About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 292-302
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0196

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

AN ATTEMPT TO REPLACE THE PRESENT-DAY PARADIGM OF THE MAINSTREAM FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING BY A NEW ONE

P. Wahl

Szczecin University (POLAND)
The present-day paradigm of the mainstream Foreign Language Teaching (FLT) is no longer effective enough. Nine areas have been identified as the ones that are defective and need modifying or changing:
(1) the phonic stratum of the language is its primary and indispensable part, yet the phonetic input is neither sufficient nor appropriate in FLT materials;
(2) Foreign Language Teaching (and Learning) has been broken down into four basic skills only for technical reasons, yet there is no correlation between some of these skills whatsoever;
(3) the classic dichotomy between acquiring a language and learning a language is deep-rooted in Linguistics, yet it may turn out to be false, or at least seems counterproductive in FLT;
(4) Grammar – a very misleading term – may be defined as a combination of three parts: phonetics, morphology and syntax, of which the last one is the most important, yet it is usually paid the least attention to out of the three;
(5) learning a foreign language may be defined as memorising its grammar and its vocabulary and the time it takes may be estimated in the following way: 20-30% for the grammar and 70-80% for the vocabulary, yet the study of the vocabulary is clearly neglected in FLT textbooks;
(6) there is an enormous difference between spoken texts produced spontaneously by native speakers and written texts carefully prepared and edited; the former – sermo vulgaris – is the language in which 99% of all the texts are produced, yet the latter is presented in FLT textbooks almost exclusively;
(7) nowadays the whole human knowledge is being digitalised, with the exception of FLT materials; not digitalised FLT materials cannot be placed on electronic carriers such as computers, kindle devices, mobile phones, tablets;
(8) most present-day mainstream English (and other foreign language, FL) textbooks are addressed to everybody; as a result native speakers of Chinese learn English from the same textbook native speakers of Russian do;
(9) most people are polylingual, the European Union encourages its citizens to be fluent in at least two foreign languages, human mobility has increased dramatically and keeps growing, yet the present-day mainstream FLT materials are monolingual.

After diagnosing the situation, some remedies have been suggested that – after being incorporated into the present-day paradigm of the mainstream FLT – will change it into a new one. Last but not least the term FLT itself is not good enough, and neither is the term «Foreign Language Learning» (FLL), which is sometimes used; a better term is «Foreign Language Teaching and Learning» (FLTL), because a teacher without learners is a sad situation, and – on the other hand – there are very few autodidacts.
@InProceedings{WAHL2017ANA,
author = {Wahl, P.},
title = {AN ATTEMPT TO REPLACE THE PRESENT-DAY PARADIGM OF THE MAINSTREAM FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING BY A NEW ONE},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0196},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0196},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {292-302}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Wahl
TI - AN ATTEMPT TO REPLACE THE PRESENT-DAY PARADIGM OF THE MAINSTREAM FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING BY A NEW ONE
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0196
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 292
EP - 302
ER -
P. Wahl (2017) AN ATTEMPT TO REPLACE THE PRESENT-DAY PARADIGM OF THE MAINSTREAM FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING BY A NEW ONE, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 292-302.
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