Maya Pentcheva, Todor Shopov

Whole Language, Whole Person
A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology

Edited by Filomena Capucho and Peter Hanenberg

Sofia, Viseu, 1999

Whole Language, Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology


Foreword Chapter 1: Principles of Teaching 1.1. Cognitive Principles 1.2. Social Principles 1.3. Linguistic Principles Chapter 2: Exploring Language Teaching Methods 2.1. Period I: Direct Language Teaching 2.2. Period II: Audio-lingual Teaching and the Innovative Methods of the 1970s 2.3. Period III: Communicative Language Teaching Chapter 3: Paradigm Shift in Education 3.1. Changing the Focus of Education 3.2. A Teaching Paradigm to Meet Psychosocial Needs 3.3. Factors of Cooperative Learning 3.4. Cooperative Language Learning Chapter 4: The Language Curriculum 4.1. Constructivism 4.2. The General versus Specific Course Conjecture 4.3. Random Access Instruction in Complex and Ill-structured Domains 4.4. Language Curriculum as a Knowledge Strategic Hypertext 4.5. Instead of a Conclusion References 3 5 7 15 18 25 25 26 28 33 33 35 37 39 42 43 44 46 47 50 51

Whole Language, Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology


This book is written within the framework of the Exchange to Change Project. We have been trying the find out what the methodological implications of the awareness resulting from reflective mobility are. Is there any ³methodological value´ added in result of the visiting and welcoming experiences of language teachers and learners in mobility? Our aim is to offer some orientation into the general educational concerns of the Project. The task is formidable. It is the focus of many different lines of exploration. In his poem ³Little Gidding´ in Four Quarters, T. S. Eliot puts it in this way: We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Yet, this is an optimistic book. At some moments in history, professional spheres are susceptible to important change. We believe that we want and can cross the threshold of ³exchange to change´ and step into the realm of educational promises fulfilled. The title indicates our holistic approach to the analysis and synthesis of the concepts of language, personality, methodology, communication and inter-comprehension, etc. This approach emphasizes the priority of the whole over its parts. We hold that language teaching and learning is a complex knowledge domain, characterized by network of relationships in a social and cultural context. In addition, we believe that methodology is an interdisciplinary field, which cannot be understood in isolation. Our perspective sees it in terms of its relations to other knowledge domains. We shall look into a range of issues, which are not only interesting themselves, but also relevant to the objectives of the Project and, hopefully, to the Reader. The nature and extent of the relevance is difficult, if not impossible, to determine a priori. However, the book supplements the Project Modules and serves as a concise reference material on the theory of the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages. Methodological literature is of course extensive, so we shall be pointing out some of the good books on the topics presented. We have just mentioned the term ³foreign language´; throughout the book we shall use it interchangeably with the term ³second language´. Here, we shall consider them synonymous albeit we realize that they can be easily distinguished. In the literature, ³second language´ usually refers to a target language that is being taught in the country where it is the dominant language, whereas ³foreign language´ usually refers to a target language that is being taught in the country where it is not the dominant language. However, we do not find this distinction quite relevant for the focus of this book. A decade ago, N. S. Prabhu, the famous Indian methodologist, pointed out that language teaching faced three major problems, ³(1) the measurement of language competence involves elicitation (in some form) of specific language behaviour but the relationship between such elicited behaviour and language competence which manifests itself in natural use is unclear, (2) given the view that the development of linguistic competence is a holistic process, there is not enough knowledge available either to identify and assess different intermediate stages of that development or to relate those stages to some table of norms which can be said to represent expectations, and (3) there is, ultimately, no way of attributing with any certainty any specific piece of learning to any specific teaching: language learning can take place independently of teaching intentions and it is impossible to tell what has been learnt because of some teaching, and what in spite of it´ (Prabhu 1987, 8). Many things have happened in the field of language teaching methodology since then. For example, the Common European Framework of Reference (Council of Europe 1996 and 1998) was published, European Language Council ( was

Whole Language, Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology


founded, European Language Portfolio (Scharer 1999) was launched and so on. Nonetheless, Prabhu¶s claims are still valid. We shall focus on a range of questions in the light of modern methodological developments trying to state the scientific facts. Our own opinion emerges in the discussion now and then, though. We hope our fortuitous academic bias will be understood. The book is written in English and our examples come from English but we do not intend to promote a lingua Adamica restituta. We believe in plurilingualism and pluriculturalism and our inadequacy is only because of our teleological prudence. The book is a collaborative effort but the responsibility of the authors is individual. Maya Pencheva wrote Chapter 1 and Todor Shopov prepared Chapters 2, 3 and 4. Chapter 1 offers a theoretical orientation into the philosophical foundations of methodology. Cognitive and other principles of language teaching and learning are discussed. It is claimed that the Picture of the World, which we all keep in our minds, determines the way we speak. This relativistic perspective and other ideas have found different applications in teaching. They are explored in Chapter 2. It is a brief historical overview of teaching methods. The three major periods of the development of methodology in the twentieth century are presented. Chapter 3 discusses the more specific theme of the approach level of teaching methods. The authors argue that educational paradigm shift has had a pronounced impact on language methodology. Particular plans for a language curriculum, which constitutes the relatively concrete design level of teaching methods, are made in Chapter 4. The question of modern curriculum design and development is examined in it. The book functions as a whole text. We recommend that the reader speed-read the book first. Then, the appropriate readings can be selected easily. However, the reader can approach it as a compendium, browsing only through the relevant sections. We want to acknowledge the encouragement and support extended to us by many people. We have had the good fortune to work with Filomena Capucho of Universidade Catolica Portuguesa ± Centro Regional das Beiras Polo de Viseu, PT, Project General Coordinator, and our Partners from Hogskolan Kalmar, SE, Centro de Professores y Recursos de Salamanca, ES, Centro de Professores y Recursos de Vitigudino, ES, Institut Universaire de Formation des Maitres d¶Auvergne, FR, Skarup Statsseminarium, DK and Universitat Salzburg, AT. We also wish to acknowledge our deep sense of indebtedness to our colleagues at the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, BG. Our work would have hardly been possible without the order introduced in the system by Alex Fedotoff. We are especially grateful to Peter Hanenberg of Universidade Catolica Portuguesa ± Centro Regional das Beiras Polo de Viseu, PT, who had the idea of this book first, for his example and help. To all these people, many thanks. Sofia, December 1999

Whole Language, Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology


Chapter 1: Principles of Teaching
In his Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, H. Douglas Brown notes that there are ³«best of times and worst of times´ in the language teaching profession (Brown 1994a). We can safely say that this is the best of times for the foreign language teacher. Today, we know much about foreign language acquisition, about child acquisition of language, about cognitive processes, etc. It is also very important that we have come to an appreciation of the extreme complexity of this field. This gives us cautious optimism to plunge even deeper into the problems. Foreign language teachers and educators are often confronted with the question "What method or what system do you use in teaching a foreign language?" Most often the answer does not come easily or if one gives a straightforward answer, he risks to be subjected to criticism. Teachers always have to make choices. These choices are motivated by the fact that they rest on certain principles of language learning and teaching. Now that we know much more about human language and its various aspects, we can make the next step and formulate at least some of these principles, which are based on what we know about 1.1. Cognitive Principles warm and fast response in linguistics. Some of the postulates of cognitive science today are crucial to our understanding of how language operates and how we acquire this ability, respectively. Because one of the most difficult questions in foreign language acquisition and child acquisition of language is, How is it possible that children at an early age and adults, late in their life, can master a system of such immense complexity? Is it only a matter of memory capacity and automatic reproduction or is there something else that helps us acquire a language? 5 language itself. Often, swept by fashionable theories or a desire to sound ³scholarly´, we forget a simple truth ± we, as human beings, teach a human language to human beings. ³Students and teachers of language´, says Osgood, ³will discover the principles of their science in the universalities of humanness´ (Osgood et al. 1957, 301). A concise but true definition of man will probably include three major characteristics: (i) one who can reflect and interpret the world around him; (ii) one who can express feelings; and (iii) one who can use language. These characteristics underlie three major principles of language teaching and learning. Well known and novice teaching techniques can be subsumed under these three headings. Multiplicity of techniques can be brought down to a number of methods and the methods reduced to a number of principles. Mastering a great number of teaching techniques will not save you in new situations, ³not predicted´ by the theory but predictable. It will not give you the all-important ability to rationalize what you are doing and why are you doing it. To do that one must be aware of deeper principles of language acquisition and use, stemming from the foundations of human language as such.

We shall call the first set of principles ³cognitive´ because they relate to mental, intellectual and psychological faculties in operating with language. It should be made clear, however, that the three types of principles described in this chapter, cognitive, social and linguistic principles, do not exist as if in three watertight compartments but rather spill across each other to make up the most remarkable ability of man ± the linguistic ability. It is no wonder that the achievements of modern cognitive science have found such a

Whole Language, Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology

philosophy. Now called ³Cognitive Science´. one major characteristic both of child acquisition and adult learning of foreign languages is the phenomenon called hypercorrection. This ease is commonly attributed to children¶s ability to acquire language structures automatically and subconsciously. child psychology. McLaughlin ³automatic processing´ (McLaughlin 1990). underlined here. Language is not a cultural artifact that we learn the way we learn to tell the time. D. In order to operate with the incredible complexity of language both children and adult learners do not process language ³unit by unit´ but employ operations in which language structures and forms (words. especially the last words.) are peripheral. Brown. Some thirty-five years ago. For that reason cognitive scientists have described language as a psychological and mental faculty. But focus on use and functionality presupposes meaningful learning. 18). (2) Meaningful Learning Meaningful learning ³subsumes´ new information into existing structures and memory systems. it is a distinct characteristic of our brains. It will be relevant in our argument in favor of the cognitive principles of language acquisition. as stated above. This leads to the recommendation to teachers to focus on the use of language and its functional aspects. What is more. and neurobiology to explain the workings of human intelligence. Whole Language. Linguistics. One of the recommendations for classroom application of Meaningful Learning is also of relevance to our further argument in this direction. attempt to anchor it in students¶ existing knowledge and background so that it gets associated with something they already know´. Overanalyzing language. ³Children are good meaningful acquirers of language because they associate«words. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 6 . which develops in the child. structures and discourse elements with that which is relevant and important in their daily quest for knowledge and survival´ (Brown 1994b. Instead. This has been called by B. there is less of a temptation to equate it with language and we are in a better position to understand how language works. aims at an ³automatic processing of a relatively unlimited number of language forms´. (1) Automaticity of Acquisition No one can dispute the fact that children acquire a foreign language quickly and successfully. endings. The resulting associative links create stronger retention. which is in strong contradiction with automaticity. affixes. Language is a complex. in particular. it combines tools from psychology. a new science was born. It states ³Whenever a new topic or concept is introduced. thinking too much about its forms tend to impede the acquisition process. computer science. Now that cognitive scientists know how to think about thinking. etc.Let us begin with some long established postulates of foreign language acquisition and see what cognitive theory has to say about them. that is. There are many phenomena of language that we are coming to understand. The idea that thought is the same thing as language is an example of what can be called a conventional absurdity. has seen spectacular advances in the years since. They appear to learn languages without ³thinking´ about them. grammatical rules. linguistics. The Principle of Automaticity. specialized skill. We must pay special attention to this sentence of H. without actually analyzing the forms of language themselves. Again hypercorrection cannot exist without meaningful analysis of language structures and their ³classification´ into ³regular patterns´ and ³exceptions´ with respect to a language function. word order.

But what are those mechanisms? And what is the nature of the evidence? Our conceptual system or Picture of the World is not something that we are normally aware of. How do you spend your time? That flat tyre will cost me an hour. I¶m running out of time. the way we conceive of time in our everyday life. If we generalize the examples above. And these are specifically structured. But human language is an important source of evidence for what a picture of the world is like. Cognitive science. and attitudes. representations of the world from various angles (the so. as an example. The first thing is called Target Domain (what we want to express) and the second one is called Source Domain (by means of which we express the first). it presupposes a definite point of view or the attitude of its creator.called ³facet viewing´). though usually used metaphorically. This gadget will save you hours. which reflects our views. In his Philosophy of Language. rejects the qualification ³passive´ and claims that Pictures of the World are actively and currently structured by common cognitive models. In connection with Humboldt¶s statement. What is important here is that our conceptualization of the world is not ³an objective reflection of reality´. The central postulate of cognitive science is that metaphorical transfer is not just a matter of language. Let us have the following linguistic expressions: You are wasting my time. the product of social and cultural experience from living in a particular ³world´. But ³knowledge´ is something complex. Like any other picture. initially used in analyzing mythology and today employed by cognitive science. We will refer to them by the term Picture of the World. ³Subjective´ in the sense of the collective interpretation or point of view of a society or cultural and linguistic community. On the basis of linguistic evidence we can say that most of our everyday conceptual system is metaphorical in nature. The word ³picture´. This is crucial for explaining foreign language acquisition. we come up with the metaphor /TIME IS MONEY/. beliefs. Metaphor means metaphorical concepts. to reason is to deduce new pieces of knowledge from old ones. Acquiring a foreign language means entering a new conceptual domain. however. It involves interpretation.In essence. or a snapshot of the world around us. it is possible to pass from one picture of the world into another by means of a set of universal cognitive mechanisms. Cognitive science explains the essence of metaphor as understanding and experiencing one thing in terms of another. Wilhelm von Humboldt claims that speaking a language means living in a specific conceptual domain. This statement poses a major problem or perhaps the major problem of acquiring a foreign language ± are these conceptual domains so different that they are incompatible? Or there are certain mechanisms by which we can make transitions from the one into the other? We shall present arguments in support of the second decision. of mere words. but a subjective picture. In semiotics it goes under the name of ³passive´ cultural memory. not a mirror reflection. This picture explicates the relativity of human cognition. The pivotal question is how we interpret Humboldt¶s conceptual domains. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 7 . This metaphor entails the treatment of time Whole Language. Human thought processes are largely metaphorical. This of course implies the possibility to have a number of different pictures of one object. expresses truly the essence of the phenomenon ± it is a picture. We can use.

g. On the more linguistic side of the problem. Metaphors in computer terminology. access ramp infobahn cyberspace Mail and Postal Services e-mail . and menu. At the same time they allow users to associate unfamiliar concepts with old ones.gateway bridge . and (3) send and store data.frame 4. The examples demonstrate one type of metaphorical transfer ± structural metaphor. for example. aid users speaking different languages but using English to understand and remember new concepts.bookmark White pages to browse e-magazine carbon copy Whole Language. The following metaphorical domains can present these themes: 1. 3. desktop. specified sometimes as marine navigation. The Printed Medium Web page . Most of these are based on the functions that the Internet is perceived to have: (1) helping people ³move´ across vast distances. It appears that conceptual domains are shaped by several themes. they have a certain didactic role. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 8 . Architecture site .as a limited resource and a valuable commodity. The domain of the Internet features several conceptual themes. when metaphorical concepts become lexicalized. ³User friendliness´ of computer metaphorical terms can be illustrated by the numerous examples found in the vocabulary of user interfaces ± e. wallpaper. they help a variety of people understand what the concepts mean. (2) facilitate communication. thereby helping to palliate technostress. Transportation The theme of transportation dominates Internet terminology.snailmail mailbox virtual postcard envelope 2. to mention just a few. In other words. highway transportation: to navigate/cruise/surf the Internet (or the Web) internaut cybersurfer anchor information highway/data highway to ride/get on the Internet router ramp/on-ramp.

