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A potted history of PPP with the help of ELT Journal



This article charts the chequered history of the PPP model (Presentation, Practice, Production) in English language teaching, told partly through reference to articles in ELT Journal. As well as documenting its origins at the dawn of communicative language teaching (and not in audiolingual approaches, as some have suggested), I chart its history through the 1980s, discuss key criticisms directed at it in the 1990s, and also document its close relationship with ELT coursebook syllabi ever since its emergence. Recent evidence from second language acquisition research in support of explicit, practice-oriented instruction such as PPP is also discussed, along with other recent references to the model, suggesting not only that it can no longer be rejected as incompatible with research evidence, but that it may be enjoying a revival in its fortunes.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved.
A potted history of PPP with the help
of ELT Journal
Jason Anderson
This article charts the chequered history of the PPP model (Presentation,
Practice, Production) in English language teaching, told partly through
reference to articles in ELT Journal. As well as documenting its origins at
the dawn of communicative language teaching (and not in audiolingual
approaches, as some have suggested), I chart its history through the 1980s,
discuss key criticisms directed at it in the 1990s, and also document its close
relationship with ELT coursebook syllabi ever since its emergence. Recent
evidence from second language acquisition research in support of explicit,
practice-oriented instruction such as PPP is also discussed, along with other
recent references to the model, suggesting not only that it can no longer be
rejected as incompatible with research evidence, but that it may be enjoying
a revival in its fortunes.
For many English language teachers and teacher educators, the PPP model
needs little introduction. Standing for Presentation, Practice, Production,1
it is used in ELT as a prescriptive framework for the structuring of new
language lessons (especially grammar and functional language, but also
lexis), and is well known from its use both on short initial teacher training
courses such as the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL, and in
more extensive pre-service teacher education programmes worldwide. Still
popular over 40years after it first emerged (Harris 2015), it has proven to
be remarkably durable. In the light of recent literature in support of PPP,
both methodological (Arnold, Dörnyei, and Pugliese 2015) and empirical
(Spada and Tomita 2010), this article traces the origins of PPP and its
fortunes over these four decades, and investigates potential influences on
its longevity. Drawing inspiration from Hunter and Smith (66/4: 430–9,
2012),2 both statistical data and qualitative evidence from ELT Journal are
drawn upon to chart and analyse changes in attitudes in articles referring
to PPP since its emergence. Theoretical arguments and research evidence
supporting and opposing its use are also discussed in order to tell the
story of the history of the PPP model in communicative language teaching
Contrary to the assertions of some, PPP does not originate in
‘audiolingual’ (for example Kumaravadivelu 2006: 61)or even
The origins of PPP
ELT Journal Volume 71/2 April 2017; doi:10.1093/elt/ccw055 218
Advance Access publication August 2, 2016
‘behaviourist’ (Lewis 1993: 6)approaches to teaching. The relative
freedom provided in the final Production stage is inconsistent with
audiolingual approaches. PPP first appeared in the mid-1970s, and its
UK-based origins have clear links to the early development of CLT. At
that time, situational language teaching in the United Kingdom was
gradually evolving into a more communicative approach (Howatt 1984),
and a number of writers, methodologists, and language teachers were
experimenting with adding an additional, freer practice stage to lessons
beyond the Presentation and Practice typical of situational language
teaching (Rixon and Smith, 66/3: 383–93, 2012). This includes Abbs
and Freebairn, whose innovative Strategies series was one of the first
coursebooks to encourage such freedom (see Rixon and Smith ibid.).
However, the ‘Presentation, Practice, Production’ model itself first
appeared in the first edition of Donn Byrne’s (1976/1986) Teaching Oral
English, a handbook for training English language teachers, where it is
summarized under the following headings:
The presentation stage: the teacher as informant
The practice stage: the teacher as conductor
The production stage: the teacher as guide (ibid.:2)
After observing that ‘language learning in the classroom so often stops
short’ (ibid.) after presentation and practice, Byrne goes on to note for the
production stagethat
no real learning can be assumed to have taken place until the students
are able to use the language for themselves. At any level of attainment they
need to be given regular and frequent opportunities to use the language
freely, even if they sometimes make mistakes as a result. (Ibid.: 2; italics in
In his more detailed description of this stage later in the book, Byrne
(ibid.: 80–98) promotes a range of activities that were to become
hallmarks of CLT such as discussion, language games, role-play,
songs, and dramatization, all of which were gaining popularity in more
progressive teaching materials at the time, such as Strategies (see Rixon
and Smith op.cit.).
