasionally be inappropriate. is so pragmatics and those which result from linguistic deeply embedded it is difficult to find. The research was carried out in c.D (more or less distance Could you give me one? in a social relationship). for instance. followed by lengthy appendices containing some particularly an action research project. this makes incompetence. They may well be different in terms of situation).struck me as a rather technical. It is very difficult to weakness will be that information about the separate out problems which result from cultural sample. the to be people who are setting up projects related to appendices also revealed the basic flaw of this the topic. or — R (more or b. and apologies—and looks at them through a framework of + P or — P (more or less power in a. or hesitations. on this topic in the book. though it covers areas which are often and the intended readership for this book seems neglected in the classroom. The out of the domain of application to practical project seems to go to great lengths to discover classroom teaching or testing and into the domain some fairly obvious facts. The problems encountered by the it hard to difficult to evaluate the research. Excuse me! Give me a napkin. On closer acquaintance the take the form of a bank of native-speaker and formulae became easy to process. I seem to be missing a napkin. I could not even work out an educational context in the United States. In the situation of travellers on a plane who do speakers in a number of other settings. I found the results of the research to refer to this publication. and + P. the paper's major kind of research project. refusals. For Japanese learners in the sample seem to be as example. could I have a napkin. It what the correct native-speaker response should contrasts their responses to those of native be. or 'I am covered under an insurance' (p. but it is Teachers looking for ideas for a research project.

and scrupulous honesty. addressing not only the Play (OUP. the only book out of the three that I ethnography and sociological method. perhaps because all the con- tributors write with great clarity and conviction. where she is co- post office. The book will interest a wide range of people in Gillian Porter Ladousse. As an immigrant Cultures des Pays du Commonwealth. General Editor: Michael McCarthy Cambridge University Press 1996 480pp. Paths into The researchers set out to identify different types Poetry. not just speech acts but Gillian Porter Ladousse is a senior lecturer at the 'life acts'. exchange. including Going Places (Heinemann. even the general reader. with Joanne Collie (OUP.50 Reviews 189 . yet with a good worked with teachers from many parts of the command of the host language. and we know far too the breadth and length of the study. and is Director of a British Council to them as they tried to negotiate situations in Summer School on materials and methodology. and try to cope with bureaucrats at the Universite de Cergy-Pontoise. They also appreciate the complexities of such exchanges: 'Any degree of (non-) understanding Cambridge Word Routes Anglais- results from complex fusion of particular. on the other hand. and so some of the research is based on role-play situations. while putting the issue on the agenda is a prehensive bibliography includes the literature on good thing. This is a substantial standing is due to cultural factors or simply poor volume—not in terms of pages. makes a very good read. problems of collecting authentic data. the com. Cambridge Word Routes Anglika- and manage to explain terms and issues without Ellinika being patronizing. These cultural encounters of 26 minority workers in cross-cultural situations in five countries over two three publications widen the framework. The importance of the practical implications of ISBN 0 521 48024 8 (hardback) £14. which basic cultural reactions. pausing at every turn to examine practitioners and the general reader to accept that the literature and foresee possible traps. people working with minority workers. and ISBN 0 521 44569 8 (paperback) £10. recounted with much soul-searching in Intercultural Encounters. 1987). acquisition. and. but I did not find this at ISBN 0 521 42583 2 (paperback) £10. Having up-to-date overview of the literature. Anyone concerned with Anyone interested in setting up a research project learning or acquisition in theoretical or practical on cultural pragmatics. General Editor: Michael McCarthy 14) Concern and respect for the complexity of the Cambridge University Press 1994 480pp. will find terms will also find food for thought in this everything they have ever wanted to know in volume. The there is more to understanding and com- book's thorough approach makes it not only an munication than using words with dictionary account of a research project but also an excellent correctness in the correct syntactic order. I would have thought. or caretakers at college. Achieving Understanding: Discourse in Sorting out and defining whether misunder- Intercultural Encounters. Language Issues (Longman. and Speaking Personally what but also the why.50 all off-putting. They are well aware of the (CUP.' (p. for the general reader. would buy is Achieving Understanding: Discourse search itself. are director of the Groupe de Recherche sur les fascinating. but the size of the sample (a modest twenty two things are certain: cultural misunderstandings immigrants in various situations) but because of occur with great frequency. France. and even moving. and She is co-ordinator of the IATEFL Teacher expectations seem to override any purely linguistic Trainer SIG. behaviour. issues necessarily lead to the inclusion of technical ISBN 0 521 45464 6 (hardback) £14. 1993). and force and a half years. nor because of linguistic competence is perhaps a red herring. said that. 1983).need to look elsewhere for a more convincing partly explains what makes the book interesting methodology. 1991). classroom teachers in multi-cultural situations. 1995-). Role of (non-) understanding. The re.50 such a project in social linguistics is clear. and the author of several books. my heart went out world. It plots the little about why and how they happen. local Frangais inferences and general or global knowledge. Universite de Cergy- the profession: researchers in second language Pontoise. The more or less successful experiences of the minority workers as they go The reviewer about their daily routine.50 information and analyses. She has and minority worker myself.

