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ERIC Number: ED207339
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Evaluating Contemporary Language-Teaching Methodologies through Historical Perspective.
Madsen, Harold S.; Bowen, J. Donald
The comparative study of foreign language teaching methodologies benefits from an overview of the history of foreign language instruction, which begins with Roman youths learning Greek and, later, the classical form of Latin. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, notable figures such as Erasmus and Montaigne espoused highly intensive though relatively unsystematic methods, though it was in this period that the love for the discipline of a grammatical system brought the grammar translation method into favor. By the end of the 19th century, the Natural and Phonetic Methods, reactions to grammar translation, had spawned the oral-aural Direct Method. The eclectic and thoroughly worked-out views of a figure such as Harold E. Palmer (1877-1949) sound remarkably modern. The recurring ideas of contemporary methodologies are also recurring ideas of history (e.g., starting instruction at an early age). Both the success of the audiolingual approach and the views of its contemporary detractors can be understood through historical perspective. The many innovative methods currently in use (including Total Physical Response and the Silent Way) also owe their distinctive appeal to one or more time-honored principles of foreign language instruction. (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A