Although Byrne coined the three stages of PPP, his work was part of a gradual
shift, and it drew strongly upon an earlier framework described by Julian
Dakin (1973) in The Language Laboratory and Language Learning, published as
part of the series Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers when Byrne was
series editor. Including four stages (1 Presentation, 2 Practice, 3 Development,
and 4 Testing), his Development stage involved relaxing
control over the pupils’ performance. The pupils are set tasks such
as telling a story themselves, describing pictures, retailing their daily
lives and past or future activities, expressing their own needs and
preferences. The successful completion of such tasks calls for the use
not only of the structure that has just been practised but of all that has
been learnt before. The teacher cannot and should not interrupt the
pupils’ performance by correcting every single mistake. (Ibid.:5)
A potted history of PPP with the help of ELT Journal 219
Notably progressive for 1973, this extract would not look out of place
on a handout on contemporary initial teacher training courses. It is no
coincidence that Pit Corder’s (1967) paper on error correction, one of the
most seminal works in the history of both second language acquisition (SLA)
research and CLT, was published ‘under the stimulus of work being done by’
the same Julian Dakin (Howatt op.cit.: 284). Dakin sadly died at an early age,
just before the publication of his book, but Byrne (op.cit.: 2) carried forward
this tolerance to learner errors in his account of PPP, noting, ‘It is not that
mistakes do not matter, but rather that free expression matters much more,
and the greatest mistake the teacher can make is to hold his students back’
(italics in original). Both Dakin and Byrne were questioning, if not rejecting,
the then-dominant audiolingual approach to errors and their correction,
providing a justification for freer language practice opportunities that would
pave the way for more communicative activities in the classroom.
While Dakin’s (op.cit.) four-stage framework did not catch on across
ELT, Byrne’s simpler, more alliterative model did, although perhaps not
immediately. It is notable that the ELT Journal review article for Byrne’s
book did not appear until 1980 (Brookes 35/1: 71–2, 1980)and did not
mention PPP itself.
As the demand for English language teachers grew in the late 1970s
and early 1980s, Teaching Oral English (Byrne op.cit.) became one
of the most popular handbooks on initial teacher training courses,
and PPP gained popularity (see Figure1). Similar models could be
found in other influential works of the era (for example Harmer’s
(1983: 55–7) first edition of The Practice of English Language Teaching),
characterizing what Howatt (op.cit.: 279)called the ‘“weak” version’
of the communicative approach. However, it was PPP that was to
remain dominant during this period. First reference to it in ELT Journal
appears in 1983, in a review by Rossner (37/1: 99–101, 1983)of an early
book by Jane Willis. Henotes:
figure 1
References to four planning
frameworks in ELT Journal
Note: OHE stands for Observe, Hypothesise, Experiment; ARC stands for
Authentic (practice), Restricted (practice), Clarification; and ESA stands for
Engage, Study, Activate
PPP’s popularity in
the 1980s
220 Jason Anderson
Willis has (rightly, in my opinion) chosen to stand by a fairly traditional
(at least in British circles) cycle of teaching (presentation, practice,
production, etc.) and the questionable division of language teaching into
‘skill areas’. (Ibid.: 101)
While Willis’s opinions regarding PPP would change (see below), it is
notable from Rossner’s comment that he described PPP as ‘traditional’
only seven years after it had first been described. References to it increased
during the 1980s (see Figure1) and the acronym itself first appeared in
ELT Journal in Boardman’s (41/4: 304–6, 1987)review of the second edition
of Byrne’s Teaching Oral English (1986). Boardman’s discontent with its
over-application as a model was clear, as was Edge’s (38/4: 256–61, 1984),
three years earlier. Byrne (op.cit.) seems to have anticipated this criticism,
and in the second edition, he both acknowledged its limitations and
suggested that the order of the stages could be flexible, intimating towards a
more responsive, almost integrated, focus onform:
[PPP] should not of course be interpreted too literally: these stages are not
recipes for organising all our lessons … Since our main aim is to get the
learners to communicate, we can reverse the sequence outlined above by
first setting them tasks which will require them to communicate as best
they can with the language at their disposal and then using the outcome
as a way of deciding what new language needs to be presented and
perhaps further practised. (Op.cit.: 3; italics in original)
However, this more flexible interpretation by Byrne of his own model
attracted little support and did not stem the increasing criticism being
levelled at PPP.
As if in the spirit of a fin de siècle reaction to the dominant paradigm,
during the 1990s, a large number of critiques of PPP appeared in
ELT literature (see Figure2), most notable in Challenge and Change in
Language Teaching (Willis and Willis 1996), which includes no fewer than
seven papers denouncing it. Common criticisms included the following
related arguments:
figure 2
Orientation of articles,
reviews, and other pieces
towards PPP in ELT Journal
The rejection of PPP
in the 1990s
A potted history of PPP with the help of ELT Journal 221
1 The key assumption about language learning underpinning
PPP-type planning (often called ‘Focus on forms’ in SLA literature),
that features of language can be isolated, taught, practised, and learnt
separately within a synthetic syllabus, was not supported by early SLA
research. Such research supported the presence of a more natural order
of acquisition that remained largely unaffected by explicit instruction
(Ellis 47/1: 3–11, 1993). This same research was often used to justify
alternative ‘approaches’ such as the natural approach, task-based
language teaching and the lexical approach, all of which were gaining
popularity in literature on teaching methodology (see, for example,
Willis and Willis ibid.).