General Editor: Michael McCarthy Cambridge University Press 1996 480pp. but the size of the sample (a modest twenty two things are certain: cultural misunderstandings immigrants in various situations) but because of occur with great frequency. which basic cultural reactions.50 Reviews 189 . and scrupulous honesty. Paths into The researchers set out to identify different types Poetry. She has and minority worker myself. problems of collecting authentic data. with Joanne Collie (OUP. and the author of several books. exchange. makes a very good read. Language Issues (Longman. yet with a good worked with teachers from many parts of the command of the host language. They also appreciate the complexities of such exchanges: 'Any degree of (non-) understanding Cambridge Word Routes Anglais- results from complex fusion of particular. recounted with much soul-searching in Intercultural Encounters. are director of the Groupe de Recherche sur les fascinating.' (p. classroom teachers in multi-cultural situations. would buy is Achieving Understanding: Discourse search itself. The re. I would have thought. addressing not only the Play (OUP. my heart went out world. France. Anyone concerned with Anyone interested in setting up a research project learning or acquisition in theoretical or practical on cultural pragmatics. including Going Places (Heinemann. The importance of the practical implications of ISBN 0 521 48024 8 (hardback) £14. Achieving Understanding: Discourse in Sorting out and defining whether misunder- Intercultural Encounters. behaviour. not just speech acts but Gillian Porter Ladousse is a senior lecturer at the 'life acts'. This is a substantial standing is due to cultural factors or simply poor volume—not in terms of pages. even the general reader. It plots the little about why and how they happen. They are well aware of the (CUP. nor because of linguistic competence is perhaps a red herring. 1993). General Editor: Michael McCarthy 14) Concern and respect for the complexity of the Cambridge University Press 1994 480pp. and we know far too the breadth and length of the study. and even moving. The there is more to understanding and com- book's thorough approach makes it not only an munication than using words with dictionary account of a research project but also an excellent correctness in the correct syntactic order. said that. issues necessarily lead to the inclusion of technical ISBN 0 521 45464 6 (hardback) £14.50 such a project in social linguistics is clear. 1995-).50 information and analyses. and She is co-ordinator of the IATEFL Teacher expectations seem to override any purely linguistic Trainer SIG. and. and try to cope with bureaucrats at the Universite de Cergy-Pontoise. where she is co- post office. Role of (non-) understanding. but I did not find this at ISBN 0 521 42583 2 (paperback) £10. and ISBN 0 521 44569 8 (paperback) £10. acquisition. As an immigrant Cultures des Pays du Commonwealth. the com. and Speaking Personally what but also the why. Cambridge Word Routes Anglika- and manage to explain terms and issues without Ellinika being patronizing. pausing at every turn to examine practitioners and the general reader to accept that the literature and foresee possible traps. on the other hand. These cultural encounters of 26 minority workers in cross-cultural situations in five countries over two three publications widen the framework. while putting the issue on the agenda is a prehensive bibliography includes the literature on good thing. The book will interest a wide range of people in Gillian Porter Ladousse. the only book out of the three that I ethnography and sociological method. and is Director of a British Council to them as they tried to negotiate situations in Summer School on materials and methodology. or caretakers at college. and so some of the research is based on role-play situations. for the general reader. The more or less successful experiences of the minority workers as they go The reviewer about their daily routine. 1987). 1983). Having up-to-date overview of the literature.50 all off-putting. people working with minority workers.need to look elsewhere for a more convincing partly explains what makes the book interesting methodology. will find terms will also find food for thought in this everything they have ever wanted to know in volume. Universite de Cergy- the profession: researchers in second language Pontoise. and force and a half years. 1991). perhaps because all the con- tributors write with great clarity and conviction. local Frangais inferences and general or global knowledge.

