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This article traces the major trends in TESOL methods in the past 15 years. It focuses on the TESOL profession's evolving perspectives on language teaching methods in terms of three perceptible shifts: (a) from communicative language teaching to task-based language teach- ing, (b) from method-based pedagogy to postmethod pedagogy, and (c) from systemic discovery to critical discourse. It is evident that during this transitional period, the profession has witnessed a heightened awareness about communicative and task-based language teaching, about the limitations of the concept of method, about possible postmethod pedagogies that seek to address some of the limitations of method, about the complexity of teacher beliefs that inform the practice of everyday teaching, and about the vitality of the macrostruc- tures—social, cultural, political, and historical—that shape the micro- structures of the language classroom. This article deals briefly with the changes and challenges the trend-setting transition seems to be bring- ing about in the profession's collective thought and action.
TESOL QUARTERLY Vol. 40, No. 1, March 2006
TESOL Methods: Changing Tracks,
Challenging Trends
San José State University
San José, California, United States
This article traces the major trends in TESOL methods in the past 15
years. It focuses on the TESOL profession’s evolving perspectives on
language teaching methods in terms of three perceptible shifts: (a)
from communicative language teaching to task-based language teach-
ing, (b) from method-based pedagogy to postmethod pedagogy, and
(c) from systemic discovery to critical discourse. It is evident that during
this transitional period, the profession has witnessed a heightened
awareness about communicative and task-based language teaching,
about the limitations of the concept of method, about possible
postmethod pedagogies that seek to address some of the limitations of
method, about the complexity of teacher beliefs that inform the
practice of everyday teaching, and about the vitality of the macrostruc-
tures—social, cultural, political, and historical—that shape the micro-
structures of the language classroom. This article deals briefly with the
changes and challenges the trend-setting transition seems to be bring-
ing about in the profession’s collective thought and action.
In this state-of-the-art essay,1 I trace the major trends in TESOL
methods since the 1991 publication of the 25th anniversary issue of
TESOL Quarterly. I shall, therefore, refer to two overlapping periods of
time: before 1990 and after. To somewhat pre-empt my central thesis: If
the first period is called a period of awareness, the second may be called a
period of awakening. I focus on the nature and scope of the transition from
awareness to awakening, along with the contributions and consequences
associated with it. For the sake of synthesis, organization, and presentation,
1A state-of-the-art essay is mostly a summary statement of instant history with all its attendant
subjectivities. A subject like TESOL methods, with its multiple issues and multiple players, is
bound to carry multiple perspectives. In putting together my understanding of the field, I
received help from three anonymous reviewers and from the TESOL Quarterly editor. I am
indebted to them. I have not accepted all their suggestions and, therefore, I’m responsible for
any remaining errors in judgment. For a detailed treatment of some of the issues discussed in
this article, see Kumaravadivelu (2006).
I frame this overarching transition in terms of three principal and
perceptible shifts: (a) from communicative language teaching to task-
based language teaching, (b) from method-based pedagogy to postmethod
pedagogy, and (c) from systemic discovery to critical discourse. By opting
for a from-to frame of reference, I do not suggest that one concept has
completely replaced the other; instead, I consider the transition as work
in progress.
Before I proceed, a caveat and a clarification are in order. The caveat
relates to the constraints on space. The editorial stipulation on length
has necessitated a limited selection of the literature on TESOL methods
and a limited focus on general goals and strategies rather than on
specific objectives and tactics. The clarification pertains to a widely
prevalent terminological ambiguity. In the practice of everyday teaching
as well as in the professional literature, the term method is used indis-
criminately to refer to what theorists propose and to what teachers
practice. Clearly, they are not the same. Mindful of such a disparity,
Mackey (1965) made a distinction four decades ago between method
analysis and teaching analysis. The former refers to an analysis of methods
conceptualized and constructed by experts, and the latter refers to an
analysis of what practicing teachers actually do in the classroom. Method
analysis can be done by reviewing the relevant literature, but teaching
analysis can be done only by including a study of classroom input and
interaction. This article is about method analysis, not teaching analysis.
The 25th anniversary issue of TESOL Quarterly contains a state-of-the-
art article devoted exclusively to communicative language teaching (CLT),
thus highlighting the pre-eminent position it held during the 1980s. In
it, Savignon (1991) notes that CLT is a broad approach that
has become a term for methods and curricula that embrace both the goals
and the processes of classroom learning, for teaching practice that views
competence in terms of social interaction and looks to further language
acquisition research to account for its development. (p. 263)
The phrase “competence in terms of social interaction” sums up the
primary emphasis of CLT, whose theoretical principles were derived
mainly from concepts oriented to language communication, particularly
Austin’s (1962) speech act theory, which explains how language users
perform speech acts such as requesting, informing, apologizing, and so
on, Halliday’s (1973) functional perspective, which highlights meaning
potential, and Hymes’ (1972) theory of communicative competence, which
incorporates interactional and sociocultural norms.
According to American (e.g., Savignon, 1983), British (e.g., Breen &
Candlin, 1980), and Canadian (e.g., Canale & Swain, 1980) commenta-
tors, CLT was essentially concerned with the concepts of negotiation,
interpretation, and expression. They and others point out that under-
scoring the creative, unpredictable, and purposeful use of language as
communication were classroom practices largely woven around sharing
information and negotiating meaning. This is true not only of oral
communication but also of reading and writing. Information gap activi-
ties that have the potential to carry elements of unpredictability and
freedom of choice were found to be useful. So were games, role plays,
and drama techniques, all of which were supposed to help the learners
get ready for so-called real world communication outside the classroom.
These activities were supposed to promote grammatical accuracy as well
as communicative fluency.
During the 1980s, CLT became such a dominant force that it guided
the form and function of almost all conceivable components of language
pedagogy. A steady stream of scholarly books appeared with the label
communicative unfailingly stamped on the cover. Thus, there were books
on communicative competence (Savignon, 1983), communicative gram-
mar (Leech & Svartvik, 1979), communicative syllabus (Yalden, 1983),
communicative teaching (Littlewood, 1981), communicative methodology
(Brumfit, 1984), communicative tasks (Nunan, 1989), communicative
reading (Bowen, 1990), and communicative testing (Weir, 1990). To
transfer the burgeoning CLT scholarship to the language classroom,
scores of communicative textbooks were produced in various content
and skill areas.
CLT was a principled response to the perceived failure of the
audiolingual method, which was seen to focus exclusively and excessively
on the manipulation of the linguistic structures of the target language.
