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WE DO NEED METHODS.
MICHAEL SWAN
Maryam Bolouri
Critique of issues in languageTeaching
Dr ZiaTajeddin
Feb 2016
What to cover:
 Differing views of lg learning/teaching
 What is needed?
 The constraints of method
 Definition of PM condition
 2 thought provoking questions by Swan
 PM: Complex centrifugal muddle
 The Communicative Bias
The dynamics of Lg teaching
 a powerful boost from communicative
teaching theory
 emphasis on language in use
 diverted attention from the linguistic ‘centre’
by the increasing interest of applied linguistic
researchers in matters which are peripheral or
ancillary to teaching language
Swan: what is needed?
 For language teaching to be effective, we need to
return to the linguistic centre, and to look at
methods in terms of their value for solving specific
problems, rather than on the basis of their conformity
or otherwise with macro-strategic doctrines.
Progress, at least in the short term, may depend as much
on
 our making better use of the methodological
resources we already have at our command
 the development of new technological resources and
the expansion of our professional knowledge.
Cont.
 Methodological areas which are particularly in
need of theoretical attention are those :
 involving the principled selection of high-priority
language elements for teaching
 their integration into the overall architecture of
language courses
matters which are at present largely the
concern of practitioners.
Lg learning
 It is complex to be measured.
 Teachers use different ways based on research,
individual exploration and the accumulated
wisdom of the profession
 There are differing opinions from the general to
the particular about the value of each method.
Some of these differing views!!
 The mother-tongue must never be used in foreign-
language teaching’
 ‘Learning can only be effective if it involves genuine
communication’
 ‘Comprehensible input provides all that is necessary for
effective acquisition’.
 Others relate to more specific aspects of a language
teacher’s work
 the belief that learners need training in reading skills; or
 that linguistic regularities are best learnt inductively; or
 that new lexis must always be contextualized; or
 that teaching phoneme discrimination by the use of
minimal pairs helps to improve pronunciation; or
 that recasts are (or are not) more effective than explicit
correction.
Some of these differing views!!
 Different categorization from Anthony (1963)
to Richards and Rodgers (2001)
 terminological confusion both in the
professional literature
what it is and is not appropriate to call a
‘method’, and how or whether ‘method’ is to
be distinguished from ‘approach’
Method ?!
 Methods have not delivered what they promised, due largely to
the limited views of language, teaching and learning
 Methods are, top-down and prescriptive
 Efficacy cannot be demonstrated as they are not testable
against each other.
 The role of the individual teacher is minimized.
 Methods fail to address the broader contexts of language
teaching.
 It Ignored factors that govern classroom processes and
practices – factors such as teacher cognition, learner perception,
societal needs, cultural contexts, political exigencies, economic
imperatives
 Autonomy, self- fulfillment and personal development are
precluded by an outcome/objectives approach
 Methods, carry (undesirable) sociopolitical agendas
 They certainly impose directions and constraints at a level of
considerable detail.
Post method condition
 we are freeing ourselves from the constraints of
one or other method,
 We are able to adopt a more open and promising
approach to language teaching which can take
into account all of the linguistic psychological
and sociological factors.

Macro-strategies
 Kumaravadivelu lists ten ‘macro-strategies’ which
characterize post-method language teaching, and
from which teachers can generate situation-specific
need-based micro-strategies or teaching techniques.
1. Maximize learning opportunities
2. Facilitate negotiated interaction
3. Minimize perceptual mismatches
4. Activate intuitive heuristics
5. Foster language awareness
6. Contextualize linguistic input
7. Integrate language skills
8. Promote learner autonomy
9. Ensure social relevance
10. Raise cultural consciousness.
Swan raised some questions:
 1) How Method-bound Has LanguageTeaching Really
Been?
Have monolithic approaches generally and comprehensively
dictated the shape of courses, materials and teaching
techniques?
 how far such approaches usually constrain everything that is
done?
 The term ‘grammar-translation’, for instance, which is
commonly used as a derogatory label only characterizes
one aspect of classroom activity:
 dealing with morphology and syntax by teaching explicit
rules and making students practice them by translating
phrases
 It does not necessarily spill over into other aspects of
language learning such as reading or writing practice.
Swan raised some questions:
2) How Post-method is the Post-methodCondition?
Post-method thinking is not at all methodologically neutral. On the
contrary, like its predecessors, it can carry a heavy weight of
sociopolitical and educational-philosophical baggage.
