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 (http://www.fu-berlin.de/elc) 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
a new science was born. linguistics. It will be relevant in our argument in favor of the cognitive principles of language acquisition. etc. it combines tools from psychology. child psychology. They appear to learn languages without ³thinking´ about them. For that reason cognitive scientists have described language as a psychological and mental faculty. specialized skill. Linguistics. Brown. The Principle of Automaticity. thinking too much about its forms tend to impede the acquisition process. has seen spectacular advances in the years since. ³Children are good meaningful acquirers of language because they associate«words. McLaughlin ³automatic processing´ (McLaughlin 1990). grammatical rules. Whole Language. It states ³Whenever a new topic or concept is introduced. that is. 18). Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 6
. word order. D. This leads to the recommendation to teachers to focus on the use of language and its functional aspects. underlined here. and neurobiology to explain the workings of human intelligence. structures and discourse elements with that which is relevant and important in their daily quest for knowledge and survival´ (Brown 1994b. We must pay special attention to this sentence of H. philosophy. which is in strong contradiction with automaticity. Overanalyzing language. Language is a complex. Now that cognitive scientists know how to think about thinking. (1) Automaticity of Acquisition No one can dispute the fact that children acquire a foreign language quickly and successfully. This has been called by B. without actually analyzing the forms of language themselves. The idea that thought is the same thing as language is an example of what can be called a conventional absurdity. But focus on use and functionality presupposes meaningful learning. especially the last words. One of the recommendations for classroom application of Meaningful Learning is also of relevance to our further argument in this direction. Again hypercorrection cannot exist without meaningful analysis of language structures and their ³classification´ into ³regular patterns´ and ³exceptions´ with respect to a language function. there is less of a temptation to equate it with language and we are in a better position to understand how language works. Some thirty-five years ago. Instead.Let us begin with some long established postulates of foreign language acquisition and see what cognitive theory has to say about them. This ease is commonly attributed to children¶s ability to acquire language structures automatically and subconsciously. aims at an ³automatic processing of a relatively unlimited number of language forms´.) are peripheral. computer science. as stated above. The resulting associative links create stronger retention. (2) Meaningful Learning Meaningful learning ³subsumes´ new information into existing structures and memory systems. endings. There are many phenomena of language that we are coming to understand. 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. which develops in the child. affixes. attempt to anchor it in students¶ existing knowledge and background so that it gets associated with something they already know´. Language is not a cultural artifact that we learn the way we learn to tell the time. in particular. Now called ³Cognitive Science´. What is more. it is a distinct characteristic of our brains. one major characteristic both of child acquisition and adult learning of foreign languages is the phenomenon called hypercorrection.
Cognitive science. ³Subjective´ in the sense of the collective interpretation or point of view of a society or cultural and linguistic community. If we generalize the examples above. expresses truly the essence of the phenomenon ± it is a picture. This metaphor entails the treatment of time Whole Language. initially used in analyzing mythology and today employed by cognitive science. But human language is an important source of evidence for what a picture of the world is like. as an example. We will refer to them by the term Picture of the World. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 7
. Acquiring a foreign language means entering a new conceptual domain. The central postulate of cognitive science is that metaphorical transfer is not just a matter of language. On the basis of linguistic evidence we can say that most of our everyday conceptual system is metaphorical in nature. and attitudes. In semiotics it goes under the name of ³passive´ cultural memory. In connection with Humboldt¶s statement. But ³knowledge´ is something complex. This is crucial for explaining foreign language acquisition. We can use. And these are specifically structured. the way we conceive of time in our everyday life. of mere words. though usually used metaphorically. Let us have the following linguistic expressions: You are wasting my time. not a mirror reflection.called ³facet viewing´). it presupposes a definite point of view or the attitude of its creator. The word ³picture´. 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). I¶m running out of time. How do you spend your time? That flat tyre will cost me an hour. however. it is possible to pass from one picture of the world into another by means of a set of universal cognitive mechanisms.In essence. which reflects our views. This gadget will save you hours. Human thought processes are largely metaphorical. The pivotal question is how we interpret Humboldt¶s conceptual domains. 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. we come up with the metaphor /TIME IS MONEY/. Wilhelm von Humboldt claims that speaking a language means living in a specific conceptual domain. It involves interpretation. the product of social and cultural experience from living in a particular ³world´. This picture explicates the relativity of human cognition. 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. Metaphor means metaphorical concepts. to reason is to deduce new pieces of knowledge from old ones. rejects the qualification ³passive´ and claims that Pictures of the World are actively and currently structured by common cognitive models. but a subjective picture. representations of the world from various angles (the so. or a snapshot of the world around us. Like any other picture. In his Philosophy of Language. beliefs. Cognitive science explains the essence of metaphor as understanding and experiencing one thing in terms of another. This of course implies the possibility to have a number of different pictures of one object. What is important here is that our conceptualization of the world is not ³an objective reflection of reality´.
Architecture site .as a limited resource and a valuable commodity. The following metaphorical domains can present these themes: 1. desktop. thereby helping to palliate technostress. (2) facilitate communication. access ramp infobahn cyberspace Mail and Postal Services e-mail . It appears that conceptual domains are shaped by several themes. 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.
3.g. to mention just a few.bookmark White pages to browse e-magazine carbon copy
Whole Language.snailmail mailbox virtual postcard envelope
2. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. The examples demonstrate one type of metaphorical transfer ± structural metaphor. and (3) send and store data. Metaphors in computer terminology. they help a variety of people understand what the concepts mean. Most of these are based on the functions that the Internet is perceived to have: (1) helping people ³move´ across vast distances. Transportation The theme of transportation dominates Internet terminology. aid users speaking different languages but using English to understand and remember new concepts. In other words. The domain of the Internet features several conceptual themes.gateway bridge . On the more linguistic side of the problem. At the same time they allow users to associate unfamiliar concepts with old ones. when metaphorical concepts become lexicalized. wallpaper.frame 4. they have a certain didactic role. ³User friendliness´ of computer metaphorical terms can be illustrated by the numerous examples found in the vocabulary of user interfaces ± e. and menu. The Printed Medium Web page . for example. specified sometimes as marine navigation.
He is at the peak of health. He came down with a flue. etc. have control over He is in a superior position. which organizes a whole system of concepts with respect to one another ± the so-called orientation metaphor. A different type of metaphorical model is the second one. My spirits sank. for example. deep-shallow. I¶m a little rusty today. She is high-minded. The experience shattered her. Thinking about her gives me a lift. center-periphery. emotional Discussion fell to the emotional level. I¶m depressed.
virtue He is an upstanding citizen. He broke under cross-examination.the /MIND IS A MACHINE/ metaphor: My mind just isn¶t operating today. The mouse metaphor has generated mouse trails and so on. He is under my control. He is easily crushed. For example: Up vs. I have control over the situation.
Whole Language. high status He¶s climbing the social ladder fast. Cognitive science has it that we understand our experience in terms of objects and substances. Thus. This allows us to pick fragments of our experience and treat them as discrete entities or substances. sickness He fell ill. has given rise to Gopherspace. rational His arguments rose above emotions. we interpret the human mind as a material object with specific properties .
happy I¶m feeling up. I¶m in high spirits. good health He is in top shape. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. front-back.Some metaphorical terms have spawned numerous conceptually related ones by metaphorical extension. Gopher. low status He is at the bottom of the social hierarchy. depravity I wouldn¶t stoop to that. in-out. That¶s beneath me. trash cans. They rely on bodily experience: up-down. The famous desktop metaphor has given rise to files. folders. Such orientation metaphors are grounded in physical perception and hence universal.
The third type of metaphor is called ontological. Gopher hole. Down sad I¶m down today. be subject to control He is my social inferior.
is not that we have many metaphors for life. It is amazing how our concept of life repeats all the details of our concept of journeys. we can also use elements of that model with the same effect. /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. obstacles along the way to destination. They are among the basic metaphors we live by.
Whole Language. point of departure. 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/. path to destination. but that we have just a few. a level of efficiency. crossroads. and it is very important. Basic metaphors are limited in number. productive capacity. internal mechanisms. etc. Let¶s illustrate this with an example: /LIFE IS A JOURNEY/. The mapping between the two domains is not simple. This process is known as ³metaphorical mapping´. In this way. however. when we use a metaphorical model. What is more. means of transportation. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. co-travelers. What is much more amazing. so that we can make transfers not only between the domains as a whole but also between parts of these domains. we view both conceptual domains (The Mind and The Machine) as internally structured. for example. The structure of Journey includes.The conception of /MIND IS A MACHINE/ also enables us to view mind as having an off-state. etc. This means that they are not independent of thinking and cognition.
All deviations from the model are interpreted as highly marked. Sub-models (i). Mothers stay at home and care for the family.e. which are elements of our species specific as human beings. The most important are the stereotype and the ideal. Mother is the one who is married to the child¶s father. They are: (1) Our ability to create structures in concepts that do not exist independent of the metaphor. All six sub-models describe the ideal mother.What motivates our ability to create and understand metaphorical structures? According to cognitive science. (ii). (3) Our ability to make conclusions and inferences. exceptions from the ideal. 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. (iii). Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 11
. In the µmother¶ concept the biological and the social are inseparable. we operate with several images. (2) Our ability to choose and explicate optional elements from conceptual structures. A very good example is the notion of µmother¶. Mother is the closest female relative. our ability for modeling. (ii). Mother is the one who carries the embryo. i. 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. the prototypical mother. i. This prototype remains stable cross-culturally. (iii).e. Thus in English we distinguish between the biological and the ideal father. i. Mother is the one who feeds and cares for the baby. and (v) describe what a mother is ³objectively´ (biologically). (4) Our ability to evaluate and transfer evaluations of elements of the Source Domain onto the Target Domain. It comprises six sub-models: (i)Birth (ii)Genetic (iii)Breeding (iv)Marriage (v)Genealogical (vi) Housewife : : : .e. Our mental ability for modeling enables us to operate easily with extremely complex conceptual structures. and (iv) form the core of the concept. Thus. these are cognitive and psychological characteristics. This ideal changes historically and across cultures. And (i). Very often they have separate linguistic expressions.
Sub-models (i). They build the stereotype image of a mother. and (iv) describe what a mother normally is. : : Mother is the one who gives birth to a child.