Researchers and teachers alike became increasingly skeptical about the
audiolingual method’s proclaimed goal of fostering communicative
capability in the learner and about its presentation-practice-production
sequence. The proponents of CLT sought to move classroom teaching
away from a largely structural orientation that relied on a reified
rendering of pattern practices and toward a largely communicative
orientation that relied on a partial simulation of meaningful exchanges
that take place outside the classroom. They also introduced innovative
classroom activities (such as games, role plays, and scenarios) aimed at
creating and sustaining learner motivation. The focus on the learner and
the emphasis on communication made CLT highly popular among ESL
Subsequent research on the efficacy of CLT, however, cast serious
doubts about its authenticity, acceptability, and adaptability—three im-
portant factors of implementation about which the proponents of CLT
have made rather bold claims. By authenticity, I am referring to the claim
that CLT practice actually promotes serious engagement with meaning-
ful negotiation, interpretation, and expression in the language class-
room. It was believed that CLT classrooms reverberate with authentic
communication that characterizes interaction in the outside world. But a
communicative curriculum, however well conceived, cannot by itself
guarantee meaningful communication in the classroom because com-
munication “is what may or may not be achieved through classroom
activity; it cannot be embodied in an abstract specification” (Widdowson,
1990, p. 130). Data-based, classroom-oriented investigations conducted
in various contexts by various researchers such as Kumaravadivelu
(1993a), Legutke and Thomas (1991), Nunan (1987), and Thornbury
(1996) reveal that the so-called communicative classrooms they exam-
ined were anything but communicative. In the classes he studied, Nunan
(1987) observed that form was more prominent than function, and
grammatical accuracy activities dominated communicative fluency ones.
He concluded, “There is growing evidence that, in communicative class,
interactions may, in fact, not be very communicative after all” (p. 144).
Legutke and Thomas (1991) were even more forthright:
In spite of trendy jargon in textbooks and teachers’ manuals, very little is
actually communicated in the L2 classroom. The way it is structured does not
seem to stimulate the wish of learners to say something, nor does it tap what
they might have to say. (pp. 8–9)
Kumaravadivelu (1993a) analyzed lessons taught by teachers claiming to
follow CLT, and confirmed these findings: “Even teachers who are
committed to CLT can fail to create opportunities for genuine interac-
tion in their classroom” (p. 113).
By acceptability, I mean the claim that CLT marks a revolutionary step
in the annals of language teaching. This is not a widely accepted view,
contrary to common perceptions. Several scholars (e.g., Howatt, 1987;
Savignon, 1983; Swan, 1985; Widdowson, 2003) have observed that CLT
does not represent any radical departure in language teaching. As
Widdowson (2003) points out, the representation of CLT given in
popular textbooks on TESOL methods such as Larsen-Freeman (2000)
and Richards and Rodgers (2001) “as a quite radical break from
traditional approaches” (p. 26) is not supported by evidence. For
instance, Howatt (1987) connects several features of CLT to earlier
methods such as direct method and audiolingual method. According to
him, “CLT has adopted all the major principles of the 19th century
reform” (p. 25) in language teaching. Swan (1985) is even more
Along with its many virtues, the Communicative Approach unfortunately has
most of the typical vices of an intellectual revolution: it over-generalizes valid
but limited insights until they become virtually meaningless; it makes exagger-
ated claims for the power and novelty of its doctrines; it misrepresents the
currents of thought it has replaced; it is often characterized by serious
intellectual confusion; it is choked with jargon. (p. 2)
In fact, a detailed analysis of the principles and practices of CLT would
reveal that it too adhered to the same fundamental concepts of language
teaching as the audiolingual method it sought to replace, namely, the
linear and additive view of language learning, and the presentation-
practice-production vision of language teaching. The claims of its
distinctiveness are based more on communicative activities than on
conceptual underpinnings (see Kumaravadivelu, 2006).
By adaptability, I mean the observation that the principles and prac-
tices of CLT can be adapted to suit various contexts of language teaching
across the world and across time. Holliday (1994) suggests a plan for
designing an appropriate methodology, a modified CLT that is sensitive to
different sociocultural demands. Savignon (2001) identifies five compo-
nents of a communicative curriculum for the 21st century and predicts
confidently that CLT “will continue to be explored and adapted” (p. 27).
Such optimistic observations have been repeatedly called into question
by reports of uneasiness from different parts of the world. Consider the
following: From India, Prabhu (1987) observes that the objectives
advocated and the means adopted by CLT are so inappropriate for the
Indian situation that he thought it necessary to propose and experiment
with a new context-specific, task-based language pedagogy. From South
Africa, Chick (1996) wonders whether the “choice of communicative
language teaching as a goal was possibly a sort of naive ethnocentricism
prompted by the thought that what is good for Europe or the USA had
to be good for KwaZulu” (p. 22). From Pakistan, Shamim (1996) reports
that her attempt to introduce CLT into her classroom met with resistance
from her learners, leading her to realize that she was actually “creating
psychological barriers to learning” (p. 109). From South Korea, Li
(1998) declares that CLT has resulted in more difficulties than one can
imagine. From China, Yu (2001) speaks of considerable resistance to
CLT both from teachers and learners. From Japan, Sato (2002) reports
practical difficulties in implementing CLT. From Thailand, Jarvis and
Atsilarat (2004) observe how, in spite of the Thai government’s official
endorsement, teachers and learners consider CLT inappropriate and
unworkable. These and other reports suggest that, in spite of the positive
features mentioned earlier, CLT offers perhaps a classic case of a center-
based pedagogy that is out of sync with local linguistic, educational,
social, cultural, and political exigencies. The result has been a gradual
erosion of its popularity, paving way for a renewed interest in task-based
language teaching (TBLT), which, according to some, is just CLT by
another name.2
What’s in a Name? A Task Is a Task Is a Task
The trend away from CLT and toward TBLT is illustrated in part by the
fact that communicative, the label that was ubiquitous in the titles of
scholarly books and student textbooks published in the 1980s, has been
gradually replaced by another, task. Within a decade, several research-
based books have appeared on task-based language learning and teach-
ing (Bygate, Skehan, & Swain, 2001; Crookes & Gass, 1993; Ellis, 2003;
Nunan, 2004; Prabhu, 1987; Skehan, 1998). In addition, there are
specifically targeted textbooks that provide tasks for language learning
(Gardner & Miller, 1996; Willis, 1996), tasks for language teaching
(Johnson, 2003; Nunan, 1989; Parrott, 1993), tasks for teacher education
(Tanner & Green, 1998), tasks for classroom observation (Wajnryb,
1992), and tasks for language awareness (Thornbury, 1997).
In spite of the increasing number of publications, a consensus
definition of task continues to elude the profession. One finds in the
literature a multiplicity of definitions, each highlighting certain aspects
of TBLT (for a compilation, see Johnson, 2003; Kumaravadivelu, 1993b).
Nearly 20 years ago, Breen (1987) defined task broadly as “a range of
workplans which have the overall purpose of facilitating language
learning—from the simple and brief exercise type to more complex and
lengthy activities such as group problem-solving or simulations and
decision-making” (p. 23). In a more recent work, Ellis (2003) synthesizes
various definitions to derive a composite one:
A task is a workplan that requires learners to process language pragmatically
in order to achieve an outcome that can be evaluated in terms of whether the
correct or appropriate propositional content has been conveyed. To this end,
it requires them to give primary attention to meaning and to make use of
their own linguistic resources, although the design of the task may predispose
them to choose particular forms. A task is intended to result in language use
that bears a resemblance, direct or indirect, to the way language is used in the
real world. Like other language activities, a task can engage productive or
2One of the reviewers, for instance, raises the following question: “Is TBLT simply an
updated emphasis on CLT designed to generate sales of teaching materials?”
receptive, and oral or written skills, and also various cognitive processes.
