ERIC Number: ED209918
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Language Variation and the Death of Language Teaching.
The effect of language variation on language teaching is considered. It is suggested there has been a shift away from the notion that a language can be perceived by learners as a fixed system to an emphasis on its negotiability in a social context. This is not precisely the shift from grammatical concerns to functional ones, for it arises out of methodology rather than linguistic description. Examples of descriptive procedures that have been adapted to language teaching include notions and functions, and procedural syllabuses. On the other hand, the methodological tradition promotes greater student freedom of maneuver than was customary in the past and alternatively ignores linguistic grading. The methodological model emphasizes language learning rather than language teaching, and views teachers as facilitators of language acquisition. Differences between teaching and learning that make it impossible to view them as obverse processes are addressed. It is suggested that teaching is the performance of certain rituals, while learning is the effective acquisition of knowledge or ability. Teaching may be viewed as being primarily about availability, while learning may be thought of as effective internalization. Teachers implement a syllabus and correct students; learning occurs in the process of using language and improvising language samples presented through teaching. It is suggested that this distinction of teaching and learning provides a partial explanation for the attraction of methodological solutions to the problem of language variation, accords with a functionalistic approach to language acquisition, and is consistent with the intuitions of many experienced teachers about how they operate in language classes. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (Sussex, England, September 18-20, 1981).