ERIC Number: ED185835
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
The View on the Way Up: A Wider Perspective.
Rivers, Wilga M.
Trends in foreign language education in the United States have addressed themselves to the questions "Who?""What?""Why?" and "How?" In the period when the grammar translation method was in vogue, "Who?" was answered by the other three questions, since this approach to foreign language instruction was appropriate only for an intellectual elite. During the audiolingual period, national interest was emphasized in answering "Why?""What" was spoken language, and "How" was with the use of drills to reinforce supposed "cognitive" patterns of language acquisition. "Who" was again subordinated to the other three interrogatives, as students who could not sustain the regimen dropped or were dropped from language programs. A third development was natural language learning, in which the process of first language acquisition was superimposed on a "methodology" of second language education that emphasized social interaction. The current state of instruction completes the advancement of "who" and starts with the premise that "what,""how," and "why" are largely up to the students themselves. There is every indication that today's students are very interested in foreign language study for a wide variety of reasons. They deserve access to a variety of methodological approaches to meet their individual needs. (JB)
Descriptors: Educational Trends, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Second Language Programs, Student Educational Objectives, Student Interests, Student Needs, Teaching Methods
Not available separately; See FL 011 303.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Address presented at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (New York, NY, April 13-16, 1978).