- 语种： 英语
- ISBN: 0805856765
- 条形码: 9780805856767
- 商品尺寸: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
- 商品重量: 386 g
- ASIN: 0805856765
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Understanding Language Teaching: From Method to Postmethod
"As a teacher, I found Kumaravadivelu's book insightful, unique, and at times inspiring." --TESL-EJ; December 2007
Contents: Preface: The Pattern Which Connects. Part I: Language, Learning, and Teaching. Language: Concepts and Precepts. Learning: Factors and Processes. Teaching: Input and Interaction. Part II: Language Teaching Methods. Constituents and Categories of Methods. Language-Centered Methods. Learner-Centered Methods. Learning-Centered Methods. Part III: Postmethod Perspectives. Postmethod Condition. Postmethod Pedagogy. Postmethod Predicament. Postscript: The Pattern Which Comforts.
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Kumaravadivelu's thesis is more or less this: the concept of method in language teaching is dead, leaving the field in what he calls `the postmethod condition;' and he offers a proposal as to the principles that should drive language teaching if it is not to fall into unprincipled eclecticism. In order to do this, he needs to do some ground clearing, and so begins by offering a systematic, state-of-the field definition of how language teaching is currently understood.
In Kumaravadivelu's telling, language can be viewed from three perspectives: as system (its formal properties: syntax, phonology, and morphology), as discourse (how language relates to its communicative functions), and as ideology (how language is employed to maintain relations of power). Knowing a language essentially means acquiring linguistic knowledge/ability and pragmatic knowledge/ability. Language learning comprises the processes of input (language that is noticed by learners), intake (input that is processed through inferencing, structuring, and restructuring), and output (language produced by the learner). Language teaching can facilitate these processes by modifying the input, encouraging interaction, and specifying content.
He then analyzes what he regards as the three main types of language teaching methods of the last half-century, illustrating how each modifies input, directs interaction, and specifies content; and he criticizes each of them in turn: language-centered methods (such as Audiolingualism) because they teach use but not usage and fail to teach learners how to communicate; learner-centered methods (such as Communicative Language Teaching) because they often fail to create genuine opportunities for communication and assume adult learners have no transferrable pragmatic skills; and learning-centered methods (such as the Natural Approach) because they unjustifiably rely on incidental rather than intentional learning.
Given the failure of each of these methods, we find ourselves in the postmethod condition: the search for the one, best method, generalizable to multiple contexts and types of student, must be abandoned. Teaching must instead be driven by particularity (sensitivity to the context and the learners), practicality (teachers enacting their own personal theories of what works), and possibility (an awareness of its sociocultural implications). Teacher education programs need to change their activity from the transmission of techniques and methods by expert academics, to the development of critical and reflective teachers who can establish their own approaches appropriate to their own situations.
Kumaravadivelu presents three possible frameworks within which such teaching might develop: Stern's three-dimension framework; Allwright's Exploratory Practice framework; and finally his own (presumably preferred) macrostrategic framework, which attempts to prepare teachers to encounter any of a wide range of possible teaching situations. (Here he is building on Widdowson's distinction between teacher education and teacher training, the latter preparing teachers only for predictable situations). Some of his macrostrategies are straightforward to understand, such as `contextualize linguistic input,' `integrate language skills,' and `promote learner autonomy.' Others are more challenging to grasp: `minimize perceptual mismatches,' `activate intuitive heuristics.' He gives a couple of examples of how the macrostrategies might be enacted in the classroom, but these are fleshed out in much greater detail in his earlier book, Beyond Methods: Macrostrategies for Language Teaching.
The book is characterized by an enormity of vision, an ability to step back from the detail of language teaching and view the terrain from a distance. It is carefully argued throughout. But whether his ideas will filter down into teacher preparation programs and into the field in general remains to be seen. The macrostrategies are more difficult to grasp than a packaged method of the type you will find in Richards and Rodgers. But a bigger obstacle is the state of the EFL/ESL field/industry today, which can be characterized by a struggle between a generic, mass-produced, one size fits all approach that is embodied in the multimillion dollar ESL/EFL textbook industry and in the chain school mentality that brings standardization and homogeneity - and crucially, relies on the notion of a globally distributable method; and teaching that is sensitive to its particular context and its particular learners, and relies on individual teacher expertise to bring about effective learning. The former vision of teaching deprofessionalizes the field by taking the decision-making out of the hands of teachers and putting it in the hands of teacher trainers, textbook writers, academics, and corporations; the latter professionalizes the field by equipping teachers with the tools to respond to the particular students in their particular context. The former can get by with low-paid and under-qualified teachers; the latter raises teachers up to the status of true professionals.
Implicitly, Kumaravadivelu's vision is an admirable case for professionalism in the field, but I'm afraid it is a vision that is lost amid the commercialism and Mcdonaldism that have come to dominate.