TESOL QUARTERLY Vol. 40, No. 1, March 2006
TESOL Methods: Changing Tracks,
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).
60 TESOL QUARTERLY
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
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.
FROM COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING
TO TASK-BASED LANGUAGE TEACHING
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
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 61
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
62 TESOL QUARTERLY
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
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 63
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
64 TESOL QUARTERLY
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
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?”
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 65
receptive, and oral or written skills, and also various cognitive processes.
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.
66 TESOL QUARTERLY
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.
FROM METHOD-BASED PEDAGOGY
TO POSTMETHOD PEDAGOGY
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
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 67
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.
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.
68 TESOL QUARTERLY
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
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
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 69
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
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
70 TESOL QUARTERLY
FROM SYSTEMIC DISCOVERY TO CRITICAL DISCOURSE
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
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 71
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).
CHANCES AND CHALLENGES
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
72 TESOL QUARTERLY
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
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 73
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 &
74 TESOL QUARTERLY
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.
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 75
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.
THE END AS THE BEGINNING
“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.
76 TESOL QUARTERLY
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.
Allwright, R. L. (1991). The death of the method (Working Paper No. 10). Lancaster,
England: The University of Lancaster, The Exploratory Practice Centre.
Allwright, R. L. (2000, October). Exploratory practice: An “appropriate methodology” for
language teacher development? Paper presented at the 8th IALS Symposium for
Language Teacher Educators, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Allwright, R. L. (2003). Exploratory practice: Rethinking practitioner research in
language teaching. Language Teaching Research, 7, 113–141.
Allwright, R. L., & Bailey, K. M. (1991). Focus on the language classroom. Cambridge,
England: Cambridge University Press.
Allwright, R. L., & Lenzuen, R. (1997). Exploratory practice: Work at the Cultura
Inglesa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Language Teaching Research, 1, 73–79.
Auerbach, E. R. (1995). The politics of the ESL classroom: Issues of power in
pedagogical choices. In J. W. Tollefson, (Ed.), Power and inequality in language
education (pp. 9–33). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. London: Oxford University Press.
Bax, S. (2003). The end of CLT: A context approach to language teaching. English
Language Teaching Journal, 57, 278–287.
Bell, D. (2003). Method and postmethod: Are they really so incompatible? TESOL
Quarterly, 37, 325–336.
Benesch, S. (2001). Critical English for academic purposes: Theory, politics, and practice.
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Block, D., & Cameron, D. (Eds.). (2002a). Globalization and language teaching.
Block, D., & Cameron, D. (2002b). Introduction. In D. Block & D. Cameron, (Eds.),
Globalization and language teaching (pp. 1–10). London: Routledge.
Bowen, E. R. (1990). Communicative reading. Salem, WI: Shefﬁeld.
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 77
Breen, M. P. (1987). Learner contributions to task design. In C. N. Candlin & D. F.
Murphy (Eds.), Language learning tasks (pp. 23–46). London: Prentice Hall.
Breen, M. P., & Candlin, C. N. (1980). The essentials of a communicative curriculum
in language teaching. Applied Linguistics, 1, 89–110.
Brown, H. D. (1991). TESOL at twenty-ﬁve: What are the issues? TESOL Quarterly, 25,
Brown, H. D. (1994). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Brown, H. D. (2002). English language teaching in the “post-method” era: Towards better
diagnosis, treatment, and assessment. In J. C. Richards & W. A.Renandya (Eds.),
Methodology in language teaching (9–18). Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univer-
Brumﬁt, C. J. (1984). Communicative methodology in language teaching. Cambridge,
England: Cambridge University Press.
Bygate, M., Skehan, P., & Swain, M. (Eds.). (2001). Researching pedagogic tasks in second
language learning, teaching, and testing. New York: Pearson Education.
Canagarajah, A. S. (1999). Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching. Oxford,
England: Oxford University Press.