Kumaravadivelu ten ‘macro-strategies’ have nothing at all to say
about:
the selection of high-priority linguistic input,
the organization of input material into progressive syllabuses,
the role of systematic practice in learning,
the value of memorization,
the need for teachers to have a detailed explicit knowledge of
the grammar, phonology and lexis of the languages
or many other things that might be regarded by some teachers as
centrally important for language teaching
2) How Post-method is the
Post-method Condition?
 In language teaching and learning, there is an eternal and
inevitable pendulum-swing backwards and forwards
between
 form and meaning,
 control and freedom,
 imitation and expression,
knowledge and skill,
 learning and using.
But clearly the ‘post-method condition’ is well towards
the meaning-freedom-expression-communication end.
offshoot of the ‘communicative approach’ with the same
strengths and weaknesses, and with the same empirically
unsupported methodological value judgments and
dichotomies with greater focus on socio-political-cultural
concerns.
Swan final words: Post method
condition is a complex centrifugal muddle
focus on doing things can bring with it a
correspondingly reduced focus on the specific
knowledge and skills which learners need to acquire
and consolidate by means of the activities.
Unconsciously, teachers can be drawn into a
centrifugal dynamic whereby they move away from
the linguistic centre, activities become paramount,
and the language the activities are supposed to
teach is lost sight of.
Doing things is easier, and more fun, than teaching
things.
Swan’s final words:
 Spoken or written texts, may no longer be seen as
 vehicles for teaching
 consolidating high-priority new language
 promoting receptive fluency.
they are there, to be ‘gone through’
Answering ‘comprehension questions’ of uncertain value.
It is not necessary for students to understand or translate
every word of a reading or listening text.
If students complete the task we feel that they have read
or listened successfully.
The key question: what, if anything, they
have learnt in the process??!!
Problem?
 Teachers are normally told how to use texts
 this is like approaching household repairs by
picking up a hammer and wondering what one can
do with it, rather than starting by assessing
what needs doing and then considering what
tools are most appropriate.
 There seems in fact to be a widespread act of faith
that any kind of engagement with texts is bound to
teach language.This is by no means necessarily the
case.
5 Biases in communicative teaching:
1-The Communicative Bias
 language learning should attempt to simulate the
conditions of ‘natural’ acquisition, and distance
itself from the traditional form-focused teacher-
dominated classroom.
 exposure to comprehensible input or
communicative tasks incorporating incidental
focus on form is all that is required.
 appropriate activities become the central element
in language teaching; language itself is no longer at
the centre
Approved and disapproved concepts
Activity-related concepts that
are universally approved: ‘bad’ pedagogic attitudes :
 ‘learner-centered’
 ‘meaning-based’
 ‘holistic’, ‘discourse’
‘discovery’
 ‘process’, ‘interaction’
 ‘negotiation’
‘strategy’.
‘teacher dominated’
‘form-based’
‘discrete’
‘sentence-level’ ‘transmission
model’
‘product’
‘memorization’
‘repetition’
‘drill’
Systematic syllabus-based
grammar teaching
pronunciation
It is not obvious that:
 why ‘meaning’ should be prioritized over
‘form’? why learner-directed process should
necessarily take precedence over teacher-
directed product?
 Are the assertions about ‘communicative’
teaching and the efficacy of the teaching they
promote based on empirical evidence?
 What ought to work or what is right, what
stands to reason, what is self-evident, or what is
believed to be psychologically or sociologically
desirable?
5 Biases: Academic and Practical
biases
2) The innovation imperative by young researchers to
investigate a new and unexplored area of research,
remote from the central
3) The ESL bias by applied linguists whose views on
language teaching theory come from their
classroom experience either in second-language
situations with rich exposure to the target language
outside the classroom, or at university level in other
environments with emphasis on guided
communicative activities, and reduced emphasis on
the systematic study of language forms.
Biases: Academic and Practical
biases
4) The nature of English is a morphologically light
language. A good deal of the structure can be picked up
easily from exposure and practice.
It is not at all certain that the centrifugal drift from form to
activity, or the act of faith whereby forms are taken to
be learnable largely by simply using language, would be
possible if Russian were the focus of language teaching
theory to the extent that English is.
5) Native speaking teachers are less likely to have studied
the details of English grammar during their training than
their non-native
speaking counterparts, and some may therefore feel
insecure about their knowledge and favor approaches
avoid explicit grammar study.