/MENTAL STATES ARE PHYSICAL MOTION/. /MENTAL STATES ARE PHYSICAL PERCEPTION/.g. Indo-European languages follow consistently certain metaphorical transfers: 1. By using cognitive models we can explain but also teach the established one-way directions of semantic change. report < Latin µcarry back¶ refer
e. This explains the commonality of such metaphors in the Indo-European languages through time./GENERAL IS SPECIFIC/ /ABSTRACT IS CONCRETE/ /TIME IS SPACE/ /SOCIAL IS NATURAL/ /MENTAL IS PHYSICAL/ How can we apply these principles. For example. mechanisms and models in teaching a language and teaching about language? We can do that in a number of ways: I.g.g. e. suppose µunderstand¶ < Latin sub + ponere µput under¶ 4.
e. On the diachronic level There is a marked parallelism between current English metaphors and models of semantic change. know < µsee¶ remark < observe < µlook closely at¶ 3. Shifts in the opposite direction are unknown. 2. /MENTAL ACTIVITY IS MOTION IN PHYSICAL SPACE/. 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. /MENTAL STATES ARE MANIPULATION OF OBJECTS IN SPACE/.
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¶.g. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. 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. Living metaphors and semantic change are related and mutually reinforcing.
and re-ordering them. The manipulation with ideas is seen as holding. but never in the opposite direction. This is a replica of the model of µPhysical action¶ verbs. throw to at talk to at shout to at
to. Since µSpeech act¶ verbs involve exchange between two parties.expressing µdirection from speaker to hearer¶ reply < Latin re + plicare µfeed back¶ refuse < Latin re + futare µbeat back¶ re. Therefore semantic change tends to move towards more personal meanings. concede < Latin con + cedere µgive up¶ insist < Latin in + sistere µstand in¶ convince < Latin con + vincere µconquer together¶.g. /SPEECH COMMUNICATION IS SPATIAL RELATION/.
Data demonstrate a stable direction in meaning change: a) verbs of µPhysical motion/location¶ > verbs of µMental state¶/¶Speech acts¶.expressing µdirection from hearer to speaker¶ 7. moving. expressing an inactive receiver=hearer. meanings closer to the Self. they can also have a metaphorical variant like /SPEECH ACTS ARE WARFARE/. a route along which ideas=objects can travel or be exchanged.g. uniting.
Notice also the use of spatial prepositions both with µSpeech act¶ and µMental activity¶ verbs: e. a successful completion of the trajectory of the action. arranging. and at. 6. touching. with their regular contrast between to and at prepositions: e.
e. /SPEECH ACTS ARE MANIPULATION OF OBJECTS IN SPACE/. 5. We haven¶t got anywhere in this conversation.g. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. /MENTAL ACTIVITY/SPEECH ACT IS TRAVEL IN SPACE/.This is the most productive metaphor with µMental state¶ verbs in English.
e. talk think about over walk go This shows that we conceive of a speech act as a distance between the two communicating parties.e. separating. expressing active participation on the part of the receiver=hearer.g. Now we must go back to the main issue.
Whole Language. like physical objects. propose < Latin pro + ponere µput forward¶
e. admit < Latin ad + mittere µsend to¶ assert < Latin ad + serere µconnect to¶ ad. b) verbs of µMental state¶ > verbs of µSpeech acts¶.g.g. i. action. e.
II. In other words. and the future tense). Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 14
. over time.g. e. predominant word order. etc. 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. the progressive tenses. On the synchronic level Synchronically. µHuman emotions¶ can be explained through µTemperature¶. to turn. 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. There is a stable tendency for a limited set of notional verbs. using auxiliary verbs as an example. 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. We shall demonstrate the validity of this approach in teaching grammar. or µColours¶. development of grammatical categories and forms of their expression. hot temper warm friendship boil with indignation burn with emotion simmer with anger be in a stew. Thus. µCooking activities¶. into auxiliary verbs of analytical constructions (the perfect tenses. we can employ metaphorical transfer models to teach semantic fields and explain semantic extension. with specific meaning. 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. phraseology.
The foreign language teacher is the major factor in the formation of this ³second self´. In the context of the problems discussed here. learning and teaching a language we are taking part in one of the wonders of the world. defensiveness. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 15
. and raise inhibitions. does it result from geographic or genetic closeness of languages. give particular shape to our way of thinking. We shall look at the concept of self and self-awareness. Whole Language.e. namely that abstract notions are conceptualized by means of a limited number of concrete basic concepts. at relationships in a community (of speakers and learners). they also develop a new mode of thinking and acting ± they enter a new identity. the idea that the structure of our mother tongue and its categories. put give. Learners can feel this because the arsenals of their native-language egos may be suddenly useless in developing a ³second self´. you are also a particular linguistic self. But it is much more than that. and to be the most widely used instrument in interpersonal relations. The ability is language. can create a sense of uncertainty. that makes language accessible to all. manageable and flexible enough to accommodate various cultures and societies. which model a specific pattern of linguistic behaviour and structure of linguistic categories. That is. which are a reflection of our way of life and the environment. this touches onto the old and widely disputed idea of language relativity. at the relationships between language and culture. Language is not just any cultural invention but the product of society and culture. There must be something. (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. There are a number of immediate questions that arise. To avoid this the teacher must ³create´ appropriate ³natural´ situations for the learner so that he can practice his new identity. As human beings learn a foreign language. then.
1. and the ability of man to cope with them and to create them. If the student is learning the foreign language in the milieu of the country where it is spoken. even humiliation. 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. then he is likely to experience an ³identity crisis´. 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. His choice of techniques needs to be cognitively challenging to achieve the accommodation of the learner to his ³new world´. i. Social Principles We now turn our attention to those principles of language acquisition that are central to human beings as social entities. speaking a particular language.permit take care. intertwined with the new language itself.2. Is this ³rule of auxiliation´ due to pure coincidence. For we all belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events and ideas in each other¶s brains. In speaking. But this new ³language ego´.
Conversations of this kind are a good example of the sort of important social function that is often fulfilled by language. you remarked: µHe is the type who would discuss the weather with you. to a certain extent. learning the values of AngloAmerican society. How To Be an Alien. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 16
. But writing many ³I¶s´ is only the beginning of the process of redefining oneself. Writing essays in English. The Chinese student gradually creates his new ³English Self´. conversely.¶ In England. A Chinese student is taught to use always ³we´ instead of ³I´ lest he give the impression of being selfish and individualistic. wanting to describe someone as exceptionally dull. I think it¶s so nice when it¶s hot ± isn¶t it?¶ µI adore it ± don¶t you?¶ Whole Language. isn¶t it?¶ µIsn¶t it beautiful?¶ µThe sun«¶ µIsn¶t it gorgeous?¶ µWonderful. EXAMPLES FOR CONVERSATION For Good Weather µLovely day. but a social and cultural experience. (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. this is an ever-interesting. and you must be good at discussing the weather. to redefine some of the basic concepts and values that he had about himself. George Mikes (1970) discusses the weather as the first and most important topic for a person who wants to learn English. In his famous book. that the British always talk about the weather. about society. Learning to write an essay in English is not an isolated classroom activity. even thrilling topic. 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. it is possible to strike up a relationship with him without actually having to say very much.Let us take one ordinary example ± learning to write compositions in English. By such a redefinition is meant not only the change of how one envisioned oneself. By talking to the other person about some neutral topic like the weather. on the Continent. 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´. Here is his comment: ³This is the most important topic in the land. but also a change in how he perceived the world. Learning the rules of English essay writing is. and often humorously exaggerated. It is well known. encourage the use of ³I´) may be surprised to discover that in some cultures this grammatical choice has profound cultural and even political connotations. the learner is building part of his new language identity. Rule number one in English composition writing is: ³Be yourself´. Do not be misled by memories of your youth when. By trying to master this function of language. isn¶t it?¶ µIt¶s so nice and hot«¶ µPersonally.
Rain in the morning. A language learner may know exactly what he wants the foreign language for. The relative importance of these different functions may vary from culture to culture. then a bit of sunshine. A very important rule emerges from it.¶ µI remember exactly the same July in 1936. The success with which learners adapt to a new cultural milieu will affect their language acquisition success. and ways of thinking. and then rain. observe the last few sentences of this conversation. it would do wonderfully for any occasion. all day long. rain.¶ µYes. 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. Then. In many language-learning contexts such as ESL. and should someone remark to you: µNice day. If you are a bit slow in picking things up. A teacher must necessarily attract his students¶ attention to the cultural connotations. which will vary with the context and the goals of learning. complete with varying stages of acculturation. or he may have no clear idea at all. But for many teaching operations we need to specify the aims. You must never contradict anybody when discussing the weather in England. especially of socio-linguistic aspects of language. emphasising that no culture is ³better´ than another. rain. An easy way to do this is to discuss cross-cultural differences with the students. Do you?¶ µFancy such a day in July.´ All this is of course a very good joke but it says much about the British and their social behaviour.¶ Now. Whenever you teach a language. and psychological adjustment are also factors to deal with. A second aspect of the language ± culture connection is the extent to which the students will be affected by the process of acculturation. Should it hail and snow. values. We cannot be certain that all the functions of language described in linguistic literature are to be found in all cultures. should hurricanes uproot trees.For Bad Weather µNasty day. learn at least one conversation. and vice versa. you also teach a complex system of cultural customs. social distance. their distribution may vary. students are faced with the full-blown realities of adapting to life in a foreign country. that¶s right.¶ µOr in 1939?¶ µYes. cultural adaptation.¶ µOr was it in 1928?¶ µYes. in some significant ways. For anyone to participate in the life of a community he has to be able to communicate and be communicated to. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 17
. I remember too. 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. isn¶t it?¶ µIsn¶t it dreadful?¶ µThe rain«I hate rain«¶ µI don¶t like it at all. it was. feeling and acting. Whole Language. That is why the learner is learning a language.
Edward Sapir wrote: ³When it comes to linguistic form.´ There is a considerable knowledge available about the nature of human language. 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. which can guide the activity of the language teacher. In this connection. 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. Plato walks with the Macedonian swineherd. but they are accustomed to that and they will get the most excellent impression. in certain roles and in certain situations. 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. and they realize that (a) it is much easier to learn these expressions than the much simpler English words. You will have your foreign accent all right. Linguists can make and have made great contributions to the solution of some of the problems. Many foreigners. In preparing a teaching programme or choosing a teaching strategy. Earlier in this century. The learner of a foreign language is preparing to use that language for certain purposes. 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. Linguistics provides a growing body of scientific knowledge about language. perhaps not as a ³full member´ but as a ³foreign associate´. discover with amazement and satisfaction that the English language has absorbed a huge amount of ancient Greek and Latin expressions. let alone perfectly. (b) that these words are as a rule interminably long and make a simply superb impression when talking to the greengrocer«´
1. Confucius with the head-hunting savage of Assam. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. The primary role ascribed to him will be that of foreigner. 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). who have learned Latin and Greek in school. in spite of the fact that in the first three years you do not need to learn or use any other adjective. Many writers speak of the linguistic needs of the learner in terms of roles he may assume. to mutter between your teeth and finish your sentences with the question: µisn¶t it?¶ People will not understand much. The most successful attempts to put on a highly cultured air have been on the polysyllabic line. trying to acquire ³perfect´ English and sound like native speakers.Our ability to participate as members of social and language communities depends upon our control of linguistic and other behaviour considered appropriate. Here is what Mikes says about foreigners.
