ERIC Number: ED310627
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Classroom Discourse: Its Nature and Its Potential for Language Learning.
Devitt, Sean M.
It is proposed that the main emphasis in second language instruction continues to be on linguistic form rather than on meaning or content. In a review of literature, arguments are reiterated supporting the idea that meaning can be transmitted without having all the linguistic means of the target language at one's disposal. These arguments submit that first and subsequent languages are learned effectively only within a framework of meaningful use. The implication of "meaningful use" in the classroom context is then explored, drawing on transcripts of the language used in three content classes (history, religious education, and economics) and three language classes (one in French and two in German). Evidence suggesting much less meaningful use of language in the language classes is presented. Some of the problems arising in purportedly communicative classrooms are considered, and a possible solution to some of these problems, designed to be attractive to administrators and parents and to enable teachers and pupils to achieve explicit objectives of language syllabuses is offered. (MSE)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Classroom Techniques, Communicative Competence (Languages), Course Descriptions, Cultural Awareness, Discourse Analysis, Grammar, Instructional Improvement, Instructional Materials, Language Teachers, Learning Processes, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Trinity Coll., Dublin (Ireland). Centre for Language and Communication Studies.