(p. 16)
Ellis has deftly crafted a definition that includes almost all the major
points of contention in language pedagogy: attention to meaning,
engagement with grammar, inclusion of pragmatic properties, use of
authentic communication, importance of social interaction, integration
of language skills, and the connection to psycholinguistic processes.
The definition also highlights differing perspectives that scholars
bring to bear on TBLT, perspectives that offer a menu of options ranging
from an explicit focus on form to an exclusive focus on function.
Reflecting such a diversity, Long and Crookes (1992) present three
different approaches to task-based syllabus design and instruction. In a
similar vein, Skehan (1998) refers to two extremes of task orientation:
structure-oriented tasks and communicatively oriented tasks. “They
share the quality,” he writes, “that they concentrate on one aspect of
language performance at the expense of others. The structure-oriented
approach emphasizes form to the detriment of meaning, while an
extreme task-based approach focuses very much on meaning and not on
form” (p. 121). He then stresses the need for a third approach in which
“the central feature is a balance between form and meaning, and an
alternation of attention between them” (p. 121). Long (1991; Long &
Robinson, 1998) has consistently argued for a particular type of focus on
form in which learners’ attention is explicitly drawn to linguistic features
if and when they are demanded by the communicative activities and the
negotiation of meaning learners are engaged in.
It is precisely because a task can be treated through multiple method-
ological means, Kumaravadivelu (1993b) argues, that TBLT is not linked
to any one particular method. He reckons that it is beneficial to look at
task for what it is: a curricular content rather than a methodological
construct. In other words, different methods can be employed to carry
out language learning tasks that seek different learning outcomes. Using
a three-part classification of language teaching methods, he points out
that there can very well be language-centered tasks, learner-centered
tasks, and learning-centered tasks. Language-centered tasks are those that
draw the learner’s attention primarily to linguistic forms. Tasks pre-
sented in Fotos and Ellis (1991) and in Fotos (1993), which they
appropriately call grammar tasks, come under this category. Learner-
centered tasks are those that direct the learner’s attention to formal as well
as functional properties. Tasks for the communicative classroom sug-
gested by Nunan (1989) illustrate this type. Learning-centered tasks are
those that engage the learner mainly in the negotiation, interpretation,
and expression of meaning, without any explicit focus on form. Problem-
solving tasks suggested by Prabhu (1987) are learning centered.
In spite of its methodological disconnect, TBLT has been considered
an offshoot of CLT (Nunan, 2004; Savignon, 1991; Willis, 1996). As an
anonymous reviewer correctly points out, the reason for this impression
is that the initial work on language-learning tasks coincided with the
development of CLT (e.g., Candlin & Murphy, 1987). Regardless of its
origin, TBLT has clearly blurred the boundaries of major methods.
These and other developments have led Celce-Murcia, Dörnyei, and
Thurrell (1997) to wonder “whether it makes any sense to talk about CLT
at all” (p. 148). They recognize that “the development of language
teaching theory has arrived at a postmethod condition, which requires a
reconsideration of some of the metaphors used to describe methodologi-
cal issues” (p. 148), and that it has provided “a coherent enough
framework for teachers to make it unnecessary to use higher-order terms
such as CLT” (p. 149). In making these remarks, they were prompted by
a shift that has been fast unfolding.
The best way to understand the ongoing shift from method-based
pedagogy to postmethod pedagogy is to start with two groundbreaking
papers published in TESOL Quarterly: Pennycook (1989) and Prabhu
(1990). Pennycook was persuasive in his argument that the concept of
method “reflects a particular view of the world and is articulated in the
interests of unequal power relationships” (pp. 589–590), and that it “has
diminished rather than enhanced our understanding of language teach-
ing” (p. 597). Equally persuasive was Prabhu, who argued that there is no
best method and that what really matters is the need for teachers to learn
“to operate with some personal conceptualization of how their teaching
leads to desired learning—with a notion of causation that has a measure
of credibility for them” (p. 172). He called the resulting pedagogic
intuition a teacher’s sense of plausibility. The challenge facing the profes-
sion, he noted, is not how to design a new method but how to devise a
new way “to help activate and develop teachers’ varied senses of
plausibility” (p. 175).
In short, Pennycook sought to put an end to the profession’s inno-
cence about the neutrality of method, while Prabhu sought to put an end
to its infatuation with the search for the best method. But they were not
the only ones to raise serious doubts about the concept of method. Quite
a few others expressed similar doubts, most notably Allwright (1991),
Brown (2002), Clarke (1983), Jarvis (1991), Nunan, (1989), Richards
(1990), and Stern (1985). It was even declared, rather provocatively, that
method is dead (Allwright, 1991; Brown, 2002). These scholars are
prominent among those instrumental in nudging the TESOL profession
toward a realization that the concept of method has only a limited and
limiting impact on language learning and teaching, that method should
no longer be considered a valuable or a viable construct, and that what is
needed is not an alternative method but an alternative to method. This
growing realization coupled with a resolve to respond has created what
has been called the postmethod condition (Kumaravadivelu, 1994).
Among several attempts that have been or are being made to provide
the practicing teacher with a compass for navigating the uncharted
waters of the postmethod condition, three stand out.3 Stern’s (a) three-
dimensional framework, (b) Allwright’s exploratory practice framework, and (c)
Kumaravadivelu’s macrostrategic framework. These frameworks, developed
more or less at the same time, present wide-ranging plans for construct-
ing a postmethod pedagogy. Even though I present these as examples of
postmethod perspectives, it should be remembered that Stern and
Allwright do not invoke the label postmethod. A common thread, however,
runs through the three frameworks: the authors’ disappointment with
and a desire to transcend the constraining concept of method.
Postmethod Perspectives
Published posthumously in 1992, Stern’s framework consists of strate-
gies and techniques. He uses strategy to refer to broad “intentional
action” and technique to refer to specific “practical action” (p. 277).
Strategies operate at the policy level, and techniques at the procedural
level. He emphasizes that strategies “are not simply another term for
what used to be called methods” (p. 277). His framework has three
dimensions: (a) the L1-L2 connection, concerning the use of the first
language in learning the second, (b) the code-communication dilemma,
concerning the structure-message relationship, and (c) the explicit-
implicit option, concerning the basic approach to language learning.
Each dimension consists of two strategies plotted at two ends of a
continuum. The first dimension refers to intralingual-crosslingual strate-
gies that remain within the target language (L2) and target culture (C2)
as the frame of reference for teaching. The intralingual strategy adheres to
the policy of coordinate bilingualism, where the two language systems
are kept completely separate from each other, while the crosslingual
strategy believes in compound bilingualism, where the L2 is acquired and
3Other initial proposals include Rivers (1992) and Brown (1994, 2002), both of whom
suggest a set of broad principles for interactive language teaching.
known through the use of the L1. The second involves explicit focus on
the formal properties of language, that is, grammar, vocabulary, and
notions on the one hand, and message-oriented, interaction-based
communicative properties on the other. The third concerns the key issue
of whether learning an L2 is a conscious intellectual exercise or an
unconscious intuitive one. Stern uses familiar words, explicit and im-
plicit, to refer to the two strategies. His framework, thus, deals directly
with major contentious dichotomous issues that have marked the pendu-
lum swing in language teaching methods.