Richards & Renandya: Key issues that shape
the design and delivery of language teaching
(lg teaching is not just teaching lg)
1) understanding learners and their roles, rights, needs,
motivations, strategies, and the processes they employ in
second language learning
2) understanding the nature of language teaching and
learning and the roles teachers, teaching methods and
teaching materials play in facilitating successful learning
3) understanding how English functions in the lives of
learners, the way the English language works, the
particular difficulties it poses for second language learners
4) how learners can best achieve their goals in learning
English understanding how schools, classrooms,
communities, and the language teaching profession can
best support the teaching and learning of English.
What is needed:
 a balance between ancillary concerns and the
central language teaching priorities
 communicative or PM philosophy seem be in
danger of losing contact with language teaching
 It is concerned prioritizing the quality of life in the
language classroom rather than instructional
efficiency.The quality of life in the language
classroom is not insignificant, but it is certainly not
more important than instructional efficiency.
 Teaching lg should not be replaced with excessive
concern for peripheral topics or references to a
‘post-method condition.
The main problem with methods
 It is not that they fail to take into account the
complex nature of society, culture, human
psychology or interpersonal relations.
It is that they do not take into account the
complexity of language itself.
 Discussion of methods can only be really
constructive if looking at separate aspects of
language and asking for each ‘how can this best
be taught?’
 Language is very many different things, very many
different types of activity are involved in learning
and teaching it, and considerations of method are
relevant to all of these.
language instruction must
address these 4 problems:
1) selection and presentation of the most needed elements
for learners
2) establishment of a knowledge base of the forms and use
of them in learners’ long-term memory
3) development of recall and deployment for
comprehension or production with reasonable
accuracy in real time
4) course architecture The syllabus components need to
be fitted together into a coherent smoothly
functioning package and allownfor adaptation and
variation in the light of individual differences and local
conditions.
So we need to answer these Qs:
 For each language element that we have identified,
what is the most appropriate presentation vehicle
 how can this element best be fixed in long-term
memory and made efficiently retrievable and available
for fluent use?
 What principles are relevant to linking items of
vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation into packages?
 what kinds of activity will at the same time teach these
items and practice more general skills?
 How can we provide adequate opportunity for realistic
communicative practice of the different kinds of thing
that have been learnt?
Cont.
 What can best be learnt through extensive reading or
listening, what through intensive input, and what
through analyzed (form-focused) input?
 What is most usefully presented or practiced in a
whole-class format?
 what is better handled through group work
 what lends itself best to individual study? Do learners
have easy access to extensive input, and if not, how do
we provide it?
 What can be learnt outside the instructional situation,
and by what routes? What cannot?
 What can be learnt through discovery and what is more
efficiently taught by more directive methods?
‘Method’ can get in the way of
methods.
 Previous Qs cannot be answered by reference to
dictated methodological stances
 ‘What we need is an appropriate balance between
exercises that help learners come to grips with
grammatical forms, and tasks for exploring the use
of those forms to communicate effectively.
 Some approaches work for some things and
not for others.They may be relevant to some
aspects of language teaching and learning; for other
aspects, they are not necessarily applicable.
Missing concerns
 selection criteria
 the overall design of teaching programs ( course
architecture) or a theory of language course
construction
it is rooted in the widespread contemporary belief that
language courses can be produced on a ‘do it yourself’
basis.
 syllabuses should be negotiated between teachers and
learners is a commonplace of communicative and post-
method thinking; it is clear from internet discussion
forums such as theTESL-L list that many teachers feel
that they can provide better courses for their students
than are available between the covers of published
textbooks
Cont.
 It is certainly true that, where students have limited
and closely defined needs.
 in the more typical situation if students need a general
course which will teach them all the highest-priority
elements of a new language, matters are very
different.
 a cost-effective full-scale language course with
adequate coverage, a materials writer needs a great
deal of specialist linguistic and pedagogic knowledge,
together with access to reliable inventories, graded by
frequency and usefulness, of vocabulary items,
structures, functions and notions situational
language, discourse features, and any number of other
things.
2 certain things for future developments
1) we will make progress. Just as we have made
very considerable improvements over the last
half century, we can expect to make further
advances
as we benefit from technological innovations
as we find out more about language and how it is
learnt.
Textbook-based classroom learning is likely to be
partly superseded by flexible and varied
approaches
2 certain things for future developments
2)There are no miracle methods waiting to be
discovered.The progress, though real, will never be
spectacular. Foreign languages are very hard for
most people to learn well after childhood, and they
will continue to be hard.
our knowledge of both formal and functional
aspects of language, our growing understanding of
acquisitional processes, and the vast range of
methodology and materials that we have developed
over the last century or so, provide all the necessary
ingredients for a balanced and effective model of
instructed second-language learning.
