ERIC Number: ED023074
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: N/A
Contrastive Linguistics in Textbook and Classroom.
Rivers, Wilga M.
The need for a contrastive approach in foreign language teaching has long been recognized, but in the construction of textbook materials and in classroom practice it has rarely been realized. For pedagogical purposes a useful distinction can be drawn between difference and contrast. Differences can be taught as new items of knowledge, whereas native language interference must be combatted in areas of contrast. Contrasts should be taught emically not etically, that is, the structural element or the cultural manifestation should be studied as it functions in the foreign language system, not merely at the points where it contrasts with native language usage. Degree of difficulty may be estimated by the number of elements in contrast, but this criterion does not necessarily apply in the classroom where learning is facilitated if structures can be practiced in an active situation by students who have been prepared for the contrastive nature of language study. Translation may appear to be an excellent exercise in language contrast; it is, however, valuable only at an advanced level of study when students have a wide enough knowledge of the functioning system of both languages to find close meaning equivalents for stretches of discourse rather than small segments, and to explore the full range of contrast. (Author/JD)
Descriptors: Contrastive Linguistics, Interference (Language), Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Teaching Methods, Textbook Standards, Translation
Publications Department, School of Languages and Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20007 (Monograph Series No. 21, $2.95).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Georgetown Univ., Washington, DC. School of Languages and Linguistics.
Note: Article in Report of the 19th Annual Round Table Meeting on Ling. and Lang. Studies, Contrastive Linguistics and Its Pedagogical Implications.