Allwright’s exploratory practice (EP) is premised on a philosophy that
is stated in three fundamental tenets: (a) the quality of life in the
language classroom is much more important than instructional effi-
ciency, (b) ensuring our understanding of the quality of classroom life is
far more essential than developing ever “improved” teaching methods,
and (c) understanding such a quality of life is a social, not an asocial
matter (Allwright, 2000, 2003; Allwright & Bailey, 1991). From these
fundamental tenets, Allwright derives seven broad principles of language
teaching: (a) put quality of life first, (b) work primarily to understand
language classroom life, (c) involve everybody, (d) work to bring people
together, (e) work also for mutual development, (f) integrate the work
for understanding into classroom practice, and (g) make the work a
continuous enterprise.
These broad principles inform specific practices. According to Allwright
and Lenzuen (1997) and Allwright (2000), EP involves a series of basic
steps including (a) identifying a puzzle, that is, finding something
puzzling in a teaching and learning situation; (b) reflecting on the
puzzle, that is, thinking about the puzzle to understand it without
actually taking any action; (c) monitoring, that is, paying attention to the
phenomenon that is puzzling to understand it better; (d) taking direct
action, that is, generating additional data from the classroom; (e)
considering the outcomes reached so far, and deciding what to do next,
which involves determining whether there is sufficient justification to
move on or whether more reflection and more data are needed; (f)
moving on, which means deciding to choose from several options to
move toward transforming the current system; and (g) going public, that
is, sharing the benefits of exploration with others through presentations
or publications. Thus, the central focus of EP is local practice.
Kumaravadivelu’s (1992, 1994, 2001, 2003) macrostrategic framework
is based on the hypothesis that language learning and teaching needs,
wants, and situations are unpredictably numerous, and therefore,
we cannot prepare teachers to tackle so many unpredictable needs, wants and
situations; we can only help them develop a capacity to generate varied and
situation-specific ideas within a general framework that makes sense in terms
of current pedagogical and theoretical knowledge. (1992, p. 41)
A product of the postmethod condition, his framework is shaped by
three operating principles: particularity, practicality, and possibility.
Particularity seeks to facilitate the advancement of a context-sensitive,
location-specific pedagogy that is based on a true understanding of local
linguistic, social, cultural, and political particularities. Practicality seeks to
rupture the reified role relationship between theorizers and practitio-
ners by enabling and encouraging teachers to theorize from their
practice and to practice what they theorize. Possibility seeks to tap the
sociopolitical consciousness that students bring with them to the class-
room so that it can also function as a catalyst for identity formation and
social transformation (see Kumaravadivelu, 2001).
The construction of a context-sensitive postmethod pedagogy that is
informed by the parameters of particularity, practicality, and possibility
entails a network of ten macrostrategies derived from the current
theoretical, practical, and experiential knowledge base. They are (a)
maximize learning opportunities, (b) facilitate negotiated interaction,
(c) minimize perceptual mismatches, (d) activate intuitive heuristics, (e)
foster language awareness, (f) contextualize linguistic input, (g) inte-
grate language skills, (h) promote learner autonomy, (i) ensure social
relevance, and (j) raise cultural consciousness. Using these macrostrategies
as guidelines, practicing teachers can design their own microstrategies or
classroom activities. In other words, macrostrategies are made opera-
tional in the classroom through microstrategies. It is claimed that by
exploring and extending macrostrategies to meet the challenges of
changing contexts of teaching, by designing appropriate microstrategies
to maximize learning potential in the classroom, and by monitoring
their teaching acts, teachers will eventually be able to devise for them-
selves a systematic, coherent, and relevant theory of practice (see
Kumaravadivelu, 2003).
The three frameworks represent initial attempts to respond, in a
principled way, to a felt need to transcend the limitations of the concept
of method. They seek to lay the foundation for the construction of
postmethod pedagogies. They merely offer certain operating principles
pointing the way. Any actual postmethod pedagogy has to be constructed
by teachers themselves by taking into consideration linguistic, social,
cultural, and political particularities. The importance of addressing
pedagogic particularities has been strengthened by yet another shift in
the field.
During the 1990s, the TESOL profession took a decidedly critical
turn. It is probably one of the last academic disciplines in the field of
humanities and social sciences to go critical. Simply put, the critical turn
is about connecting the word with the world. It is about recognizing
language as ideology, not just as system. It is about extending the
educational space to the social, cultural, and political dynamics of
language use, not just limiting it to the phonological, syntactic, and
pragmatic domains of language usage. It is about realizing that language
learning and teaching is more than learning and teaching language. It is
about creating the cultural forms and interested knowledge that give
meaning to the lived experiences of teachers and learners.
Slow to start, the profession acted fast. Within a decade, the flagship
journal of the profession, TESOL Quarterly, has brought out five special
volumes on themes that are, in one way or another, connected to critical
pedagogy: language and identity (Norton, 1997), critical approaches to
TESOL (Pennycook, 1999), language in development (Markee, 2002),
gender and language education (Davis & Skilton-Sylvester, 2004), and
race and TESOL (Kubota & Lin, in press). Various aspects of pedagogic
operations including teaching for academic purposes (Benesch, 2001),
testing techniques (Shohamy, 2001), discourse analysis (Fairclough,
1995) and classroom interaction (Kumaravadivelu, 1999) have been
explored from critical pedagogic perspectives.4 For a detailed treatment
of applying critical pedagogy in TESOL, see Canagarajah (2005b), Ellis
and Barkhuizen (2005, chapter 12), Morgan and Ramanathan (2005),
and Norton and Toohey (2004). In fact, the volume of work in this area
is considered to have reached a critical enough mass to propose a new
subfield called critical applied linguistics (Pennycook, 2001).
From a methodological point of view, critical pedagogy has been
prompting new ways of looking at classroom practices. Auerbach (1995)
has showed us how participatory pedagogy can bring together learners,
teachers, and community activists in mutually beneficial, collaborative
projects. Morgan (1998) has demonstrated how even in teaching units of
language as system, such as phonological and grammatical features, the
values of critical practice and community development can be profitably
used. Based on a critical ethnographic study of Sri Lankan classrooms,
Canagarajah (1999) has revealed creative classroom strategies employed
by teachers and students in periphery communities. His holistic method-
ological approach not only “involves a reflexivity on the discourses and
4For instance, this anniversary issue carries contributions on teacher development, lan-
guage acquisition, and language testing in which the authors refer to the impact of critical
strategies students bring with them” (p. 186) but also productively
exploits students’ own linguistic and cultural resources. In a similar vein,
finding the use of the learner’s L1 and L2 very useful in her Hong Kong
classrooms, Lin (1999) has designed critical practices that “connect with
students and help them transform their attitudes, dispositions, skills, and
self-image—their habitus or social world” (p. 410). Benesch (2001) has
suggested ways and means of linking the linguistic text and sociopolitical
context as well as the academic content with the larger community for
the purpose of turning classroom input and interaction into effective
instruments of transformation. Kubota (2004) has advocated a critical
multicultural approach that “can potentially provide learners with op-
portunities to understand and explore a multiplicity of expressions and
interpretations” (p. 48).
