H. El-Dali

United Arab Emirates University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Foreign Language Teachers (FLT) are always interested in how they can help their students become proficient in that language. This question may look simple; however, it is quite complex and it entails a lot of issues that have been investigated for a long time. The present study adopts the view that the logical problem in teaching (EFL) appears to be rooted in the fact that most of our teaching practice seems to ignore “The Principle of Equilibrium”, in addition to, the major premises of “Paradigm Shift Theory”; a theory that was introduced by the American philosopher, T.S. Khun. Accordingly, the first purpose of the present study is to show how such a principle has been violated and how the extreme shifts in our teaching approaches and methods negatively affect our teaching outcomes. The argument that runs throughout the present study is that the absence of ‘Equilibrium’ or ‘Balance’ in our teaching practice constitutes the root of the problem we are all encountering in (FLT).

In addition, the present study reports on the results of an experiment carried out on forty (FL) learners, with a basic question in mind, “How do (FL) learners make linguistic decisions in solving multi-dimensional error recognition and correction tasks”. Based on the theoretical discussion and the results of the experiment reported in the present study, the author concludes that there should be a balance in our teaching practice; a balance among focusing on forms (linguistic competence), focusing on meaning (communicative competence), and focusing on learners’ metalinguistic competence. Sacrificing either of these three types results in the low- level of our students’ linguistic proficiency.