2 Language itself as a system is better understood holistically, and any
practices that attempt to segment it misrepresent its nature (Lewis
3 PPP is teacher-centred, causing teachers to neglect the needs of the
learner, and preventing them from responding to the individual
challenges that learners face during the lesson (Lewis op.cit.; Scrivener
4 PPP is too prescriptive and inflexible, describing only one of many
possible types of lesson (Scrivener ibid.).
Further criticism appeared in ELT Journal. Fortune (52/1: 67–80,
1998)refers to the ‘tired ‘P-P-P’ methodological paradigm’ (ibid.: 77)in
his survey of grammar practice books, Thornbury (53/1: 4–11, 1999)notes
that it is ‘considered suspect by virtue of being associated with a
transmission-style view of teaching’ (ibid.: 5), and Foster (53/1: 69–70,
1999)claims (erroneously, see above) that within a PPP model, ‘Errors
are evidence of poor learning, requiring more PPP treatment’ (ibid.:
69). Some defence was offered, with Hopkins and Nettle (48/2: 157–61,
1994)responding to Ellis’s criticism by noting that ‘well-directed feedback
after such a freer practice stage shows students how they could use the
target language effectively in the future’ (ibid.: 158; italics in original), and
Clegg (53/3: 230–31, 1999)responding to Foster’s criticism by noting that
‘the odds are that it is unlikely that SLA research in backing process and
task-based approaches has got it all right, and that all the practitioners
using PPP have got it all wrong’ (ibid.: 230). From a personal perspective,
Iremember reading Clegg’s words in 1999 as a novice, often struggling
teacher who found PPP a useful scaffolding device; they provided some
reassurance that Iwas not misguided. Indeed, his words were somewhat
portentous (see below).
It may be (and often is) argued that one potential explanation for
PPP’s durability in our profession, and to some extent for its frequency
of mention in ELT Journal, derives from its compatibility with the
grammatical syllabi often used to structure ELT coursebooks and
grammar practice books. Fortune’s (op.cit.) negative appraisal of PPP
in the latter has already been mentioned, for example. In three separate
analyses of coursebooks (Tomlinson, Dat, Masuhara, and Rubdy 55/1:
80–101, 2001; Masuhara, Hann, Yi, and Tomlinson 62/3: 294–312, 2008;
Tomlinson and Masuhara 67/2: 233–49, 2013), Tomlinson, Masuhara,
and colleagues have attempted to evaluate the efficacy of mainstream ELT
PPP’s compatibility
with ELT
222 Jason Anderson
coursebooks based on preselected criteria, which they themselves admit
are essentially subjective. In all three, they are critical of the continued
presence of PPP as a structuring device, repeatedly citing SLA research as
a basis for criticizing it as ineffective, as the following extracts from their
2013 article show. From the Introduction:
We were pleased that some acknowledgement had been made of the
value of some research findings, but disappointed that many of the
main findings of SLA research were still being ignored. (Tomlinson and
Masuhara ibid.: 233)
From the Conclusion:
Our criterion-referenced prediction is that most of the courses we have
reviewed, whilst being very appealing to the eye and to those users
favouring discrete focus on and practice of language items, are unlikely
to be very effective in facilitating language acquisition and development.
(Tomlinson and Masuhara ibid.: 248)
Aside from the fact that SLA research findings are complex and
contingent, and different interpretations of what constitutes ‘the main
findings’ are necessarily subjective, their attitude towards explicit,
practice-oriented instruction of the PPP type has remained consistently
dismissive, despite the fact that SLA research findings are telling us
very different things today to what they were telling us at the turn of
the century, findings that they have failed to acknowledge (see below).
Further, like Scrivener (op.cit.: 80)before them, they overlook PPP’s
close association with the communicative approach, instead choosing to
mythologize an alternative, almost halcyon history:
There seems to be a reaction against the freer, open-ended, learner-centred
days of the Communicative Approach, and a fear that unless language is
seen to be taught, books will not be bought. (Tomlinson etal. 2001: 87)
Nitta and Gardner (59/1: 3–13, 2005)provide a somewhat more
balanced evaluation of consciousness-raising and practice in nine
ELT coursebooks, observing that while PPP is dominant in all, the
Presentation stage often involves inductive discovery of rules, consistent
with a consciousness-raising approach as promoted by Ellis (op.cit.), and
demonstrating that, contrary to Ellis’s criticism of PPP, the two are not
While early SLA research (as referred to by Tomlinson etal. op.cit. above)
supported the inclusion of consciousness-raising, noticing, inductive
discovery learning, and integrated form-focused instruction, yet did not
support more explicit, practice-oriented instruction such as PPP, since the
turn of the century, two extensive, robust meta-analyses conducted into
the effectiveness of explicit and implicit approaches have both reached
a rather different conclusion, presenting findings strongly in favour of
explicit instruction (Norris and Ortega 2000; Spada and Tomita op.cit.)
and finding focus on forms-type instruction such as PPP no less effective
than alternatives. Spada and Tomita (op.cit.: 287), somewhat understatedly
given the significant effect sizes they found (d=.88 and d=.73, for
A more recent
change in fortune
for PPP
A potted history of PPP with the help of ELT Journal 223
explicit instruction of complex forms and simple forms respectively; ibid.:
281), conclude:
… the positive effects of explicit instruction on measures of spontaneous
L2 production could be interpreted as support for the strong interface
position and the argument that declarative (i.e., explicit) knowledge
obtained via explicit instruction can be converted into procedural (i.e.,
implicit) knowledge with practice (DeKeyser, 1998; Hulstijn, 1995).