Canagarajah, A. S. (Ed.). (2005a). Reclaiming the local in language policy and practice.
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Canagarajah, A. S. (2005b). Critical pedagogy in L2 learning and teaching. In
E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and research (pp.
931–949). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Canale, M, & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to
second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics 1, 1–47.
Candlin, C. N. (1998). Afterword: Taking the curriculum to task. In M. Bygate,
P. Skehan, & M. Swain (Eds.), Researching pedagogic tasks in second language learning,
teaching, and testing (pp. 229–243). New York: Pearson Education.
Candlin, C. N., & Murphy, D. F. (Eds.). (1987). Language learning tasks. London:
Celce-Murcia, M., Dörnyei, Z., & Thurrell, S. (1997). Direct approaches in L2
instruction: A turning point in communicative language teaching? TESOL Quar-
terly, 31, 141–152.
Chick, K. J. (1996). Safe-talk: Collusion in apartheid education. In H. Coleman (Ed.),
Society and the language classroom (pp. 21–39). Cambridge, England: Cambridge
Clarke, M. A. (1983). The scope of approach, the importance of method, and the
nature of technique. In J. E. Alatis, H. Stern, & P. Strevens (Eds.), Georgetown
University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics 1983: Applied linguistics and the
preparation of second language teachers (pp. 106–115). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown
Crabbe, D. (2003). The quality of language learning opportunities. TESOL Quarterly,
Crookes, G., & Gass, S. (Eds.). (1993). Tasks and language learning: Integrating theory
and practice. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Davis, K. A., & Skilton-Sylvester, E. (Eds.). Gender and language education [Special
issue]. TESOL Quarterly, 38(3).
Diamond, C. T. P. (1993). In-service education as something more: A personal
construct approach. In P. Kahaney, L. Perry, & J. Janangelo (Eds.), Theoretical and
critical perspectives on teacher change (pp. 45–66). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Doughty, C., & Williams, J. (1998). Pedagogical choices in focus on form. In
78 TESOL QUARTERLY
C. Doughty & J. Williams (Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second language
acquisition (pp. 197–261). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Edge, J. (Ed.). (in press). (Re-)locating TESOL in an age of empire. London: Palgrave
Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford, England: Oxford
Ellis, R., & Barkhuizen, G. (2005). Analyzing learner language. Oxford, England:
Oxford University Press.
Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London:
Fotos, S. (1993). Consciousness-raising and noticing through focus on form: Gram-
mar task performance vs. formal instruction. Applied Linguistics, 14, 385–407.
Fotos, S., & Ellis, R. (1991). Communicating about grammar: A task-based approach.
TESOL Quarterly, 25, 605–628.
Freeman, D., & Johnson, K. (1998). Reconceptualizing the knowledge-base of
language teacher education. TESOL Quarterly, 32, 397–417.
Gardner, D., & Miller, L. (1996). Tasks for independent language learning. Alexandria,
Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1973). Explorations in the functions of language. London: Arnold.
Holliday, A. (1994). Appropriate methodology and social context. Cambridge, England:
Cambridge University Press.
Howatt, A. P. R. (1987). From structural to communicative. Annual Review of Applied
Linguistics, 8, 22–37.
Hymes, D. (1972). On communicative competence. In J. Pride & J. Holmes (Eds.),
Sociolinguistics: Selected readings (pp. 269–293). Harmondsworth, England: Penguin
Jarvis, G. A. (1991). Research on teaching methodology: Its evolution and prospects.
In B. Feed (Ed.), Foreign language acquisition research and the classroom (pp. 295–
306). Lexington, MA.: D. C. Heath.
Jarvis, H., & Atsilarat, S. (2004). Shifting paradigms: From communicative to context-
based approach. Retrieved December 5, 2005, from http://www.asian-eﬂ-
Johnson, K. (2003). Designing a language teaching task. London: Palgrave.