Whole Language. in which his communicative needs are normally going to be more restricted than those of the native speaker. 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.3. Then you have to decide on your accent. My only consolation being that nobody speaks English perfectly. but many people like to mix it with something else.
then. Modern teachers of language are actually teaching their students not only the language but also about language. often talk about how language ³works´. however. The emphasis has shifted from the nature of language data to the nature of the human capacity. it aims to elucidate the structure of language. Whole Language. is a characterization of the native speaker¶s competence. 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. but also in addition. A grammar. The linguistic approach to language is the most ³objectivising´ approach: it is concerned with language as a system. but communicative competence. the way we approach the task will be influenced. The study of language is beset by the difficulty that it deals with something utterly familiar. It is one of the great values of modern language teaching that it adopts a more social approach to language. Everybody ³knows´ about language. by what we believe language to be. 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). All speakers of a language vary slightly in the rules they follow. and its limited objectives. both linguistic and situational. is an account of competence". can be characterized as a set of rules for producing and understanding sentences in a language. to achieve a ³psychic distance´ (Chomsky 1968). Such linguists do not study what people do when they speak and understand language. The relevance of the linguistic approach to language teaching is too obvious to need much discussion here. in the Chomskyan sense. When we are teaching a foreign language. One point must be mentioned. We are teaching him or her not only what we call ³the formation rules´ of the language. in its linguistic sense. The speaker¶s competence. pragmatics. which makes it possible to produce the language data. appropriate to the context. as well. Now linguists describe what native speakers conceive to be the nature of their language. thus. the rules of grammar. because they use it all the time. or even determined. of course. Chomsky among them. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 19
. Perhaps the most cogent criticism of traditional language teaching with its insistence on correctness. 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. we are trying to develop in the learner not just grammatical competence. what Hymes has called ³the speaking rules´. Linguists. and it is concerned with the problems of its communicative function. The problem of studying phenomena like language is to separate it from ourselves. to the way that language behaviour is responsive to differing social situations. This formulates a new goal for linguistic theory. lexis and semantics. but seek to discover the rules underlying this performance. but he must also know when to select a particular grammatical sequence. These levels bear such familiar names as syntax. etc. phonology and phonetics. in the traditional view. as in their performance. especially. For this reason. morphology. is that it lacked the socio-cultural dimension. To do this it has set up various ³levels of description´.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. The learner must develop the ability to distinguish grammatical from ungrammatical sequences. Modern linguistics requires that a grammar should accord with a native speaker¶s intuitions about language. There is generally a close connection between the way we talk about something and the way we regard it. Some linguists. This is what Chomsky calls competence (1966a.
speech functions to establish relations. The second is concerned with operations performed on the descriptions of language. for making statements about how the speaker perceives the way things in the world are. But we must now outline the hierarchy of applications of linguistics to language teaching. Describing language. or part of language. it has to be established what is different between the mother tongue and the foreign language. If the orientation is towards the speaker. We usually test them by asking the questions "Do you hear me?" and "Do you follow?" (1) The Native Language Effect S. request or warning. in part. Where the focus is on the contact between the participants. associated with the code used and the message. then we have the personal function of language. This can be done by command. The learning of a second language is rather a question of increasing a repertoire. It is the function of controlling the behaviour of a participant. It is just as well that different languages do. etc. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 20
. is also performed or supported by gestures. or promote social solidarity. they already possess it. This function. contact between them. selecting what Whole Language. greetings. moral or customary rules of society. inquiries about health. Pit Corder claims that when people learn a second language they are not acquiring language. or by some general admonitory statement. The assumption then is that some of the rules they already know are also used in the production and understanding of the second language. by invoking legal. The first has already been identified as that of linguistic description. or formulaic speech acts: leave-taking. It is through this function that the speaker reveals his attitude towards what he is speaking about. Thus. It is not just that he expresses his thoughts and emotions through language. or learning a set of alternatives for something they already know. Each stage has the function of answering some questions or solving some problems relevant to language teaching. in fact. It is the function that gave rise to the traditional notion that language was created solely for the communication of thought. There are two more functions. the topic and the form of the message. but his emotions and attitudes at what he is talking about. that is. remarks about the weather. It is also called ³negative transfer´ or interference. 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. the application of first order answers the very general question: what is the nature of the language. facial expression. Learners transfer what they already know. the linguistic code used. This is what is meant by ³transfer´.Different functions of language can be associated with the factors involved in a speech act ± the speaker. The topic-oriented function of speech. On this account. They are the most difficult to formulate. maintain them. sometimes called phatic. These are typically ritual. is that which usually stands first in people¶s minds. the hearer. There are a number of stages in the application of linguistics to language teaching. often called the referential function. is part of the process of developing linguistic theory itself. Making errors in the second language can. But this tendency of transfer can be also positive (facilitation). Hearer-oriented speech acts involve the directive function of language. have resemblances to each other. be explained by the notion of transfer.
(2) Language Universals In the context of discussing similarities and differences between languages. The largest number of universals involve implications: if a language has X. Or we can invoke the criterion of difference. Where the learner¶s mother tongue. many other surveys have been conducted. and OSV may be non-existent. but the language of the learner at some particular point in the process of learning. similar to the target language. Universal implications are found in all aspects of language.000 to 6. Since then. These rules are not those of the target language but a ³transitional´ from of language. it will also have Y. which focused on the order of words and morphemes. we must touch upon the theme of language universals and their place in foreign language teaching. A third criterion might be difficulty. those speech functions which he will need to command. fewer have VSO. all parts of the foreign language are different from the mother tongue. what is so totally different from anything encountered in the mother tongue does not seem to be so difficult to learn as something. the learning of such a system presents a serious learning task. For example. one can also find striking uniformities. he found no fewer than forty-five universal features. But difference is relative Some parts will be more different than others. and it is precisely this regularity which shows that the learner is following a set of rules. however. from phonology (if a language has nasal vowels. On the other hand. like *Built Jack that house the this is? Some universals are statistical: subjects normally precede objects in almost all languages. has such a system. it will have non-nasal vowels) to word meanings (if a language has a word for µpurple¶. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. In a sense. A learner¶s so called errors are systematic. no language forms questions by reversing the order within a sentence. The errors performed by the learners may be an important part of the data on which the comparison is made. VOS and OVS are rare (less than 1%).000 languages of the world do look impressively different from English and from one another. if a language has a word for µleg¶. at the phonological level.
Whole Language. which is liable to confusion with some similar feature in the mother tongue. The procedures and techniques involved in all these cases of application of linguistics to foreign language teaching are comparative. In the first investigation. The 4. What is different in the foreign language does not necessarily in all cases represent a difficulty. Some hold absolutely.he needs to know. Greenberg wanted to see if any properties of grammar could be found in all these languages. the size of the learning problem will depend on the nature and degree of difference. Thus most languages have SVO or SOV word order. if the learner¶s mother tongue has no grammatical system of aspect. For example. but also similar to the learner¶s mother tongue (what Larry Selinker calls ³interlanguage´). and literally hundreds of universal patterns have been documented. or ³contrastive´ comparison (Contrastive Analysis). with the target language. For example. his proposed repertoire ± those varieties of the language which will be useful to him. it will also have a word for µarm¶). This is called interlingual comparison. The other type of comparison is often called Error Analysis. But what is being compared in this case is not two existing and already known languages. and verbs and their objects tend to be adjacent. it will also have a word for µred¶. In 1963 the linguist Joseph Greenberg examined a sample of 30 far-flung languages from five continents. involving scores of languages from every part of the world.
(3) Linguistics in Structuring the Syllabus A finished syllabus (cf. together into separate single units? In other words. i. negation. At the time when less attention was paid to the whole problem of meaning. obligation. are we going to regard µmodal verbs¶. a characterisation of the µformation rules¶ of the language. Chapter 4) is the overall plan for the learning process. We should consider an item in a more general way. the more evident it becomes that the relationship between meaning and surface form is a complex and indirect one. which requires the learner to return time and again to some aspects of language structure. descriptions of language give us a relatively satisfactory account of the structure of the system to be learned. We have seen that the systematic interconnectedness of language makes it unrealistic to think of any item as teachable or learnable in isolation. The more we take account of semantic considerations. The structure of language is a ³system of systems´. as a process. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 22
. A logical solution to this problem seems to be a cyclic. as a syllabus item? There is no simple answer to this problem. such as tense or number. In Chapter 4. it is an integrative process. The major problem that faces us in syllabus organisation is whether to take the formal criteria as dominant. or domain of language use. and language learning was thought of as a matter of acquiring the ability to produce automatically µsentence patterns¶. what items can be learned ³simultaneously´. In language. The teaching of modal verbs is a perfect example of the dilemma. what items are already known. possibility and probability. leaving alternative ways of expressing the same idea to some other part of the syllabus. Should we bring all alternative ways of expressing necessity. then no simple linear sequence for a syllabus is appropriate. But with the increasing emphasis on language learning as training the learner in communication. futurity. or spiral. relativisation or thematisation. (a) The syntactic syllabus Nowadays. or learned by a certain time line. interrogativisation. or alternatively µthe expression of obligation¶. deixis. language process. which could be regarded as µitems¶ of Whole Language. what is the most efficient sequence in which they are learned. It must specify what components must be available.The knowledge of the existence of language universals may save some procedures of comparison between the mother tongue and the foreign language taught. In the second place. the relevance of semantic criteria in organising the linguistic material increases. we shall offer a new approach to syllabus/curriculum design. Language learning is not just cumulative. no part of which is wholly independent or wholly dependent upon another. quantification. passivisation.e. aspectuality. If this is so. it can be part of the teaching material (mostly implicitly) and the methods of explanation. or a ³network´ of interrelated categories. possession. causation. structure. that is. or to base our grouping on semantic criteria. it was logical (or was it?) to group materials in a syllabus on the basis of superficial formal criteria. such as nominalisation. But we are concerned with more than this in language teaching ± we are concerned with performance ability. etc. modality. There are some general types of syntactic processes. or as some grammatical category. We are now trying to classify the linguistic material in terms of more abstract semantic categories as time. etc. nothing is learned completely until everything is learned.
