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A summary of language teaching approaches and methods(3-5)  

2008-12-29 00:37:09|  分类: 关于教学 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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5. Try to sketch the recent and current trends of language teaching researches from 1980 to date.

    Since 1980s, roughly speaking, there have been 10 trends / hot topics in language teaching researches:

1) the research on literature

   In the past, the study of literature was the ends/purpose of SL teaching, e.g. many texts were selected from famous novels.

许国璋主编.《许国璋〈英语〉》(1962年初版).北京:外语教育与研究出版社,1992.

Lesson

Text

Source of the text

1

Mother

Mother, a Russian novel published in 1907 by Maxim Gorky (马克西姆·高尔基)

2

Search for ancestor

Roots, an American novel published in 1976 by Alex Haley, a black American writer

3

Search for ancestor (Continued)

5

The necklace

The necklace is one of Guy de Maupassant’s best-known short stories.(盖·德·莫泊桑, 1850-1893)

6

The necklace(Continued)

 

16 lessons in the book

 

 

    But now we think that to study literature is a means for us to learn the language and culture of the target country, e.g. if we study Mark Twain, on one hand we could enjoy the colorful and interesting English language, on the other we could get to know more about the American culture along the Mississippi. So literature could provide an “authentic” (原汁原味) experience of both the target language and culture.

 2) cognitive linguistics

▲ Monographs concerning cognitive linguistics:

  Ungerer, F. & H. J. Schmid. 2001. An introduction to cognitive linguistics. 北京:外语教学与研究出版社.

  赵艳芳著. 2001. 《认知语言学概论》. 上海:上海外语教育出版社.

  程琪龙编著. 2001. 《认知语言学概论  —语言的神经认知基础 》. 北京:外语教学与研究出版社.

▲ Cognitive linguistics was born in 1980s. Chomsky’s TG Grammar created a revolution in linguistics, which is named Chomskyan Revolution. The TG Grammar made the 3rd stage (explanatory stage) in the development of linguistics (the 1st two stages are the prescriptive and the descriptive stages). Chomsky tries to explain linguistic phenomena from a cognitive perspective (black box).

The Chomskyan Revolution is the 1st cognitive revolution.

   Cognitive linguistics is the 1st cognitive revolution. It is the revolution of revolution, i.e. cognitive linguistics revolutionized Chomsky’s cognition with another cognition.(用此认知来革彼认知的命)

   Cognitive linguistics studies the interaction among mind, body and language with a new theory. Categorization, metaphor and iconicity(范畴化、隐语和象似性) are important topics in cognitive linguistics.

 3) grammar

   Now we are rethinking the status and the role of grammar in linguistic communication and classroom instruction. Ellis (1992) thinks our problem now is to explore the best method of teaching grammar. Important topics concerning grammar teaching include:

·which is better, to teach grammar directly or indirectly (i.e. to design grammar point in communication and to help learners find grammatical rules by themselves)?

·what is the efficient condition for the learners to acquire grammar? How should a teacher create such a condition?

4) action research and language teachers 行动研究与外语教学

   From 1970s to 1980s, the Communicative Approach was the major language teaching method. In 1990s, CA really had some limitations in our classroom practice, e.g. how should we teach grammar? In middle school, usually there are about 60 students in a class. How could we organize so many students to do pair work, group discussion or role-play effectively? There is a special situation in China, i.e. the textbook and the NMET do not match each other. So many problems arose in practice in 1990s. 交际法江河日下 CA got less popular.

   Against such a background, we find it is necessary to study the action of language teachers.

·action: in teacher education it refers to teaching action of teachers in the classroom.

·Action research means a teacher should examine and study his / her own teaching in the classroom in order to acquire knowledge and improve teaching(教师对自己课堂中的教学现象进行考察和研究,并从中获取知识、改进教学质量).

·Action research is one of the efficient approach to teacher education , and a shortcut(捷径) for the teachers to `perfect themselves.