Johnson, K. E., & Golombek, P. R. (Eds.). (2002). Teachers’ narrative inquiry as
professional development. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Johnston, B. (2003). Values in English language teaching. Mahwah, NJ.: Lawrence
Kaplan, R. (Ed.). (2002). The Oxford handbook of applied linguistics. Oxford, England:
Oxford University Press.
Kubota, R. (2004). Critical multiculturalism and second language education. In
B. Norton & K. Toohey (Eds.), Critical pedagogies and language learning (pp. 30–52).
Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Kubota, R., & Lin, A. (in press). Race and TESOL [Special issue]. TESOL Quarterly,
Kumaravadivelu, B. (1992). Macrostrategies for the second/foreign language teacher.
Modern Language Journal, 76, 41–49.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (1993a). Maximizing learning potential in the communicative
classroom. ELT Journal, 47, 12–21.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (1993b). The name of the task and the task of naming:
Methodological aspects of task-based pedagogy. In G. Crookes & S. Gass (Eds.),
Tasks in a pedagogical context (pp. 69–96). Clevedon, England: Multilingual
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 79
Kumaravadivelu, B. (1994). The postmethod condition: (E)merging strategies for
second/foreign language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 28, 27–48.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (1999). Critical classroom discourse analysis. TESOL Quarterly,
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2001). Toward a postmethod pedagogy. TESOL Quarterly, 35,
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2003). Beyond methods: Macrostrategies for language teaching. New
Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). Understanding language teaching: From method to postmethod.
Mahwah, NJ.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and principles in language teaching (2nd ed.).
Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Larsen-Freeman, D. (2005). A critical analysis of postmethod. ILI Language Teaching
Journal, 1, 21–25.
Leech, G., & Svartvik, J. (1979). A communicative grammar of English. London:
Legutke, M., & Thomas, H. (1991). Process and experience in the language classroom.
Li, D. (1998). “It’s always more difﬁcult than you plan and imagine”: Teachers’
perceived difﬁculties in introducing the communicative approach in South
Korea. TESOL Quarterly, 32, 677–703.
Lin, A. M. Y. (1999). Doing-English-lessons in the reproduction or transformation of
social worlds? TESOL Quarterly, 33, 393–412.
Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative language teaching: An introduction. Cambridge,
England: Cambridge University Press.
Liu, D. (1995). Comments on B. Kumaravdivelu’s “The postmethod condition:
(E)merging strategies for second/foreign language teaching”: “Alternative to” or
“addition to” method? TESOL Quarterly, 29, 174–177.
Long, M. H. (1991). Focus on form: A design feature in language teaching
methodology. In K. de Bot, R. Ginsberg, & C. Kramsch (Eds.), Foreign language
research in cross-cultural perspective (pp. 39–52). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Long, M., & Crookes, G. (1992). Three approaches to task-based syllabus design.
TESOL Quarterly, 26, 27–56.
Long, M., & Robinson, P. (1998). Focus on form: Theory, research, and practice (pp.
15–41). In C. Doughty & J. Williams (Eds.), Focus on form in classroom second
language acquisition. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Lyotard, J.-F. (1984). The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge. Manchester,
England: Manchester University Press.
Mackey, W. F. (1965). Language teaching analysis. Bloomington: Indiana University
Markee, N. (Ed.). (2002). Language in development [Special issue]. TESOL Quar-
Morgan, B. (1998). The ESL classroom: Teaching, critical practice, and community.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Toronto University Press.
Morgan, B., & Ramanathan, V. (2005). Critical literacies and language education:
Global and local perspectives. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 25, 151–169.
Norton, B. (Ed.). (1997). Language and identity [Special issue]. TESOL Quarterly,
Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning. London: Longman.
Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (Eds.). (2004). Critical pedagogies and language learning.
Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Nunan, D. (1987). Communicative language teaching: Making it work. ELT Journal,
80 TESOL QUARTERLY
Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge, England:
Cambridge University Press.