with tense verbs. and broil (or grill for British English). the verb "to have" and "to be" are used as auxiliaries in the formation of perfect or progressive aspect. The teaching of vocabulary provides us with another concept of syllabus grouping ± lexicosemantic. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 23
. poach. in addition. The function of the auxiliary to be in the progressive aspect. Some are even unknown to ordinary native speakers of English. bake. roast. plank. Semantic fields provide groupings of the vocabulary. rissoler and several compounds: steam-bake. braise. with nominalised sentences of different types.performance ability in a syllabus. Learning a verb involves not only discovering the relations in enters into with nominals.. but also learning the morphological system together with their associated meanings: time. This does not mean that the teaching of vocabulary is logically dependent on the teaching of grammar. Cooking words provide a good source of examples because there are clear reference relations that one can appeal to. expect. An example of this could be the co-occurrence of adverbs of past time. i. last week. The learning of something must surely involve the ability to use it acceptably. (b) The morphological syllabus The most frequent claim for the appropriate application of sequencing. (c) The lexical syllabus In order to present and exemplify grammatical categories and syntactic structures. a number of peripheral words: parboil. etc. as a more specific word opposed to bake.. Cook and bake are the most general terms. sauté. pan-broil. or co-occurrence of verbs of speaking and believing. pot-roast. This seems a good argument until we specify what we mean by 'µteaching'¶ the verbs to have and to be. scallop. flambere. oven-poach. oven-fry. frequency. three years ago. discover its functions. Cook can be used in two ways ± once as the superordinate term of the field. Most logically. tell. The set also includes steam. deep-fry. say. and second. stew. is made at the level of morphology. believe. pan-fry. the words do not normally carry strong connotations. otherwise denied in principle. hope. The field of cooking will be used as an example. It is more than obvious that not all of the words are widely used and need to be included in the syllabus. fry. is different from that of the verb to be in copulative structures. We must outline µthe network of relations¶ which bind the vocabulary of a language into a structure. naming the activity expressed (µpreparing food¶). boil. we must present and teach these verbs before introducing the formation of these aspectual forms. cry. they appear freely intransitively with human subjects. French-fry. Linguistically speaking. Boil and its subordinate terms Whole Language. barbecue. It is possible to isolate µsub-fields¶ within the lexical structure of a language.e. so we can concentrate on the cognitive meaning. all these involve performing certain operations. grill and charcoal. For example. or passive voice. shirr. whether it is transitive or copulative. Such groupings of lexical items bearing more or less close semantic relations to each other are usually called µsemantic fields¶. which could serve as µitems in a syllabus¶. duration. The basic words in the culinary field in English are cook. simmer. There are. 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. etc. completion. etc. yesterday. we have to use lexical words.
like orange). psycho-physical features (I feel cold. and warm and cool are antonyms which are closer to some centre point that separates hot and cold. Secondly. a cold war or a hot war. emotions (John has a hot temper.(simmer. Our former warm friendship has cooled). But we must also add. cool. stew. broil. Since hot. 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. Such extensions of meaning related to semantic fields are usually performed by means of metaphorical transfer. and cold bear a certain relationship to one another. The first question ± the semantic extension of words ± can be illustrated by looking at the items hot-warm-cool-cold. it enables us to explain how is it that words come to have new meanings in certain contexts. In the next chapter. these new coinages are so easily understood. 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. colours (You should paint this room a warm colour. guessing games like µI spy¶. and it is very important for language teaching. Metaphorical vehicles facilitate memory to the extent that they evoke vivid mental images. it can acquire a new one in a context by virtue of that relationship. These exhibit more or less the same relationships to one another: Hot and cold are gradable antonyms at end points of a scale. we can predict what semantic and syntactic features a totally new word will have when added to a lexical field. Various empirical studies on the communicative function of metaphor suggest a number of possibilities about the positive influence of metaphor on learning. This is due to the fact that they furnish conceptually rich. poach. All four words are used and have standard meanings when talking about the weather. but not a *cool war or a *warm war. This water feels cold to me). Cognitive psychologists claim that metaphors are strongly memorable.
Whole Language. even when a word does not possess a certain meaning. but not a *cool tip. etc. First. roast and bake. image-evoking conceptualisations. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. One can get a hot tip on a horse. warm. whereas the absence of liquid is necessary for fry. There is hot jazz and cool jazz but not *warm jazz. that this approach has a strong explanatory value ± it enables us to predict and explain some semantic and cognitive processes in language. Hence. 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. My brother is a cold person. 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 thirdly. we shall look at the development of language teaching methods in the twentieth century.
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). The method was soon established in many European countries and was used with enthusiasm by its proponents. Rogers (1986). the German born Maximilian Delphinus Berlitz opened his first language school in Providence. under twenty years. the teaching of modern foreign languages has progressed through three major periods. 1982). which is known as Direct Language Teaching or Direct Method (DM). since then all other Tongues. Stern (1983). Some of the commercial ventures in the area were very successful and became quite popular. At the beginning of the century. Imitation will never do it. we shall mention but a few.berlitz. H. William Francis Mackey (1965). 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.S. Our historical perspective is limited although we realize that there have been many interesting theories and practices through the ages. which have been designed and implemented by several generations of methodologists and teachers.Chapter 2: Exploring Language Teaching Methods
In the twentieth century. why ought not the English Tongue to be taught so too. in 1878. U. whose work we have been using successfully with our students. 1994). is the true cause´ (quoted in Yule 1985. Diane Larsen-Freeman (1986). For example. 150). Today. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 25
. Direct Method is of course only a general term. For example. Berlitz Languages Inc. and many other colleagues. Douglas Brown (1987. Whole Language. we shall briefly sketch the facts and indicate the salient features of the teaching methods. which covers a range of different teaching methods. The second one. In 1923. 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.com/free) is still thriving. Anthony Howatt (1984). was "methode directe".A. The term. (www. which have been influencing language methodology to present. H. Here. Many scholars have explored the development of language teaching in this century. In this chapter. They. which he named the Easy Way (1997). H. this is what Joseph Aickin wrote in the year 1693: ³for no Tongue can be acquired without Grammatical rules. And only two years ago. Period I: Direct Language Teaching The first half of the century was dominated by the teaching method. Jack T. 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. 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.1. Stephen Krashen revived it in the method. Michael West¶s Reading Method.
2. have inspired the discussion in this chapter. and Languages are taught by Grammar. was designed in 1926. which was used in the decree. Rhode Island. Richards and Theodore S. We shall mention two of them.
Cook & Underwood 1968) became widely accepted in Europe in the 1960s.
However. reading and writing.g. The American Army initiated the Army Specialized Training Program (hence.2. Pronunciation is emphasized. Leonard Bloomfield (1942) stated. The method was extremely successful and enjoyed considerable popularity. So by the middle of the twentieth century modern languages were being taught by the methods. Concrete vocabulary is taught in context through ostensive definition and pictures. cannot really use the language he has been studying. no use is made of the learner's own language. Skinner 1957). Courses like English 901 (Strevens 1964).
2. 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. quoted in Reich 1986). most of which had been developed before the turn of the century. Modern Language Association of America 1892).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. 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. Language teachers and the general public were dissatisfied with the methodological theory and practice of the previous era. ³Often enough the student. three.´ In 1943. "Army Method") to teach intensive language courses that focused on aural/oral skills. Teachers should be either native speakers or extremely fluent in the target language. speaking.S. Its principles were questioned. Grammar is taught inductively by situation. 1300 hours are sufficient for an adult to attain near-native competence in Vietnamese (Burke. the British edition of the original textbook in American English.g. English 900. after two. which came to be known in the late fifties as the Audio-lingual Method (ALM). For example. Abstract vocabulary is taught through association of ideas. the method began to decline. the first few weeks are devoted to pronunciation. or four years of instruction. Thus. All reading matter is first presented orally. Whole Language. Moreover. the target language becomes both the aim and the means of the teaching and learning process. 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. The ³revolution´ in language teaching of that period created a new methodological ideology. Language skills are ordered in a ³natural way´: listening. According to the U. Bloomfield 1933) and psychological neo-behaviorism (e. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 26
. Army Language School in California. Two major scientific theories were applied as methodological principles: linguistic structuralism (e. the DM demanded highly competent teachers who have always been difficult to recruit. and Realistic English (Abbs. In other words. in the second quarter of the century. 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". The era of the Direct Method had ended.
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. Pronunciation is emphasized. The machine did not gain popularity though. The pattern practice procedure was rejected together with the disillusionment over neo-behaviorism as a psychological theory. Noam Chomsky openly criticized audiolingual theory and practice in his address to language teachers at the Northeast Conference. the results were that ALM and traditional instruction were equal on listening. the ALM was subjected to criticism and its popularity waned. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 27
. With 60 words on each wheel. Audio-visual technology is used extensively. quoted in Reich 1986). tape recorders. of such insights and understanding as have been attained in linguistics and psychology´. The wheels could be turned independently of each other to make a new sentence at each spin. Words of each syntactic function could be entered on a separate wheel. At the end of the two years. U. Mistakes are not tolerated. not writing« a language is a set of habits« teach the language. it would be possible to generate 12960000 sentences.A. in 1966. quoted in Reich 1986). In the late sixties. Learning activities are based on mimicry and memorization and pattern practice. frankly.
Robert Ian Scott invented a ³sentence generator´ (1969. 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. reading and English-to-German translation. The machine could be programmed to generate 4-word sentences of the simple. e. Language structure is taught using pattern drills.In 1961.. quoted in Roberts 1973. which. active declarative type. the machine consisting of 4 wheels mounted side by side on a cranking device. the American linguist William Moulton proclaimed the linguistic principles of ALM: ³language is speech. would take about half a year of talking to get through. not what someone thinks they ought to say« languages are different´ (quoted in Richards & Rogers 1986). assuming that it were possible to speak one sentence per second. Which you prefer depends on what you deem most important. 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. not about the language« a language is what native speakers say. Successful responses are immediately rewarded. 99) as an aid to be used in the teaching of reading. for the teaching of languages.S. language laboratories. 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. slide projectors. ³I am. Thus neither method is clearly superior. 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. rather skeptical about the significance. Structural linguistics was also denounced and with it the ALM gave way to fresher teaching methods.g.