 5) individual differences

   Individual learners are different in both general and personal factors.

★ Ellis’s classification of learner factors (1985:100-122)

personal          factors

 

group dynamics

(团体活力,课堂气氛,班风)

attitudes to the teacher and course materials

individual learning techniques

 

general             factors

 

 

age

aptitude

cognitive style

motivation

personality

“Learner-centered classroom” is a key point in the Communicative Approach.

 6) language testing

·Language Testing: a specialized journal

·there are two essential problems for language testing:

 1linguistic competence

 2The purpose of language testing is to measure subjects’ competence accurately and fairly(准确、公正). How could we measure linguistic competence objectively? 如何客观地测量语言能力?

   Now the research on language testing focuses on action testing, the study of how subjects’ individualism influences his / her testing action(研究被试特征对测试行为的影响), new research methods in language testing, and the development of new testing and evaluation system by using the competence technology(结合计算机技术开发新一代测试及评估系统).

7) discourse

·discourse is at the top of language system

·top-level structure: the structure of discourse or text

胡壮麟编著 1994. 《语篇的衔接与连贯》(Discourse Cohesion and Coherence). 上海:上海外语教育出版社.

胡壮麟: a veteran/experienced professor of linguistics in Beijing university, a famous student / follower of M.A.K.Halliday.

   Halliday is the father of Systemic-Functional Grammar. Halliday’s theory aims at the function of language. He attempts to tell us how the language is used and wants to set up some basic principles of language use.(建立语言使用的基本原理)

·language function: the purpose for which an utterance or unit of language is used(使用话语或语言单位的目的). In language teaching, language functions are often described as categories of behavior, e.g. requests, apologies, complaints, offers(提议), compliments(称赞).

·the function of language is often realized at the discourse level. So we often study discourse by employing Halliday’s Systemic-Functional Grammar.

 8) the relevance theory in pragmatics(关联理论)

·Pragmatics focuses on the context of language use.

·The relevance theory is a major school in pragmatics.

·According to the relevance theory, 1language use is a psychological matter, and it is governed by some known principles.(一种心理现象,受已知原则的支配);2in nature, the communicative process is a process of cognition. Why could the both sides cooperate tacitly in communication (交际双方配合默契)? Because there is a best cognitive model called “Relevance”(最佳认知模式“关联性”).

·Relevance is determined by 2 factors:

  1contextual / cognitive effect (语境/认知效应);

2processing effect(加工力)

“在相同情况下,关联性与语境效应成正比,与加工力成反比。人类的信息加工总是朝着最大的关联性努力的,即以最小的加工力获得最大的认知效应。交际既然是一种认知过程,那它必须具有关联性,否则,交际就毫无意义”(文旭,1999:39《外国语》)。

 9) research methods / methodology

   In practice we often combine the 2 research methods:

Qualitative/descriptive/non-experimental method

Quantitative/experimental method

Now there more and more experimental researches because they are more reliable and convincing. So experimental research is the tendency in methodology.

 10) technology: the use of technology for SL learning and teaching

   In the past, `phonographs(留声机), radios, tape-recorders, TVs and VCRs (=video cassette recorder 录像机) were used for SL learning and teaching. Today learning machines, VCDs, DVDs, MP3/MP4, computers, multimedia and the Internet, all these facilities created by modern technologies are used for SL learning and teaching. It can be seen that pedagogy was driven by technology, i.e. technological advances have affected language teaching and learning at various points in history Salaberry (2001) thinks that the pedagogical effectiveness of different technologies is related to 4 major questions:

 1is increased technological sophistication (i.e. development) correlated to increased pedagogical effectiveness?

2which technical attributes (i.e. characteristics/features) specific to new technologies can be profitably exploited (i.e. developed) for pedagogical purposes?

3how can new technologies be successfully integrated into the curriculum?

4do new technologies provide an efficient use of human and material resources?

All these questions are waiting for the answers from researchers of language teaching and learning.

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