As mentioned above, while SLA research is complex, and interpretations
of findings are necessarily subjective, the findings of Spada and Tomita’s
(op.cit.) meta-analysis surely preclude anyone from arguing that SLA
research findings do not support PPP-type instruction. What is more, they
are not alone, and evidence from both extensive research in mainstream
education and reviews by respected SLA researchers concur with their
findings (see Anderson 2016).
Interested to see whether any changes with regard to attitudes towards
PPP over the decades existed in the writings of ELT Journal, Iconducted
a review of contributions to the Journal (articles, reviews, and ‘Readers
respond’ pieces) making reference to PPP since 1980. The results,
shown in Figure2, are revealing of a more gradual change in attitude
towards PPP. While the majority of pieces since 1980 which refer to
PPP just mention it, and many do so without passing judgement, the
balance of pieces for and against PPP appears to have shifted somewhat.
From 1995 to 2005, 11 contributions were critical and only three were
in support of PPP, while from 2005 to 2015, only two have been critical
compared to four that have been supportive, possibly echoing the SLA
research findings described above.5 Indeed, Scheffler, responsible for two
contributions in favour of PPP (63/1: 5–12, 2009; 69/4: 437–9, 2015),
cites Spada and Tomita’s research in the latter of his pieces (ibid.: 438),
If PPP is nonsense, then skill acquisition theory is nonsense (at
least as applied to language learning). If ‘teacher imposed’ explicit
grammar instruction is useless, then how can it lead to large
improvements in performance measured by spontaneous output
measures (Spada and Tomita 2010)? If explicit knowledge does not
help performance, then why are there positive correlations between
L2 metalinguistic knowledge and oral measures of L2 proficiency
(Absi 2014)?
Further evidence of PPP’s continued popularity comes from research
by Harris (op.cit.) on past and current teaching frameworks used in
initial teacher education. His findings (based on surveys of 91 trainers
and 39 graduates) led him to conclude that PPP is still dominant on
courses such as the Cambridge CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL,
although it today often includes text-based contextualization of
new language and guided discovery (largely mirroring recent ELT
coursebooks; Nitta and Gardner op.cit.). He also notes that a variety of
alternative frameworks is also made use of, especially the ‘pre/during/
post’ structure for receptive skills lessons, but also task-based and test-
teach-test frameworks. His research also indicates that these are carried
224 Jason Anderson
forward into the practices of novice teachers, along with PPP. Thus,
while it may have been the case in the 1970s and 1980s that the blanket
dominance of PPP in initial teacher training was having a negative
effect on classroom practice, Harris’s (op.cit.) research indicates that
most training courses, and most novice teachers today, seem to adopt a
healthy balance of different frameworks.
As well as the above-cited evidence from ELT Journal indicating a recent
thawing of negative opinion towards PPP, clues for its future fate may
come from a recent publication that endorses a PPP-type approach to
lesson structuring. Originally based on ideas first advanced in the 1990s,
The Principled Communicative Approach (Arnold etal. op.cit.: 9)proposes a
PPP-type lesson structure as follows:
1 the declarative input stage;
2 the controlled practice stage; and
3 the open-ended practice stage.
While acknowledging that this structure is ‘reminiscent’ (Arnold etal.
op.cit.: 9)of PPP, the authors provide theoretical justification for its
use directly from skill learning theory (in which explanation precedes
practice which precedes automatization), an older model that attempts
to account for how a much larger variety of skills are learnt across
cultures, such as learning to play a musical instrument, to ride a bicycle,
or even to read and write. Insomuch as it is likely to be familiar to and
compatible with the beliefs of a wide range of teachers and learners,
skill learning theory provides a possible explanation for the uptake
and durability of PPP among language teachers in a range of different
contexts worldwide. Recent research by Choi and Andon (68/1: 12–21,
2014)has suggested that, at least in one context (South Korean primary
and secondary schools) where teaching practices have remained resistant
to change, PPP has had some success in helping teachers to make
lessons more communicative:
… in comparison to the traditional teaching style that is common in the
South Korean context, P-P-P is as radical as is pragmatically feasible in
providing students with opportunities to use L2, something which is
completely lacking in many English classes. (Ibid.: 15)
Given the current worldwide trend that is seeing much ELT move from
tertiary to secondary and primary classrooms in many countries, such
research indicates that, at least in some contexts, teacher education
programmes may make greater gains through promoting effective PPP
than through attempting to implement alternative paradigms, such as those
deriving from task-based instruction that may appear counter-intuitive from
a skill learning perspective. As Widdowson (2003: 131)notes:
this is not just a matter of applied linguistic principle, but of practical
feasibility. Even if there were grounds for a complete rejection of
everything that PPP (or anything remotely resembling it) stands for in
favour of a radically different approach, this approach has to be such as
to be teachable. (Italics in original)
The future of PPP?