Students¶ errors are expected as a normal part of learning. Students practice their comprehension by acting out commands issued by the teacher. 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. They listen to the dialogues being read aloud with varying intonations and a coordination of sound and printed word or illustration. Fidel charts and Cuisenaire rods. Georgi Lozanov¶s Suggestopedia (1972) seeks to help learners eliminate psychological barriers to learning. It marks the appearance of a new approach. the teacher helps students feel secure and overcome their fears.their fellow learners and the teacher . Asher (1977) claims that ³the brain and nervous system are biologically programmed to acquire language« in a particular sequence and in a particular mode. Learning is facilitated if the learner discovers and creates in a problem-solving process involving the material to be learnt. The teacher considers learners as ³whole persons´ with intellect. By understanding and accepting students¶ fears.The theoretical basis of Caleb Gattegno¶s method (1972). 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). 5). while the students do most of the talking and interacting. reading and writing. learners become members of a community . including games and skits. 5). The Silent Way.and learn through interacting with the members of that community. The learning environment is comfortable and subdued. The teacher¶s silence helps foster students¶ self-reliance and initiative. Students choose a name and character in the target language and culture and imagine being that person. writes. That year saw the publication of The Threshold Level document of the Council for Cultural Cooperation of the Council of Europe (Van Ek 1975). Director of the Modern Languages Project. is the idea that teaching must be subordinated to learning and thus students must develop their own inner criteria for correctness. and then moving to speaking. have (personal or professional) contacts in the target countries" (Trim 1980. "the Threshold Level is remarkable for the systematic way in which the language Whole Language. In Charles Curran¶s method (1976).
2. the so-called Communicative Language Teaching or the Communicative Approach (CA). emulating the early stages of native language acquisition. The sequence is listening before speaking and the mode is to synchronize language with the individual¶s body´. The teacher is active in setting up situations using special teaching aids. All four skills are taught from the beginning. Activities. are designed to be fun and to allow students to assume active learning roles. The document is "a specification of an elementary level in a unit/credit system for individuals who. Community Language Learning. Dialogues are presented to the accompaniment of Baroque concertos. from time to time. in that students choose what they want to learn to say in the target language. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 28
. 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).3. instincts and a desire to learn. with low lighting and soft slow music in the background. Students are in a relaxed but focused state of ³pseudo-passiveness´. feelings. The syllabus used is learner-generated. The teacher also recognizes that learning can be threatening. John Trim (1980. James Asher¶s Total Physical Response (1977) places primary importance on listening comprehension.
In the 1960s.coe. Whether (and to what degree) something is in fact done. 3..´ (Hymes 1971. e. Whether (and to what degree something is feasible in virtue of the means of implementation available. In the cited paper. 281) The ³four questions´ prompt a new way of judging utterances in context. the acquisition of 14 grammatical morphemes and the modulations of meaning they express. 299).fr/lang).fr/lang). 2. Dell Hymes introduced the construct of ³communicative competence´ in his famous paper. still later. On the European level.behavior appropriate to the defined target audience is specified in its various interrelated parameters". and what it¶s doing entails. 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. not only as grammatical. On Communicative Competence (1971). Eve and Sarah Brown. Many scholars have contributed to the development of the CA. He or she acquires competence as to when to speak. suggesting a new line of research. He found that they developed their language at different chronological ages and at different rates. the Threshold Level documents for many European languages have been published. In short. In that sense. which the individual attains. Un nivel umbral (1981). for Spanish.4. and as to what to talk about with whom. The acquisition of English grammatical morphemes was tackled through the speech samples of three children. he asks his famous four questions of ³communication culture´: ³1. the acquisition of English tag questions like doesn¶t it or can¶t it´ (Cazden & Brown 1975. The order of acquisition of 14 English grammatical morphemes and the meanings they express is the following (Cazden & Brown 1975. Deutsch als Fremdsprache (1981). the now famous Adam. Hymes¶ paper was programmatic. Whether (and to what degree) something is formally possible.coe. the threshold levels for French. successful) in relation to a context in which it is used and evaluated. actually performed. He explores the influence of the social context in which a language is learnt on the linguistic competence.g. Kontaktschwelle. and to evaluate their accomplishment by others´ (1971. We shall return to it in Section 4. Nivel Limiar (1988). 4. Un Niveau Seuil (1976). Hymes claims that ³a normal child acquires knowledge of sentences. for German. a child becomes able to accomplish a repertoire of speech acts. when. Research extended to other language structures. However. 301):
Whole Language. For example. happy. for Portuguese. he also found that they each went through roughly the same sequence of stages. when not. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. but also as appropriate. Since then. to take part in speech events. Information on those documents is available on the web-site: (http://book. and. 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. Brown tried to find the principles underlying the order he discovered and concluded that a combination of linguistic and semantic complexity must cause it.Whether (and to what degree) something is appropriate (adequate. in what manner. 269). Roger Brown studied early development of the mother tongue of American children. in alphabetical order. where. etc.
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. 12). (6) Possessive: Mommy¶s hat (possession) (7) Uncontractible copula: Here I am in response to Where are you? (number. irregular: saw. (number. which are relatively less marked´ (Eckman. (5) Past. the (specific-non-specific). earlierness). 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. And they concluded that ³if only a single structure of a set of implicationally related structures is to be taught. 261). Bell & Nelson 1986. earlierness). Lee 1981. European Commission. The study showed that the contours for the acquisition sequences of children and adults are very similar. state). Makino 1979. (11) Third person irregular: has. In the seventies. 6). (10) Third person. earlierness). (8) Articles: a. earlierness). number. (temporary duration. went (earlierness). (13) Contractible copula: He¶s sick. does (number. cit. on (containment. The acquisition sequences obtained from their subjects were strikingly similar. (4) Plural: two dogs (number). They use different terms to refer to the period of transformation through which we are passing. For example. the Futures Movement evolved. (14) Contractible auxiliary: He¶s running. (2-3) in. etc. wanted (earlierness). New York. Some scholars consider this conclusion one of the most significant outcomes of second language research (Dulay & Burt 1980. Lawrence Bell and Diane Nelson (1986. They used 151 Spanish-speaking children learning English. Cook 1989). (9) Past. Pica 1983. In sociology and education. Madden & Krashen 1974) investigated 73 adult students of English at Queens College. (12) Uncontractible auxiliary: I am in response to Who¶s coming? (temporary duration. ³post-industrial´. regular: goes (number.). earlierness). several investigators of instructional accuracy orders replicated and extended Brown¶s experiments for English as a second language. Other language structures were also investigated. Perkins and Larsen-Freeman 1975. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 30
. Such generalization will be unidirectional and will be in the direction of those structures. In their ³morpheme studies´. ³post-modern´ ³information age´. regular: walked.. but have at the same time made considerable adjustments necessary in the skills required and in working patterns´ (White Paper on Education and Training. maximal generalization will result from teaching that which is most marked´ (op. ³learning society´ and Whole Language. The first published adult study of acquisition order (Bailey. 1996. 1976. Educators and politicians agree on the fact that ³the changes currently in progress have improved everyone¶s access to information and knowledge. 12) tested the generalization of relative clause instruction in the development of English as a second language. 12). Heidi Dulay and Marina Burt (1974) examined the natural sequences in second language acquisition applying the Bilingual Syntax Measure. support). Fred Eckman. The Bilingual Syntax Measure was applied. process. number. They found that ³maximal generalization of learning will result from acquisition of relatively more marked structures.(1) Present Progressive: riding (temporary duration. Several other investigators have looked at acquisition sequences for adults from different language backgrounds (Krashen et al.
referred to as communicative syllabus design. The strong version of the CA. 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´. as opposed to linguistic competence. 279) holds that if the former could be described as µlearning to use¶ the target language. 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 Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 31
. a forced technology to a high tech/high touch mode. on the other hand. representative democracy to participatory democracy. i. We shall look at the educational paradigm shift in Chapter 2. Howatt (1984. short range planning to long-term planning. 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. Anthony Howatt (1984. If the teacher shows genuine interest in the concerns and activities of the students. not control. and if the students can talk to each other and share their thoughts and feelings. of the teacher. This idea is the basis for the unfolding of a whole new field of study in language teaching methodology. Whole Language. Today. numerous methodology textbooks expound on the nature of communicative language teaching.the like. 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. single option choices to multiple option choices. the latter entails µusing [the target language] to learn it¶. real communication is likely to occur. 1991) expands on this idea. But they all believe in the challenges of the new reality. which we shall discuss separately. Students usually work in small groups on communicative activities. a national economy to a truly global economy. Thus.
All that facilitated the development of the theory and practice of language teaching giving it a strong impetus. His megatrends include shifting from: y y y y y y y y y an industrial society to an information based society. John Naisbitt (1982) describes the most important trends that shape the world at the end of the century. The teacher¶s role changes from being ³the sage on the stage´ to becoming ³a guide on the side´ (Mowrer 1996). The CA stresses the need to teach communicative competence. Authentic teaching materials are used. has given rise to the planning and implementation of realistic communicative tasks. institutional help to self-help in various fields.e. language functions are emphasized over language forms. authority dominated hierarchies to networking. the ability to use the target language effectively and appropriately. Ken Goodman (Goodman et al. suggesting four roles for teachers: (1) kid-watchers. during which they receive practice in negotiating meaning. 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. centralization to decentralization.
In it. we shall examine the question of language curriculum design and development. who offer guidance. That constitutes the relatively abstract approach level of teaching methods. Minimum general intelligibility is sought in the teaching of pronunciation. and finally. We believe that the aims and content of language courses are determined by the overall educational philosophy prominent in the community. using the language in unrehearsed contexts (³using to learn´). who rely on their professional knowledge and creativity to create exciting learning environments. Chapter 3 presents a discussion on this theme. Discourse is at the center of attention. Concrete plans for a language curriculum. who help students take ownership of their own learning.
Whole Language. Systematic attention is paid to functional as well as structural aspects of language. which constitutes the relatively concrete design level of teaching methods. are made in Chapter 4.who observe the students. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. watching for signs of growth. (3) liberators. Fluency is emphasized over accuracy. (2) mediators.
In summary. 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. support and resources for learning. Students cooperate in the classroom. 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´). (4) initiators. which refers to the theories about the nature of language education and other theories. need and potential. Use of the native language and translation is accepted where feasible. Drilling occurs peripherally.
Whole Language. not just while attending formal schooling. Guess what. None of these views seems really acceptable though. They need to be able to solve problems in a rational manner.
