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ERIC Number: ED140651
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Listening Fluency Before Speaking: An Alternative Paradigm.
Nord, James, R.
The foreign language instruction in the United States has followed a paradigm commonly called the "audio-lingual" method for almost twenty years. This paradigm is basically response-oriented and based upon structural linguistics and behavioral psychology. It focuses attention on speaking as the primary skill. It has not lived up to expectations. Some people have suggested the cognitive- code learning approach as an alternative. However, many who profess this approach still equate learning a language with learning to talk in that language. Through a review of the literature on language teaching, learning psychology and brain research, it is suggested that language teaching should shift its focus from speaking to listening as the primary skill. The paper presents evidence of positive transfer from listening to the other language skills and evidence of negative transfer when speaking is the initial and primary language skill taught. The paper also explores the potential values to be found in concentrating the research efforts and teaching practices on the phenomenon of listening fluency. What emerges from an analysis of selected experiments and research findings is a recognition that the basic paradigm needs to be reassessed and some basic assumptions need to be questioned. It must be decided whether the focus should be on expressive skills or receptive skills. (Author/CFM)
Descriptors: Audiolingual Methods, Aural Learning, Educational Objectives, Higher Education, Language Instruction, Language Skills, Learning Processes, Listening Comprehension, Listening Skills, Literature Reviews, Neurolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Second Language Learning, Secondary Education, Teaching Methods
Learning and Evaluation Service, 17 Morrill Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Foreign Language Conference (University of Kentucky, April 1977)