Chapter 4: The CLT paradigm shift and its implications
Chapter 4 The CLT paradigm shift and its implications In the 1960s and early 1970s language competence was often equated with the ability to produce grammatically and phonologically error-free sentences with a reasonable degree of ﬂuency (Multhaup, 1979). Lesson plans tended to follow a linear linguistic progression, which assumed that learners move from the simplest grammatical structures to more complex ones (e.g. Broughton et al., 1980). The 1970s and 1980s, however, marked a turning point in the ﬁeld of language learning and teaching, as the perceived importance of the role of communication in the process of language learning began to grow (Neuner & Hunfeld, 1993; Celce-Murcia, 1991; Larsen-Freeman, 1986; K. Johnson, 1982; Neuner et al., 1981; Canale & Swain, 1980; Stern, 1983). It was also around the same time that the audiolingual method and mechanical drills were beginning to receive unﬂattering reviews as an insuﬃcient and ineﬀective technique (Rivers, 1972). Jakobovits (1970) and S. Savignon (1972) were among the ﬁrst advocators of a more communicative approach to foreign language teaching, which was inﬂuenced by research done in the ﬁeld of L1 language acquisition and emphasized the role of authentic interaction and meaning exchange in the process of language learning. Stern (1981) also suggested a departure from behaviorist ways that placed learners in the role of detached observers who analyze and rehearse the language. Researchers also proposed to replace the structural syllabus with a notional- functional one, which comprised systems of lexical and functional themes that reﬂected the...
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