ERIC Number: ED345539
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Expanding the Vision of Foreign Language Education: Enter the Less Commonly Taught Languages. NFLC Occasional Papers.
Walton, A. Ronald
The less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) have entered mainstream foreign language teaching only in the last decade. The LCTLs include all languages other than French, German, and Spanish and can be divided into several subgroups, including "truly foreign languages" (TFLs) that are not cognate to English. While TFLs have never been very visible in American foreign language education, they have quietly emerged with their own traditions and modes of organization but operating largely on the profession's fringes. Differences between TFLs and traditionally taught languages include differences in linguistic code and language role for communication purposes. In TFL teaching and learning, pragmatics or behavioral culture is key to mastery of the linguistic code. Negotiation of meaning, central to communicative competence, should be central to TFL instruction. Two modes of pedagogical practice dominate TFL instruction in the United States: that of Indo-European languages and that of English as a Second Language. Successful blending of TFLs into mainstream foreign language education will require broadening traditional perspectives. Related issues include enrollment rate, differences between native and nonnative teachers, cultural differences, and student motivation. Mutual cooperation between the fields of traditionally taught languages and TFLs will be essential, replacing the current coexistence model. (MSE)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment Rate, Higher Education, Interprofessional Relationship, Language Enrollment, Language Teachers, Pragmatics, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Student Motivation, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Washington, DC. National Foreign Language Center.