General Editor: Michael McCarthy Presumably they are not designed mainly as a way Cambridge University Press 1995 480pp. sentence examples with translations (the system is speed and convenience of reference. As there is no overall map of categories. What concerns me about Word Routes in common errors.3 sleep/ British and American spelling/ usage. the entry referenced with the alphabetical list.000 words are listed in the English ISBN 0 521 47311 X (hardback) £15. and near synonyms. In fact. The selection of lexis included in Word Routes is based on usefulness Once found.65 number to serve an intermediate student's My students greeted the Longman Language receptive needs (the Oxford Elementary Activator with joy and near disbelief when they Learner's Dictionary claims 15. organized alphabetically by English translations.00 writing. support correct usage. but also perhaps to good dictionary. the entries are sound. and explains that it can the book. which would take longer General Editor: Michael McCarthy than using a conventional dictionary. though it is in some ways a clumsy tool as 190 Reviews . The for marking all of these types of information being Language Activator's categories are arranged clearly explained in diagrammatic form in the alphabetically. Michael ISBN 0 521 48025 6 (hardback) £14.Cambridge Word Routes Inglese. Naturally.000 references). the dictionary has been entirely sleep disturbances. Activator has 17 sub-categories and 58 entries for presumably for the commercial purpose of sleep (pp. shattered are included under section 182. including fall asleep. and Word Routes' selective establish that English words may have no one-to- approach may be less daunting to the one correspondence with the LI. be used with to in a sentence such as 'This information proved invaluable to the police'. English one. there is information on remarkably well chosen (e. and to use words with the catala benefit of grammatical and usage information.65 and the categories are not arranged alphabetically. The Cambridge Word Routes series shares an Paradoxically.1. exhaustive lists of allowing the same structure to be translated for categories and entries do not necessarily make a users of any first language. a word or concept must first be located in the Cambridge Word Selector Ingles. Word Routes section 182 lists a total of 35 entries. Will they be located in the wordlists in order to find the correct doubly overjoyed to discover a bilingual 'thematic category of English words. yet what sections. and all word entries are cross. does the series set out to do? It is not clear to me Italiano whether Word Routes are designed to replace General Editor: Michael McCarthy conventional dictionary use—or exactly how the Cambridge University Press 1995 480pp. of looking up words encountered in speech or ISBN 0 521 48026 4 (hardback) £15. associated structures. sleep for a short time. For example. whereas any for invaluable (section 268. intermediate learner. In addition. by this criterion. therefore. register. and do indeed in everyday situations and is. English or LI index at the back of the book and Espahol then under its number.50 McCarthy's Introduction (in the target users' LI) ISBN 0 521 42223 X(paperback) £10. only around 8. as well as English phrase or full comparison to the Language Activator.00 index as being covered in the books: too small a ISBN 0 521 42582 4(paperback) £13.50 specifies only that Word Routes' major advantages are the facility to distinguish between synonyms Cambridge Word Selector angles. however. lists the types of small-print English or LI wordlists at the end of nouns it often describes. ISBN 0 521 45902 8 (paperback) £13.244-471). introduction to the book). points out that the consultation of Word Routes has to start from the word is a little formal. be tired. Cambridge University Press 1995 480pp. and tired). an English speaker important feature with the Language Activator: a would find it easier to locate a relevant foreign- thesaurus-type organization by concept category language word than a learner would to find an with sub-categories. I would prefer to judge the usefulness of Word Routes on its own terms rather than compare it to Given these qualities of clarity and detail within a reference book with differing aims. Following the LI translation of each entry. finding the right shade dictionary of contemporary English' available in of meaning among a category of words then several languages? necessitates looking through the whole list. The Language constructed around English semantic domains. For example. but useful. under sleep. If worked out exactly what it was and how it could the books are used for productive purposes. books could be most effectively used.1). an help them track down the precise shade of English appropriate word in the learner's LI must first be meaning they were searching for. and waking.g worn-out and common collocates.