Perhaps as a spin-off of the critical turn, a new horizon of explorations
has opened up in hitherto neglected topics that have a significant impact
on classroom methodological practices—topics such as learner identity,
teacher beliefs, teaching values, and local knowledge. We have learned
it is only by understanding the histories and lived experiences of language
learners that the language teacher can create conditions that will facilitate
social interaction both in the classroom and in the wider community, and
help learners claim the right to speak. (Norton, 2000, p. 142)
We have learned how the structure of teachers’ beliefs, assumptions, and
background knowledge play a crucial role in their classroom decision-
making process ( Johnson & Golombek, 2002; Woods, 1996), how
“language teaching and learning are shot through with values, and that
language teaching is a profoundly value-laden activity” imbued with
moral meaning ( Johnston, 2003, p. 1), how a systematic exploration of
knowledge production in periphery communities can yield hitherto
untapped resources about different pedagogical cultures and educa-
tional traditions (Canagarajah, 2005a), and how the exploration of local
realities can reveal the deep division between English as a global
language and vernacular languages that informs curricular and method-
ological decisions teachers and students make (Ramanathan, 2005).
The three shifts—from communicative language teaching to task-
based language teaching, from method-based pedagogy to postmethod
pedagogy, and from systemic discovery to critical discourse—constitute
the major transition in TESOL methods during the past 15 years. This
transition is still unfolding, opening up opportunities as well as chal-
lenges. The shift from CLT to TBLT has resulted in, and has benefited
from, a body of empirical research in L2 acquisition to such an extent
that TBLT is considered more psycholinguistically oriented compared to
CLT, which is more sociolinguistically oriented. A volume edited by
Crookes and Gass (1993) addresses acquisition-related issues such as task
complexity, task sequencing, task performance, and task evaluation.
Another collection edited by Bygate, Skehan, and Swain (2001) takes up
the same issues but with deeper psycholinguistic understanding and with
more rigorous investigative procedures. A 387-page comprehensive work
by Ellis (2003) reveals the richness of the current knowledge base in
But still, vexing questions remain to be resolved. I highlight two major
ones. The first pertains to the relationship between form and meaning
and its attendant issue of how the learner’s attention resources are
allocated. Calling the allocation of attention “the pivotal point” in L2
learning and teaching, Schmidt (2001) argues that it “largely determines
the course of language development” (p. 11, italics added). The crux of
the problem facing TBLT is how to make sure that learners focus their
attention on grammatical forms while expressing their intended mean-
ing. Doughty and Williams (1998) note that a crucial methodological
is whether to take a proactive or reactive stance to focus on form. That is to
say, a proactive approach would entail selecting in advance an aspect of the
target to focus on, whereas a reactive stance would require that the teacher
notice and be prepared to handle various learning difficulties as they arise.
(p. 198, italics in original)
but at present, “there is no definitive research upon which to base a
choice of one over the other, rather, it seems likely that both approaches
are effective, depending upon the classroom circumstances” (p. 211).
That brings up yet another concern: the issue of context. As men-
tioned earlier, one of the central claims of CLT as well as TBLT is that it
can be contextualized to meet various learning and teaching needs,
wants, and situations. It should be remembered that advocates of both
CLT and TBLT have been using the term context mainly to refer to
linguistic and pragmatic features of language and language use. They
seldom include the broader social, cultural, political, and historical
particularities. Ellis (2003) articulates this problem rather briskly:
Task-based teaching is an Anglo-American creation. Irrespective of whether it
is psycholinguistically justified, it must be considered in terms of social and
cultural impact it has on consumers, especially in non-western contexts, and
also in terms of whether the language practices it espouses are “transforma-
tive,” i.e. enable learners to achieve control over their lives. (p. 331)
He further asserts that
a critical perspective on task-based teaching raises important questions. It
forces us to go beyond the psycholinguistic rationale for task-based instruc-
tion in order to examine the social, cultural, political, and historical factors
that contextualize teaching, and influence how it takes place. (p. 333)
The inadequacy of CLT and TBLT in addressing such broader contex-
tual issues has led some to call for a context approach to language teaching
(e.g., Bax, 2003; Jarvis & Atsilarat, 2004).
The shift from CLT to TBLT may be described as an internal shift
within the boundaries of a method-based pedagogy. The shift from
method-based pedagogy to postmethod pedagogy, however, is seen as
much more fundamental because it seeks to provide an alternative to
method rather than an alternative method. There are, however, dissent-
ing voices. Liu (1995) has argued that postmethod is not an alternative
to method but only an addition to method. Likewise, Larsen-Freeman
(2005) has questioned the concept of postmethod saying that “Kumara-
vadivelu’s macro-microstrategies constitute a method” (p. 24). While
declaring that method and postmethod are so compatible that they “can
together liberate our practices,” Bell (2003) laments that “by decon-
structing methods, postmethod pedagogy has tended to cut teachers off
from their sense of plausibility, their passion and involvement” (p. 333).
This observation is rather puzzling because it was only during the heyday
of CLT that we found that “in our efforts to improve language teaching,
we have overlooked the language teacher” (Savignon, 1991, p. 272).
Postmethod pedagogy, on the contrary, can be considered to put a
premium on the teacher’s sense of plausibility.
Because of its unfailing focus on the teacher, postmethod pedagogy
has been described as “a compelling idea that emphasises greater
judgment from teachers in each context and a better match between the
means and the ends” (Crabbe, 2003, p. 16). It encourages the teacher “to
engage in a carefully crafted process of diagnosis, treatment, and
assessment” (Brown, 2002, p. 13). It also provides one possible way to be
responsive to the lived experiences of learners and teachers, and to the
local exigencies of learning and teaching. It “opens up new opportuni-
ties for the expertise of language teachers in periphery contexts to be
recognized and valued” and “makes it more feasible for teachers to
acknowledge and work with the diversity of the learners in their
classrooms, guided by local assessments of students’ strategies for learn-
ing rather than by global directives from remote authorities” (Block &
Cameroon, 2002b, p.10). The emphasis on local knowledge and local
teachers, however, represents a problematic aspect of postmethod peda-
gogy because it is premised on a transformative teacher education
program that does not merely lead to “the easy reproduction of any
ready-made package or knowledge but, rather, the continued recreation
of personal meaning” on the part of teachers (Diamond, 1993, p. 56).
The profession has just started focusing on such a challenging teacher
education program (Freeman & Johnson, 1998).5
The idea of a transformative teacher education program dovetails
nicely with the ongoing shift from systemic discovery to critical discourse.
