ERIC Number: ED177859
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
The Role of Foreign Language Study in the Late Twentieth Century.
Jarvis, Gilbert A.
Bulletin of the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association, v57 n1 p9-17 Fall 1978
Four forces seem to be at work in society today that have implications for language teaching. First, the interdependence of planet Earth has become a reality that has increased general awareness of the presence of speakers of other languages among us and awareness on the part of government leaders of the need to encourage foreign language studies. Secondly, the ability to adapt to extreme and rapid change is crucial to the well-being of twenty-first century persons. Learning to express one's thoughts in a new language can be a way of learning to deal with such change. Third, the "return to basics" movement could affect the foreign language program positively if basics are considered fundamental thinking skills. Both experience and research indicate that one learns several cognitive skills in receiving and producing utterances in the foreign language. The fourth force, a pluralistic society, demands awareness of differences and the acceptance and valuing of diversity in people. In language classes students have the opportunity to express themselves and to listen to and learn from others. Whatever methodology is used, the one condition to be reconciled with all four forces is that language must be practiced and used meaningfully, that is, communicatively. How to do this in the classroom is a further question to which some answers are suggested in the concluding portion of the article. (AMH)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Style, Communicative Competence (Languages), Coping, Creative Thinking, Cultural Influences, Decision Making Skills, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Language Instruction, Language Role, Learning Activities, Problem Solving, Productive Thinking, Second Language Learning, Skill Development, Social Influences, Socioeconomic Influences, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the Pennsylvania State Modern Lanquage Association (Fall, 1977) ; Contains some small print