A potted history of PPP with the help of ELT Journal 225
While this may sound like a compromise for notions of best practice
in language teaching, we should recall that the balance of more recent
evidence from SLA research (see above) indicates that there are no
empirical grounds for such a rejection.
With the help of ELT Journal, this brief foray into the origins and history
of PPP has documented its very ‘un-audiolingual’ genesis. Not only did
PPP originate at the dawn of CLT, but it became a core component in
the realization of the weak version of CLT, the version that has proven to
be the most practically viable in language classrooms and ELT materials
to date. Ihave also charted its troubled history during the 1990s,
demonstrated its longevity and durability, and suggested a number of
reasons for its appeal, including its simplicity, its compatibility with ELT
coursebooks, and its association with skill learning theory. Importantly,
Ihave also suggested that SLA research often cited to reject PPP has more
recently begun to support it, providing evidence that perhaps the many
teachers who have found it effective are not misguided after all. Writing in
2003, Widdowson (op.cit.: 131)suggested that PPP ‘has endured because
teachers genuinely believed in it, and found some basis of their belief in
their classroom experience’. Today they can also argue for a basis in SLA
research findings.
From a personal perspective, ever since Ifound it useful as a struggling
trainee on an initial teacher training course back in the mid-1990s, Ihave
continued to make use of PPP both as a teacher and as a teacher trainer
in certain contexts, including initial teacher training, in-service training
of primary and secondary English teachers in low- and middle-income
countries, and in my own teaching (see Anderson op.cit.). However, Iam
very much aware of its limitations, most importantly that it is only one of
many lesson shapes necessary if we are to provide our learners with an
appropriate combination of intensive and extensive skills work alongside
both isolated and integrated form focus in a balanced curriculum.
While PPP continues to divide opinion 40years after its genesis, the
innovation and influence of its originators should nonetheless be noted
and commended: Julian Dakin, Donn Byrne, and possibly other educators
from that seminal period whose work was less well documented. My
sincere apologies to any who have been omitted here.
Final version received June 2016
1 In this article, the three stages of PPP are
envisaged as follows:
Presentation: language features (including
grammar, lexis, and functional exponents) are
selected and sequenced in advance for explicit
instruction, typically involving contextualized
presentation followed by elicited clarification of
meaning, form, and use.
Practice: controlled practice of the feature is
provided, typically including written exercises
(such as gap-fills), controlled speaking practice
activities (for example ‘Find someone who …’),
and oral drills.
Production: opportunities for use of the feature
are provided through free production activities
that attempt to simulate real-world language
usage (spoken or written) such as role-plays,
discussions, email exchanges, and story writing,
226 Jason Anderson
when correction and integrated form focus can be
provided by the teacher.
2 For ELT Journal articles referenced as part of this
study, bibliographical details are provided within
the text as follows: volume and issue number,
followed by page number(s), then publication year,
rather than in the list of references.
3 Publisher’s own online journal search engine
was used (
Searches included possible abbreviated forms (for
example ‘ESA’, ‘E-S-A’, etc.), non-abbreviated forms
(for example ‘engage study activate’), and with
author name but without quotations (for example
Harmer engage study activate). Results were
examined for reference to the framework. Pieces
(for example articles, reviews, ‘Readers respond’
pieces, etc.) which included multiple references
were counted only once. Year of print publication
was used.
4 Publisher’s own online journal search engine was
used ( Pieces
themselves were found as described for Figure1.
References to PPP were examined. Those that
criticized PPP or cited evidence used to discredit
it were categorized as ‘Against PPP’. Those that
praised it or cited evidence used to support its
validity were categorized as ‘For PPP’. All other
pieces were categorized as neutral.
5 It is also interesting to note how much more
neutrality there is in the approach of more recent
articles, perhaps indicative of a move towards more
academic objectivity within the Journal itself.
Anderson, J. 2016. ‘Why practice makes perfect
sense: the past, present and potential future of the
PPP paradigm in language teacher education’. ELT
Education and Development 19: 14–22.
Arnold, J., Z. Dörnyei, and C. Pugliese. 2015. The
Principled Communicative Approach. London:
Byrne, D. 1976/1986. Teaching Oral English. Harlow:
Corder, S. P. 1967. ‘The significance of learner’s
errors’. International Review of Applied Linguistics in
Language Teaching 5/4: 161–70.
Dakin, J. 1973. The Language Laboratory and Language
Learning. Harlow: Longman.
Harmer, J. 1983. The Practice of English Language
Teaching (first edition). Harlow: Longman.