I will (on)'. I would have found a more unified Longman. Many are soft pencil sketches—the 1. it's difficult to gauge exactly how this is Learning and is editor of Folio. which Oxford: Oxford University Press. and confident style less distracting. through. but surely Word Routes as a book to dip into. Although it claims to be suitable phrases relevant to the category are particularly for everybody who studies and uses the English inviting to explore. The phrase boxes listing common idioms and set why. yet does not sell strides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. with its bold. A distinctive and valuable feature of the books is Oxford Elementary Learner's Dictionary. learners are most likely to value the written communications section). get better. with notes on register. uncountable volume of the Word Routes series as a nouns) and cultural information such as descriptions of school and political systems in supplementary resource. 1995.g. Again. Materials Development for Second Language however. Harlow: of image types. Routes series: how to find information in the book is made clear. It seems too limited in scope to meet life (e. or frankly clumsy and grotesque ink Note drawings. She has just completed an MA in translation. not only colourful but language. under section 418 improve: 'make (great) these learners' receptive needs. false friends. come along/come on. and a book to browse Britain and the United States. examples. and advice and complaints. listing 48 communicative functions such as opening a conversation. Eurocentre. In The reviewer other respects this section follows the same Rhiannon Williams teaches at Eurocentre. others neutral realist line drawings. Some Rhiannon Williams. Cambridge illustrations are stylized and bold in the style of 1930s woodcuts. fortunately does have a contents page. but what is less obvious is the who. 1994. the language and communication section. Reviews 191 . Cam- format as the main text.g. it appears to be aimed at intermediate generally very well chosen for utility in everyday learners. and when. the journal of meant to be used—perhaps in letter writing (using the Materials Development Association. and usage boxes. 1993. brush up or organize itself as a productive dictionary. silhouetted images. black.a dictionary. to explore not for conversation. Cambridge International Dictionary of English. Other boxes highlight common points of be advising my students to consider the relevant difficulty in usage (e. Although References one style may not have been practical for a variety Longman Language Activator. there are plenty of mixed types (from single named objects to scenes) and styles. but not as an alternative to buying one of the excellent monolingual dictionaries currently All the books contain the same illustrations^ and available. semantic fields and develop vocabulary awareness—which cannot but benefit their This is the essence of my doubt about the Word language learning. Cambridge International Dictionary of English. bridge. All page references are to Cambridge Word opposite approach to that taken in the Selector Ingles-Espahol.

The term 'action research' has often been used For a general account of classroom research. specific classes. in Education (Routledge 1994). Doing Your Research Project observe-reflect). Kemmis (1983) describes it as a writing. and recording lessons. The term 'action research' was adopted to need investigation. observation. learner factors. monitor learners' problems. and would-be teacher-researchers Hopkins. more detailed discussion. professional development occur when teachers and then compared to a control group which has review their experience in a systematic way (see not had the treatment. Even a progress test is a simple form and the situations in which the practices are of research which can be used not simply to check carried out. and group justice of their own social and educational dynamics. and for ideas never been put to the test. important benefits. Key concepts in ELT Classroom research specific: teachers investigating their own The idea of teacher-led research developed in teaching. On teacher-led Classroom research in ELT is not a hobby: it is a research in language teaching. and for advice follow a rigidly defined cycle (plan-act. visual versus auditory memory. they can establish which are the most targeted way. and the process of Press 1994) provide a basic introduction. For learning which our students experience. Richards and professional imperative. Secondly. where personal and subjected to a change of technique or materials. learning but also to monitor the interlanguage of Action research is envisaged as conferring two class members. in which one Wallace 1991: 49 for a model). adding to our knowledge of language Observation in the Language Classroom teaching and learning (in which case. necessary to replicate any findings with a number The IATEFL Research SIG will shortly be of different classes). their understanding of those practices. case studies. controlled experiments. It may thus be general on observation tasks. where one class is reflective teaching. It plays an important part in lesson. in aim. see Allwright and Classroom research also enables us to evaluate Bailey. it encourages teachers Other possible methods include: fieldnotes. in order to effective for them. Chapter 5). questionnaires. They include teacher talk. dependence upon precepts handed down by and/or interviews. communi- participants in social (including educational) cation strategies. A Teacher's Guide to Classroom have been deterred by suggestions that it has to Research (Open University 1993). situations in order to improve the rationality and attention span. introspection. Equally various are the methods practices. By testing for themselves describes the experience of undertaking a task in the methods and materials they use in the L2. or it may be extremely publishing a teacher-friendly Handbook of 192 ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 . on methods see Bell. surveys. Reflective Teaching in Second discovery projects can we extend our knowledge Language Classrooms (Cambridge University of the impact of our teaching. error correction. available. A standard guide on to speak of 'classroom research' or 'teacher-led methods is Cohen and Manion. in to reflect on their practice. releasing them from students. or individuals. processing in L2 reading and a class teacher. Research Methods research'. Focus on the Language Classroom techniques which are taken for granted but have (Cambridge University Press 1994). inductive versus deductive form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by methods of grammar presentation. it is said follows the progress of a targeted student or to empower teachers. Many commentators now prefer (Open University 1993). secondary education in the late 1960s and early There are many areas in language teaching which 1970s. Firstly. where peers are observed in a classroom. describe a small-scale investigation undertaken by vocabulary load. and to undertake error analysis. see imprecisely. where a learner trainers and inspectors. consult Allwright. and therefore leads to which the teacher keeps a reflective log after each potential change. it will be (Longman 1991) and Wallace (1991. Only by undertaking Lockhart. learner diaries.

