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The basis of a communicative methodology in language teaching

Brumfit, C; (1983) The basis of a communicative methodology in language teaching. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is an argument about the nature of language teaching methodology, relating general educational principles to current theories of language acquisition and use. Chapter I discusses what constitutes appropriate knowledge about language teaching methodology. It argues for a Popperian epistemological model, providing that methodological innovation is seen as analogous to social policy-making. Chapter II outlines current views of the nature of language, its use and acquisition, and argues that the creation of meaning through interaction and negotiation with other language users is a central feature. Chapter III examines a number of possible polarisations of the process of language acquisition into strategies for acquiring the tokens of the language and strategies for turning them into a negotiable and value-laden system of use. Criticisms are offered of some of these, particularly Krashen's, and a pedagogically orientated distinction between accuracy and fluency is presented. • Chapter IV examines the methodological implications of making this distinction, and particularly the need to establish a 'natural' setting. Group work is seen as central to this. Chapter V explores the role of meaning in language teaching and briefly considers some curriculum design proposals. It is argued that the organisation of a syllabus is less important than the methodology used, and that a syllabus should have educational content. Chapter VI draws'on the argument so far to outline a model of teaching methodology which emphasises substantive as well as linguistic content, and depends upon interactive methods. The final chapter returns to the general model of methodological enquiry and argues that successful development of the practice of teaching depends heavily on a combination of administrative channels for effective innovation and feedback with a constant process of analysis of theoretical concepts in terms which have direct relevance to teachers. This thesis performs the latter activity.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The basis of a communicative methodology in language teaching
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos...
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: PHD University of London Institute of Education, 1983.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10019509
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