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A Language School as a Complex System

Complex Systems Theory in English Language Teaching

Achilleas Ioannis Kostoulas

This book uses a complex systems perspective to describe how a language school in Greece evolved, and at times resisted change. Starting with an accessible introduction to complex systems theory (CST), it uses a complexity perspective to interpret data generated during a year of fieldwork. The author outlines the linguistic, pedagogical and political influences that shape teaching and learning at the school. He shows how teaching and learning emerged from the interaction of top-down constraints, available resources, and purposes of instruction. This produces a nuanced understanding English Language Teaching against the backdrop of globalisation. Additionally, the author exemplifies how CST can provide a theoretically powerful frame for researching English Language Teaching.

Accessible introduction to Complex Systems Theory – Overview of linguistic, pedagogical and political influences on English Language Teaching – Analysis of how teaching and learning practices emerge – Rich description of English Language Teaching in Greece