The famous desktop metaphor has given rise to files. Gopher. low status He is at the bottom of the social hierarchy.the /MIND IS A MACHINE/ metaphor: My mind just isn¶t operating today. have control over He is in a superior position. depravity I wouldn¶t stoop to that. in-out. Gopher hole. I have control over the situation. happy I¶m feeling up. high status He¶s climbing the social ladder fast. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 9 . The third type of metaphor is called ontological. front-back. A different type of metaphorical model is the second one. Down sad I¶m down today. This allows us to pick fragments of our experience and treat them as discrete entities or substances. The mouse metaphor has generated mouse trails and so on. sickness He fell ill. Cognitive science has it that we understand our experience in terms of objects and substances. has given rise to Gopherspace. He broke under cross-examination. I¶m a little rusty today. Thus. good health He is in top shape. Such orientation metaphors are grounded in physical perception and hence universal. He is under my control. He is easily crushed. That¶s beneath me. I¶m in high spirits. we interpret the human mind as a material object with specific properties . be subject to control He is my social inferior. My spirits sank. Whole Language. virtue He is an upstanding citizen. for example. emotional Discussion fell to the emotional level. They rely on bodily experience: up-down. which organizes a whole system of concepts with respect to one another ± the so-called orientation metaphor. center-periphery. Thinking about her gives me a lift. deep-shallow. The experience shattered her. She is high-minded.Some metaphorical terms have spawned numerous conceptually related ones by metaphorical extension. I¶m depressed. He came down with a flue. etc. folders. For example: Up vs. rational His arguments rose above emotions. trash cans. He is at the peak of health.

/PEOPLE ARE PLANTS/ /PEOPLE ARE CONTAINERS/ /EVENTS ARE ACTIONS/ We understand the Source Domains of basic metaphors relying on our everyday experience ± bodily experience and social experience. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 10 . The structure of Journey includes. This process is known as ³metaphorical mapping´. path to destination. we can also use elements of that model with the same effect.The conception of /MIND IS A MACHINE/ also enables us to view mind as having an off-state. It is amazing how our concept of life repeats all the details of our concept of journeys. and it is very important. Among them are: /STATES ARE LOCATIONS/ /EVENTS ARE ACTIONS/ /PEOPLE ARE PLANTS/ /PEOPLE ARE CONTAINERS/ /LIFE IS A JOURNEY/ By means of them we can interpret all existing metaphorical models: /LIFE IS A JOURNEY/ < /LIFE IS A PLAY/ /LIFE IS A PRECIOUS POSSESSION/ /LIFE IS A SUBSTANCE/ < /LIFE IS A FLUID/ /LIFE IS LIGHT/ < /DEATH IS DARKNESS/ /DEATH IS DEPARTURE/ /DEATH IS SLEEP/REST/ < < /LIFE IS A JOURNEY/ /STATES ARE LOCATIONS/. etc. for example. but that we have just a few. Basic metaphors are limited in number. however. a level of efficiency. co-travelers. In this way. crossroads. This means that they are not independent of thinking and cognition. obstacles along the way to destination. when we use a metaphorical model. etc. Let¶s illustrate this with an example: /LIFE IS A JOURNEY/. They are among the basic metaphors we live by. Whole Language. The mapping between the two domains is not simple. What is more. we view both conceptual domains (The Mind and The Machine) as internally structured. internal mechanisms. point of departure. so that we can make transfers not only between the domains as a whole but also between parts of these domains. What is much more amazing. productive capacity. means of transportation. is not that we have many metaphors for life.

(iii). We can normally ask Who is the child¶s father? but not *Who is the child¶s daddy? because the ideal implies caring for the family and being married to the child¶s mother. Mother is the one who is married to the child¶s father. In the µmother¶ concept the biological and the social are inseparable. exceptions from the ideal. which are elements of our species specific as human beings. All six sub-models describe the ideal mother. : : Mother is the one who gives birth to a child. Very often they have separate linguistic expressions. (4) Our ability to evaluate and transfer evaluations of elements of the Source Domain onto the Target Domain. we operate with several images. Mother is the closest female relative. A very good example is the notion of µmother¶. For that reason they are consistently marked linguistically: stepmother surrogate mother foster mother adoptive mother donor mother biological mother We can summarize all metaphorical models into a small number of Basic Models: Whole Language. and (iv) describe what a mother normally is. Thus. and (v) describe what a mother is ³objectively´ (biologically). i. The most important are the stereotype and the ideal. Mothers stay at home and care for the family.What motivates our ability to create and understand metaphorical structures? According to cognitive science. our ability for modeling.e. and (iv) form the core of the concept. i. All deviations from the model are interpreted as highly marked. these are cognitive and psychological characteristics. They are: (1) Our ability to create structures in concepts that do not exist independent of the metaphor. Thus in English we distinguish between the biological and the ideal father. They build the stereotype image of a mother.e. Sub-models (i). Mother is the one who feeds and cares for the baby. (ii). (iii).e. i. Sub-models (i). (ii). This prototype remains stable cross-culturally. Mother is the one who carries the embryo. And (i). (3) Our ability to make conclusions and inferences. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 11 . This ideal changes historically and across cultures. Our mental ability for modeling enables us to operate easily with extremely complex conceptual structures. the prototypical mother. (2) Our ability to choose and explicate optional elements from conceptual structures. It comprises six sub-models: (i)Birth (ii)Genetic (iii)Breeding (iv)Marriage (v)Genealogical (vi) Housewife : : : .

mechanisms and models in teaching a language and teaching about language? We can do that in a number of ways: I. This explains the commonality of such metaphors in the Indo-European languages through time. e. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 12 . By using cognitive models we can explain but also teach the established one-way directions of semantic change. For example./GENERAL IS SPECIFIC/ /ABSTRACT IS CONCRETE/ /TIME IS SPACE/ /SOCIAL IS NATURAL/ /MENTAL IS PHYSICAL/ How can we apply these principles. On the diachronic level There is a marked parallelism between current English metaphors and models of semantic change.g. Living metaphors and semantic change are related and mutually reinforcing. This direction of semantic change is paralleled by the existence of synchronic metaphorical schemes in which physical motion is used as the Source Domain for more abstract notions like µtime¶ or µmental activity¶. know < µsee¶ remark < observe < µlook closely at¶ 3. Indo-European languages follow consistently certain metaphorical transfers: 1. 2. Shifts in the opposite direction are unknown. report < Latin µcarry back¶ refer e.g.g. suppose µunderstand¶ < Latin sub + ponere µput under¶ 4.g. /MENTAL ACTIVITY IS MOTION IN PHYSICAL SPACE/. comprehend < Latin µseize¶ grasp2 µunderstand¶ < grasp1 µ seize in the hand¶ get2 µunderstand¶ < get1 µacquire a physical entity¶ decide < Latin de + caedo µcut off from¶ confuse < Latin con + fundere µpour together. Whole Language. e. /MENTAL STATES ARE PHYSICAL MOTION/. /MENTAL STATES ARE MANIPULATION OF OBJECTS IN SPACE/. /MENTAL STATES ARE PHYSICAL PERCEPTION/. mix¶ prefer < Latin prae + ferre µcarry before¶ deduce < Latin de + ducere µlead out from¶ infer < Latin in + fere µcarry in¶ presume < Latin prae + sumere µtake before¶ e.

Therefore semantic change tends to move towards more personal meanings. e. /SPEECH COMMUNICATION IS SPATIAL RELATION/. they can also have a metaphorical variant like /SPEECH ACTS ARE WARFARE/.g. touching. a successful completion of the trajectory of the action. e. expressing active participation on the part of the receiver=hearer. a route along which ideas=objects can travel or be exchanged.expressing µdirection from hearer to speaker¶ 7. b) verbs of µMental state¶ > verbs of µSpeech acts¶. talk think about over walk go This shows that we conceive of a speech act as a distance between the two communicating parties. Whole Language. moving.e. The manipulation with ideas is seen as holding. Now we must go back to the main issue. separating. throw to at talk to at shout to at to. expressing an inactive receiver=hearer.g. Notice also the use of spatial prepositions both with µSpeech act¶ and µMental activity¶ verbs: e. 5. /SPEECH ACTS ARE MANIPULATION OF OBJECTS IN SPACE/. admit < Latin ad + mittere µsend to¶ assert < Latin ad + serere µconnect to¶ ad.expressing µdirection from speaker to hearer¶ reply < Latin re + plicare µfeed back¶ refuse < Latin re + futare µbeat back¶ re. propose < Latin pro + ponere µput forward¶ e. Since µSpeech act¶ verbs involve exchange between two parties. action. meanings closer to the Self. concede < Latin con + cedere µgive up¶ insist < Latin in + sistere µstand in¶ convince < Latin con + vincere µconquer together¶. i. 6. arranging. and at. uniting.This is the most productive metaphor with µMental state¶ verbs in English. e. Data demonstrate a stable direction in meaning change: a) verbs of µPhysical motion/location¶ > verbs of µMental state¶/¶Speech acts¶. with their regular contrast between to and at prepositions: e. /MENTAL ACTIVITY/SPEECH ACT IS TRAVEL IN SPACE/. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 13 .g. like physical objects.g. This is a replica of the model of µPhysical action¶ verbs.g. and re-ordering them. but never in the opposite direction. We haven¶t got anywhere in this conversation.g.

The lexical sources for auxiliaries in such constructions usually include notions like: PHYSICAL LOCATION: be + on/at/in + nominal form MOVEMENT TO A GOAL: go(to)/come(to) + nominal form DEVELOPMENT OF ACTION IN TIME: begin/become/finish + nominal form VOLITION: want/will + nominal form OBLIGATION: must + verbal form PERMISSION: let + verbal form. to turn. using auxiliary verbs as an example. into auxiliary verbs of analytical constructions (the perfect tenses. phraseology. there is a ³selectivity´ with respect to the initial lexical meaning of verbs that are likely to evolve into auxiliaries of analytical constructions across languages. hot temper warm friendship boil with indignation burn with emotion simmer with anger be in a stew. On the synchronic level Synchronically. We shall demonstrate the validity of this approach in teaching grammar. predominant word order. or µColours¶. over time. µHuman emotions¶ can be explained through µTemperature¶. with specific meaning.II. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 14 . There is a stable tendency for a limited set of notional verbs. Thus the initial meaning of 117 auxiliaries from 15 languages involve 20 lexical sources: be at/on be + adjective/participle have come go(to) walk sit stand lie begin become remain finish do want must Whole Language.g. e. development of grammatical categories and forms of their expression. cold person our friendship has cooled take it cool Other spheres of language teaching or linguistic analysis where we can apply the same mechanism of explanation are synonymy. In other words. and the future tense). the progressive tenses. etc. Thus. µCooking activities¶. we can employ metaphorical transfer models to teach semantic fields and explain semantic extension.