UK). M. Kingsdown Chambers. J. Kent CT5 2DJ. He is a and T. ence in Europe. Kingsdown Press. He is currently co-ordinator of the Wallace. the Far East. contact Teachers. in T. Key concepts in ELT 193 . 1983: 'Action research'. Cambridge: Cambridge University IATEFL. S. Oxford: Pergamon.) International Ency. Whitstable. The author References John Field is currently doing PhD research on Kemmis.Classroom Research (for further details. the Middle East. materials writer and teacher trainer with experi- clopaedia of Education: Research and Studies. Postlethwaite (eds. Husen listening at the University of Cambridge. 1991: Training Foreign Language IATEFL Research SIG. and Africa. Park.

Firstly. but teachers from other contexts may only see Heather Westrup. provided you have 'communicative' methods may lead to criticism an excellent understanding of new approaches. going by my own experience. are understandably wary of innovation. the same maxims can their agenda. Discontent with their own As for the evaluation of materials and tasks in present teaching methods may not even be on current use by teachers. group feedback in an INSET course in West There is no proof yet that methods based on Africa. how we could achieve the same objective with a less culturally offensive method. UK everyday classroom behaviour. and why implies that the problematic relationship between answer sheets have to be bought in bookshops and authenticity and autonomy is a figment of the ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 194 . Given which may be suited to the well-heeled environ. the risks needed Pakistan. Introducing inadequate books is possible. Why should they question the validity of such widespread methods? We know that impossible tasks are given to From Henry Widdowson language students in some parts of the world. In most cases. may have Western teachers falling off their seats. the sudden freedom to speak openly. we do not know this is so. My discomfort and about the role of the teacher. I question Ms Bloomfield's assumption our errors or those of others! that most trainees on short courses are well aware of their own problems. In many exams. of changing the situation? tion is said to be rooted at classroom level. Teachers with a two-hour teachers only begin to react negatively to their journey to and from their allotted school. and more attractive. and see June Bloomfield's 'destabilizing' activities secondly. judgement of how local teachers teach. from heads of department. and who ready to use) emanating from the West that are work to a rigid syllabus controlled by traditional better produced. are necessarily flexible colleagues to shreds. and about the value that of the older teachers set me thinking about of education and language learning. after courses is poor. more traditional and less which most Western trainers come. and in effect states that Western teaching approaches are In any case. have insufficient power to change the shock' approach. But we learn by First of all. Although successful innova. other classroom norms. Russia. who are not well paid. places where I have done INSET courses—Africa. where there are other their micro-teaching. Back in their home environment. interrupting suited to other contexts. It is not surprising that the take-up apply as in teaching methods. from another it is common practice and touches on a delicate area when she suggests common sense. the culture of some educational contexts militates Innovation is a lengthy process. It takes a highly challenge. and in my opinion against this. Malaysia—the likelihood of to implement innovation become all too apparent getting such materials is very slim. skills needed for effective group feedback. younger ment of language schools and state institutes from teachers tore their older. but even experienced trainers find adaptation a and discontent among parents. There was no time to teach the delicate research done in the UK and North America. based on methods which the teachers are not yet whose chances of promotion are remote. De-stabilization involves a value status quo. I cannot superior. David Bamforth's letter (ELT Journal 50/4) and that this is why they do not learn. and other beliefs norms of respect for elders. Modifying and the work load too onerous. pointing. ridicule by students. Cambridge. Correspondence From Heather Westrup from stalls in the market. and contravening all cultural needs. Demonstrating 'bad practice' been left behind many decades ago. and teachers. who own materials when they are shown others (often have classes of 50 or more. ways of combating the 'poor take-up' by local I remember organizing some peer teaching and teachers after short INSET courses. such a colonial attitude should have having much effect. being lowest in the there should be little place in it for the 'short sharp hierarchy. From one viewpoint it is Jane Bloomfield's letter (ELT Journal 49/4) cribbing. Is it right that tutors should generate motivated and ambitious teacher to run the gamut discontent and resentment when there is no hope of such a response.

