ERIC Number: ED343431
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct-18
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Cognitive Schemata and Discrepant Stimuli in the Foreign Language Classroom.
After a discussion of cognitive schemata, identified as representing a "gestalt" stored in human memory, this paper explores three pedagogical modes: the use of drama, humor, and suspense in the classroom. Ways that each pertain to cognitive and communication theory are discussed, and classroom examples of how each mode provides discrepant stimuli are provided. It is assumed that in second language (L2) acquisition, cognitive schemata cause L2 interference at the various levels, and that recent L2 theories argue for a distinction between formal or classroom learning and natural acquisition. Truly creative language teaching takes advantage of such a significant notion as cognitive schemata by using novelty in a planned, partial immersion environment that makes foreign language and culture meaningful and relevant. It is concluded that new experience, such as that provided by discrepant stimuli, interacts with cognitive structures to arouse interest and develop understanding. Effective teachers can use drama, humor, and suspense to provide appropriate and meaningful contexts to classroom instruction. Contains 45 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Bridging Theory and Practice in the Foreign Language Classroom (Baltimore, MD, October 18-20, 1991).