The emphasis on critical discourse has, however, met with skepticism in
certain quarters. For instance, the subject does not even find a place in
Kaplan’s (2002) encyclopedic volume The Oxford Handbook of Applied
Linguistics. It’s chief editor writes:
The editorial group spent quite a bit of time debating whether critical
(applied) linguistics/critical pedagogy/critical discourse analysis should be
included; on the grounds that critical applied linguistics rejects all theories of
language, expresses “skepticism towards all metanarratives” (Lyotard, 1984)
and rejects traditional applied linguistics as an enterprise because it has
allegedly never been neutral and has, rather, been hegemonic (Rampton,
1997), the editorial group decided not to include the cluster of “critical”
activities. (Kaplan, 2002, pp. v–vi)
Taking a slightly different view, Widdowson (2003) observes that the
fundamental assumption governing critical pedagogy, namely, social
justice, is something that “everybody, overtly and in principle, would
espouse” (p. 14). Therefore, he does not see the need “to give it the label
‘critical’ and put it on polemical display” (p. 14). Although one can
readily disapprove of any polemical display, one sees no harm in giving
critical pedagogy, as Shakespeare’s Duke Theseus would say, a local
habitation and a name.
Yet another skepticism pertains to the investigative methods followed
by the practitioners of critical discourse analysis, and, by extension,
critical pedagogy (Toolan, 1997; Widdowson, 1998). Toolan suggests that
critical discourse analysts should be more critical in their argumentation
by following robust research design and by providing stronger evidence.
Dubbing (drubbing?) critical linguistics as “linguistics with a conscience
and a cause,” Widdowson (1998, p. 136) questions its “less rigorous
operation” (p. 137) that involves “a kind of ad hoc bricolage which takes
from theory whatever comes usefully to hand” (p. 137). Undoubtedly,
these deserved admonitions demand serious attention. The criticism
about research in critical pedagogy could, in fact, be extended to
5For more details, see Johnson, this issue.
research in TESOL in general and TESOL methods in particular,
warranting the search for robust research design. We should at the same
time remember, however, that language teaching, not unlike anthropol-
ogy, is “not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive
one in search of meaning” (Geertz, 1973, p. 5). Searching for meaning,
particularly at the initial stages of pedagogic exploration, runs the risk of
becoming a speculative exercise. And today’s speculative exercise may
lead to tomorrow’s specialized knowledge. Along with Candlin (1998)
I make no apology for this commitment to speculation. While it is natural to
speculate at the outset of enterprises, it is also important to continue to do so,
especially when we are some way along the route, if only to check our
compasses, as it were, and resight some of our objectives. (p. 229)
While the chances provided and the challenges posed by the three
changing tracks in TESOL methods will keep us all busy for some time to
come, there are other developments on the horizon that confront us. We
have just started investigating the inevitable impact that the emerging
processes of globalization (Block & Cameron, 2002a) and the renewed
forces of imperialism (Edge, in press) will have on language teaching
practices. But, that’s another story.
“We’ve come a long way”—declared Brown (1991, p. 257) as he
concluded his essay for the 25th anniversary issue of TESOL Quarterly. He
was actually referring to the progress the TESOL profession was making
during the 1970s and 80s in achieving desired goals such as shifting its
focus from product-oriented teaching to process-oriented teaching, and
from a rigid curriculum to a more flexible one. Even those modest shifts,
according to him, had created a new state of awareness in the profession.
Considering the more significant trend-setting shifts that have marked
the 1990s, we can claim with some justification that we have now reached
a much higher level of awareness. We might even say, with a good
measure of poetic license, that we have moved from a state of awareness
toward a state of awakening. We have been awakened to the necessity of
making methods-based pedagogies more sensitive to local exigencies,
awakened to the opportunity afforded by postmethod pedagogies to
help practicing teachers develop their own theory of practice, awakened
to the multiplicity of learner identities, awakened to the complexity of
teacher beliefs, and awakened to the vitality of macrostructures—social,
cultural, political, and historical—that shape and reshape the micro-
structures of our pedagogic enterprise.
We’ve certainly come a long way in identifying and understanding
some of the central issues that will orient the future course of action.
Although we can be proud of what has been accomplished, this is no
time for complacency. What is clear is the laudable transition from
awareness to awakening. What is not clear is how this awakening has
actually changed the practice of everyday teaching and teacher prepara-
tion. Admirable intentions need to be translated into attainable goals,
which, in turn, need to be supported by actionable plans. I hope that the
person who will be writing a state-of-the-art essay for the golden jubilee
volume of TESOL Quarterly in 2016 will be able to narrate a possible
transition from awakening to attainment. After all, the end of all
awakening must be the beginning of attainment.
B. Kumaravadivelu is a professor in the Department of Linguistics and Language
Development at San José State University, San José, California, United States. His
research interests include critical discourse analysis, postmethod pedagogy, and the
learning and teaching of culture.
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... Over the years, there have been adequate researches advocating the "benefits" [25,26] of following certain "methods" [27] in teaching English. On the other hand, the criticisms [28][29][30] emanating from the limitations of different teaching methods have also been widespread, raising doubts whether methods are altogether necessary to follow or not. In fact, volumes of journals, researches and books are showcasing the arguments both in favor of and against the use of methods. ...
... Modalities and Strengths Limitations Classroom Activities Communicativ e language teaching (CLT) (a) Focuses on negotiation, interpretation, and expression [90,92,93]; (b) Following the principles of Speech and Act , CLT stresses on how language users perform speech acts such as requesting, informing, apologizing, etc. [94]; (c) Incorporating interactions and socio cultural norms [95] of real-life contexts; (d) creative, unpredictable and purposeful use of language in the classroom practices for information sharing and negotiating meaning [30]; (e) Focusing on Communicative Orientation based on 'a partial simulation of meaningful exchanges that take place outside the class ' [30]; (f) facilitating innovative strategies like role 'plays, games, scenarios' [30], problem-solving [96], situational conversations, assignments, etc. and (g) Stressing on fluency and eloquence (a) CLT's boastful claims on authenticity, acceptability, and adaptability are not validated by the data-based classroomoriented investigations carried out by the researchers [38,97,91,98,99] (b) choked with jargons [100]; (c) serious intellectual confusion [100]; (d) over-generalizing the insights to such an extent till they become virtually meaningless [100]; (e) traditional textbooks and coursework focusing on passing the tests didn't complement communicative approach [101,102]; (f) encourage noise, disorder, etc. that are conflicting to the norms of classroom [103] (a) Oral 'role playing [104]' in pairs to develop communicative abilities in certain situations ;(b) Taking interviews [105] involving the learners in pairs to facilitate 'interpersonal skills [105].(c) Collaborative group work [105] engaging each student with specific tasks to facilitate interactions and creative discussion on the information they have found;(d) Information gap [106] filling activities to obtain the previously unknown information;(e) Opinion sharing [106] activities for engaging the students in discussion on topics they are familiar with and (f) Mingling activities or scavenger hunt [105] activities to engage students in interactions ...