3. We have a sexual harassment subpoena for you. at the end of the twentieth century.1. Students should learn how to write so that others can follow their thinking. Kissed the girls and made them cry. The learning process should continue throughout their lifetime. that is true about both first and second language development circumstances. to find joy in learning and to open their minds to new ideas. In our opinion. A saying is circulating in the universities these days: Georgie Porgie. in which language teaching has its share. how to participate in dialogue. an well-educated person is one who has the skills required to succeed on the job. Fifteen years ago. Georgie Porgie. education is seen as a process. But what constitutes an educated person? To the business world. Georgie Porgie ran away.Chapter 3: Paradigm Shift in Education
That language teaching should be democratic has long become a fact of life. we are experiencing an educational paradigm shift. Puddin¶ and pie. we shall look into the change in the overall concept of the complex process of education. Georgie Porgie. to experience compassion toward others and to be willing and able to acknowledge conflict and contradiction and resolve differences satisfactorily. When the boys came out to play. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 33
. A. First. not a product. Students should learn to take responsibility for their own learning. McLeod pointed out that ³Being literate in the 1980s means having the power to use language ± writing and reading. That it is democratic has yet to become a reality. that exist so as to extract from them all that they have to contribute to building up experiences that are worthwhile´. Educators emphasize that one of the most important things students should learn is how to think for themselves. 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. physical and social. In the age of the learning society. they are a-changing. Our claim is that. speaking and listening ± for our own purposes. the times are changing rapidly. Indeed. As John Dewey (1933) noted. 37). They should learn the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve lasting success during the remainder of their lives no matter what their goals are. The times. the student should learn how to think and to listen. Changing the Focus of Education The mission of educational institutions is to educate people. they should know how to utilize the surroundings. Above all. 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. During the teaching and learning process. The lay public¶s view of an educated person is one who has accumulated a large body of information. The classroom processes by which that power is achieved include the first exercise of that power´ (1986. how to analyze issues and how to read critically.
Therefore. what schools should help students acquire is a wisdom that they will continue to develop for the rest of their lives (see Section 3. We shall present them below and return to the most important issues in the following section. Replacing linear with synergetic processes is the first one. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 34
. there should be an end to zero sum games in education. on the other hand.John Pulliam (1987) suggests several specific characteristics of the educational paradigm shift. if students are asked questions for which the answers are known. The fourth characteristic is the structural versus sapiential authority controversy. Preparation for a life of learning should replace the idea of terminal schooling. students need education for the unknown. Sixth.5). In a word. lifelong learning is an important characteristic of the new educational paradigm. the system is training. 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. The teachers cannot make decisions from the perspective of the students. an educational mode of cooperation should substitute competition among students. Thirdly. Sapiential authority is considered a necessary part of education for future survival. The school should move away from the exclusive treatment of what is well understood towards helping students cope with the unknown. students attended schools to learn what they did not know from teachers who were presumed to know. a synergetic system is perceived as an ³ad-hocracy´ (Toffler 1985). the good learners. the school can only receive information that it is designed to receive. are also losers because they will perpetuate competition in their lives. Sapiential authority. students in the twenty-first century will need a well-developed skill in evaluation and critical thinking. The winners. Structural authority. Now. Alternatively. Education is more than training. Linear organizations can only make linear decisions. This is a zero sum game in which everyone eventually loses. Fifth. Position rather than competence establishes the authority of the teacher. which is he dominant pattern in schools. It is based on the cooperation of individuals to complete temporary tasks. It tends to repress unfavorable information. Eighth. Competitive teaching modes promote the ³I win ± you lose´ structure. In the past. the future school must become a resource distribution center for creating and spreading unbiased information. 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. Seventh. Thus. focus should be on cooperative problem analysis and sharing of sources of information. Education is process-oriented. is derived from one¶s title or rank in the institution. This is the second feature of the new focus of education. is based on the possession of wisdom and knowledge which finds support among others. Both teachers and students have the opportunity for critical analysis of any given piece of information.
Some have difficulty constructing simple sentences. A few continue to experience difficulty with computational skills.2. Others are shy and seldom if ever speak in class. teachers must structure the learning environment to help students construct. 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. Firstly. Knowledge is not a static entity. however. Some have computer phobia or ³keyboard fright´. This is not to suggest that educators should produce student robots. Karp and Yoels (1987) found that in classes of less than 40 members. If we wish to help students learn how to think critically. The instructor writes the curriculum and the syllabus. four to five students accounted for 75 percent of all interactions and in classes of over 40. David Johnson (Johnson et al. Some students have inadequate reading skills. not just the elite few. meet psychosocial needs of students. goals and abilities. Every student. we can use a system that cultivates and develops the talents of every student. we must focus our attention on the individual needs of the student. are isolated from positive social contacts with their classmates or their instructor. learning styles. We cannot be content with a teaching approach that is only partly effective. We know.
3. Action flows from the teacher to the students and seldom vice versa.stating that a required curriculum has been met is a shallow and inaccurate representation of education. 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. She or he presents the same information. lectures to and tests all students regardless of individual differences among them. Little or no concern is given to the individual psychosocial needs of the individual. especially minority students. Some students. 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. Rather than continue the traditional teaching strategy that selects the best students and weeds out the poorer ones. must reach the competency levels set by the teacher. that students are social individuals each with vastly different needs. 1991) lists five principal activities that should be incorporated in a new teaching paradigm structured to increase student achievement and. selects the readings. We cannot permit students to leave our classes with an inferior grasp of the subject matter. It is an ever-changing variable. two to three students accounted for over 50 percent of all interactions. For example. to work constructively with members of their community. The point is that we cannot be content with inferior teaching and inferior learning. delivers the information via lectures and prepares evaluative instruments. transform and extend knowledge. This is not to Whole Language. at the same time. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 35
. to enjoy scholarly activities and how to embellish their learning experiences when they leave the school. Many have ³library anxiety´ or have not the slightest clue of how to find information.
It is open ended and a matter of degree. Lastly. 78). 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. the cooperative learning format was far superior to competitive and individualistic learning models (Johnson. Bligh (1972). in his review of about 100 studies of college teaching methods. Without understanding. which ³demand somewhat different kinds of thinking´ and which are organized in an incremental fashion. where learners ³go beyond the information given´. that there is no ³right´ or ³wrong´. which have been thought to facilitate learning. Students must construct their own knowledge and understanding through active social interaction with their peers and teachers. 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.infer that ³anything goes´. Interactional peer support is needed to encourage achievement and proper orientation to learning tasks. do not even begin to tap into a student¶s understanding of a topic or concept. to be willing to listen and to learn. Learning occurs when the student activates her or his existing cognitive schemata by applying new knowledge to practical situations. David Perkins and his colleagues at the Harvard Graduate School of Education have adopted a ³performance perspective´ on understanding that involves generative performances. Education is a social process that involves frequent student-to-student and teacher-to-student interaction. Johnson and Smith 1991). after examining students¶ course evaluation reports. 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. Bonding friendships promote student achievement while isolation. while easy to mark and assess. 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). These performances must consist of applications that take the students far beyond what they already know. to discuss and argue and to counteract the dogmatism of the moment. ³Understanding is not a matter of µeither you get it or you don¶t¶. that group dynamic structuring interaction between learners can provide the conditions. Students gather information from their courses so they can utilize it in their professional careers as well a their life as citizens. Shopov and Fedotoff (in press) conclude. Learning is increased when individuals work with one another in a caring environment that helps each student gain understanding of the course material. possession of knowledge and skills alone does not guarantee comprehension. true/false quizzes and conventional short essay questions. Unfortunately. Traditional measures of comprehension such as multiple-choice questions. Understanding a concept involves being able to execute a number of ³performances´ that demonstrate the concept in new and novel ways. The teacher must closely monitor student learning to ensure that each competency level is met. In almost every study. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 36
. competition and individualistic classroom activities demote achievement and lower self-esteem. Relativism in this context refers to helping students to keep an open mind. Whole Language. 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. 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.
Another way to encourage interdependence is to provide specific information to two of the group members and different information to other two members. manage and direct activities. each member depends upon the skills and abilities of the other players. are necessary to make cooperative learning successful. some students may choose to be uncooperative forcing other group members to complete the work. Finally. 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. If other members have little or nothing to contribute. Feichtner and Davis (1985) concluded. means that each group member depends upon every other group member to achieve a goal. A group leader is appointed to organize. An encourager is appointed to make sure that each member has ample opportunity to contribute to the group. The team sinks or swims together as a group. 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. A valuable technique to promote interdependence is to assign each member a role to perform within the group (see Section 3. reward one another. part of the final grade is derived from the group¶s performance on the task.4). after interviewing students who reported negative experiences with cooperative learning. Tucson (1991). Factors of Cooperative Learning A number of factors or essential elements of cooperative learning. positive interdependence. If one member can accomplish a task satisfactorily without the aid of others. who have conducted extensive research concerning effective group management. Thus. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 37
. ingroup struggles for power develop. exchange information and ideas and challenge ideas of other group members. One or two players alone cannot win games. two of the members will depend upon the information possessed by the other two members. then there is no reason for the group to exist. For example. Insecure students may assume a ³back bench´ attitude. Promotive interaction occurs as students encourage each other. Left unsupervised within a loosely structured environment. More conscientious students may feel compelled to complete the work on their own and act independently of the group.3. to score points in a basketball game. positive interaction does not occur. then there is no reason to form a group. that an instructor¶s misuse of and lack of knowledge about structuring effective cooperative learning activities is responsible for student dissatisfaction. if one member of the group does not understand the concepts to be learnt. There must Whole Language.
3. The first factor. A recorder takes accurate notes and records data for group activities. provide assistance to help each other learn. A checker assures that each member understands the tasks or concepts. according to Donna Johnson and her colleagues at the University of Arizona. If one student attempts to impress other students with his or her knowledge to increase his or her self-esteem. This. Often. the assessment scores of the other group members will suffer.Implementing cooperative learning is not an easy task nor is it without problems. 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.