Social Principles We now turn our attention to those principles of language acquisition that are central to human beings as social entities. But this new ³language ego´. Whole Language. We shall look at the concept of self and self-awareness. In the context of the problems discussed here. put give. learning and teaching a language we are taking part in one of the wonders of the world. There must be something. For we all belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events and ideas in each other¶s brains. this touches onto the old and widely disputed idea of language relativity.permit take care. the idea that the structure of our mother tongue and its categories. that makes language accessible to all. There are a number of immediate questions that arise. namely that abstract notions are conceptualized by means of a limited number of concrete basic concepts.e. The ability is language. That is. i. intertwined with the new language itself. But it is much more than that. We can make an even stronger claim that lexical sources for grammatization in general involve notions basic to human experience (bodily and social) that provide central reference points. you are also a particular linguistic self.2. (1) The Self and Self-awareness One of the products of social development is the formation of the concept of self and awareness of the ego. and raise inhibitions. and to be the most widely used instrument in interpersonal relations. Is this ³rule of auxiliation´ due to pure coincidence. then he is likely to experience an ³identity crisis´. or could this be the reflection of some fundamental cognitive principle that gets actualized in linguistic structure? We can postulate that this process of auxiliation is the reflection of a basic principle in human conceptualization. which are a reflection of our way of life and the environment. which model a specific pattern of linguistic behaviour and structure of linguistic categories. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 15 . manageable and flexible enough to accommodate various cultures and societies. even humiliation. does it result from geographic or genetic closeness of languages. Language is not just any cultural invention but the product of society and culture. give particular shape to our way of thinking. can create a sense of uncertainty. 1. If the student is learning the foreign language in the milieu of the country where it is spoken. and the ability of man to cope with them and to create them. defensiveness. they also develop a new mode of thinking and acting ± they enter a new identity. The foreign language teacher is the major factor in the formation of this ³second self´. at relationships in a community (of speakers and learners). then. As human beings learn a foreign language. To avoid this the teacher must ³create´ appropriate ³natural´ situations for the learner so that he can practice his new identity. In speaking. speaking a particular language. His choice of techniques needs to be cognitively challenging to achieve the accommodation of the learner to his ³new world´. Learners can feel this because the arsenals of their native-language egos may be suddenly useless in developing a ³second self´. at the relationships between language and culture.

It is well known. the learner is building part of his new language identity. Starting to study English he required to ³imagine looking at the world with his head upside down´ and to invent a new ³English self´ that could use the pronoun ³I´. EXAMPLES FOR CONVERSATION For Good Weather µLovely day. but also a change in how he perceived the world. A Chinese student is taught to use always ³we´ instead of ³I´ lest he give the impression of being selfish and individualistic. but a social and cultural experience. Do not be misled by memories of your youth when. encourage the use of ³I´) may be surprised to discover that in some cultures this grammatical choice has profound cultural and even political connotations. Here is his comment: ³This is the most important topic in the land. it is possible to strike up a relationship with him without actually having to say very much. isn¶t it?¶ µIsn¶t it beautiful?¶ µThe sun«¶ µIsn¶t it gorgeous?¶ µWonderful. The Chinese student gradually creates his new ³English Self´. that the British always talk about the weather. wanting to describe someone as exceptionally dull. a Chinese student has to ³reprogram´ his mind. Students whose teachers urge them to reduce the number of times they use the pronoun ³I´ in their essays (or. By talking to the other person about some neutral topic like the weather. Rule number one in English composition writing is: ³Be yourself´.¶ In England. to redefine some of the basic concepts and values that he had about himself. and often humorously exaggerated. (2) The Language-Culture Connection Everyone knows what is supposed to happen when two Englishmen who have never met before come face to face in a railway compartment ± they start talking about the weather. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 16 . isn¶t it?¶ µIt¶s so nice and hot«¶ µPersonally. conversely. How To Be an Alien. George Mikes (1970) discusses the weather as the first and most important topic for a person who wants to learn English. and you must be good at discussing the weather. you remarked: µHe is the type who would discuss the weather with you. learning the values of AngloAmerican society. this is an ever-interesting. But writing many ³I¶s´ is only the beginning of the process of redefining oneself. Conversations of this kind are a good example of the sort of important social function that is often fulfilled by language. Writing essays in English. By trying to master this function of language. about society. In his famous book.Let us take one ordinary example ± learning to write compositions in English. Learning the rules of English essay writing is. to a certain extent. on the Continent. I think it¶s so nice when it¶s hot ± isn¶t it?¶ µI adore it ± don¶t you?¶ Whole Language. By such a redefinition is meant not only the change of how one envisioned oneself. Learning to write an essay in English is not an isolated classroom activity. even thrilling topic.

For Bad Weather µNasty day. If you are a bit slow in picking things up. cultural adaptation. An easy way to do this is to discuss cross-cultural differences with the students. and then rain. it would do wonderfully for any occasion. Rain in the morning. We cannot be certain that all the functions of language described in linguistic literature are to be found in all cultures. isn¶t it?¶ ± answer without hesitation: µIsn¶t it lovely?¶´ And here is Mikes¶ advice to the learner of English: ³Learn the above conversations by heart. or he may have no clear idea at all. then a bit of sunshine. which will vary with the context and the goals of learning. What is important in such a discussion is to make them aware that they will never master the foreign language without ³entering a new world´ or ³acquiring a new self´. This does not mean that the range of functions aimed at by a foreign language learner will be that at the command of the native speaker. I remember too. isn¶t it?¶ µIsn¶t it dreadful?¶ µThe rain«I hate rain«¶ µI don¶t like it at all. and ways of thinking. A second aspect of the language ± culture connection is the extent to which the students will be affected by the process of acculturation. observe the last few sentences of this conversation. That is why the learner is learning a language. Then. rain. rain.´ All this is of course a very good joke but it says much about the British and their social behaviour. and should someone remark to you: µNice day. it was. social distance. learn at least one conversation. You must never contradict anybody when discussing the weather in England. complete with varying stages of acculturation. and psychological adjustment are also factors to deal with. A teacher must necessarily attract his students¶ attention to the cultural connotations. A language learner may know exactly what he wants the foreign language for. in some significant ways. The success with which learners adapt to a new cultural milieu will affect their language acquisition success. emphasising that no culture is ³better´ than another. Should it hail and snow.¶ µOr in 1939?¶ µYes.¶ µYes.¶ µOr was it in 1928?¶ µYes. and vice versa. you also teach a complex system of cultural customs. A very important rule emerges from it. But for many teaching operations we need to specify the aims. especially of socio-linguistic aspects of language. In many language-learning contexts such as ESL. values. Whole Language. Whenever you teach a language. students are faced with the full-blown realities of adapting to life in a foreign country. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 17 . should hurricanes uproot trees. For anyone to participate in the life of a community he has to be able to communicate and be communicated to. their distribution may vary. feeling and acting.¶ µI remember exactly the same July in 1936. Do you?¶ µFancy such a day in July. that¶s right.¶ Now. all day long. The relative importance of these different functions may vary from culture to culture.

which can guide the activity of the language teacher. Confucius with the head-hunting savage of Assam. Plato walks with the Macedonian swineherd. You will have your foreign accent all right. Earlier in this century. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 18 . in which his communicative needs are normally going to be more restricted than those of the native speaker. Here is what Mikes says about foreigners.´ There is a considerable knowledge available about the nature of human language. ³In the first week after my coming to England I picked up a tolerable working knowledge of the language and the next seven years convinced me gradually but thoroughly that I would never know it really well. This is sad. My only consolation being that nobody speaks English perfectly. The most successful attempts to put on a highly cultured air have been on the polysyllabic line. perhaps not as a ³full member´ but as a ³foreign associate´. Whole Language. who have learned Latin and Greek in school. If you live here long enough you will find out to your greatest amazement that the adjective nice is not the only adjective the language possesses. and they realize that (a) it is much easier to learn these expressions than the much simpler English words. but many people like to mix it with something else. but they are accustomed to that and they will get the most excellent impression. The primary role ascribed to him will be that of foreigner. Linguistics provides a growing body of scientific knowledge about language. (b) that these words are as a rule interminably long and make a simply superb impression when talking to the greengrocer«´ 1. Linguists can make and have made great contributions to the solution of some of the problems. Then you have to decide on your accent. Linguistic Principles The last category of principles of language learning and teaching centres on language itself and on how learners deal with this complex and ill-formed system (see Chapter 4). trying to acquire ³perfect´ English and sound like native speakers. Edward Sapir wrote: ³When it comes to linguistic form. let alone perfectly. it is appropriate to remind again of the wonderful book of George Mikes containing valuable advice to foreigners not to pretend to be native speakers. In this connection. Many writers speak of the linguistic needs of the learner in terms of roles he may assume. in spite of the fact that in the first three years you do not need to learn or use any other adjective.3. to mutter between your teeth and finish your sentences with the question: µisn¶t it?¶ People will not understand much. Many foreigners. we have to take into account what the learner¶s needs may be and we must do so in terms of the social situations she is going to have to participate in. The learner of a foreign language is preparing to use that language for certain purposes. In preparing a teaching programme or choosing a teaching strategy.Our ability to participate as members of social and language communities depends upon our control of linguistic and other behaviour considered appropriate. discover with amazement and satisfaction that the English language has absorbed a huge amount of ancient Greek and Latin expressions. in certain roles and in certain situations. The easiest way to give the impression of having a good accent or no foreign accent at all is to hold an unlit pipe in your mouth.

Whole Language. Such linguists do not study what people do when they speak and understand language. in the traditional view. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 19 . is an account of competence". The study of language is beset by the difficulty that it deals with something utterly familiar. Modern linguistics requires that a grammar should accord with a native speaker¶s intuitions about language. or even determined. but he must also know when to select a particular grammatical sequence. The speaker¶s competence. It is one of the great values of modern language teaching that it adopts a more social approach to language. in the Chomskyan sense. We are teaching him or her not only what we call ³the formation rules´ of the language. would claim that the objectives of the linguistic study of language have always implicitly been the characterization of the internalized set of rules by a speaker-hearer (and learner) when he uses language. One point must be mentioned. and it is concerned with the problems of its communicative function. Everybody ³knows´ about language. which makes it possible to produce the language data. The linguistic approach to language is the most ³objectivising´ approach: it is concerned with language as a system. phonology and phonetics. Some linguists. This formulates a new goal for linguistic theory. as in their performance. For this reason. is that it lacked the socio-cultural dimension. Perhaps the most cogent criticism of traditional language teaching with its insistence on correctness. Linguists. the rules of grammar. lexis and semantics. but seek to discover the rules underlying this performance. The emphasis has shifted from the nature of language data to the nature of the human capacity. however. both linguistic and situational. and its limited objectives. when asked the question "What is language?" the linguist is likely to reply by asking another question "Why do you want to know?" If we teach language. The grammar of a language. thus. A grammar. The relevance of the linguistic approach to language teaching is too obvious to need much discussion here. of course. as well. Chomsky among them. The learner must develop the ability to distinguish grammatical from ungrammatical sequences. The problem of studying phenomena like language is to separate it from ourselves. 9): "A distinction must be made between what the speaker of a language knows implicitly (what we may call his competence) and what he does (his performance). but also in addition. is a characterization of the native speaker¶s competence. can be characterized as a set of rules for producing and understanding sentences in a language. This is what Chomsky calls competence (1966a. Modern teachers of language are actually teaching their students not only the language but also about language. but communicative competence. pragmatics. in its linguistic sense. because they use it all the time. the way we approach the task will be influenced. it aims to elucidate the structure of language. These levels bear such familiar names as syntax.Language is such a complex phenomenon that it cannot be fully accounted for within one consistent and comprehensive theory. Little thought seems to have been given to the notion of appropriateness. then. morphology. appropriate to the context. To do this it has set up various ³levels of description´. When we are teaching a foreign language. etc. we are trying to develop in the learner not just grammatical competence. There is generally a close connection between the way we talk about something and the way we regard it. often talk about how language ³works´. All speakers of a language vary slightly in the rules they follow. what Hymes has called ³the speaking rules´. to achieve a ³psychic distance´ (Chomsky 1968). Now linguists describe what native speakers conceive to be the nature of their language. to the way that language behaviour is responsive to differing social situations. by what we believe language to be. especially.

etc. contact between them. the application of first order answers the very general question: what is the nature of the language. inquiries about health. On this account. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 20 . Hearer-oriented speech acts involve the directive function of language. for making statements about how the speaker perceives the way things in the world are. moral or customary rules of society. It is the function of controlling the behaviour of a participant. This can be done by command. Learners transfer what they already know. or formulaic speech acts: leave-taking. We usually test them by asking the questions "Do you hear me?" and "Do you follow?" (1) The Native Language Effect S. or promote social solidarity. Thus. Describing language. greetings. These are typically ritual. selecting what Whole Language. It is through this function that the speaker reveals his attitude towards what he is speaking about. Each stage has the function of answering some questions or solving some problems relevant to language teaching. that is. This function. in fact. often called the referential function. Making errors in the second language can.Different functions of language can be associated with the factors involved in a speech act ± the speaker. maintain them. The learning of a second language is rather a question of increasing a repertoire. If the orientation is towards the speaker. It is also called ³negative transfer´ or interference. by invoking legal. or learning a set of alternatives for something they already know. The first has already been identified as that of linguistic description. it has to be established what is different between the mother tongue and the foreign language. Where the focus is on the contact between the participants. in part. facial expression. The topic-oriented function of speech. But we must now outline the hierarchy of applications of linguistics to language teaching. This is what is meant by ³transfer´. speech functions to establish relations. have resemblances to each other. remarks about the weather. The second is concerned with operations performed on the descriptions of language. associated with the code used and the message. It is just as well that different languages do. is that which usually stands first in people¶s minds. but his emotions and attitudes at what he is talking about. they already possess it. It is not just that he expresses his thoughts and emotions through language. It is the function that gave rise to the traditional notion that language was created solely for the communication of thought. or part of language. The assumption then is that some of the rules they already know are also used in the production and understanding of the second language. the topic and the form of the message. sometimes called phatic. request or warning. is part of the process of developing linguistic theory itself. Pit Corder claims that when people learn a second language they are not acquiring language. then we have the personal function of language. is also performed or supported by gestures. the linguistic code used. the hearer. be explained by the notion of transfer. They are the most difficult to formulate. There are two more functions. But this tendency of transfer can be also positive (facilitation). There are a number of stages in the application of linguistics to language teaching. or by some general admonitory statement. which is to be taught? The next stage answers the question: what is to be taught and how is it to be taught? The criteria for selecting material for language teaching are various: utility to the learner.

