ERIC Number: ED154631
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Let's Get in the Swim of Things.
Terry, Robert M.
Bulletin of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia, v33 n2 p87-92 Feb 1978
Learning to swim and learning a foreign language are analagous activities, in that both are skills learned for different reasons. Few foreign language students will attain "near-native fluency;" nor will many of them become interpreters or teachers. Foreign language teachers must therefore revise priorities, restructure courses, adjust methods, and establish realistic goals. There are indirect routes to the goal of appreciating a foreign culture. One might take the students on an imaginary year-long "trip" in the foreign country and in areas of the world where the language is spoken. By organizing all learning activities around this theme, students participate in and contribute to the total learning experience. The vocabulary, grammar and structures they use will be examples of real language. Textbooks become guide books, and only truly useful portions of them are used. Games, conversation activities, visits with native speakers, well-chosen readings -- all of these activities contribute to the student's progress in integrating the four skills. They also take account of affective behavioral objectives and will lead to improved attitudes. A Presidential Commission on Foreign Language and Area Studies is projected; its area of concern reinforce the position taken in this article. (AMH)
Descriptors: Affective Objectives, Audiovisual Aids, Communicative Competence (Languages), Conversational Language Courses, Course Objectives, Cross Cultural Training, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Education, Educational Media, Higher Education, Instructional Materials, Language Instruction, Language Proficiency, Language Programs, Language Role, Language Skills, Language Teachers, Language Usage, Learning Activities, Learning Motivation, Second Language Learning, Secondary Education, Speech Communication, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Virginia Modern Foreign Language Association.