A combination of teacher and student processing results in significant improvement and success within a cooperative learning format. some feel uncomfortable working with minority students. must be assessed frequently. Skills such as active listening. Also. offering constructive and encouraging criticism. The last factor. of being successful and of increased elf-esteem among students. provides an opportunity for students to grow socially and learn effective group communication skills. We cannot assume that each student possesses well-developed interpersonal and group communication skills. 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. to avoid verbal interaction with peers. prefer to listen rather than participate. Inevitably. the greater the learning. Records can be kept of the frequency and quality of each group member¶s contribution during a cooperative learning assignment. some students exploit the group structure to avoid working and let the others do the bulk of the work. group processing. 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. turn-taking. It is not possible to incorporate all these factors within each group encounter but the greater the number of features used. understanding and applying the course Whole Language. especially when they are among aggressive peers. This third factor. Group members can monitor individual accountability by constructing quizzes to each other. describes the group¶s self-evaluation of each member¶s contribution. Individual contributions either help or hinder achievement of the desired goals. This behavior is called ³social loafing". 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. Building social collaborative skills is the fourth important factor.be 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. referred to as individual accountability. individual tests are given periodically to evaluate students¶ achievement. Positive feedback for work well done creates a feeling of enthusiasm. if well organized. The importance of mastering these skills is undeniable. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 38
. A large proportion of students has not had the experience of working with other students in small group activities. Some students distrust others. Cooperative learning fosters growth in many areas: learning to use interpersonal skills effectively. Teachers should encourage students to develop these skills by identifying. Group processing also includes an analysis of improvements that could be made to help the group function more effectively in the future. Others. 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. If one of the most important missions of the school is to help students develop wisdom. The teacher may call at random upon individual students to answer questions. explaining and rewarding students for engaging in effective social interaction activities. Group processing also occurs when the instructor provides feedback to the class based on observations of individual student contributions. then certainly helping them to acquire effective interactive social skills is an important activity. This processing serves as a model for students who are learning how to critique peers effectively. The cooperative learning environment. Individual students must learn that they are responsible for understanding the course content.
greater psychological health and social competence. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 39
. developing self-esteem and ability to explain concepts to others. grammar structures and vocabulary produces at best some knowledge about a language. These are only a few of the outcomes resulting from well-structured small group cooperative activities. 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 Learning (1992) published by his Californian company. synergy. Pairs Check.4. If the Whole Language. confiding that achievement should not be divorced from enjoyment. the ³foreign language medium schools´ in Bulgaria. Our students love them. for example. This structure is based on speed. however. Kagan Cooperative Learning Co. the teams reunite and the pairs on the team compare answers. is very different from acquiring the language. The coach helps and checks his or her partner¶s work. the ³cognitive academic language learning approach´ (Chamot & O¶Malley 1994). 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. Knowledge about a language. We have always accepted this principle. The class is divided into teams of four students. more caring committed interpersonal relationships. which structure social interaction in the classroom. Teams break into two sets of pairs each of which works on a worksheet. After a while. Cooperative Language Learning In her book Second Language Learning through Cooperative Learning. One student is the problem solver and the other one is the coach. In fact. They are based on a simple formula: Structure + Content = Activity. the cooperative model results in higher achievement and greater productivity. it is behind the theory and practice of the immersion programs in North America. we have been using in our language classes. Julie High describes a number of classroom activities. Several such participation structures. etc. silliness and support.content to life situations.
3. However they are sufficient to distinguish positively the cooperative learning paradigm from the traditional individualistic and competitive ³lecture only´ teaching. We have always believed that memorizing conjugations. 4-S Brainstorming. Julie High adapts Spencer Kagan¶s original ideas about cooperative learning structures which he calls ³co-op structures´ in his book. 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.
And he goes on. ³How we structure a classroom is an important. After a while. Research on teaching has shown that whole-class discussion. Teacher calls a number. Individual presentations are evaluated by teammates. (3) Teambuilding and cooperative skill development. If we structure the classroom so that the Whole Language. This is a four-step cooperative structure. they do a team handshake. The whole class evaluates team presentations. In Co-op Co-op.team disagrees. (6) Mini-topic preparation. the teacher will call a number at random and the students with that number raise their hands to be called upon. Individual students present their own topics to their teammates. creativeness and expressiveness of students. The team discusses and integrates the material presented in the previous step in order to prepare their team presentations. Students reflect on their work and their achievements. ³Make sure everyone on your team can«´ The students put their heads together and discuss the question until everyone knows the answer. This is an important phase in which the members of each team feel they are a ³we´ and have developed trust and communication skills. The teacher formulates a question as a directive. as in the traditional classroom. This cooperative language learning structure has ten steps: (1) Student-centered class discussion. (10) Reflection and evaluation. The team members divide the topic of the team into mini-topics for each member to work on. (4) Team topic selection. The structure prepares students for participation in a democratic society´ (Kagan 1992). e. they ask the teacher to help them. form of communication we make to students.
Each student on a team has a different number. Teacher asks a question. the structure indicates that we value the interests and abilities of the students. (2) Selection of student learning teams. Pairs Check is a particularly good structure for practicing new skills. individual seatwork and lecture prevail as the favorite organizational structures in the traditional classroom. 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. He or she will answer to that number when it is called. Heads together. perhaps the most important. If the team agrees on the answer. Numbered Heads Together. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 40
. The team members settle on the topic of most interest to themselves as a group. The emphasis in this structure is on bringing out and nourishing the natural intelligence. which can be used with any language teaching content and at various places in a lesson: (1) (2) (3) (4) Students number off. Individual students work on their own topics. (7) Mini-topic presentations. (9) Team presentations.g. In relation to participation structures which promote meaningful interaction. Spencer Kagan maintains that by participating in planned formats ³students become responsible for learning and sharing what they have learnt. Co-op Co-op. (8) Preparation of team presentations. (5) Mini-topic selection.
If we structure so that the teacher is in full control of what and how students study.goal of learning is a good team score. we communicate a lack of faith in the potential of students to choose positive directions for development. We do not leave students room to come out and become fully engaged in the learning process´. By taking full responsibility for students¶ learning. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. we communicate that students are empty or that their intelligence and curiosity are not valued. planning participation structures at the micro-level of language teaching is seen as an aspect of ³precision teaching´. we leave them none. we communicate that the most important value is a competitive victory. If we choose an autocratic authority structure.
Whole Language. Thus.
Here is an excerpt from the so-called Siman Act. P. such as what will be learnt (and when) the texts to be read. ³to run´. In relation to that. or in a particular subject´ (Webster¶s New World Dictionary 1988). 101). which ruled on 4 June 1923 that antiforeign-language laws were in violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. as a school subject should not be taken for granted. race´. which languages to include. the course on ³Fluid Dynamics´ within the curriculum ³Mechanical Engineering´. In fact. U. But let us consider an example from recent history of education first. Meyer was arrested for teaching German to a ten-year-old boy in Nebraska on 25 May 1920. for the term Lehrplan (see Kansanen 1995 for a detailed study of the development of this construct). Training and Youth. The majority decision stated. Robert T. course and syllabus are used. The case of Meyer versus State of Nebraska was based on the Siman Act. The noun is related to the verb ³currere´ which means. refers to that subpart of curriculum which is concerned with a specification of what units will be taught´. college. John Clark (1987) asks several important questions: ³whether to include languages other than the mother tongue in the school curriculum.g. it provides the conceptual structure and a set time frame to acquire a recognisable degree. and all other disciplines for that matter. social and administrative factors which contribute to the planning of an educational programme. to whom to teach them and for how Whole Language. In the latter sense. Here.S. e. collectively. the term is commonly used in two related senses. ³No person shall « teach any subject to any person in any language other than the English language.A. April 1919. the following definitions for the terms. We need to establish a clear distinction between the terms. Course is the totality of an organised learning experience in a precisely defined area.. etc. the curriculum of a five-year degree programme in ³Mechanical Engineering´ at a certain higher education institution. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 42
. e. As is seen from the definition. the areas in which expertise is expected to be demonstrated. Curriculum is the totality of an organised learning experience. course. DG XXII ± Education. quoted in Kansanen 1995.Chapter 4: The Language Curriculum
The term curriculum has been in English usage for a long time (see Josef Dolch 1959. Here is a definition by J. it was substituted for the term Plan and later in the eighteenth century. Syllabus is the prescription of details on a specific course. B.g. 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. Allen. Within the framework of the Tempus Scheme of the Commission of the European Communities. This and many other examples indicate that modern foreign languages. and describes its overall content. In German.S. 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´. we are interested in the educational aspects of curriculum design and development. syllabus. ³No emergency has arisen which renders knowledge by a child of some language other than English so clearly harmful as to justify its inhibition´. A Modern English dictionary defines ³curriculum´ in the following way: ³all of the courses. His case reached the U. the use of the two terms in Europe and North America has caused a great deal of confusion in second language teaching. curriculum. on the other hand. ³curriculum´ is synonymous with the British term ³syllabus´. Supreme Court. which is adequate to our purposes: ³curriculum is a very general concept which involves considerations of the whole complex of philosophical. Nebraska Legislature. offered in a school.
Neoconstructivists of the cognitive school believe that ³(a) understandings are constructed by using prior knowledge to go beyond the information given. 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. and implicated in that societal vision are their own identities and those of the students with whom they interact. (f) temporal flow. Moore and Magliaro (1996. Bednar et al. Constructivism is an alternative epistemological perspective to objectivism (see Lakoff 1987). Social constructivism has been described by Burton. Constructivism in language education has been explored extensively by Seppo Tella and his colleagues at the Media Education Center. 103). nor any particular media education tool. 57). 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. 48) describes the pedagogical and social assumptions underlying educator role definitions in language teaching (Figure 1 and Figure 2). (d) vulnerability. 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. a classroom.
4. University of Helsinki. The answers. ³Learning is an active process in which meaning is developed on the basis of experience´ (Bednar et al. rather than retrieved from memory. 1992.
Whole Language. The outcome of this process for both educator and student can be described in terms of empowerment. Jim Cummins (1994. 48). 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. 19) propose that ³Instructional design and development must be based upon some theory of learning and/or cognition. Cummins concludes. 55). Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. Constructivist view of cognition contends that learning is a process of personal interpretation of experience and construction of knowledge. Tella (1998. 1992.long. and (b) the prior knowledge that is brought to bear is itself constructed. 21). Constructivists adopt the notion of Wittgenstein that context is an integral part of meaning. It suggests that the learning environment in the framework of dialogism cannot be a physical space. ³Educators¶ role definitions reflect their vision of society. (1992. (e) mutual implication. (c) otherness. 64). according to him. what objectives to seek to achieve´. Theory of constructivism has been developing and new versions have been emerging. Social constructivists focus on social interaction in the community as a source of knowledge. (b) unanticipated consequences. (g) authenticity. should be sought in the particular educational value system of society at a particular moment in time. effective design is possible only if the developer has developed reflexive awareness of the theoretical basis underlying the design´. 1992. The learning environment is ± dialogue´ (Tella & Mononen-Aaltonen 1998.1. 117) cites seven ingredients needed to promote dialogic education: (a) presence.
All he or she can do is plan authentic. Learning how to ask a good question is in one sense the central task. One is that content cannot be predetermined. real-world tasks. and eventually to become a translator. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
. Knowledge ± Inert. The curriculum developer cannot define the boundaries of what may be relevant.Transmission Orientation: Language ± Decomposed. Critical Orientation: Language ± Meaningful. Social Transformation Orientation: Curricular Topics ± Focussed on issues relevant to societal power relations. 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.´ In conclusion. 48) Nicholas Burbules (1997.
Figure 1: Educator Pedagogical Assumptions (Cummins 1994. a path-maker. yet one that is almost never taught explicitly. Learning ± Joint interactive construction through critical inquiry within the zone of proximal development. critical. we claim that the implications for language curriculum design are quite straightforward. This can be achieved by providing a collaborative learning environment based on communicative interaction containing sufficient comprehensible language input and output. Knowledge ± Catalytic. on their own. 48)
Social Control Orientation: Curricular Topics ± Neutralized with respect to societal power relations. to find other paths. Perhaps learning objectives cannot be pre-specified either.