Thank you Very much

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Swan.bolouri

  • 1. WE DO NEED METHODS. MICHAEL SWAN Maryam Bolouri Critique of issues in languageTeaching Dr ZiaTajeddin Feb 2016
  • 2. What to cover:  Differing views of lg learning/teaching  What is needed?  The constraints of method  Definition of PM condition  2 thought provoking questions by Swan  PM: Complex centrifugal muddle  The Communicative Bias
  • 3. The dynamics of Lg teaching  a powerful boost from communicative teaching theory  emphasis on language in use  diverted attention from the linguistic ‘centre’ by the increasing interest of applied linguistic researchers in matters which are peripheral or ancillary to teaching language
  • 4. Swan: what is needed?  For language teaching to be effective, we need to return to the linguistic centre, and to look at methods in terms of their value for solving specific problems, rather than on the basis of their conformity or otherwise with macro-strategic doctrines. Progress, at least in the short term, may depend as much on  our making better use of the methodological resources we already have at our command  the development of new technological resources and the expansion of our professional knowledge.
  • 5. Cont.  Methodological areas which are particularly in need of theoretical attention are those :  involving the principled selection of high-priority language elements for teaching  their integration into the overall architecture of language courses matters which are at present largely the concern of practitioners.
  • 6. Lg learning  It is complex to be measured.  Teachers use different ways based on research, individual exploration and the accumulated wisdom of the profession  There are differing opinions from the general to the particular about the value of each method.
  • 7. Some of these differing views!!  The mother-tongue must never be used in foreign- language teaching’  ‘Learning can only be effective if it involves genuine communication’  ‘Comprehensible input provides all that is necessary for effective acquisition’.  Others relate to more specific aspects of a language teacher’s work  the belief that learners need training in reading skills; or  that linguistic regularities are best learnt inductively; or  that new lexis must always be contextualized; or  that teaching phoneme discrimination by the use of minimal pairs helps to improve pronunciation; or  that recasts are (or are not) more effective than explicit correction.
  • 8. Some of these differing views!!  Different categorization from Anthony (1963) to Richards and Rodgers (2001)  terminological confusion both in the professional literature what it is and is not appropriate to call a ‘method’, and how or whether ‘method’ is to be distinguished from ‘approach’
  • 9. Method ?!  Methods have not delivered what they promised, due largely to the limited views of language, teaching and learning  Methods are, top-down and prescriptive  Efficacy cannot be demonstrated as they are not testable against each other.  The role of the individual teacher is minimized.  Methods fail to address the broader contexts of language teaching.  It Ignored factors that govern classroom processes and practices – factors such as teacher cognition, learner perception, societal needs, cultural contexts, political exigencies, economic imperatives  Autonomy, self- fulfillment and personal development are precluded by an outcome/objectives approach  Methods, carry (undesirable) sociopolitical agendas  They certainly impose directions and constraints at a level of considerable detail.
  • 10. Post method condition  we are freeing ourselves from the constraints of one or other method,  We are able to adopt a more open and promising approach to language teaching which can take into account all of the linguistic psychological and sociological factors. 
  • 11. Macro-strategies  Kumaravadivelu lists ten ‘macro-strategies’ which characterize post-method language teaching, and from which teachers can generate situation-specific need-based micro-strategies or teaching techniques. 1. Maximize learning opportunities 2. Facilitate negotiated interaction 3. Minimize perceptual mismatches 4. Activate intuitive heuristics 5. Foster language awareness 6. Contextualize linguistic input 7. Integrate language skills 8. Promote learner autonomy 9. Ensure social relevance 10. Raise cultural consciousness.
  • 12. Swan raised some questions:  1) How Method-bound Has LanguageTeaching Really Been? Have monolithic approaches generally and comprehensively dictated the shape of courses, materials and teaching techniques?  how far such approaches usually constrain everything that is done?  The term ‘grammar-translation’, for instance, which is commonly used as a derogatory label only characterizes one aspect of classroom activity:  dealing with morphology and syntax by teaching explicit rules and making students practice them by translating phrases  It does not necessarily spill over into other aspects of language learning such as reading or writing practice.