Harris, B. 2015. ‘Where are we now? Current teaching
paradigms in pre-service training’. Paper presented at
the 49th International IATEFL Annual Conference,
Manchester, UK.
Howatt, A. P. R. 1984. A History of English Language
Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kumaravadivelu, B. 2006. ‘TESOL methods:
changing tracks, challenging trends’. TESOL
Quarterly 40/1: 59–81.
Lewis, M. 1993. The Lexical Approach: The State of
ELT and a Way Forward. Hove: Language Teaching
Norris, J. M. and L. Ortega. 2000. ‘Effectiveness of
L2 instruction: a research synthesis and quantitative
meta-analysis’. Language Learning 50/3: 417–528.
Scrivener, J. 1996. ‘ARC: a descriptive model for
classroom work on language’ in J. Willis and D. Willis
(eds.). Challenge and Change in Language Teaching.
Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.
Spada, N. and Y. Tomita. 2010. ‘Interactions between
type of instruction and type of language feature: a
meta-analysis’. Language Learning 60/2: 263–308.
Widdowson, H. 2003. Defining Issues in English
Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University
Willis, J. and D. Willis (eds.). 1996. Challenge and
Change in Language Teaching. Oxford: Macmillan
The author
Jason Anderson is a teacher, teacher trainer,
educational consultant, and author of books for
language teachers. He has taught languages, trained
teachers, and developed materials to support teachers
in primary, secondary, and tertiary contexts, both
pre-service and in-service, in 15 countries (in Africa,
Europe, and Asia) for organizations including
UNICEF, the British Council, and VSO. In 2016, he
won the British Council ELTON Local Innovation
award for ‘Teaching English in Africa’, a practical
guide for primary and secondary teachers of English
that draws on expertise from across the continent to
offer practical support for novice teachers working in
A potted history of PPP with the help of ELT Journal 227
... Appropriate LPfs are recommended on the premise that to solve the numerous challenges of teaching language skills in a blended learning environment, LPfs that produce positive learning outcomes are required. Besides, careful exegesis of studies on LPfs shows a shift from traditional frameworks to more responsive frameworks (Anderson, 2017). The proponents of these frameworks claim that given recent changes in designs of English Language Teaching (ELT) coursebooks, language planning should shift from a structural format to a more responsive approach that embraces context and task-assisted/supported language learning (Anderson, 2020;Burns, 2012;Ellis, 2020). ...
... The proponents of these frameworks claim that given recent changes in designs of English Language Teaching (ELT) coursebooks, language planning should shift from a structural format to a more responsive approach that embraces context and task-assisted/supported language learning (Anderson, 2020;Burns, 2012;Ellis, 2020). These studies counsel that this approach encourages the use of the language use in a meaningful context (Anderson, 2017(Anderson, , 2020Andon & Norrington-Davies, 2019). Examples of such frameworks are the context-analysis-practice-exploration (CAPE) framework, textanalysis-task-exploration (TATE) frameworks, and so on. ...
... Drawing on these assertions, it seems that variables like collaboration, reflection, and independence of learners encourage responsive language teaching and learning where there are shared responsibilities between the teachers and the learners (Anderson, 2020;Gillon & Macfarlane, 2017). Although explanations concerning responsive LPfs suggest their use for curriculum planning (Anderson, 2017), a critical analysis of these LPfs suggest that they may be well-suited as lesson plans. In light of several reports recommending good teaching practices and technology use (Asad et al., 2020;Backfisch et al., 2020;Ní Fhloinn & Fitzmaurice, 2021;Tuma, 2021), and given the need for integrating good teaching practices in the technologically-enhanced learning environment, the use of appropriate LPfs should be considered. ...
Digitally enhanced teaching does not imply neglecting appropriate teaching strategies and approaches. There are assertions that negative learning outcomes obtained in blended learning could be a result of neglecting the use of an appropriate lesson planning framework, teaching strategies and approaches. Already, there are calls for the use of more responsive lesson planning frameworks against the traditional frameworks. While there are suppositions that responsive frameworks produce significant improvement in the language skills of learners, there is less empirical evidence to show this. To bridge these gaps in scientific literature, this study decides to investigate the effectiveness of integrating technology with different lesson design frameworks. The study utilized a mixed-method design with an experimental approach. The findings of the study show that although the blend of technology and CAPE framework was effective in improving some language skills, the reading skills of the participants remained unchanged. Notably, the study provides useful empirical evidence showing the usefulness of incorporating technology and effective teaching frameworks in producing positive learning outcomes in a digitally enhanced learning environment.
... Criado (2013) referred to this model as the mainstream of English as a foreign language (EFL) style. Based on Anderson (2017), PPP model was introduced at the dawn of CLT. PPP model suggests that individual language items should be explicitly taught (P1), then practiced (P2) in isolated sentences through controlled activities, and at the final stage, learners produce (P3) these items in a freer manner (Harmer, 2007). ...