Nunan, D. (2004). Task-based language teaching. Cambridge, England: Cambridge
Parrott, M. (1993). Tasks for language teachers. Cambridge, England: Cambridge
Pennycook, A. (1989). The concept of method, interested knowledge, and the
politics of language. TESOL Quarterly, 23, 589–618.
Pennycook, A. (Ed.). (1999). Critical approaches to TESOL [Special issue]. TESOL
Pennycook, A. (2001). Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction. Mahwah, NJ:
Prabhu, N. S. (1987). Second language pedagogy. Oxford, England: Oxford University
Prabhu, N. S. (1990). There is no best method—why? TESOL Quarterly, 24, 161–176.
Ramanathan, V. (2005). The English-vernacular divide. Clevedon, England: Multilin-
Rampton, B. (1997). Retuning in applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 7, 3–25.
Richards, J. C. (1990). The language teaching matrix. Cambridge, England: Cambridge
Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching (2nd
ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Rivers, W. M. (1992). Ten principles of interactive language learning and teaching.
In W. M. Rivers (Ed.), Teaching languages in college: Curriculum and content (pp. 373–
392). Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook.
Sato, K. (2002). Practical understandings of communicative language teaching and
teacher development. In S. J. Savignon (Ed.), Interpreting communicative language
teaching (pp. 41–81). New Haven, CT.: Yale University Press.
Savignon, S. J. (1983). Communicative competence: Theory and classroom practice. Reading,
Savignon, S. J. (1991). Communicative language teaching: State of the art. TESOL
Quarterly, 25, 261–277.
Savignon, S. J. (2001). Communicative language teaching for the twenty-ﬁrst century.
In Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3rd ed., pp.
13–28). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
Schmidt, R. (2001). Attention. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language
instruction (pp. 3–32). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Shamim, F. (1996). Learner resistance to innovation in classroom methodology. In
H. Coleman (Ed.), Society and the language classroom (pp. 105–121). Cambridge,
England: Cambridge University Press.
Shohamy, E. (2001). The power of tests: A critical perspective on the uses of language tests.
Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford, England: Oxford
Stern, H. H. (1985). Review of J. W. Oller and P. A. Richard-Amato’s Methods that work
[Book review]. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 7, 249–251.
Stern, H. H. (1992). Issues and options in language teaching. Oxford, England: Oxford
Swan, M. (1985). A critical look at the communicative approach (1). English Language
Teaching Journal, 39, 2–12.
Tanner, R., & Green, C. (1998). Tasks for teacher education. London: Longman.
TESOL METHODS: CHANGING TRACKS, CHALLENGING TRENDS 81
Thornbury, S. (1996). Teachers research teacher talk. English Language Teaching
Journal, 50, 279–288.
Thornbury, S.(1997). About language: Tasks for teachers of English. Cambridge, En-
gland: Cambridge University Press.
Toolan, M. (1997). What is critical discourse analysis and why are people saying such
terrible things about it? Language and Literature, 6, 83–103.
Wajnryb, R. (1992). Classroom observation tasks. Cambridge, England: Cambridge
Weir, C. J. (1990). Communicative language testing. New York: Prentice Hall.
Widdowson, H. G. (1990). Aspects of language teaching. Oxford, England: Oxford
Widdowson, H. G. (1998). Review article: The theory and practice of critical
discourse analysis. Applied Linguistics, 19, 136–151.
Widdowson, H. G. (2003). Deﬁning issues in English language teaching. Oxford,
England: Oxford University Press.
Willis, J. (1996). A framework for task-based learning. London: Longman.
Woods, D. (1996). Teacher cognition in language teaching. Cambridge, England:
Cambridge University Press.
Yalden, J. (1983). The communicative syllabus: Evolution, design and implementation.
Oxford, England: Pergamon Press.
Yu, L. (2001). Communicative language teaching in China: Progress and resistance.
TESOL Quarterly, 35, 194–198.