  • 13. Swan raised some questions: 2) How Post-method is the Post-methodCondition? Post-method thinking is not at all methodologically neutral. On the contrary, like its predecessors, it can carry a heavy weight of sociopolitical and educational-philosophical baggage. Kumaravadivelu ten ‘macro-strategies’ have nothing at all to say about: the selection of high-priority linguistic input, the organization of input material into progressive syllabuses, the role of systematic practice in learning, the value of memorization, the need for teachers to have a detailed explicit knowledge of the grammar, phonology and lexis of the languages or many other things that might be regarded by some teachers as centrally important for language teaching
  • 14. 2) How Post-method is the Post-method Condition?  In language teaching and learning, there is an eternal and inevitable pendulum-swing backwards and forwards between  form and meaning,  control and freedom,  imitation and expression, knowledge and skill,  learning and using. But clearly the ‘post-method condition’ is well towards the meaning-freedom-expression-communication end. offshoot of the ‘communicative approach’ with the same strengths and weaknesses, and with the same empirically unsupported methodological value judgments and dichotomies with greater focus on socio-political-cultural concerns.
  • 15. Swan final words: Post method condition is a complex centrifugal muddle focus on doing things can bring with it a correspondingly reduced focus on the specific knowledge and skills which learners need to acquire and consolidate by means of the activities. Unconsciously, teachers can be drawn into a centrifugal dynamic whereby they move away from the linguistic centre, activities become paramount, and the language the activities are supposed to teach is lost sight of. Doing things is easier, and more fun, than teaching things.
  • 16. Swan’s final words:  Spoken or written texts, may no longer be seen as  vehicles for teaching  consolidating high-priority new language  promoting receptive fluency. they are there, to be ‘gone through’ Answering ‘comprehension questions’ of uncertain value. It is not necessary for students to understand or translate every word of a reading or listening text. If students complete the task we feel that they have read or listened successfully. The key question: what, if anything, they have learnt in the process??!!
  • 17. Problem?  Teachers are normally told how to use texts  this is like approaching household repairs by picking up a hammer and wondering what one can do with it, rather than starting by assessing what needs doing and then considering what tools are most appropriate.  There seems in fact to be a widespread act of faith that any kind of engagement with texts is bound to teach language.This is by no means necessarily the case.
  • 18. 5 Biases in communicative teaching: 1-The Communicative Bias  language learning should attempt to simulate the conditions of ‘natural’ acquisition, and distance itself from the traditional form-focused teacher- dominated classroom.  exposure to comprehensible input or communicative tasks incorporating incidental focus on form is all that is required.  appropriate activities become the central element in language teaching; language itself is no longer at the centre
  • 19. Approved and disapproved concepts Activity-related concepts that are universally approved: ‘bad’ pedagogic attitudes :  ‘learner-centered’  ‘meaning-based’  ‘holistic’, ‘discourse’ ‘discovery’  ‘process’, ‘interaction’  ‘negotiation’ ‘strategy’. ‘teacher dominated’ ‘form-based’ ‘discrete’ ‘sentence-level’ ‘transmission model’ ‘product’ ‘memorization’ ‘repetition’ ‘drill’ Systematic syllabus-based grammar teaching pronunciation
  • 20. It is not obvious that:  why ‘meaning’ should be prioritized over ‘form’? why learner-directed process should necessarily take precedence over teacher- directed product?  Are the assertions about ‘communicative’ teaching and the efficacy of the teaching they promote based on empirical evidence?  What ought to work or what is right, what stands to reason, what is self-evident, or what is believed to be psychologically or sociologically desirable?
  • 21. 5 Biases: Academic and Practical biases 2) The innovation imperative by young researchers to investigate a new and unexplored area of research, remote from the central 3) The ESL bias by applied linguists whose views on language teaching theory come from their classroom experience either in second-language situations with rich exposure to the target language outside the classroom, or at university level in other environments with emphasis on guided communicative activities, and reduced emphasis on the systematic study of language forms.
  • 22. Biases: Academic and Practical biases 4) The nature of English is a morphologically light language. A good deal of the structure can be picked up easily from exposure and practice. It is not at all certain that the centrifugal drift from form to activity, or the act of faith whereby forms are taken to be learnable largely by simply using language, would be possible if Russian were the focus of language teaching theory to the extent that English is. 5) Native speaking teachers are less likely to have studied the details of English grammar during their training than their non-native speaking counterparts, and some may therefore feel insecure about their knowledge and favor approaches avoid explicit grammar study.