... Theoretically, PPP model is supported by skill acquisition theory (SAT) which emphasizes that learning triggers with explicit attention to a linguistic feature to establish declarative knowledge which is then proceduralized and automatized through practice (DeKeyser, 2007). Some previous studies witnessed the effectiveness of implementing PPP in explicit instruction (Norris and Ortega, 2000;Spada and Tomita, 2010;Anderson, 2017). Considering three steps of learning a language (PPP), the researchers of this study attempted to complete the first and second steps (i.e., presentation and practice) by using Instagram feed-based tasks instead of traditional drilling to inspect any possible changes in the production stage of the learners. ...
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Advancement of social media in the modern era provides a good incentive for researchers to unleash the potential of social networking (SN) tools in order to improve education. Despite the significant role of social media in affecting second/foreign language (L2) learning processes, few empirical studies have tried to find out how Instagram feed-based tasks affect learning grammar structure. To fill this lacuna of research, the current study set forth to delve into the influence of Instagram feed-based tasks on learning grammar among English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. In so doing, a sample of 84 intermediate EFL learners were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. The learners in the control group received regular online instruction via webinar platforms. In contrast, the learners in the experimental group were exposed to Instagram feed-based tasks. Data inspection applying one-way ANCOVA indicated that the learners in the experimental group outperformed their counterparts in the control group. The results highlighted the significant contributions of Instagram feed-based tasks in fostering learning grammar. Furthermore, EFL learners’ positive attitudes toward using Instagram Feed-based Tasks in Learning Grammar was concluded. The implications of this study may redound to the benefits of language learners, teachers, curriculum designers, as well as policy makers in providing opportunities for further practice of Instagram feed-based tasks in language learning and teaching.
... For him, however, it was a moment he could reflect and convince others to do. The following extract is from one of his sessions in June 2018 on teaching through text, where he demonstrated a mini-lesson on the grammar of present simple and present continuous using the PPP model (Presentation, Practice, Production) (see Anderson, 2017). He started by talking about his daily routine and ended with a discussion about a favourite place. ...
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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.
... The other theory/model that might be responsible for NNR of TELL is the Presentation-Production-Practice model (Anderson, 2017). It consists of three phases: (a) lectures and learning materials; (b) exercises and in-class activities; (c) evaluation of in-class performance and homework. ...
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Research on technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) has been rapidly growing since 2000, of which the attention is mostly on the statistically significant positive results. However, learning from TELL with null and negative results (NNR), especially its features and reasons, can develop knowledge and awareness of the nature and limitations of TELL and guide its future implementation and investigation. Hence, this study aims to explore TELL with NNR from the perspectives of features and reasons for NNR by systematically reviewing relevant studies. Forty-nine Web of Science and Scopus-indexed articles were screened based on predefined criteria and analysed step-by-step following the PRISMA framework. The findings revealed features of TELL studies with NNR concerning the seven factors of the activity theory: Outcomes, Targets, Learners, Technologies, Teacher and student engagement, Conditions, and Learning theories/Pedagogical models. We also identified reasons for NNR associated with the seven factors. Based on bottom-up analyses of the results, we constructed a 17-item checklist for analysing TELL studies with NNR from the perspectives of Conceptual framework, Artefacts, Design, Participants, Procedures and Evaluation. An example of analysing TELL studies with NNR was provided to illustrate the use of the proposed checklist. Future directions concern technology-enhanced grammar learning, technology with inclusive results, and the influence of sample sizes on TELL study results.
... Courses designed following this model differ from more traditional form-focused ones in that in the latter, programs and lessons are often organized by grammatical units (e.g., irregular present tense verbs) and a series of activities are designed to engage with, practice, and produce those forms in a communicative context. In this way, a successful outcome of this type of orientation would be the correct application of the grammatical structure and vocabulary in a given context (Anderson, 2017), not necessarily the successful completion of a task as defined above. ...
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Task-based language teaching (TBLT) has been at the center of the debates on which approaches are most effective for structuring, planning, and implementing language courses. Several articles have focused on its effectiveness (Bryfonsky & McKay, 2017; Long, 2016; González-Lloret & Nielson, 2015), but few have shared specific implementation experiences in the classroom (Long, 2015; Torres & Seratini, 2016). The limited array of articles that address TBLT course creation focus on language courses for specific purposes, but little is known about the challenges and solutions found when designing and implementing a TBLT course that is part of a large general education language program. This article shares the authors’ experience in developing and teaching such a course. Based on these experiences, realistic and actionable examples are offered of how to surmount the challenges encountered when developing, integrating, and teaching a TBLT course in an otherwise traditional grammar-centric First-Year university language program at a large US university.
... Although it has been argued that TBLT can meet the needs of language learners in varied contexts from both a theoretical and empirical basis (Ellis et al. 2020), it is not without its critics (Bruton 2005;Sato 2010;Sheen 2003;Swan 2005Swan , 2018. Indeed, some studies support PPP approaches, or at least the pre-task introduction of targeted language (Anderson 2017;Norris and Ortega 2000;Spada and Tomita 2010). Relatedly, skill acquisition theory also provides some evidence for the effectiveness of this approach (DeKeyser 1997;. ...