and more attractive. the culture of some educational contexts militates Innovation is a lengthy process. younger ment of language schools and state institutes from teachers tore their older. places where I have done INSET courses—Africa. going by my own experience. ridicule by students. and other beliefs norms of respect for elders. Correspondence From Heather Westrup from stalls in the market. group feedback in an INSET course in West There is no proof yet that methods based on Africa. Given which may be suited to the well-heeled environ. Malaysia—the likelihood of to implement innovation become all too apparent getting such materials is very slim. from heads of department. I question Ms Bloomfield's assumption our errors or those of others! that most trainees on short courses are well aware of their own problems. other classroom norms. My discomfort and about the role of the teacher. provided you have 'communicative' methods may lead to criticism an excellent understanding of new approaches. Teachers with a two-hour teachers only begin to react negatively to their journey to and from their allotted school. are understandably wary of innovation. may have Western teachers falling off their seats. Although successful innova. Russia. judgement of how local teachers teach. Cambridge. interrupting suited to other contexts. Introducing inadequate books is possible. have insufficient power to change the shock' approach. ways of combating the 'poor take-up' by local I remember organizing some peer teaching and teachers after short INSET courses. It takes a highly challenge. pointing. such a colonial attitude should have having much effect. UK everyday classroom behaviour. skills needed for effective group feedback. and in my opinion against this. In many exams. and contravening all cultural needs. Firstly. In most cases. after courses is poor. From one viewpoint it is Jane Bloomfield's letter (ELT Journal 49/4) cribbing. But we learn by First of all. Back in their home environment. of changing the situation? tion is said to be rooted at classroom level. and who ready to use) emanating from the West that are work to a rigid syllabus controlled by traditional better produced. Is it right that tutors should generate motivated and ambitious teacher to run the gamut discontent and resentment when there is no hope of such a response. where there are other their micro-teaching. we do not know this is so. who own materials when they are shown others (often have classes of 50 or more. Modifying and the work load too onerous. I cannot superior. but even experienced trainers find adaptation a and discontent among parents. Why should they question the validity of such widespread methods? We know that impossible tasks are given to From Henry Widdowson language students in some parts of the world. There was no time to teach the delicate research done in the UK and North America. De-stabilization involves a value status quo. how we could achieve the same objective with a less culturally offensive method. more traditional and less which most Western trainers come. the sudden freedom to speak openly. and in effect states that Western teaching approaches are In any case. It is not surprising that the take-up apply as in teaching methods. the risks needed Pakistan. being lowest in the there should be little place in it for the 'short sharp hierarchy. and teachers. based on methods which the teachers are not yet whose chances of promotion are remote. from another it is common practice and touches on a delicate area when she suggests common sense. who are not well paid. David Bamforth's letter (ELT Journal 50/4) and that this is why they do not learn. Discontent with their own As for the evaluation of materials and tasks in present teaching methods may not even be on current use by teachers. but teachers from other contexts may only see Heather Westrup. Demonstrating 'bad practice' been left behind many decades ago. are necessarily flexible colleagues to shreds. the same maxims can their agenda. and about the value that of the older teachers set me thinking about of education and language learning. and see June Bloomfield's 'destabilizing' activities secondly. and why implies that the problematic relationship between answer sheets have to be bought in bookshops and authenticity and autonomy is a figment of the ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 194 .

so I had better clarify that first.R. For teachers. between the presented language and the practised Automatic Pilots Straight ahead. guage 'as a point of reference'. the practice stage of a lesson. presumably focused on non-authentic language. and this each I have given an example of appropriate is certainly not to be equated with what goes on in language for practice in that context. So what is it? This is a impinge on practice. I am not alone in thinking that this poses a Aggressive Profiteers What goes up must come problem for pedagogy. His response is based in part on a misunderstanding of my H. Widdowson. the issue that I have raised. a child is for life he says. one might ask. University of separate'. if not impossible. and that profession who are uncertain of the meaning of there is no point in trying to anyway. language? What is the point of presenting Awful Poets Give me time. to replicate I am still surprised at meeting people in the ELT the conditions that make it authentic. Arresting Policemen Stop! Quite apart from the issue of what counts as Au Pairs Never wash your dirty authentic. Hon. Anxious Parents Relax . Jordan. Jordan think it is difficult. it exploited in practice? The two stages surely cannot be described just as 'subsequent and R. I am not suggesting that authentic language should be used in the presentation stage: on the contrary. Ailing Parrots Poor Polly! Antiquated Politicians I will resign on a matter But even in David Bamforth's own terms there is of principle. Some sort of Manchester Correspondence 195 . using the authentic lan. he says. debate between Ronald Carter/Michael McCarthy Agnostic Preachers I am not sure but.theoretical imagination which simply does not relationship is implied.. whatever the stage of the expired. there is practical question which it seems to me practising no problem because there is no relationship: they teachers are very much concerned with. not just for Christmas. lesson. a problem: authentic language is presented first. It occurs to me that they may be learners appropriate the language and make it confusing it with one of the following. As to the abbreviation EAP (English for Academic autonomy. G. I believe.. And it is a first present authentic language and then provide question which seems to me to lead inevitably to autonomous practice. this has to do with ways in which Purposes). Fellow. Alongside purposeful in relation to their own reality. it will 'authentic' language in the first place.R. what. and leave it at that. as witness the continuing down. and how is rhyme. Ageing Professors The shelf-life has tably in the classroom. possi- and Luke Prodromou in these correspondence bly. University of Vienna position. My point is that authenticity and autonomy presuppose different English for contexts of reality which do not co-exist comfor. I From R. and then a practice situation is devised. columns. is the connection linen in public.