  • 23. Richards & Renandya: Key issues that shape the design and delivery of language teaching (lg teaching is not just teaching lg) 1) understanding learners and their roles, rights, needs, motivations, strategies, and the processes they employ in second language learning 2) understanding the nature of language teaching and learning and the roles teachers, teaching methods and teaching materials play in facilitating successful learning 3) understanding how English functions in the lives of learners, the way the English language works, the particular difficulties it poses for second language learners 4) how learners can best achieve their goals in learning English understanding how schools, classrooms, communities, and the language teaching profession can best support the teaching and learning of English.
  • 24. What is needed:  a balance between ancillary concerns and the central language teaching priorities  communicative or PM philosophy seem be in danger of losing contact with language teaching  It is concerned prioritizing the quality of life in the language classroom rather than instructional efficiency.The quality of life in the language classroom is not insignificant, but it is certainly not more important than instructional efficiency.  Teaching lg should not be replaced with excessive concern for peripheral topics or references to a ‘post-method condition.
  • 25. The main problem with methods  It is not that they fail to take into account the complex nature of society, culture, human psychology or interpersonal relations. It is that they do not take into account the complexity of language itself.  Discussion of methods can only be really constructive if looking at separate aspects of language and asking for each ‘how can this best be taught?’  Language is very many different things, very many different types of activity are involved in learning and teaching it, and considerations of method are relevant to all of these.
  • 26. language instruction must address these 4 problems: 1) selection and presentation of the most needed elements for learners 2) establishment of a knowledge base of the forms and use of them in learners’ long-term memory 3) development of recall and deployment for comprehension or production with reasonable accuracy in real time 4) course architecture The syllabus components need to be fitted together into a coherent smoothly functioning package and allownfor adaptation and variation in the light of individual differences and local conditions.
  • 27. So we need to answer these Qs:  For each language element that we have identified, what is the most appropriate presentation vehicle  how can this element best be fixed in long-term memory and made efficiently retrievable and available for fluent use?  What principles are relevant to linking items of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation into packages?  what kinds of activity will at the same time teach these items and practice more general skills?  How can we provide adequate opportunity for realistic communicative practice of the different kinds of thing that have been learnt?
  • 28. Cont.  What can best be learnt through extensive reading or listening, what through intensive input, and what through analyzed (form-focused) input?  What is most usefully presented or practiced in a whole-class format?  what is better handled through group work  what lends itself best to individual study? Do learners have easy access to extensive input, and if not, how do we provide it?  What can be learnt outside the instructional situation, and by what routes? What cannot?  What can be learnt through discovery and what is more efficiently taught by more directive methods?
  • 29. ‘Method’ can get in the way of methods.  Previous Qs cannot be answered by reference to dictated methodological stances  ‘What we need is an appropriate balance between exercises that help learners come to grips with grammatical forms, and tasks for exploring the use of those forms to communicate effectively.  Some approaches work for some things and not for others.They may be relevant to some aspects of language teaching and learning; for other aspects, they are not necessarily applicable.
  • 30. Missing concerns  selection criteria  the overall design of teaching programs ( course architecture) or a theory of language course construction it is rooted in the widespread contemporary belief that language courses can be produced on a ‘do it yourself’ basis.  syllabuses should be negotiated between teachers and learners is a commonplace of communicative and post- method thinking; it is clear from internet discussion forums such as theTESL-L list that many teachers feel that they can provide better courses for their students than are available between the covers of published textbooks
  • 31. Cont.  It is certainly true that, where students have limited and closely defined needs.  in the more typical situation if students need a general course which will teach them all the highest-priority elements of a new language, matters are very different.  a cost-effective full-scale language course with adequate coverage, a materials writer needs a great deal of specialist linguistic and pedagogic knowledge, together with access to reliable inventories, graded by frequency and usefulness, of vocabulary items, structures, functions and notions situational language, discourse features, and any number of other things.
  • 32. 2 certain things for future developments 1) we will make progress. Just as we have made very considerable improvements over the last half century, we can expect to make further advances as we benefit from technological innovations as we find out more about language and how it is learnt. Textbook-based classroom learning is likely to be partly superseded by flexible and varied approaches
  • 33. 2 certain things for future developments 2)There are no miracle methods waiting to be discovered.The progress, though real, will never be spectacular. Foreign languages are very hard for most people to learn well after childhood, and they will continue to be hard. our knowledge of both formal and functional aspects of language, our growing understanding of acquisitional processes, and the vast range of methodology and materials that we have developed over the last century or so, provide all the necessary ingredients for a balanced and effective model of instructed second-language learning.