In the first investigation. Universal implications are found in all aspects of language. it will also have Y. In a sense. This is called interlingual comparison. fewer have VSO. For example. For example. The 4. What is different in the foreign language does not necessarily in all cases represent a difficulty. and literally hundreds of universal patterns have been documented. his proposed repertoire ± those varieties of the language which will be useful to him. but also similar to the learner¶s mother tongue (what Larry Selinker calls ³interlanguage´). involving scores of languages from every part of the world. no language forms questions by reversing the order within a sentence. The other type of comparison is often called Error Analysis. all parts of the foreign language are different from the mother tongue.he needs to know. and OSV may be non-existent. from phonology (if a language has nasal vowels. if a language has a word for µleg¶. but the language of the learner at some particular point in the process of learning. it will also have a word for µarm¶). it will also have a word for µred¶. (2) Language Universals In the context of discussing similarities and differences between languages. Since then. many other surveys have been conducted. Thus most languages have SVO or SOV word order. if the learner¶s mother tongue has no grammatical system of aspect.000 languages of the world do look impressively different from English and from one another. Or we can invoke the criterion of difference. VOS and OVS are rare (less than 1%). A learner¶s so called errors are systematic. These rules are not those of the target language but a ³transitional´ from of language. one can also find striking uniformities. Where the learner¶s mother tongue. In 1963 the linguist Joseph Greenberg examined a sample of 30 far-flung languages from five continents. those speech functions which he will need to command. Whole Language. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 21 . which is liable to confusion with some similar feature in the mother tongue. But difference is relative Some parts will be more different than others. The largest number of universals involve implications: if a language has X. which focused on the order of words and morphemes. like *Built Jack that house the this is? Some universals are statistical: subjects normally precede objects in almost all languages. we must touch upon the theme of language universals and their place in foreign language teaching. similar to the target language. the size of the learning problem will depend on the nature and degree of difference. he found no fewer than forty-five universal features. For example. what is so totally different from anything encountered in the mother tongue does not seem to be so difficult to learn as something. it will have non-nasal vowels) to word meanings (if a language has a word for µpurple¶. with the target language. Some hold absolutely. or ³contrastive´ comparison (Contrastive Analysis). Greenberg wanted to see if any properties of grammar could be found in all these languages. however.000 to 6. at the phonological level. But what is being compared in this case is not two existing and already known languages. On the other hand. the learning of such a system presents a serious learning task. and verbs and their objects tend to be adjacent. A third criterion might be difficulty. The procedures and techniques involved in all these cases of application of linguistics to foreign language teaching are comparative. and it is precisely this regularity which shows that the learner is following a set of rules. has such a system. The errors performed by the learners may be an important part of the data on which the comparison is made.

or domain of language use. If this is so. In language. nothing is learned completely until everything is learned. and language learning was thought of as a matter of acquiring the ability to produce automatically µsentence patterns¶. Language learning is not just cumulative. modality. passivisation. etc. quantification. etc. it was logical (or was it?) to group materials in a syllabus on the basis of superficial formal criteria. futurity. are we going to regard µmodal verbs¶. then no simple linear sequence for a syllabus is appropriate. that is. language process. Should we bring all alternative ways of expressing necessity. no part of which is wholly independent or wholly dependent upon another. relativisation or thematisation. together into separate single units? In other words. But with the increasing emphasis on language learning as training the learner in communication. we shall offer a new approach to syllabus/curriculum design. causation. We are now trying to classify the linguistic material in terms of more abstract semantic categories as time. what is the most efficient sequence in which they are learned. The major problem that faces us in syllabus organisation is whether to take the formal criteria as dominant. In the second place. or as some grammatical category. We should consider an item in a more general way. deixis. possession. Chapter 4) is the overall plan for the learning process. There are some general types of syntactic processes. as a syllabus item? There is no simple answer to this problem. structure. It must specify what components must be available. which requires the learner to return time and again to some aspects of language structure. such as nominalisation. or a ³network´ of interrelated categories. or learned by a certain time line. The more we take account of semantic considerations. possibility and probability. i. aspectuality. the relevance of semantic criteria in organising the linguistic material increases. But we are concerned with more than this in language teaching ± we are concerned with performance ability. a characterisation of the µformation rules¶ of the language. such as tense or number. the more evident it becomes that the relationship between meaning and surface form is a complex and indirect one.e. The teaching of modal verbs is a perfect example of the dilemma. or spiral. negation. We have seen that the systematic interconnectedness of language makes it unrealistic to think of any item as teachable or learnable in isolation. or alternatively µthe expression of obligation¶. what items can be learned ³simultaneously´. as a process. it is an integrative process. it can be part of the teaching material (mostly implicitly) and the methods of explanation. descriptions of language give us a relatively satisfactory account of the structure of the system to be learned. leaving alternative ways of expressing the same idea to some other part of the syllabus. The structure of language is a ³system of systems´. (3) Linguistics in Structuring the Syllabus A finished syllabus (cf. which could be regarded as µitems¶ of Whole Language. interrogativisation. In Chapter 4. obligation.The knowledge of the existence of language universals may save some procedures of comparison between the mother tongue and the foreign language taught. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 22 . A logical solution to this problem seems to be a cyclic. or to base our grouping on semantic criteria. what items are already known. At the time when less attention was paid to the whole problem of meaning. (a) The syntactic syllabus Nowadays.

For example. roast. we must present and teach these verbs before introducing the formation of these aspectual forms. barbecue. or passive voice. simmer. pot-roast. plank. The field of cooking will be used as an example. and broil (or grill for British English). rissoler and several compounds: steam-bake. believe. pan-fry. There are. Learning a verb involves not only discovering the relations in enters into with nominals. deep-fry. a number of peripheral words: parboil. Some are even unknown to ordinary native speakers of English. in addition. the verb "to have" and "to be" are used as auxiliaries in the formation of perfect or progressive aspect. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 23 . To say that in teaching copulative sentences one is teaching the verb "to be" so that it can be available for later auxiliary use is a categorial error. is different from that of the verb to be in copulative structures. tell. Most logically. otherwise denied in principle. Boil and its subordinate terms Whole Language. The function of the auxiliary to be in the progressive aspect. all these involve performing certain operations. The set also includes steam.e. last week. completion. which could serve as µitems in a syllabus¶. or co-occurrence of verbs of speaking and believing. etc. We must outline µthe network of relations¶ which bind the vocabulary of a language into a structure. and second. (c) The lexical syllabus In order to present and exemplify grammatical categories and syntactic structures. scallop. frequency. stew. shirr.performance ability in a syllabus. The basic words in the culinary field in English are cook. fry. It is possible to isolate µsub-fields¶ within the lexical structure of a language. The teaching of vocabulary provides us with another concept of syllabus grouping ± lexicosemantic. with nominalised sentences of different types. but also learning the morphological system together with their associated meanings: time. flambere. Semantic fields provide groupings of the vocabulary. This seems a good argument until we specify what we mean by 'µteaching'¶ the verbs to have and to be. so we can concentrate on the cognitive meaning. expect. i. the words do not normally carry strong connotations. braise. etc. poach. Such groupings of lexical items bearing more or less close semantic relations to each other are usually called µsemantic fields¶. oven-poach. naming the activity expressed (µpreparing food¶). discover its functions. bake. as a more specific word opposed to bake. say. Cook and bake are the most general terms. sauté. It is more than obvious that not all of the words are widely used and need to be included in the syllabus. pan-broil. (b) The morphological syllabus The most frequent claim for the appropriate application of sequencing. whether it is transitive or copulative. French-fry. etc. An example of this could be the co-occurrence of adverbs of past time. Cooking words provide a good source of examples because there are clear reference relations that one can appeal to. is made at the level of morphology. boil. Cook can be used in two ways ± once as the superordinate term of the field. The learning of something must surely involve the ability to use it acceptably. we have to use lexical words. hope. yesterday.. with tense verbs. grill and charcoal. oven-fry.. cry. three years ago. Linguistically speaking. This does not mean that the teaching of vocabulary is logically dependent on the teaching of grammar. they appear freely intransitively with human subjects. duration.

(simmer. whereas the absence of liquid is necessary for fry. poach. In the next chapter. Other fields of discourse use only one or two words from the field: We speak of hot news items but not of a *cold or a *cool news item. Metaphorical vehicles facilitate memory to the extent that they evoke vivid mental images. Various empirical studies on the communicative function of metaphor suggest a number of possibilities about the positive influence of metaphor on learning. One can get a hot tip on a horse. that this approach has a strong explanatory value ± it enables us to predict and explain some semantic and cognitive processes in language. psycho-physical features (I feel cold. But we must also add. braise) differ from the others in the field in that water or liquid must be used. It is easy to demonstrate the set of words of this kind as they pattern in semantic fields. and cold bear a certain relationship to one another. a cold war or a hot war. First. These exhibit more or less the same relationships to one another: Hot and cold are gradable antonyms at end points of a scale. we shall look at the development of language teaching methods in the twentieth century. like orange). guessing games like µI spy¶. these new coinages are so easily understood. This water feels cold to me). This is due to the fact that they furnish conceptually rich. One question that is central to language learning is whether the occurrence of imagery with metaphor is simply epiphenomenal to its comprehension or a key element in understanding and memorising the meaning. Since hot. roast and bake. even when a word does not possess a certain meaning. Such extensions of meaning related to semantic fields are usually performed by means of metaphorical transfer. Secondly. and warm and cool are antonyms which are closer to some centre point that separates hot and cold. And thirdly. There is hot jazz and cool jazz but not *warm jazz. we can predict what semantic and syntactic features a totally new word will have when added to a lexical field. emotions (John has a hot temper. broil. cool. Cognitive psychologists claim that metaphors are strongly memorable. All four words are used and have standard meanings when talking about the weather. but not a *cool tip. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 24 . Whole Language. it enables us to explain how is it that words come to have new meanings in certain contexts. etc. My brother is a cold person. but not a *cool war or a *warm war. Our former warm friendship has cooled). Hence. we can offer an explanation as to how we are able to understand and even offer explanations of our understanding of the meanings of totally unknown words and expressions. warm. The first question ± the semantic extension of words ± can be illustrated by looking at the items hot-warm-cool-cold. stew. and it is very important for language teaching. it can acquire a new one in a context by virtue of that relationship. colours (You should paint this room a warm colour. image-evoking conceptualisations.

1994). since then all other Tongues. Direct Method is of course only a general term. which covers a range of different teaching methods. and Languages are taught by Grammar. in 1878. In this chapter. William Francis Mackey (1965).Chapter 2: Exploring Language Teaching Methods In the twentieth century. It emerged as a result of the language education reform movement at the end of the nineteenth century and was prominent until the middle of the twentieth century. Some of the commercial ventures in the area were very successful and became quite popular. For example. which have been influencing language methodology to present. 2. Our historical perspective is limited although we realize that there have been many interesting theories and practices through the ages. Stern (1983). We shall mention two of them. under twenty years.S. Anthony Howatt (1984). In 1923. was "methode directe". H. H. Jack T.berlitz. Period I: Direct Language Teaching The first half of the century was dominated by the teaching method. U. why ought not the English Tongue to be taught so too. I have known some Foreigners who have been longer in learning to speak English and yet are far from it: the not learning by Grammar. 150).com/free) is still thriving. Here. which is known as Direct Language Teaching or Direct Method (DM). For example. Today. Rhode Island. 1982). Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 25 . At the beginning of the century. which he named the Easy Way (1997). The term. the German born Maximilian Delphinus Berlitz opened his first language school in Providence. The second one.A. we shall briefly sketch the facts and indicate the salient features of the teaching methods. Many scholars have explored the development of language teaching in this century. They. we shall mention but a few. Diane Larsen-Freeman (1986). and many other colleagues. the teaching of modern foreign languages has progressed through three major periods.1. whose work we have been using successfully with our students. which have been designed and implemented by several generations of methodologists and teachers. And only two years ago. Rogers (1986). Louis Kelly (1969) in his book 25 Centuries of Language Teaching provides an extensive historical analysis of the development of methodology from the time of Ancient Greece to the present. Berlitz Languages Inc. have inspired the discussion in this chapter. Douglas Brown (1987. Michael West¶s Reading Method. was designed in 1926. H. (www. Imitation will never do it. which was used in the decree. Richards and Theodore S. The method was soon established in many European countries and was used with enthusiasm by its proponents. the DM became the only officially approved method for the teaching of modern foreign languages in France through a decree of the French Minister of Public Instruction (1902). this is what Joseph Aickin wrote in the year 1693: ³for no Tongue can be acquired without Grammatical rules. Stephen Krashen revived it in the method. Harold Palmer developed his Oral Method to be adapted some fifty years later in the innovative approaches of the 1970s as the Total Physical Response Method (Asher 1977. is the true cause´ (quoted in Yule 1985. Whole Language.