This paper outlines a classroom-based study on the timing of explicit language instruction. It also provides an alternative to the CALF (Complexity Accuracy Lexis Fluency) framework for analyzing learner language, which may not always be appropriate for EFL contexts. Two groups of learners, assigned to either a TBLT or a PPP condition, completed a speaking task. A follow-up task was given three months later, but with no explicit language focus for either group. Data from these interactions were analyzed for use of target grammar structures and overall speaking proficiency. Results suggest that explicit introduction of language through PPP benefits immediate task performance, but that ultimately post-task focus on language through TBLT leads to greater language development. The framework for analysis was effective in showing differences in performance between the groups in this context.
Since the need to perform a meaningful task motivates students to use the appropriate language, the ideal scenario in the second language classroom would be to recreate the environment of the target language and have our students carry out every-day activities in that language. However, this is not always feasible, although the goal of task-based pedagogies is to help our students establish a relationship between form and meaning as they use the language. Unsurprisingly, social interaction by language users aids this form-meaning link both in first and second language learning. An ongoing discussion in language teaching is whether to implement implicit or explicit approaches and this chapter covers this topic. In the East Asian context there is a preference for explicit instruction but it is worth noting that the two approaches differ in their benefits to learners of different ages. The constraints imposed by teaching institutions and external bodies often mean that an L2 is taught not to communicate with others but to pass exams. Teachers have the difficult task of balancing the two objectives.
By adopting a historical perspective, this edited collection of papers takes a fresh look at a key concept in applied linguistics, that of innovation. A substantial introduction advocates historical re-evaluation of this notion via exploration of its rise to prominence, while the ten subsequent chapters present in-depth case studies of apparently successful as well as ineffective innovation(s), from the early eighteenth to the late twentieth century. Language learning/teaching developments in Brazil, China, England, France, Germany and Italy are considered along with ‘global’ innovations in language learner lexicography, while the languages considered include Chinese, English, French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish. Various types of primary source material are utilized, illustrating the possibilities of applied linguistic historiography for both students and academics new to the field. The book questions ideas of perpetual innovation and progress, supporting the adoption of more critical perspectives on change and innovation in applied linguistics and language teaching.
The paper first reviews how conventionalized uses of dialogue in the language classroom have facilitated a neoliberalist agenda, mainly by positioning learners in a reproductive, consumer role, and teachers as deskilled operatives of scripted interactions. It then discusses three other conceptualizations of the role of dialogue which may offer an alternative. The first derives from assumptions about how language is best acquired, by emphasizing exposure to, and engagement in, natural language use. The limitations of this in relation to the role that conscious attention to language may offer and in relation to how it similarly positions learners as consumers and teachers as managers, are then discussed. A second conceptualization of the use of dialogue derives from education theory and emphasizes dialogic approaches involving exploratory talk as a means of helping learners construct their own understandings of language knowledge and the learning process. The paper argues, however, that neither of these conceptualizations of the use of dialogue offer effective alternatives to the pressure to replicate neoliberalism. The paper then sets out some key requirements for an alternative and argues that a third view, emphasizing participatory dialogue, may provide this. A model is outlined, emphasizing negotiated classroom work, with examples for implementation.
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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.
A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of explicit and implicit instruction on the acquisition of simple and complex grammatical features in English. The target features in the 41 studies contributing to the meta-analysis were categorized as simple or complex based on the number of criteria applied to arrive at the correct target form (Hulstijn & de Graaff, 1994). The instructional treatments were classified as explicit or implicit following Norris and Ortega (2000). The results indicate larger effect sizes for explicit over implicit instruction for simple and complex features. The findings also suggest that explicit instruction positively contributes to learners’ controlled knowledge and spontaneous use of complex and simple forms.
This study employed (and reports in detail) systematic procedures for research synthesis and meta-analysis to summarize findings from experimental and quasi-experimental investigations into the effectiveness of L2 instruction published between 1980 and 1998. Comparisons of average effect sizes from 49 unique sample studies reporting sufficient data indicated that focused L2 instruction results in large target-oriented gains, that explicit types of instruction are more effective than implicit types, and that Focus on Form and Focus on Forms interventions result in equivalent and large effects. Further findings suggest that the effectiveness of L2 instruction is durable and that the type of outcome measures used in individual studies likely affects the magnitude of observed instructional effectiveness. Generalizability of findings is limited because the L2 type-of-instruction domain has yet to engage in rigorous empirical operationalization and replication of its central research constructs. Changes in research practices are recommended to enhance the future accumulation of knowledge about the effectiveness of L2 instruction.
Incluye bibliografía e índice
Where are we now? Current teaching paradigms in pre-service training
  • B Harris
Harris, B. 2015. 'Where are we now? Current teaching paradigms in pre-service training'. Paper presented at the 49th International IATEFL Annual Conference, Manchester, UK.