... Modalities and Strengths Limitations Classroom Activities Communicativ e language teaching (CLT) (a) Focuses on negotiation, interpretation, and expression [90,92,93]; (b) Following the principles of Speech and Act , CLT stresses on how language users perform speech acts such as requesting, informing, apologizing, etc. [94]; (c) Incorporating interactions and socio cultural norms [95] of real-life contexts; (d) creative, unpredictable and purposeful use of language in the classroom practices for information sharing and negotiating meaning [30]; (e) Focusing on Communicative Orientation based on 'a partial simulation of meaningful exchanges that take place outside the class ' [30]; (f) facilitating innovative strategies like role 'plays, games, scenarios' [30], problem-solving [96], situational conversations, assignments, etc. and (g) Stressing on fluency and eloquence (a) CLT's boastful claims on authenticity, acceptability, and adaptability are not validated by the data-based classroomoriented investigations carried out by the researchers [38,97,91,98,99] (b) choked with jargons [100]; (c) serious intellectual confusion [100]; (d) over-generalizing the insights to such an extent till they become virtually meaningless [100]; (e) traditional textbooks and coursework focusing on passing the tests didn't complement communicative approach [101,102]; (f) encourage noise, disorder, etc. that are conflicting to the norms of classroom [103] (a) Oral 'role playing [104]' in pairs to develop communicative abilities in certain situations ;(b) Taking interviews [105] involving the learners in pairs to facilitate 'interpersonal skills [105].(c) Collaborative group work [105] engaging each student with specific tasks to facilitate interactions and creative discussion on the information they have found;(d) Information gap [106] filling activities to obtain the previously unknown information;(e) Opinion sharing [106] activities for engaging the students in discussion on topics they are familiar with and (f) Mingling activities or scavenger hunt [105] activities to engage students in interactions ...
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The calibration of the EFL teaching and learning approaches with Artificial Intelligence can potentially facilitate a smart transformation, fostering a personalized and engaging experience in teaching and learning among the stakeholders. The paper focuses on developing an EFL Big Data Ecosystem that is based on Big Data, Analytics, Machine Learning and cluster domain of EFL teaching and learning contents. Accordingly, the paper uses two membranes to construe its framework, namely (i) Open Big Data Membrane that stores random data collected from various source domains and (ii) Machine Learning Membrane that stores specially prepared structured and semi-structured data. Theoretically, the structured and semi structured data are to be prepared skill-wise, attribute-wise, method-wise, and preference-wise to accommodate the personalized preferences and diverse teaching and learning needs of different individuals. The ultimate goal is to optimize the learning experience by leveraging machine learning to create tailored content that aligns with the diverse teaching and learning needs of the EFL communities.
... Canagarajah's (2002) call for teacher educators to encourage teachers to develop their own local approaches provides a way to alleviate teachers' concerns about the usefulness of theory in their own teaching -develop pedagogical practices applicable to local teaching situations based on critical reflection. In a post-transmission / post-methods age (Kumaravadivelu, 2003(Kumaravadivelu, , 2006, one in which no method is seen as the answer to all teaching problems and in which teachers are encouraged to engage in bricolage to develop their own methodological toolkits (Kincheloe, 2001), teacher educators aim to avoid imposing top-down methods on their trainees in local English as a foreign language (EFL) teaching contexts (Canagarajah, 2002). This avoidance of imposing methods is principally due to a belief that experienced teachers are experts of their own teaching domains (Kumaravadivelu, 2003;Love, 2012) and that teacher training should lead teacher trainees to "construct their own visions and versions of teaching" (Kumaravadivelu, 2012, p. 8). ...
... A macro-strategy, according to Kumaravadivelu (2003), is a general plan, or a broad guideline based on which teachers will be able to generate their own situation-specific, need-based micro-strategies or classroom techniques. Macro-strategies are defined as guiding principles derived from historical, theoretical, empirical, and experiential insights grounded in L2 classroomoriented research and are made operational in the classroom through micro-strategies (Kumaravadivelu, 2003(Kumaravadivelu, , 2006. In other words, macro-strategies in Kumaravadivelu's proposed framework serve as the basic ingredients for language teachers to develop their own classroom teaching techniques as they see fit for their own classrooms. ...
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This chapter summarizes the main findings of the previous chapters to tease out the key messages of the whole book project. We note down the contribution of English language education to the development of Vietnamese students’ employability and its influence on their career prospects. We also provide a clearer picture of how English language education has been conducted in Vietnamese higher education institutions, amidst the vigorous English language teaching and learning reforms in the country. Identifying the limitations of English language education in preparing students for the world of work, we argue that there is a pressing need to consider changing the approach to English language education, focusing more on the use of the language at the workplace and moving away from testing students’ acquisition of linguistic abilities or introducing cultural snap-shot of English speaking countries. Extending Kumaravadivelu’s (Beyond methods, Yale University Press, 2003) macro-strategic framework, we propose a new approach to English language teaching and learning that can better foster the development of Vietnamese graduates’ employability.
... Essa apresentação foi gravada e publicada no Youtube no dia 21 de dezembro de 2019, no canal de Daniel Carvalho 16 , conforme ilustra a imagem a seguir: Apresentação do slammer Lucas Penteado Fonte: Canal de Daniel Carvalho no Youtube. Disponível em: Acesso em 05.04.2022.Escolhemos a performance do slammer Lucas Penteado por três razões principais: i) é uma prática social de linguagem que está ao encontro dos interesses e necessidades dos alunos da escola, contemplando, desse modo, a pedagogia do pós-método(KUMARAVADIVELU, 2006) e dos letramentos críticos (DUBOC, 2015; BEVILÁQUA, 2017; MONTE MÓR, 2018); ii) problematiza um aspecto socialmente relevante, a saber, o apagamento de línguas culturas e religiões; iii) mobiliza diversos recursos semióticos, como linguagem escrita, tom de voz, expressões faciais e gestos (KRESS, 2010; LEMKE, 2010); iv) é possível que os alunos tenham mais conhecimentos prévios a compartilhar sobre seu autor, uma vez que Lucas Penteado participou, recentemente, do reality show Meu Santo não faz assim / Ele faz assim", executa dois gestos diferentes: i) em um primeiro momento, une as mãos à frente do corpo, gesto que, na religião Católica, simbolizaria a fé; ii) em um segundo momento, posiciona as mãos nas costas e fica mais curvado, postura que, em algumas religiões afro-brasileiras, indicaria o recebimento de uma entidade espiritual. Dessa forma, não é possível compreender o significado de "assim" sem considerar a relação entre o gesto e a linguagem oral, aspecto que vem ao encontro da noção de multimodalidade (CADZEN et al., 1996) e da proposta de uma gramática transposicional (COPE; KALANTZIS, 2023). ...