Whole Language. Skinner 1957). speaking. The following list sums up eight salient features of direct language teaching: y y y y y y y y Teaching is executed orally through the medium of the target language. which came to be known in the late fifties as the Audio-lingual Method (ALM). the target language becomes both the aim and the means of the teaching and learning process. Language skills are ordered in a ³natural way´: listening. or four years of instruction. quoted in Reich 1986). Moreover. The American Army initiated the Army Specialized Training Program (hence.g. Leonard Bloomfield (1942) stated.2. Army Language School in California. Cook & Underwood 1968) became widely accepted in Europe in the 1960s. "Army Method") to teach intensive language courses that focused on aural/oral skills. The era of the Direct Method had ended. ³Often enough the student. English 900. Thus. cannot really use the language he has been studying. Courses like English 901 (Strevens 1964). no use is made of the learner's own language. the first few weeks are devoted to pronunciation. The proponents of the ALM believed that language learning was a process of habit formation in which the student over-learned carefully sequenced lists of set phrases or "base sentences". 1300 hours are sufficient for an adult to attain near-native competence in Vietnamese (Burke. For example. Two major scientific theories were applied as methodological principles: linguistic structuralism (e. In other words. Bloomfield 1933) and psychological neo-behaviorism (e. after two. Teachers should be either native speakers or extremely fluent in the target language.´ In 1943. most of which had been developed before the turn of the century. Period II: Audio-lingual Teaching and the Innovative Methods of the 1970s The next stage of development started with the decade of 1940 to 1950 and continued until the mid-seventies. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 26 . 2. Grammar is taught inductively by situation. the DM demanded highly competent teachers who have always been difficult to recruit. Language teachers and the general public were dissatisfied with the methodological theory and practice of the previous era. three. So by the middle of the twentieth century modern languages were being taught by the methods.S. The ³revolution´ in language teaching of that period created a new methodological ideology. and Realistic English (Abbs. Modern Language Association of America 1892). Its principles were questioned.The basic premise of the DM is that a second language should be taught by making a direct connection in the mind of the learner between what he thinks and what he says. in the second quarter of the century. the method began to decline. Pronunciation is emphasized.g. All reading matter is first presented orally. A group of prominent American experts stated that "the ability to converse should not be regarded as a thing of primary importance for its own sake but as an auxiliary to the higher ends of linguistic scholarship and literary culture" (Report of the Committee of Twelve. Concrete vocabulary is taught in context through ostensive definition and pictures. the British edition of the original textbook in American English. According to the U. However. Abstract vocabulary is taught through association of ideas. reading and writing. The method was extremely successful and enjoyed considerable popularity.

S. Thus neither method is clearly superior. Words of each syntactic function could be entered on a separate wheel. U. In the late sixties. Mistakes are not tolerated. slide projectors. Successful responses are immediately rewarded. rather skeptical about the significance. quoted in Reich 1986). Learning activities are based on mimicry and memorization and pattern practice. the American linguist William Moulton proclaimed the linguistic principles of ALM: ³language is speech. for the teaching of languages.A. tape recorders. not about the language« a language is what native speakers say. of such insights and understanding as have been attained in linguistics and psychology´. Pronunciation is emphasized.In 1961. the ALM was subjected to criticism and its popularity waned. not writing« a language is a set of habits« teach the language. in 1966. e. not what someone thinks they ought to say« languages are different´ (quoted in Richards & Rogers 1986). 99) as an aid to be used in the teaching of reading. frankly. At the end of the two years. ³I am. which. Language structure is taught using pattern drills. Whole Language. The innovative approaches of the seventies were an attempt to bring methodology in line with modern scientific developments in the related areas and to discover the new orientations in the teaching of modern foreign languages. Noam Chomsky openly criticized audiolingual theory and practice in his address to language teachers at the Northeast Conference. The comparative merits of the ALM and the traditional grammar-translation instruction were evaluated in a two-year study of beginning students of German in America (Scherer & Wertheimer 1964. reading and English-to-German translation.. quoted in Reich 1986). it would be possible to generate 12960000 sentences. Vocabulary is strictly controlled and learnt in context. Controlled studies of the effectiveness of the language laboratories as actually used in schools in the 1960s found that they were either a not particularly effective teaching aid or they were actually detrimental to language learning (Keating 1963. The pattern practice procedure was rejected together with the disillusionment over neo-behaviorism as a psychological theory. active declarative type. The machine could be programmed to generate 4-word sentences of the simple. Robert Ian Scott invented a ³sentence generator´ (1969. the results were that ALM and traditional instruction were equal on listening. Audio-visual technology is used extensively. ALM was far superior to traditional instruction in speaking but traditional instruction was superior to ALM in writing and far superior to ALM in German-to-English translation. Structural linguistics was also denounced and with it the ALM gave way to fresher teaching methods. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 27 . The following list sums up eight salient features of audio-lingual teaching: y y y y y y y y Language input is provided in dialog form. The wheels could be turned independently of each other to make a new sentence at each spin. would take about half a year of talking to get through. quoted in Roberts 1973. assuming that it were possible to speak one sentence per second. Which you prefer depends on what you deem most important.g. language laboratories. With 60 words on each wheel. the machine consisting of 4 wheels mounted side by side on a cranking device. The machine did not gain popularity though.

their fellow learners and the teacher . Students choose a name and character in the target language and culture and imagine being that person. from time to time. in that students choose what they want to learn to say in the target language. reading and writing. The teacher¶s silence helps foster students¶ self-reliance and initiative. Director of the Modern Languages Project. 5). John Trim (1980. and then moving to speaking. The teacher considers learners as ³whole persons´ with intellect. instincts and a desire to learn. the teacher helps students feel secure and overcome their fears. The sequence is listening before speaking and the mode is to synchronize language with the individual¶s body´. James Asher¶s Total Physical Response (1977) places primary importance on listening comprehension. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 28 .3. the so-called Communicative Language Teaching or the Communicative Approach (CA). In Charles Curran¶s method (1976). 2. learners become members of a community . Students¶ errors are expected as a normal part of learning. Learning is linked to a set of practices granting ³consensual validation´ in which mutual warmth and a positive evaluation of the other person¶s worth develops between the teacher and the learner (Curran 1976). That year saw the publication of The Threshold Level document of the Council for Cultural Cooperation of the Council of Europe (Van Ek 1975). Students practice their comprehension by acting out commands issued by the teacher. The students are expected to read the texts at home ³cursorily once before going to bed and again before getting up in the morning´ (Lozanov 1972). Fidel charts and Cuisenaire rods. The syllabus used is learner-generated. Learning is facilitated if the learner discovers and creates in a problem-solving process involving the material to be learnt. "the Threshold Level is remarkable for the systematic way in which the language Whole Language. Georgi Lozanov¶s Suggestopedia (1972) seeks to help learners eliminate psychological barriers to learning. including games and skits. The teacher also recognizes that learning can be threatening. It marks the appearance of a new approach. writes. feelings. emulating the early stages of native language acquisition.and learn through interacting with the members of that community. with low lighting and soft slow music in the background. Students are in a relaxed but focused state of ³pseudo-passiveness´. Activities. The teacher is active in setting up situations using special teaching aids. Dialogues are presented to the accompaniment of Baroque concertos. The Silent Way. 5). Community Language Learning. are designed to be fun and to allow students to assume active learning roles. Period III: Communicative Language Teaching The year 1975 constitutes a ³watershed´ between the second and the third period of development of language teaching in this century. The document is "a specification of an elementary level in a unit/credit system for individuals who.The theoretical basis of Caleb Gattegno¶s method (1972). The learning environment is comfortable and subdued. have (personal or professional) contacts in the target countries" (Trim 1980. By understanding and accepting students¶ fears. while the students do most of the talking and interacting. All four skills are taught from the beginning. Asher (1977) claims that ³the brain and nervous system are biologically programmed to acquire language« in a particular sequence and in a particular mode. is the idea that teaching must be subordinated to learning and thus students must develop their own inner criteria for correctness. They listen to the dialogues being read aloud with varying intonations and a coordination of sound and printed word or illustration.

to take part in speech events. not only as grammatical.coe. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 29 . Hymes¶ paper was programmatic. He found that they developed their language at different chronological ages and at different rates. 301): Whole Language. and. He or she acquires competence as to when to speak.Whether (and to what degree) something is appropriate (adequate..4. the Threshold Level documents for many European languages have been published. but also as appropriate. when not. the most recent work in this area is the document of the Council of Europe entitled A Common European Framework of Reference for Language Learning and Teaching (publicly accessible on the web-site: http://culture. Kontaktschwelle. Dell Hymes introduced the construct of ³communicative competence´ in his famous paper.coe. in alphabetical order. for German. However. Information on those documents is available on the web-site: (http://book.´ (Hymes 1971. a child becomes able to accomplish a repertoire of speech he also found that they each went through roughly the same sequence of stages. For example. Deutsch als Fremdsprache (1981).behavior appropriate to the defined target audience is specified in its various interrelated parameters". 269). the now famous Adam. and to evaluate their accomplishment by others´ (1971. in what manner. for Spanish. the threshold levels for French. and as to what to talk about with whom. successful) in relation to a context in which it is used and evaluated. 3. Whether (and to what degree something is feasible in virtue of the means of implementation available. e. In the cited paper. Un nivel umbral (1981). Courtney Cazden and Roger Brown describe ³three major progressions in first language acquisition: evolution of the basic operations of reference and semantic relations in two-word utterances of very young children. the acquisition of English tag questions like doesn¶t it or can¶t it´ (Cazden & Brown 1975. where. Research extended to other language structures. and what it¶s doing entails. still later. suggesting a new line of research. actually performed. Eve and Sarah Brown. 281) The ³four questions´ prompt a new way of judging utterances in context. Many scholars have contributed to the development of the CA. 299). Since 4.g. when. The acquisition of English grammatical morphemes was tackled through the speech samples of three children. the acquisition of 14 grammatical morphemes and the modulations of meaning they express. he asks his famous four questions of ³communication culture´: ³1. The order of acquisition of 14 English grammatical morphemes and the meanings they express is the following (Cazden & Brown 1975. Whether (and to what degree) something is in fact done. which the individual attains. Roger Brown studied early development of the mother tongue of American children. Whether (and to what degree) something is formally possible. for Portuguese. 2. Hymes claims that ³a normal child acquires knowledge of sentences. On the European level. On Communicative Competence (1971). happy. He explores the influence of the social context in which a language is learnt on the linguistic competence. Un Niveau Seuil (1976). Brown tried to find the principles underlying the order he discovered and concluded that a combination of linguistic and semantic complexity must cause it. In that sense. In the 1960s. Nivel Limiar (1988). In short. We shall return to it in Section 4. etc.

The study showed that the contours for the acquisition sequences of children and adults are very similar. earlierness). but have at the same time made considerable adjustments necessary in the skills required and in working patterns´ (White Paper on Education and Training. regular: walked. 261). (11) Third person irregular: has. on (containment. Lawrence Bell and Diane Nelson (1986. The first published adult study of acquisition order (Bailey. ³learning society´ and Whole Language.. went (earlierness). 6). The general result of the acquisition order research was that a ³natural order´ of acquisition of the structure of English as a second language characteristic of both children and adults and similar for both speaking and writing was discovered. earlierness). several investigators of instructional accuracy orders replicated and extended Brown¶s experiments for English as a second language. In the seventies. process. European Commission. Some scholars consider this conclusion one of the most significant outcomes of second language research (Dulay & Burt 1980. In their ³morpheme studies´. support).).(1) Present Progressive: riding (temporary duration. Pica 1983. state). maximal generalization will result from teaching that which is most marked´ (op. Educators and politicians agree on the fact that ³the changes currently in progress have improved everyone¶s access to information and knowledge. (4) Plural: two dogs (number). earlierness). 12) tested the generalization of relative clause instruction in the development of English as a second language. (temporary duration. New York. Lee 1981. Fred Eckman. wanted (earlierness). And they concluded that ³if only a single structure of a set of implicationally related structures is to be taught. The Bilingual Syntax Measure was applied. Perkins and Larsen-Freeman 1975. the Futures Movement evolved. (6) Possessive: Mommy¶s hat (possession) (7) Uncontractible copula: Here I am in response to Where are you? (number. Madden & Krashen 1974) investigated 73 adult students of English at Queens College. (number. (8) Articles: a. The acquisition sequences obtained from their subjects were strikingly similar. number. (13) Contractible copula: He¶s sick. earlierness). (10) Third person. (12) Uncontractible auxiliary: I am in response to Who¶s coming? (temporary duration. which are relatively less marked´ (Eckman. number. Makino 1979. Cook 1989). For example. does (number. 1996. (2-3) in. 12). 12). earlierness). Such generalization will be unidirectional and will be in the direction of those structures. ³post-industrial´. They use different terms to refer to the period of transformation through which we are passing. earlierness). Futures research ³concerns itself with conceptualizing and inventing the future by examining the consequences of various plans of action before they become tomorrow¶s reality´ (Pulliam 1987. They found that ³maximal generalization of learning will result from acquisition of relatively more marked structures. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 30 . (14) Contractible auxiliary: He¶s running. (9) Past. In sociology and education. Several other investigators have looked at acquisition sequences for adults from different language backgrounds (Krashen et al. (5) Past. the (specific-non-specific). regular: goes (number. irregular: saw. etc. 1976. cit. Other language structures were also investigated. Bell & Nelson 1986. ³post-modern´ ³information age´. They used 151 Spanish-speaking children learning English. Heidi Dulay and Marina Burt (1974) examined the natural sequences in second language acquisition applying the Bilingual Syntax Measure.