Figure 2: Educator Social Assumptions (Cummins 1994. Learning ± Hierarchical internalization from simple to complex. but of translation: of making sufficient associations between the familiar and the foreign to allow the learner to make further associations. and rarely taught at all. Student Outcomes ± Compliant and uncritical.
Whole Language. Student Outcomes ± Empowered.
We claim that a holistic approach. 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. Strevens argued. English for Specific Purposes or ³ESP´) were represented by their proponents as an alternative to general courses.2. John Munby (1978).g. The method of needs identification was developed by a Swiss scholar. A British linguist. In that period. ³Special courses have fairly specific objectives and are rather simpler to discuss. presentation and repetition´ of the content. Anthony Howatt stated.4. We shall discuss this theory in the next section. Some ten years before.). he had published one of the most successful audio-lingual textbooks. the notion of ³appropriate language´ was used as a criterion of usefulness. ³The series assumes that students have already completed a basic course in English and that they have some knowledge of their specialist subject. The times had changed though. principally or wholly. which emphasizes the priority of the whole over its parts. ³Broadly defined.). 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. cit. that the methodological opposition of ³general purposes´ to ³specific purposes´ in language teaching is inadequate and inappropriate. 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. ESP courses are those in which the aims and the content are determined. It seems to us. Language courses for specific purposes (e. elaborated the theory and methodology of language needs analysis and curriculum design. We do not think that ³the aims and the content are determined´ a priori by any criteria. gradation. 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. They cannot be precompiled or prepackaged. techniques like frequency. Peter Strevens outlined the ³new orientations in the teaching of English´ and of any language for that matter in the mid-seventies. English 901 (see Section 1. Rene Richterich (Richterich & Chancerel 1977).g. contemporary fashion and the vague but powerful influences exerted by the social attitudes and economic needs of the community´ (1974). In fact. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 45
. the distinction is embedded in the objectivist tradition of language teaching. The authors wrote. In addition. The course had a great success because the approach adopted was new. Allen & Widdowson 1994). at this junction. 1992). General courses tend to be diffuse in their aims and take their overall shape more from tradition. The General versus Specific Courses Conjecture In the early seventies. 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. This was certainly new a quarter of a century ago but today we find the conjecture rather misleading. coverage and availability were applied in the process of choosing common everyday language for ³communicative syllabi´. 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´. It is best expressed by William Mackey (1965) in his famous claim that there is no language teaching without ³selection. In that respect. 90). can solve the problem of curriculum design. Whole Language.2. We can discern two arguments in the literature to support this strong claim.
Lenneberg argues persuasively that ³These deeper continuities [the continuous cognitive and physiological processes] are reflected in the ³fuzzy´ nature of semantic.e. making sharp. Continuous. For example. each of which is individually complex (i. Random Access Instruction in Complex and Ill-Structured Knowledge Domains Random Access Instruction is a theory. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 46
. while the process of applying grammar rules in real-world communication is ill structured. formal distinctions and decisions difficult´ (op. 32). Eric Lenneberg sees language proficiency as a process of ³(a) extracting relations from (or computing relations in) the physical environment.4. 3) holds that ³Each particular step Whole Language. Nicholas Burbules (1997. cit. syntactic and phonological categories. organizational principles and so on). the domain involves across-case irregularity)´ (Spiro et al. not discrete. 1992. the domain involves concept.and casecomplexity). and (b) of relating these relationships´ (Lenneberg 1975. 132). then.e. 60). and (b) the pattern of conceptual incidence and interaction varies substantially across cases nominally of the same type (i. 17).3.. something developing. or how to compute a relationship upon given physical data´ (op. He maintains that ³it [rhizome] transmits the idea of something growing. 17). basic grammar is well structured. not an independent and autonomous complexity. perspectives. 59). 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. which accounts for the complexity of the process of language learning and the ill-structuredness of the domain of language knowledge and/or proficiency. 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). 1992. Eve Sweetser and Gilles Fauconnier (1996) maintain that ³The initially overwhelming complexity of linguistic usages is. 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. spreading in all directions. Random Access Instruction can be represented by the metaphor of a rhizome. He concludes that ³everything in language is of relational nature and what has to be learnt in language acquisition is how to relate.. cit. 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). It is a reflection of the complex ± and economically interrelated ± structure of cognition´. cognitive and physiological processes produce those relationships. 1998. wideapplication conceptual structures (multiple schemas. Seppo Tella uses it to describe open learning environments based on a communal educational value system. 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. 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.
It is publicly accessible on the web-site http://culture. and evaluation measures connected with them´. Clearly. which are necessary and sufficient. to be traced´. we think schools and municipalities should progress towards developing their knowledge strategic thinking´ (Tella et al. 26) maintains that knowledge is to be ³understood as mental information structures modified by the individual on the basis of thinking and earlier knowledge´. It has been developed under the LAC 2000 Project (Shopov 1999). It can be applied in the design of nonlinear learning environments. The KSH is a network model. 25). and Assessment: A Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). we present our KSH language curriculum model including communicative language competence. which finds concrete expression as operational procedures or tactical measures. their number is unlimited. information and links represent semantic associations between the nodes. That reflects the complexity and ill-structuredness of the language proficiency domain. The semantic nature of the links in the KSH forms the basis of the model. The CEF provides: Whole Language. Random Access Instruction is a rhizomatic system. Thus. Language Curriculum as a Knowledge Strategic Hypertext What is ³knowledge´ and what does ³knowledge strategy´ mean? Tella (Tella et al.fr/lang. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 47
. forms of operation.coe. Teaching. He emphasizes the view that ³instead of simply reforming their curriculum. language activities. The model contains components derived from the definition of language behaviour in Modern Languages: Learning. 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).
4. 1998. working methods arising from discussion about values. slogans. etc.4. because there is no beginning and end. The first is the automatic processing passively invoked by the incoming data. knowledge is not simply data and information. according to meaning (Fauconnier & Sweetser). It is a way to make clear how our hypothesis hangs together to make a coherent explanation. Nodes store linguistic. Learning is seen as a process that modifies the information structures in specified ways under specified conditions. Tella defines knowledge strategy as the ³long-term methodical reflection [«]. In such a nonlinear and non-sequential learning environment. And the second is the active control of the incoming data. 1998. domains. which we shall present in the next section. goals. which allows the user to move from node to node following the links between them. the KSH can predict what parts of the input would be accepted and what would be tuned out. The term model is employed here somewhat loosely.or link within a rhizomatic whole can be conceived as a line between two points. In Figure 3. each element is related to all other elements. The constructive process leads the user ³beyond the information given´ (Perkins 1992) by reconstructing information itself. etc.. which has shown that the mind holds memories semantically. but the overall pattern is not linear. As far as the components of the KSH are concerned. no center and periphery. This is supported by scientific research. The model accommodates two conditions for learning.
both globally and in relation to the categories of the descriptive scheme at a series of levels. are the public domain. which carry the message from producer to receiver. They are the linguistic component. the socio-linguistic component and the pragmatic component. They are reception. Language activities are the actual behaviors in which language is used. the personal domain. 9). then the underlying competences. All these constructs are defined in Chapter 3 of the CEF. first. or both. the general competences of the individual are defined by ³the knowledge. with particular reference to the development of plurilingualism in the learner´ (Trim 1999. (d) A discussion of the issues raised for curricular design in different educational contexts. providing options for users to consider in relation to their existing practice. in which activities are contextualized. (c) A set of scales for describing proficiency in language use. strategies and texts complete this model of language use and learning. then the role of the texts. Tasks. which enable the language user to bring those competences to bear in action. presenting and exemplifying the parameters and categories needed to describe. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
.³(a) A descriptive scheme. which enable a language user to perform acts of communication. The domains. and the ability to learn´. production. the educational domain and the occupational domain. what a language user has to do in order to communicate in its situational context.
Whole Language. (b) A survey of the approaches to language learning and teaching. In the CEF. interaction or mediation (in particular interpreting or translating) in oral or written form. Three components constitute communicative language competence. skills and existential competence (savoir-etre) he or she possesses. and finally the strategies.
This is obviously a comprehensive and exhaustive model. Stochastic theory estimates the possible combinations of the Whole Language. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology 49
. language activities. including the nodes and links of communicative language competence. However. with its 18 elements in 7 categories. domains.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Starting level of L2 proficiency ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Figure 3: The KSH curriculum model. it is a complex one.
The smart school makes the most of these opportunities. This leads to a better perception of what is general and what is specific concerning the linguistic organization of the target language.5. only a KSH approach to curriculum design can guarantee quality in second language development. 97). Therefore. there are ample opportunities to orient instruction toward higher levels of understanding. So each component of the model may become the starting point for the use of the KSH. Instead of a Conclusion ³Whatever the style. The KSH includes language styles and registers incorporating them into ³a form of metalinguistic. assessment and scheduling to encourage tapping them. foster learning to learn and teach for transfer. seek out integrative mental images. introduce and exercise languages of thinking. 130)
Whole Language.´ (Perkins 1992. These 163 combinations produce an infinite number of concrete instances of language use. The model proposed is based on the idea of whole language development. divided by 1 time 2). interlinguistic or so to speak µhyperlinguistic¶ awareness´ (CEF. in our opinion. It informs and energizes teaching by giving teachers time and support to learn about the opportunities and by arranging curriculum. cultivate intellectual passions.elements at 163 (18 times 17.
4. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
Theory into Practice: How Do We Link? In Duffy and Jonassen 1992. The Hague: Mouton. 1996.ed. In D. P. B. Vivian Cook and Mary Underwood. Anna Uhl and J. The Early Development of the Mother Tongue. Burbules. Widdowson (Eds. and Learning to Go On.html. 1977 (Second Edition 1982). Rinehart & Winston. Cazden. Realistic English. Cunningham. Jonassen 1996. Aporia: Webs. 1972. 1933. James E. In Lenneberg and Lenneberg 1975. Chamot. 1973 .. 1994b. 1968. Innovative Approaches to Language Teaching. 1994a. and S. Brian. 1942. B. James. Nicholas.1977. Outline Guide for the Practical Study of Foreign Languages. M. 1982. Brown. H. What¶s the Use of Lectures. W.. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Leonard. 1975. J. J. and H. Third Edition. D. (Ed. Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd. H. H. Duffy and J. Anne. Learning Another Language through Actions: The Complete Teacher¶s Guidebook.uiuc. Massachusetts: Hadvard University Press. Allen. and R. The Second Language Classroom: Directions for the 1980s. The Edinburgh Course in Applied Linguistics. D. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. P. T. B. Cambridge. Getting Lost.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall Regents.edu/PES/97_docs/burbules. Oxford: Oxford University Press.). Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach. Whole Person: A Handbook of Language Teaching Methodology
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