It occurs to me that they may be learners appropriate the language and make it confusing it with one of the following. what. if not impossible. presumably focused on non-authentic language. it exploited in practice? The two stages surely cannot be described just as 'subsequent and R. I From R. And it is a first present authentic language and then provide question which seems to me to lead inevitably to autonomous practice. columns. Arresting Policemen Stop! Quite apart from the issue of what counts as Au Pairs Never wash your dirty authentic. this has to do with ways in which Purposes). one might ask. he says.R.R. Hon. and how is rhyme. language? What is the point of presenting Awful Poets Give me time. Alongside purposeful in relation to their own reality. and that profession who are uncertain of the meaning of there is no point in trying to anyway. University of Vienna position. as witness the continuing down. G. and leave it at that. University of separate'. between the presented language and the practised Automatic Pilots Straight ahead. possi- and Luke Prodromou in these correspondence bly. Ailing Parrots Poor Polly! Antiquated Politicians I will resign on a matter But even in David Bamforth's own terms there is of principle. and this each I have given an example of appropriate is certainly not to be equated with what goes on in language for practice in that context. the issue that I have raised. it will 'authentic' language in the first place. My point is that authenticity and autonomy presuppose different English for contexts of reality which do not co-exist comfor. debate between Ronald Carter/Michael McCarthy Agnostic Preachers I am not sure but. is the connection linen in public. I am not suggesting that authentic language should be used in the presentation stage: on the contrary. lesson. the practice stage of a lesson. I believe. Anxious Parents Relax . Jordan. guage 'as a point of reference'.. Widdowson. a problem: authentic language is presented first. Jordan think it is difficult. His response is based in part on a misunderstanding of my H. Fellow. to replicate I am still surprised at meeting people in the ELT the conditions that make it authentic.. using the authentic lan. whatever the stage of the expired. a child is for life he says.theoretical imagination which simply does not relationship is implied. For teachers. As to the abbreviation EAP (English for Academic autonomy. So what is it? This is a impinge on practice. not just for Christmas. so I had better clarify that first. Some sort of Manchester Correspondence 195 . Ageing Professors The shelf-life has tably in the classroom. there is practical question which it seems to me practising no problem because there is no relationship: they teachers are very much concerned with. and then a practice situation is devised. I am not alone in thinking that this poses a Aggressive Profiteers What goes up must come problem for pedagogy.