His megatrends include shifting from: y y y y y y y y y an industrial society to an information based society. during which they receive practice in negotiating meaning. Thus. The teacher¶s role changes from being ³the sage on the stage´ to becoming ³a guide on the side´ (Mowrer 1996). centralization to decentralization. The strong version of the CA. All that facilitated the development of the theory and practice of language teaching giving it a strong impetus. as opposed to linguistic competence. The weak version advances the claim that communicative syllabi and teaching materials should provide the learner with opportunities to acquire communicative competence necessary and sufficient to be used in actual communication.e. But they all believe in the challenges of the new reality. on the other hand. All the work that has been done on the CA has led to the evolvement of two quite distinct orientations: a ³weak´ version and a ³strong´ version of the method. representative democracy to participatory democracy.the like. single option choices to multiple option choices. referred to as communicative syllabus design. numerous methodology textbooks expound on the nature of communicative language teaching. 1991) expands on this idea. i. Anthony Howatt (1984. and if the students can talk to each other and share their thoughts and feelings. of the teacher. 280) writes that language teaching requires ³a closer study of the language itself and a return to the traditional concept that utterances carried meaning in themselves and expressed the meanings and the intentions of the speakers and writers who created them´. Howatt (1984. Today. suggesting four roles for teachers: (1) kid-watchers. The proponents of the strong version did not go to the radical solution of ³deschooling´ language learning altogether but they advocated real communication within the language classroom. Whole Language. which we shall discuss separately. This idea is the basis for the unfolding of a whole new field of study in language teaching methodology. John Naisbitt (1982) describes the most important trends that shape the world at the end of the century. authority dominated hierarchies to networking. not control. The CA stresses the need to teach communicative competence. language functions are emphasized over language forms. the ability to use the target language effectively and appropriately. a forced technology to a high tech/high touch mode. Ken Goodman (Goodman et al. real communication is likely to occur. We shall look at the educational paradigm shift in Chapter 2. institutional help to self-help in various fields. the latter entails µusing [the target language] to learn it¶. Opportunities are provided for the students to deal with unrehearsed situations under the guidance. which give the learner a chance to acquire the target language itself while using it. If the teacher shows genuine interest in the concerns and activities of the students. Authentic teaching materials are used. a national economy to a truly global economy. has given rise to the planning and implementation of realistic communicative tasks. short range planning to long-term planning. 279) holds that if the former could be described as µlearning to use¶ the target language. Students usually work in small groups on communicative activities. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 31 .

Fluency is emphasized over accuracy. who help students take ownership of their own learning. who rely on their professional knowledge and creativity to create exciting learning environments. using the language in unrehearsed contexts (³using to learn´). (2) mediators. watching for signs of growth. The following list sums up eight salient features of communicative language teaching: y y y y y y y y Communicative competence is the desired goal (³learning to use´). (3) liberators. Use of the native language and translation is accepted where feasible. That constitutes the relatively abstract approach level of teaching methods. In summary. We believe that the aims and content of language courses are determined by the overall educational philosophy prominent in the community. who offer guidance. Whole Language. which refers to the theories about the nature of language education and other theories. In it. support and resources for learning. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 32 . Chapter 3 presents a discussion on this theme. Concrete plans for a language curriculum. and finally. the Communicative Approach and the other language teaching methods can be seen as specific teaching proposals in which learning content is critical for the achievement of the educational aims. Systematic attention is paid to functional as well as structural aspects of language. Students cooperate in the classroom. Minimum general intelligibility is sought in the teaching of pronunciation. (4) initiators. Discourse is at the center of attention. Drilling occurs peripherally. need and potential. which constitutes the relatively concrete design level of teaching methods. we shall examine the question of language curriculum design and development.who observe the students. are made in Chapter 4.

Georgie Porgie. Students must learn how to choose consciously what direction their lives should take professionally as well as personally. as well as those that the institutions of society require of us. As John Dewey (1933) noted. they should know how to utilize the surroundings. how to participate in dialogue. The classroom processes by which that power is achieved include the first exercise of that power´ (1986. education is seen as a process. Educators emphasize that one of the most important things students should learn is how to think for themselves. we shall look into the change in the overall concept of the complex process of education. McLeod pointed out that ³Being literate in the 1980s means having the power to use language ± writing and reading. Changing the Focus of Education The mission of educational institutions is to educate people. ³A primary responsibility of educators is that they not only be aware of the general principles of the shaping of actual experience by environing conditions but that they also recognize in the concrete what surroundings are conductive to having experiences that lead to growth. None of these views seems really acceptable though. When the boys came out to play. Our claim is that. We have a sexual harassment subpoena for you. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 33 . Kissed the girls and made them cry. Above all.Chapter 3: Paradigm Shift in Education That language teaching should be democratic has long become a fact of life. Students should learn how to write so that others can follow their thinking. Georgie Porgie. They need to be able to solve problems in a rational manner. not a product. how to analyze issues and how to read critically. the times are changing rapidly. A saying is circulating in the universities these days: Georgie Porgie. A. They should learn the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve lasting success during the remainder of their lives no matter what their goals are. Whole Language.1. at the end of the twentieth century. The learning process should continue throughout their lifetime. But what constitutes an educated person? To the business world. Fifteen years ago. physical and social. During the teaching and learning process. an well-educated person is one who has the skills required to succeed on the job. that exist so as to extract from them all that they have to contribute to building up experiences that are worthwhile´. the student should learn how to think and to listen. The lay public¶s view of an educated person is one who has accumulated a large body of information. Puddin¶ and pie. First. to experience compassion toward others and to be willing and able to acknowledge conflict and contradiction and resolve differences satisfactorily. 37). Students should learn to take responsibility for their own learning. The times. In our opinion. Indeed. Guess what. we are experiencing an educational paradigm shift. In the age of the learning society. not just while attending formal schooling. 3. they are a-changing. Georgie Porgie ran away. that is true about both first and second language development circumstances. in which language teaching has its share. to find joy in learning and to open their minds to new ideas. speaking and listening ± for our own purposes. That it is democratic has yet to become a reality.

Linear organizations can only make linear decisions. Eighth. The winners. Replacing linear with synergetic processes is the first one. We shall present them below and return to the most important issues in the following section. is based on the possession of wisdom and knowledge which finds support among others. Position rather than competence establishes the authority of the teacher. is derived from one¶s title or rank in the institution. Modern information and communication technology has changed the focus of education from the input of information to the application of data to problem situations in a cooperative and action-oriented environment. It tends to repress unfavorable information. The fourth characteristic is the structural versus sapiential authority controversy. students attended schools to learn what they did not know from teachers who were presumed to know. lifelong learning is an important characteristic of the new educational paradigm. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 34 . Sapiential authority is considered a necessary part of education for future survival. are also losers because they will perpetuate competition in their lives. Seventh. there should be an end to zero sum games in education. Sixth. Both teachers and students have the opportunity for critical analysis of any given piece of information. The school should move away from the exclusive treatment of what is well understood towards helping students cope with the unknown. To reduce all the experiences that lead to it to mastering skills for satisfactorily answering long series of test questions to obtain a certificate Whole Language. This is a zero sum game in which everyone eventually loses. In the past. the system is training. a synergetic system is perceived as an ³ad-hocracy´ (Toffler 1985).John Pulliam (1987) suggests several specific characteristics of the educational paradigm shift. Now. In a word. what schools should help students acquire is a wisdom that they will continue to develop for the rest of their lives (see Section 3. Sapiential authority. Preparation for a life of learning should replace the idea of terminal schooling. an educational mode of cooperation should substitute competition among students. Fifth. Structural authority. Education is process-oriented. It is based on the cooperation of individuals to complete temporary tasks. Competitive teaching modes promote the ³I win ± you lose´ structure. the school can only receive information that it is designed to receive. This is the second feature of the new focus of education. the good learners. focus should be on cooperative problem analysis and sharing of sources of information. Education is more than training. the future school must become a resource distribution center for creating and spreading unbiased information. The teachers cannot make decisions from the perspective of the students. Thus. Therefore. which is he dominant pattern in schools. students in the twenty-first century will need a well-developed skill in evaluation and critical thinking.5). students need education for the unknown. if students are asked questions for which the answers are known. Thirdly. on the other hand. Alternatively.

Firstly. to work constructively with members of their community. Little or no concern is given to the individual psychosocial needs of the individual. not just the elite few. at the same time. must reach the competency levels set by the teacher. especially minority students. Others are shy and seldom if ever speak in class. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 35 . Is it any wonder that the ³sacred´ bell-shaped curve of the normal distribution of achievement predominates in the teacher¶s grade book if the students receive the same information via lectures and all read the same textbooks? Most students play a passive role in the classroom. The point is that we cannot be content with inferior teaching and inferior learning. Every student. We cannot permit students to leave our classes with an inferior grasp of the subject matter. This is not to suggest that educators should produce student robots. learning styles. For example. Some students. Knowledge is not a static entity. It is an ever-changing variable. that students are social individuals each with vastly different needs. meet psychosocial needs of students. Rather than continue the traditional teaching strategy that selects the best students and weeds out the poorer ones. A Teaching Paradigm to Meet Psychosocial Needs The overused traditional frontal teaching paradigm places responsibility for the student learning solely upon the shoulders of the teacher. we must focus our attention on the individual needs of the student. selects the readings. A few continue to experience difficulty with computational skills.2. She or he presents the same information. Action flows from the teacher to the students and seldom vice versa. to enjoy scholarly activities and how to embellish their learning experiences when they leave the school. delivers the information via lectures and prepares evaluative instruments. are isolated from positive social contacts with their classmates or their instructor. goals and abilities. teachers must structure the learning environment to help students construct. however. we can use a system that cultivates and develops the talents of every student. We know. Some have computer phobia or ³keyboard fright´. Some students have inadequate reading skills. If we wish to help students learn how to think critically. We cannot be content with a teaching approach that is only partly effective. David Johnson (Johnson et al. This shift from simply providing decomposed language and inert course content to meeting psychosocial needs of the individual student is what the new teaching paradigm is about. two to three students accounted for over 50 percent of all interactions. 3. Many have ³library anxiety´ or have not the slightest clue of how to find information. lectures to and tests all students regardless of individual differences among them.stating that a required curriculum has been met is a shallow and inaccurate representation of education. 1991) lists five principal activities that should be incorporated in a new teaching paradigm structured to increase student achievement and. Some have difficulty constructing simple sentences. Karp and Yoels (1987) found that in classes of less than 40 members. This is not to Whole Language. four to five students accounted for 75 percent of all interactions and in classes of over 40. transform and extend knowledge. The instructor writes the curriculum and the syllabus.

David Perkins and his colleagues at the Harvard Graduate School of Education have adopted a ³performance perspective´ on understanding that involves generative performances. Bligh (1972). Students gather information from their courses so they can utilize it in their professional careers as well a their life as citizens. but you cannot understand everything about something because there are always more extrapolations that you might not have explored and might not be able to make´ (Perkins 1992. possession of knowledge and skills alone does not guarantee comprehension. Johnson and Smith 1991). that group dynamic structuring interaction between learners can provide the conditions. One demonstrates one¶s ability to swim not by answering questions about swimming but by performing the act. rote knowledge and routine skills serves students poorly. Whole Language.infer that ³anything goes´. that there is no ³right´ or ³wrong´. the use of a variety of small-group cooperative activities is the most effective procedure to encourage students to think creatively in divergent ways that foster new and novel solutions to problems. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 36 . 78). The teacher must closely monitor student learning to ensure that each competency level is met. true/false quizzes and conventional short essay questions. These performances must consist of applications that take the students far beyond what they already know. while easy to mark and assess. Traditional measures of comprehension such as multiple-choice questions. You can understand a little about something (you can display a few understanding performances) or a lot more about something (you can display many varied understanding performances). It is open ended and a matter of degree. where learners ³go beyond the information given´. Students must construct their own knowledge and understanding through active social interaction with their peers and teachers. Lastly. which ³demand somewhat different kinds of thinking´ and which are organized in an incremental fashion. In almost every study. to be willing to listen and to learn. Interactional peer support is needed to encourage achievement and proper orientation to learning tasks. found that students who participate actively in discussions with classmates spend more time synthesizing and integrating concepts than do students who simply listen to lectures. Without understanding. Understanding a concept involves being able to execute a number of ³performances´ that demonstrate the concept in new and novel ways. Thomas and Stock (1988) in their study of what makes people happy observe that young adults associate the word ³friendship´ with heir concept of happiness. Education is a social process that involves frequent student-to-student and teacher-to-student interaction. which have been thought to facilitate learning. the cooperative learning format was far superior to competitive and individualistic learning models (Johnson. competition and individualistic classroom activities demote achievement and lower self-esteem. after examining students¶ course evaluation reports. Learning is increased when individuals work with one another in a caring environment that helps each student gain understanding of the course material. Bonding friendships promote student achievement while isolation. Unfortunately. to discuss and argue and to counteract the dogmatism of the moment. Shopov and Fedotoff (in press) conclude. Relativism in this context refers to helping students to keep an open mind. in his review of about 100 studies of college teaching methods. ³Understanding is not a matter of µeither you get it or you don¶t¶. do not even begin to tap into a student¶s understanding of a topic or concept. Learning occurs when the student activates her or his existing cognitive schemata by applying new knowledge to practical situations.