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Neste trabalho, de natureza aplicada e de abordagem qualitativa, debruçamo-nos sobre a produção de um Recurso Educacional Aberto (REA) para o contexto do Ensino Remoto Emergencial (ERE). Para isso, delimitamos três objetivos específicos, a saber: i) Apresentar um entendimento próprio de Educação On-line, com base em estudos sobre Educação a Distância (EaD), Ensino Híbrido e ERE; ii) Discutir alternativas para a produção de materiais de ensino no âmbito da Educação On-line, levando em consideração a literatura sobre o assunto, incluindo algumas pesquisas prévias de nossa própria autoria; iii) Demonstrar de que modo é possível articular algumas dessas possibilidades na prática pedagógica, tendo em vista um REA elaborado para o contexto ERE. Os resultados sugerem que o conceito de Educação On-line faz referência a uma categoria ampla que abrange três noções diferentes, mas com determinadas características em comum: EaD; Ensino Híbrido e ERE. No presente trabalho, demonstramos de que forma determinadas alternativas disponíveis na internet podem ser articuladas para a produção de REA no contexto da Educação On-line, com ênfase no ERE. É preciso levar em consideração, porém, que para práticas nessa direção terem o alcance e a proporção esperada, são necessários mais investimentos na formação continuada de professores, assim como em políticas públicas de acesso às tecnologias digitais e à internet.
... It was introduced as a remedy to some criticisms of post-method pedagogy (Kumaravadivelu, 2001). Kumaravadivelu (2006) attributed three principles to post-method, which seem to be the cornerstones for critical pedagogy where teaching is possible, particular, and practical. Therefore, in this postmethod era, teachers take a more participatory approach to teaching and, by giving voice and agency to students, bring their life into the classroom. ...
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Critical teacher education emerged as a response to the liberal, hegemonic, and power-oriented world that affected teacher education as well. Albeit widely discussed, moving towards becoming this type of teacher educator is neither easy nor fast. This autoethnographic narrative study describes my journey as a teacher educator from a non-critical, product-oriented, passive teacher educator to a more critical, process-oriented, active teacher educator who learns, questions, relearns, and unlearns. The data are gathered from different sources of my personal portfolio, including training diaries, field notes, memories, feedback, and observation. The findings of the study reveal the underlying factors that shape our thoughts, beliefs, and practices and how we can gain voice and agency and transform into critical teacher educators.
For more than a decade, linguistics has moved increasingly away from evaluating language as an autonomous phenomenon, towards analysing it 'in use', and showing how its function within its social and interactional context plays an important role in shaping in its form. Bringing together state-of-the-art research from some of the most influential scholars in linguistics today, this Handbook presents an extensive picture of the study of language as it used 'in context' across a number of key linguistic subfields and frameworks. Organised into five thematic parts, the volume covers a range of theoretical perspectives, with each chapter surveying the latest work from areas as diverse as syntax, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, conversational analysis, multimodality, and computer-mediated communication. Comprehensive, yet wide-ranging, the Handbook presents a full description of how the theory of context has revolutionised linguistics, and how its renewed study is crucial in an ever-changing world.
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Based on an action research project, this paper provides innovative teaching approaches for ELT to ensure gender equality through critical pedagogy. The qualitative study focuses on the reconstruction of students' perceptions through the analysis of group/peer talk allowing for the display of changing viewpoints after having dealt with feminist issues in class. Given the still limited representation of multiple individuals not only in society but also in secondary ELT course-books, critical educational practices have been concerned with the transformation of exclusionary schooling practices for the purpose of ensuring a just and equal future. Critical language education has been known to promote students' autonomy and sense of responsibility when it comes to the abolition of oppression and marginalization. Likewise, feminist approaches have the goal of fostering feminist principles and ethics of gender equality. The study, conducted in a German secondary school, reveals that the majority of learners welcome an exploration of feminist matters in the ELT classroom, because they recognize the significant connection between language learning and the exploration of societal issues. The implementation of critical and feminist ethics helped students become aware of prevailing gender inequalities; and their willingness for societal transformation highlights a visible increase in learner autonomy.
Study abroad (SA) in North America is changing in two ways: short‐term trips are becoming more popular, and more students are traveling in teacher‐facilitated groups. These changes raise questions about how teaching methods can help to improve outcomes in short stays abroad, particularly in the case of language learners. To better understand teachers' perspectives on pedagogy, we conducted a series of group and individual interviews with 18 college teachers who facilitate short‐term language SA. The results of a constructivist grounded theory analysis showed that teachers believed pedagogy in short‐term SA could be improved by integrating the SA program into the at‐home curriculum, by targeting both measurable and process‐based objectives, by adopting a variety of teaching strategies including experiential teaching, and by integrating interactions between students and locals in different ways.
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The current qualitative study aimed to explore how Iranian high school English language teachers define the characteristics of a good language teacher. Besides, the study focused on the challenges teachers face in their classes. Five male and female EFL teachers volunteered to participate in the study in focused group interviews for three sessions, each for about two hours. The focus group interview contained two open-ended questions, which allowed the participants to discuss the issues in focus. This paper discusses the topics proposed by the participants and provides some suggestions for improving the teaching profession. The study has implications for teachers, teacher trainers, educators, and policymakers.
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Despite the widespread adoption of communicative language teaching (CLT) in ESL countries, research suggests that curricular innovations prompted by the adoption of CLT in EFL countries have generally been difficult. The literature on curriculum innovation suggests that teachers' understanding of an innovation is central to its success. A study of a group of South Korean secondary school English teachers' perceived difficulties in adopting CLT reveals that the difficulties have their source in the differences between the underlying educational theories of South Korea and those of Western countries. The results suggest that, to adopt CLT, EFL countries like South Korea will need to change their fundamental approach to education and that implementation should be gradual and grounded in the countries' own EFL situations. In the long run, EFL countries should establish their own contingent of language researchers in order to develop English teaching theories more suitable for their EFL contexts. Change agents must study teachers' perceptions of an innovation to ensure its success.
This second edition has been fully revised and updated, incorporating recent developments in language description, whilst keeping the organisation and structure of the successful first edition. As before, the book asks: 'What is it that a teacher needs to know about English in order to teach it effectively?' It develops teachers' language awareness through a wide range of tasks, which involve them in analysing English to discover its underlying systems. The book consists of 31 units, with new material focusing on varieties of English, models of grammar, phraseology, and spoken grammar. Throughout the book, the language is illustrated wherever possible from authentic sources, so that the teacher can be sure that the English being studied represents current usage.
Richards explains how effective language teaching involves a network of interactions between curriculum, methodology, teachers, learners, instructional materials. Each chapter discusses and examines the theoretical and practical dimensions of a central issue in language teaching. Topics covered include the nature of effective teaching, self-monitoring in teacher development, language and content, and teaching listening, speaking, reading and writing. Richards presents key issues in an accessible and highly readable style, and shows how teachers and teachers-in-training can be involved in the investigation of classroom teaching and learning. The emphasis is not on prescriptions but rather on developing effective teaching through understanding the various factors that interact in second language learning and in the second language classroom.
This collection provides an overview of current approaches, issues, and practices in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. This book provides an overview of current approaches, issues, and practices in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. The anthology offers a comprehensive overview to the teaching of English and illustrates the complexity underlying many of the practical planning and instructional activities it involves. Organized into 16 sections, the book contains 41 seminal articles by well-known teacher trainers and researchers. Also included are two sets of discussion questions - a pre-reading background set and a post-reading reflection set. This anthology serves as an important resource for teachers wishing to design a basic course in methodology.