Since the 80s and more so the 90s, we have been encouraged to add to our load through associating topics and approaches alongside an already very difficult and burdensome job – teaching language efficiently. Even some very well-known publishers have contributed to this mass of extra weight.
We will try to show during this workshop that teachers already have enough to do without thinking about all of those secondary issues and that they actually get in the way of efficient and effective teaching and learning, simultaneously causing some teachers mistakenly to feel inadequate because of the complexity and disconnected nature of these add-ons.
We will also offer an explanation for this movement towards ever more esoteric and obscure embellishments.
These additions to established practice have appeared over the last 30-40 years and have served to conceal the fact that the mainstream teaching of language has not really progressed very much in that period other than a very few innovations such as Task-Based Learning and the Lexical Approach.
In a recent video meeting, Stephen Krashen and Noam Chomsky both demonstrated that they have not moved very far at all from their initial positions in terms of, for example, the LAD, Learning vs Acquisition, similarities between SLA and FLA, the Interface Hypothesis and so on. No quick fixes have been created!
Teaching and learning (I use the term in a general way) language is difficult and time consuming – that is not to say it can’t be fun, engaging and rewarding. You’ll notice that I am emphasising ‘mainstream’, so I am not commenting on the several niche or designer approaches such as Suggestopedia and Silent Way, both of which I have been quite heavily involved with over the years.
Presented by Steve Hirschhorn – Award-Winning Teacher Trainer & Former School Principal & Director of TESOL.
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