If one member can accomplish a task satisfactorily without the aid of others. This. A group leader is appointed to organize. Often. Promotive interaction occurs as students encourage each other. A checker assures that each member understands the tasks or concepts. The team sinks or swims together as a group.4). to score points in a basketball game. positive interaction does not occur. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 37 . Factors of Cooperative Learning A number of factors or essential elements of cooperative learning. Finally. provide assistance to help each other learn. that an instructor¶s misuse of and lack of knowledge about structuring effective cooperative learning activities is responsible for student dissatisfaction. the assessment scores of the other group members will suffer. If one student attempts to impress other students with his or her knowledge to increase his or her self-esteem. 3. ingroup struggles for power develop. reward one another. if one member of the group does not understand the concepts to be learnt. One or two players alone cannot win games.Implementing cooperative learning is not an easy task nor is it without problems. The first factor. are necessary to make cooperative learning successful. More conscientious students may feel compelled to complete the work on their own and act independently of the group. each member depends upon the skills and abilities of the other players. An encourager is appointed to make sure that each member has ample opportunity to contribute to the group. One way to structure an assignment to foster a positive interdependent relationship is to give the students more work to do than any single individual could complete within the time limits allotted. after interviewing students who reported negative experiences with cooperative learning. positive interdependence. Another way to encourage interdependence is to provide specific information to two of the group members and different information to other two members. Left unsupervised within a loosely structured environment. who have conducted extensive research concerning effective group management. manage and direct activities. then there is no reason to form a group. means that each group member depends upon every other group member to achieve a goal. A valuable technique to promote interdependence is to assign each member a role to perform within the group (see Section 3. Feichtner and Davis (1985) concluded. some students may choose to be uncooperative forcing other group members to complete the work. A recorder takes accurate notes and records data for group activities. This may be accomplished through trusting and caring relationships formed within each group as students interact. The second factor needed to make cooperative learning successful is face-to-face promotive interaction. Insecure students may assume a ³back bench´ attitude. according to Donna Johnson and her colleagues at the University of Arizona.3. Tucson (1991). If other members have little or nothing to contribute. part of the final grade is derived from the group¶s performance on the task. For example. then there is no reason for the group to exist. exchange information and ideas and challenge ideas of other group members. two of the members will depend upon the information possessed by the other two members. Thus. The authors caution that simply assigning students to small groups with the instruction to begin discussing a topic or work on a project may result in little or no student learning. There must Whole Language.

understanding and applying the course Whole Language. Teachers should encourage students to develop these skills by identifying. Positive feedback for work well done creates a feeling of enthusiasm. The cooperative learning environment. especially when they are among aggressive peers. This behavior is called ³social loafing". showing concern for the feelings of others and actively participating in group discussions are but a few important skills students must learn by participating in a promotive interactive framework. Cooperative learning fosters growth in many areas: learning to use interpersonal skills effectively. must be assessed frequently. A large proportion of students has not had the experience of working with other students in small group activities. Also. David Johnson and Roger Johnson (1989) report research findings showing that the combination of positive interdependence and the use of effective social skills promotes highest achievement among students within a cooperative learning environment. A combination of teacher and student processing results in significant improvement and success within a cooperative learning format. if well organized. turn-taking. We cannot assume that each student possesses well-developed interpersonal and group communication skills. The last factor. This processing serves as a model for students who are learning how to critique peers effectively. individual tests are given periodically to evaluate students¶ achievement. Others. some students exploit the group structure to avoid working and let the others do the bulk of the work. Group processing also includes an analysis of improvements that could be made to help the group function more effectively in the future. Skills such as active listening. The importance of mastering these skills is a caring attitude of concern for the learning of their peers and a genuine willingness to share information through a helping relationship before positive interactions can occur. The teacher may call at random upon individual students to answer questions. group processing. the greater the learning. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 38 . Individual students must learn that they are responsible for understanding the course content. provides an opportunity for students to grow socially and learn effective group communication skills. to avoid verbal interaction with peers. Building social collaborative skills is the fourth important factor. Records can be kept of the frequency and quality of each group member¶s contribution during a cooperative learning assignment. some feel uncomfortable working with minority students. Student interactive evaluations provide a way to maintain good working relationships among group members and ensure that individual members receive feedback about the quality of their participation. Individual contributions either help or hinder achievement of the desired goals. then certainly helping them to acquire effective interactive social skills is an important activity. The important point is that there must be a system to continually assess each student¶s knowledge and contribution to insure that learning is occurring. Some students distrust others. It is not possible to incorporate all these factors within each group encounter but the greater the number of features used. of being successful and of increased elf-esteem among students. This third factor. referred to as individual accountability. describes the group¶s self-evaluation of each member¶s contribution. explaining and rewarding students for engaging in effective social interaction activities. Inevitably. prefer to listen rather than participate. offering constructive and encouraging criticism. Group processing also occurs when the instructor provides feedback to the class based on observations of individual student contributions. If one of the most important missions of the school is to help students develop wisdom. Group members can monitor individual accountability by constructing quizzes to each other.

for example. They are based on a simple formula: Structure + Content = Activity. 4-S Brainstorming.content to life situations. greater psychological health and social competence. If the Whole Language. Our students love them. Each team member has a special role to facilitate the creative potential of brainstorming and has a phrase to say in the target language that encourages her or his partners: y y y y Speed: ³Let¶s hurry!´ Synergy: ³Let¶s build on that!´ Silly: ³Let¶s get crazy!´ Support: ³All ideas help!´ Students brainstorm an idea for a while and then all teams pair up and interview each other. One student is the problem solver and the other one is the coach. Knowledge about a language. silliness and support. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 39 .4. Pairs Check. Teams break into two sets of pairs each of which works on a worksheet. is very different from acquiring the language. etc. We have always accepted this principle. However they are sufficient to distinguish positively the cooperative learning paradigm from the traditional individualistic and competitive ³lecture only´ teaching. Cooperative Learning (1992) published by his Californian company. This structure is based on speed. 3. the ³cognitive academic language learning approach´ (Chamot & O¶Malley 1994). In fact. the teams reunite and the pairs on the team compare answers. however. more caring committed interpersonal relationships. We have always believed that memorizing conjugations. The coach helps and checks his or her partner¶s work. After a while. which structure social interaction in the classroom. Julie High (1993) reports her discovery that effective language learning depends on structuring social interaction to maximize the need to communicate in the target language. grammar structures and vocabulary produces at best some knowledge about a language. confiding that achievement should not be divorced from enjoyment. developing self-esteem and ability to explain concepts to others. Several such participation structures. Johnson and Johnson (1989) report that in almost every study conducted during this century that compares the effectiveness of cooperative and competitive learning formats. Cooperative Language Learning In her book Second Language Learning through Cooperative Learning. Julie High describes a number of classroom activities. Julie High adapts Spencer Kagan¶s original ideas about cooperative learning structures which he calls ³co-op structures´ in his book. it is behind the theory and practice of the immersion programs in North America. These are only a few of the outcomes resulting from well-structured small group cooperative activities. the cooperative model results in higher achievement and greater productivity. Kagan Cooperative Learning Co. the ³foreign language medium schools´ in Bulgaria. synergy. The class is divided into teams of four students. we have been using in our language classes.

Spencer Kagan maintains that by participating in planned formats ³students become responsible for learning and sharing what they have learnt. individual seatwork and lecture prevail as the favorite organizational structures in the traditional classroom. they do a team handshake. After a while. (10) Reflection and disagrees. they ask the teacher to help them. creativeness and expressiveness of students. e. Pairs Check is a particularly good structure for practicing new skills. as in the traditional classroom. which can be used with any language teaching content and at various places in a lesson: (1) (2) (3) (4) Students number off. Students reflect on their work and their achievements. This is a four-step cooperative structure. (4) Team topic selection. (5) Mini-topic selection. The whole class evaluates team presentations. Numbered Heads Together. The emphasis in this structure is on bringing out and nourishing the natural intelligence. (8) Preparation of team presentations. This cooperative language learning structure has ten steps: (1) Student-centered class discussion. The teacher formulates a question as a directive. The structure prepares students for participation in a democratic society´ (Kagan 1992). (2) Selection of student learning teams. Each student on a team has a different number. Teacher calls a number. perhaps the most important. the teacher will call a number at random and the students with that number raise their hands to be called upon. If we structure the classroom so that the Whole Language. ³How we structure a classroom is an important. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 40 . The team members settle on the topic of most interest to themselves as a group. Heads together. Teacher asks a question. In Co-op Co-op. The team discusses and integrates the material presented in the previous step in order to prepare their team presentations. Individual presentations are evaluated by teammates. (3) Teambuilding and cooperative skill development. He or she will answer to that number when it is called. This is an important phase in which the members of each team feel they are a ³we´ and have developed trust and communication skills.g. (6) Mini-topic preparation. And he goes on. If the team agrees on the answer. Individual students work on their own topics. the structure indicates that we value the interests and abilities of the students. This discussion leads to an understanding among the teacher and the class about what the students want to learn and experience in relation to the topic or unit to be covered. (9) Team presentations. The team members divide the topic of the team into mini-topics for each member to work on. Co-op Co-op. Individual students present their own topics to their teammates. In relation to participation structures which promote meaningful interaction. (7) Mini-topic presentations. form of communication we make to students. Research on teaching has shown that whole-class discussion. ³Make sure everyone on your team can«´ The students put their heads together and discuss the question until everyone knows the answer.

goal of learning is a good team score. Thus. planning participation structures at the micro-level of language teaching is seen as an aspect of ³precision teaching´. If we choose an autocratic authority structure. we communicate that the most important value is a competitive victory. we communicate that students are empty or that their intelligence and curiosity are not valued. By taking full responsibility for students¶ learning. we communicate a lack of faith in the potential of students to choose positive directions for development. we leave them none. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 41 . Whole Language. If we structure so that the teacher is in full control of what and how students study. We do not leave students room to come out and become fully engaged in the learning process´.

which languages to include. course and syllabus are used. We need to establish a clear distinction between the terms. we are interested in the educational aspects of curriculum design and development. It refers to (a) a programme of study at an educational institution or system and (b) content in a particular subject or course of studies. In relation to that. DG XXII ± Education. etc. U. Supreme Court. e. John Clark (1987) asks several important questions: ³whether to include languages other than the mother tongue in the school curriculum. Here is an excerpt from the so-called Siman Act. quoted in Kansanen 1995. B. April 1919. the following definitions for the terms. which ruled on 4 June 1923 that antiforeign-language laws were in violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. refers to that subpart of curriculum which is concerned with a specification of what units will be taught´. syllabus.g. on the other hand. The case of Meyer versus State of Nebraska was based on the Siman Act. ³to run´. This and many other examples indicate that modern foreign languages. Here is a definition by J. and describes its overall content. ³No emergency has arisen which renders knowledge by a child of some language other than English so clearly harmful as to justify its inhibition´. which is adequate to our purposes: ³curriculum is a very general concept which involves considerations of the whole complex of philosophical. Within the framework of the Tempus Scheme of the Commission of the European Communities. ³No person shall « teach any subject to any person in any language other than the English language. the areas in which expertise is expected to be demonstrated.g. Curriculum is the totality of an organised learning experience. Meyer was arrested for teaching German to a ten-year-old boy in Nebraska on 25 May 1920. or in a particular subject´ (Webster¶s New World Dictionary 1988). Allen. collectively. Nebraska Legislature. course.S. as a school subject should not be taken for granted. Training and Youth.S. 101). and all other disciplines for that matter.Chapter 4: The Language Curriculum The term curriculum has been in English usage for a long time (see Josef Dolch 1959.A. college. Here. In fact. the use of the two terms in Europe and North America has caused a great deal of confusion in second language teaching. such as what will be learnt (and when) the texts to be read. ³Curriculum´ comes from Latin and means ³a running. Languages other than the English language may be taught as language only after a pupil shall have « passed the eighth grade´.. Robert T. As is seen from the definition. for the term Lehrplan (see Kansanen 1995 for a detailed study of the development of this construct). it provides the conceptual structure and a set time frame to acquire a recognisable degree. the term is commonly used in two related senses. The majority decision stated. it was substituted for the term Plan and later in the eighteenth century. A Modern English dictionary defines ³curriculum´ in the following way: ³all of the courses. Course is the totality of an organised learning experience in a precisely defined area. to whom to teach them and for how Whole Language. ³curriculum´ is synonymous with the British term ³syllabus´. In the latter sense. race´. the curriculum of a five-year degree programme in ³Mechanical Engineering´ at a certain higher education institution. e. His case reached the U. P. offered in a school. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 42 . But let us consider an example from recent history of education first. In German. the course on ³Fluid Dynamics´ within the curriculum ³Mechanical Engineering´. curriculum. The noun is related to the verb ³currere´ which means. Syllabus is the prescription of details on a specific course. social and administrative factors which contribute to the planning of an educational programme.

long. 48) describes the pedagogical and social assumptions underlying educator role definitions in language teaching (Figure 1 and Figure 2). 19) propose that ³Instructional design and development must be based upon some theory of learning and/or cognition. (c) otherness. Constructivism Constructivism is a theory of leaning and instruction that ³emphasizes the real-world complexity and ill-structuredness of many knowledge domains´ (Spiro et al. Constructivist view of cognition contends that learning is a process of personal interpretation of experience and construction of knowledge. effective design is possible only if the developer has developed reflexive awareness of the theoretical basis underlying the design´. They relate constructivism to the concept of dialogism: ³dialogue is a crucial element in the creation of any language organization and especially in establishing an open mulimedia based collaborative and networked learning environment. The answers. ³Learning is an active process in which meaning is developed on the basis of experience´ (Bednar et al. and (b) the prior knowledge that is brought to bear is itself constructed. (g) authenticity. and implicated in that societal vision are their own identities and those of the students with whom they interact. Bednar et al. Constructivists adopt the notion of Wittgenstein that context is an integral part of meaning. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 43 . Moore and Magliaro (1996. according to him. Constructivism in language education has been explored extensively by Seppo Tella and his colleagues at the Media Education Center. Neoconstructivists of the cognitive school believe that ³(a) understandings are constructed by using prior knowledge to go beyond the information given. (e) mutual implication. The learning environment is ± dialogue´ (Tella & Mononen-Aaltonen 1998. 57). (b) unanticipated consequences. Social constructivism has been described by Burton. Constructivism is an alternative epistemological perspective to objectivism (see Lakoff 1987). The outcome of this process for both educator and student can be described in terms of empowerment. a classroom. nor any particular media education tool. (1992. what objectives to seek to achieve´. Tella (1998. 21). 64). (f) temporal flow. He distinguishes the objectivist from the constructivist positions in methodology (the transmission versus critical orientation) and in sociology (the social control versus social transformation orientation). on a case-by-case basis´ (Spiro et al. Theory of constructivism has been developing and new versions have been emerging. 103). Social constructivists focus on social interaction in the community as a source of knowledge. It suggests that the learning environment in the framework of dialogism cannot be a physical space. Whole Language. University of Helsinki. 1992. 117) cites seven ingredients needed to promote dialogic education: (a) presence. should be sought in the particular educational value system of society at a particular moment in time.1. (d) vulnerability. Cummins concludes. 4. rather than retrieved from memory. 1992. 1992. Jim Cummins (1994. ³Educators¶ role definitions reflect their vision of society. 48). 55). Empowerment can thus be regarded as the collaborative creation of power insofar as it constitutes the process whereby students and educators collaboratively create knowledge and identity through action focused on personal and social transformation´ (Cummins 1994.