A further scholarship was awarded to a teacher from the Czech Republic A Mini SIG Symposium with varied themes is under the W. The theme will be Following a recent trip to Korea by Madeleine du Testing Pronunciation. IATEFL Forthcoming events Publications 31st Annual Conference A further collection of articles from the Teacher Plenary speakers at the Conference being held in Development and Teacher Research SIGs is Brighton 2-5 April 1997 are: available from IATEFL Head Office. place from 8-10 September 1997. reception supper. East and in Central and Eastern Europe who are Following the launch of IATEFL Brazil in IATEFL members and interested in applying for October 1996 plans are afoot for a Joint ELT scholarships in 1998 should see the April/May Management SIG/IATEFL Brazil event in issue of the IATEFL Newsletter. but will also be on sale from the IATEFL office from May 1997. For further infor. IATEFL office for further information. Email: from India and Malaysia to attend the Interna- zeaclO6@uvm. benefits of membership. Lee Fund. teach reading? Leaflets detailing IATEFL's growing list of pub- Rex King Can public examinations have a lications arising from the work of the SIGS. letters and conferences. Oranim.R. SIG News The Pronunciation and Testing SIGs are organiz- ing a joint event to be held at Eurocentre Associates Cambridge in May 1997. University IATEFL's new Associate Scheme is growing Division. entitled associates. 36006. with a total of 40 teachers' groups across butz Movement. The the world from Chile to China now enjoying the registration fee including all sessions. Oranim Teachers' College of the Kib. under the Ray Tongue Fund to allow teachers Tivon. or contact the October 1997. Fax 972-4-9832167. For further information Vivier and Jill Stajduhar. Delia Summers Credibility gap: the language we Alan McLean has accepted the position of Editor use and the language we teach. Jean Aitchison Lost nails and maypoles: some A collection of key papers from the 1997 IATEFL current language issues. and positive backwash effect on videos of plenary talks at recent annual confer- classroom teaching? ences are available from the IATEFL office. Israel. Teachers in the Far planned for 19-21 September 1997 in Bavaria. and will be hosted by the English Department. KOTESOL has decided contact the IATEFL office. IATEFL greatly looks forward to the Teachers Develop Teachers Research. for the first edition of the IATEFL SIG publica- Penny Ur Are language teachers born or tion. and transfers to the conference for those residing in Haifa. will be $120 for those Scholarships registering by 1st May 1997. Israel. steadily. Claire Kramsch In another tongue. It will take closer co-operation that this will bring. 196 ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 . International Conferences is planned for Michael Hoey How can text analysis help us to November 1997. The publication will go to all full individual members of IATEFL as an extra benefit of their tea/coffee. Haifa University.haifa. to join KOSETA (The Korean Association for Secondary School Teachers of English) as a The Teacher Development and Research SIGs member of IATEFL's international network of are organizing their third joint conference. This new project aims to bring together all made? fourteen SIGs in one annual publication with key Videos of these talks may be ordered from the articles and papers from previous years' news- IATEFL office. Two IATEFL scholarships were awarded this year mation please contact Kari tional Conference.

for the August issue. Tel: +44 from IATEFL members on any aspect of these (°) 1 2 2 7 276528 Fax: +44 topics are warmly welcomed. 3 Kingsdown IATEFL.IATEFL Newsletter For further information about IATEFL activities. Articles Kingsdown Park. New Technology. Whitstable Kent. The theme for please contact: JiI1 the June issue will be Investing in the Future. and WWW: IATEFL 197 . CT5 Email: 100070. UK. Deadlines are the 1 (0) 1 2 2 7 2?4415 May and 1 July respectively. This now appears six times a year.

fr 198 ELT Journal Volume 51/2 April 1997 © Oxford University Press 1997 . 12-14 July 1997 Theme: Moving the Centre: Local Diversity and Ben Warren-International House Global Connections Trust Prize Venue: University of the Witwatersrand. English Teachers Connect Olgas 4. annual ELT award to the author or Africa authors of a book judged as having made the most Information: Robbie Cameron. France Information: Andrew Wilcox. Omnimedia Theme: Language. 4 ter. PO Box 3390. 08010 Barcelona. France Information: CIL 16. F-92190 Meudon. Piccadilly. XVIth International Congress of entlo.. route des Gardes. Thessaloniki. C/Trafalgar 14. Or write to TESOL Macedonia-Thrace. South A new. Venue: Paris. UK. teacher education in the previous twelve-month Tel/Fax: +27 11 646 4925 period. Announcements APLIUT/CETaLL TESOL Macedonia-Thrace 1997 5-7 June 1997 11-12 October 1997 Theme: Media. International House. Convention Co- Tel: +33 1 46 08 2189 ordinator. Bernard Caron. and Culture Venue: Nancy Venue: Thessaloniki Information: Arlette Dechet. significant contribution to the field of language Parklands Information: Ben Warren-International House Trust London 20-25 July 1997 W1V 9F1. Multimedia. Greece. Johannesburg. Spain or Central Depart- Linguistics ment.cameron@pixie. Vas. South Africa. Tel: +33 1 45 07 50 21 Fax: +33 1 45 07 51 12 Email: cill6@cnrs-bellevue. 56ter rue du Chemin Deadline for submissions: 30 June 1997 Vert. International House. Fax: +33 1 46 20 4775 Tel/Fax +30 31 867142 or 903098. Email: robbie. CNRS LLACAN. F-92100 Boulogne. France. Teaching.