ERIC Number: EJ1157320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
L. V. Shcherba: A "New Slant" on Modern Foreign Languages in the School Curriculum?
Curriculum Journal, v28 n4 p446-478 2017
In this paper, I offer a critical reflection on the thesis of the general educational value of foreign languages developed by Russian linguist Lev Vladimirovich Shcherba. I do so against the background of current debates on the positioning of foreign languages in the school curriculum in the United Kingdom (UK). I argue that Shcherba's thesis, which was developed almost a century ago, retains its currency and can make an important contribution to the on-going discussion on the value of foreign languages in UK schools. The paper outlines Shcherba's scholarly explorations in general linguistics which underpin his arguments in favour of the inclusion of foreign languages in the basic school curriculum. The conception of language as a system immanently positioned in social experience assigns the foundational role to language in the literacy project. The conscious analytic processing of language phenomena is viewed as an essential pre-condition of literacy, and foreign languages are shown to be instrumental in developing such an analytic capacity of mind. Shcherba's argumentation reflects a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, both to foreign language education and to curriculum matters, and merits the attention of language practitioners, educationalists and policy-makers alike.
Descriptors: Second Language Instruction, Foreign Countries, Second Language Learning, Elementary Secondary Education, Barriers, National Curriculum, Value Judgment, Literacy, Social Influences, Cultural Awareness, Grammar, Language Skills, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A