48) Social Control Orientation: Curricular Topics ± Neutralized with respect to societal power relations.´ In conclusion. This can be achieved by providing a collaborative learning environment based on communicative interaction containing sufficient comprehensible language input and output. One is that content cannot be predetermined. real-world tasks. a path-maker. we claim that the implications for language curriculum design are quite straightforward. Student Outcomes ± Compliant and uncritical. and rarely taught at all. Knowledge ± Catalytic. Critical Orientation: Language ± Meaningful.Transmission Orientation: Language ± Decomposed. Social Transformation Orientation: Curricular Topics ± Focussed on issues relevant to societal power relations. critical. to find other paths. on their own. and eventually to become a translator. Perhaps learning objectives cannot be pre-specified either. Knowledge ± Inert. Figure 1: Educator Pedagogical Assumptions (Cummins 1994. Figure 2: Educator Social Assumptions (Cummins 1994. 48) Nicholas Burbules (1997. 8) maintains that teaching ³is not a process of conversion. which will provide the necessary and sufficient contexts for the learners to realize their objectives and construct their knowledge. The curriculum developer cannot define the boundaries of what may be relevant. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 44 . Whole Language. Learning ± Joint interactive construction through critical inquiry within the zone of proximal development. but of translation: of making sufficient associations between the familiar and the foreign to allow the learner to make further associations. Student Outcomes ± Empowered. yet one that is almost never taught explicitly. All he or she can do is plan authentic. Learning ± Hierarchical internalization from simple to complex. Learning how to ask a good question is in one sense the central task.

We shall discuss this theory in the next section. contemporary fashion and the vague but powerful influences exerted by the social attitudes and economic needs of the community´ (1974). John Munby (1978). Some ten years before. that the methodological opposition of ³general purposes´ to ³specific purposes´ in language teaching is inadequate and inappropriate. English 901 (see Section 1. techniques like frequency. cit. We claim that a holistic approach. can solve the problem of curriculum design. ³The series assumes that students have already completed a basic course in English and that they have some knowledge of their specialist subject. 1992). In addition. This course is therefore intended for students [«] who already know how to handle the common English sentence patterns and who need to learn how these sentences are used in scientific writing to convey information«´ (op. the notion of ³appropriate language´ was used as a criterion of usefulness. Anthony Howatt stated. Strevens argued.g. ³Special courses have fairly specific objectives and are rather simpler to discuss. We do not think that ³the aims and the content are determined´ a priori by any criteria. coverage and availability were applied in the process of choosing common everyday language for ³communicative syllabi´.2. an improvement on the theory of curriculum design has been offered by Rand Spiro and his colleagues at the University of Illinois in their theory of Random Access Instruction (Spiro et al. We can discern two arguments in the literature to support this strong claim. gradation. The organization of the course was based on a priori decisions on the order in which ³new teaching points should come´ and on ³how much to teach´. ESP courses are those in which the aims and the content are determined. Peter Strevens outlined the ³new orientations in the teaching of English´ and of any language for that matter in the mid-seventies. The General versus Specific Courses Conjecture In the early seventies. The times had changed though. The English in Focus series of ³specialist English materials for students who use English as the medium of instruction for the subject they are studying´ was published in England in the seventies (e. They cannot be precompiled or prepackaged. General courses tend to be diffuse in their aims and take their overall shape more from tradition. The authors wrote. 90). Allen & Widdowson 1994).). Whole Language. A British linguist. which emphasizes the priority of the whole over its parts. This was certainly new a quarter of a century ago but today we find the conjecture rather misleading. It seems to us. principally or wholly. at this junction. ³Broadly defined. English for Specific Purposes or ³ESP´) were represented by their proponents as an alternative to general courses. the distinction is embedded in the objectivist tradition of language teaching.g. The course had a great success because the approach adopted was new. The method of needs identification was developed by a Swiss scholar. elaborated the theory and methodology of language needs analysis and curriculum design. Rene Richterich (Richterich & Chancerel 1977). In that respect.2. he had published one of the most successful audio-lingual textbooks. In that period. In fact. One refers to the fact that language teaching is a complex process characterized by network of relationships in a social and cultural context and the other to the idea that language teaching is an ill-structured knowledge domain. Language courses for specific purposes (e. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 45 . not by criteria of general education (as when µEnglish¶ is a foreign language subject in school) but by functional and practical English language requirements of the learner´ (Strevens 1977.). It is best expressed by William Mackey (1965) in his famous claim that there is no language teaching without ³selection. presentation and repetition´ of the content.4.

59). while the process of applying grammar rules in real-world communication is ill structured. It is a reflection of the complex ± and economically interrelated ± structure of cognition´. the domain involves concept. It was first used by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in the book On the Line as a method of organizing information (quoted in Burbules 1997). syntactic and phonological categories. Eric Lenneberg sees language proficiency as a process of ³(a) extracting relations from (or computing relations in) the physical environment. He maintains that ³it [rhizome] transmits the idea of something growing. 60). not an independent and autonomous complexity. 1998. basic grammar is well structured.e. Constructivists hold that ³Characteristics of ill-structuredness found in most knowledge domains (especially when knowledge application is considered) lead to serious obstacles to the attainment of advanced learning goals (such as the mastery of conceptual complexity and the ability to independently use instructed knowledge in new situations that differ from the conditions of initial instruction). 32).3. formal distinctions and decisions difficult´ (op. the domain involves across-case irregularity)´ (Spiro et al. and (b) the pattern of conceptual incidence and interaction varies substantially across cases nominally of the same type (i. cit. Seppo Tella uses it to describe open learning environments based on a communal educational value system. cit. 1992. cognitive and physiological processes produce those relationships. each of which is individually complex (i. 17). These obstacles can be overcome by shifting from a constructive orientation that emphasizes the retrieval from memory of intact preexisting knowledge to an alternative constructivist stance which stresses the flexible reassembling of preexisting knowledge to adaptively fit the needs of a new situation.4. wideapplication conceptual structures (multiple schemas. For example..e. and (b) of relating these relationships´ (Lenneberg 1975..and casecomplexity). Lenneberg argues persuasively that ³These deeper continuities [the continuous cognitive and physiological processes] are reflected in the ³fuzzy´ nature of semantic. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 46 . Random Access Instruction in Complex and Ill-Structured Knowledge Domains Random Access Instruction is a theory. spreading in all directions. 1992. not discrete. 17). He concludes that ³everything in language is of relational nature and what has to be learnt in language acquisition is how to relate. Nicholas Burbules (1997. 132). 3) holds that ³Each particular step Whole Language. making sharp. yet it gives ample scope for individual action and decision-making´ and suggests that ³a rhizome is a rhizome is a rhizome«´ (Tella et al. Instruction based on this new constructivist orientation can promote the development of cognitive flexibility using theory-based hypertext systems that themselves possess characteristics of flexibility that mirror those desired for the learner´ (Spiro et al. which accounts for the complexity of the process of language learning and the ill-structuredness of the domain of language knowledge and/or proficiency. organizational principles and so on). Continuous. Complex and ill-structured domains have two properties: ³(a) each case or example of knowledge application typically involves the simultaneous interactive involvement of multiple. then. Random Access Instruction can be represented by the metaphor of a rhizome. or how to compute a relationship upon given physical data´ (op. Eve Sweetser and Gilles Fauconnier (1996) maintain that ³The initially overwhelming complexity of linguistic usages is. perspectives. something developing.

but the overall pattern is not linear. The first is the automatic processing passively invoked by the incoming data. which has shown that the mind holds memories semantically. the KSH can predict what parts of the input would be accepted and what would be tuned out. their number is unlimited. Tella defines knowledge strategy as the ³long-term methodical reflection [«]. to be traced´. Learning is seen as a process that modifies the information structures in specified ways under specified conditions. which finds concrete expression as operational procedures or tactical measures. Thus. each element is related to all other elements.coe. etc. 1998. language activities. Nodes store linguistic. The semantic nature of the links in the KSH forms the basis of the model. 1998. domains. This is supported by scientific research. He emphasizes the view that ³instead of simply reforming their curriculum. no center and periphery. goals.or link within a rhizomatic whole can be conceived as a line between two points. In such a nonlinear and non-sequential learning environment. 25). according to meaning (Fauconnier & Sweetser). and Assessment: A Common European Framework of Reference (CEF).4. Clearly. Random Access Instruction is a rhizomatic system. which we shall present in the next section. Teaching. In Figure 3. It is publicly accessible on the web-site http://culture.. 4. which are necessary and sufficient. forms of operation. 26) maintains that knowledge is to be ³understood as mental information structures modified by the individual on the basis of thinking and earlier knowledge´. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 47 .fr/lang. which allows the user to move from node to node following the links between them. The CEF provides: Whole Language. we think schools and municipalities should progress towards developing their knowledge strategic thinking´ (Tella et al. The term model is employed here somewhat loosely. Language Curriculum as a Knowledge Strategic Hypertext What is ³knowledge´ and what does ³knowledge strategy´ mean? Tella (Tella et al. It can be applied in the design of nonlinear learning environments. information and links represent semantic associations between the nodes. The model accommodates two conditions for learning. It is a way to make clear how our hypothesis hangs together to make a coherent explanation. As far as the components of the KSH are concerned. The constructive process leads the user ³beyond the information given´ (Perkins 1992) by reconstructing information itself. It has been developed under the LAC 2000 Project (Shopov 1999). That reflects the complexity and ill-structuredness of the language proficiency domain. etc. We define the Knowledge Strategic Hypertext (KSH) as a nonlinear and non-sequential language curriculum model based on constructivist epistemology and the idea of knowledge strategy (Figure 3). And the second is the active control of the incoming data. The KSH is a network model. because there is no beginning and end. and evaluation measures connected with them´. The model contains components derived from the definition of language behaviour in Modern Languages: Learning. working methods arising from discussion about values. we present our KSH language curriculum model including communicative language competence. knowledge is not simply data and information. slogans.

Language activities are the actual behaviors in which language is used. which carry the message from producer to receiver. Three components constitute communicative language competence. and the ability to learn´. which enable a language user to perform acts of communication. first. what a language user has to do in order to communicate in its situational context. or both. providing options for users to consider in relation to their existing practice. both globally and in relation to the categories of the descriptive scheme at a series of levels. skills and existential competence (savoir-etre) he or she possesses. In the CEF. the educational domain and the occupational domain.³(a) A descriptive scheme. The domains. interaction or mediation (in particular interpreting or translating) in oral or written form. then the underlying competences. the socio-linguistic component and the pragmatic component. They are the linguistic component. Tasks. with particular reference to the development of plurilingualism in the learner´ (Trim 1999. which enable the language user to bring those competences to bear in action. Whole Language. then the role of the texts. in which activities are contextualized. presenting and exemplifying the parameters and categories needed to describe. strategies and texts complete this model of language use and learning. (c) A set of scales for describing proficiency in language use. All these constructs are defined in Chapter 3 of the CEF. are the public domain. the general competences of the individual are defined by ³the knowledge. (d) A discussion of the issues raised for curricular design in different educational contexts. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 48 . the personal domain. and finally the strategies. They are reception. (b) A survey of the approaches to language learning and teaching. 9). production.

including the nodes and links of communicative language competence. it is a complex one. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 49 . However. with its 18 elements in 7 categories.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Starting level of L2 proficiency ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Personal domain Pragmatic component Reception Educationa l domain Sociolingui stic component Linguistic component Production Empty because model is open Public domain Interaction Occupation al domain Mediation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Starting level of L2 proficiency ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Figure 3: The KSH curriculum model. Stochastic theory estimates the possible combinations of the Whole Language. etc. This is obviously a comprehensive and exhaustive model. domains. language activities.

The model proposed is based on the idea of whole language development. cultivate intellectual passions. in our opinion. The smart school makes the most of these opportunities. 4. So each component of the model may become the starting point for the use of the KSH. assessment and scheduling to encourage tapping them. Therefore. This leads to a better perception of what is general and what is specific concerning the linguistic organization of the target language. These 163 combinations produce an infinite number of concrete instances of language use. divided by 1 time 2). introduce and exercise languages of thinking. only a KSH approach to curriculum design can guarantee quality in second language development. seek out integrative mental images. there are ample opportunities to orient instruction toward higher levels of understanding. 130) Whole Language.´ (Perkins 1992. foster learning to learn and teach for transfer. 97).5.elements at 163 (18 times 17. Instead of a Conclusion ³Whatever the style. It informs and energizes teaching by giving teachers time and support to learn about the opportunities and by arranging curriculum. The KSH includes language styles and registers incorporating them into ³a form of metalinguistic. interlinguistic or so to speak µhyperlinguistic¶ awareness´ (CEF. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 50 .

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