Future Directions in Language Teaching

Patrica Richard-AmatoFuture Directions in Language Teaching
Patricia Richard-Amato

Following theories of Vygotsky, Freire and many others, our field appears headed ever closer to the sociocultural end of the teaching continuum. However, aspects of cognitive theory will continue to inform a broader and more inclusive paradigm in which western and non-western perspectives are considered.

Although method as magical formula will not fit this paradigm, method as resource critically examined can serve as a useful component in the right environments. Although our field has already moved away from grammar/skill-based teaching toward interactive, content-based teaching (including relevant tasks and proficiencies), explicit grammar and skill instruction appropriately timed will play increasingly important roles. In addition, dialogical language testing if properly developed could make testing processes much more like instructional processes. …

While emergent participatory language teaching is making itself felt in many classrooms, it would be a mistake to define it as a method or an approach. For it transcends both and gets to the very heart of the student-teacher relationship. It can now and in the future involve students more intimately in their own learning.

Even more important to the postmodern world that is emerging will be teacher attributes such as openness, willingness to self-reflect, and ability to adapt to local situations/cultures.

A Note From Pearson ELT: Read about the new edition of Dr. Richard-Amato’s book, Making it Happen, or contact your local Pearson ELL Specialist.




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